About the author

Joseph Natoli

Joseph Natoli

Joseph P Natoli is a retired college professor and author of numerous books on culture and politics. He is a member of the editorial collective of BAD SUBJECTS, the oldest political online magazine on the web. He writes regularly for a number of political and pop culture online magazines, including SENSES OF CINEMA, BRIGHT LIGHTS FILM JOURNAL, POPMATTERS, AMERICANA, DANDELION SALAD, GODOT, TRUTHOUT

Related Articles

One Comment

  1. 1

    Richard Ivans

    I’m not sure what caused Appalachia to boom, if it ever did.

    But Detroit boomed when Henry Ford and other industrialists learned how to make BIG money for themselves. The way Henry made big money is by profiting from one car sale at a time. In each sale one guy looked the other guy in the eye and each freely agreed, shook hands and a car was exchange for money.

    The guy that bought the car often worked for Henry (or for a related business). He freely worked for Henry. No one was ever forced to work in Henry’s factories. In fact the lines were long trying to get a job there.

    In the process Henry got wealthy beyond dreams. He didn’t put that wealth under the mattress, no wealthy person does. He/they invest it in their own business or in others. Investments usually grow. That’s how the economy grows, that it the only way it grows. It doesn’t grow by moving money from one person’s hand to another. It grows by innovation and by the production of things.

    Moving money from one person’s hand to another will shrink the economy if the money moves from someone that will invest to someone that will spend. For example moving from a wealthy investor to an already overfed food stamp recipient who will spend that moved money to buy groceries. (google images “food stamp line”)

    In addition to investing, the wealthy loan money to others (for college, mortgage, to start a business, or something else very likely to give a return greater than the principal of the loan).

    That investing and loaning doesn’t take place when the money is redistributed away to a spender. The economy doesn’t grow, jobs don’t increase, prosperity is stunted.

    So what happened to Detroit? The automakers left. They left because the city, state and federal governments saw prosperity and wanted in on it. So they taxed it. They saw power and they wanted to show who was really boss, so they regulated it. All the while government told the people it was for the people’s good – the wealthy had too much money, the wealthy were abusing people in the factories, the wealthy were selling unsafe cars. (The government had to protect the people because the people weren’t smart enough to protect themselves, you know, read Consumer’s Reports, or work elsewhere, or demand seat belts at the dealership (??)).

    So automakers left Detroit, moved to friendlier states and countries.

    Detroiters were laid off. The government, again “looking out for the common man”, to investment money from the wealthy and gave it to the poor. Since Lyndon’s War on Poverty BILLIONS have been siphoned from investors and into Detroit. (some of the money was actually printed out of thin air, but that is a story for another time).

    All those BILLIONS into Detroit and things have only gotten worse. Some Detroiters are 4th generation welfare recipients.

    Early last century hard working people labored in Henry’s plants, after coming from tar paper shacks down south, or from hungry huddled masses on boats from the old country. In Detroit they bought shoes, clothes, refrigerators and washing machines. They spent Memorial Day in Briggs Stadium eating peanuts and cracker jacks. They bought a car and vacationed at the lake. Even sent the kids to college.

    But when the jobs left some didn’t move to seek work, instead they found they could squeak by living in the projects, eating off food stamps, government cheese, aid for kids, and the dozens of programs to make life passable. Three generations later Detroit has a culture in which people don’t know no other lifestyle.

Leave a Reply

2015 By NoWe