From the World Socialist Web Site::
This article is the first of a series on the history, economy, social and environmental conditions in the Appalachian region of the United States. Part 2 was published on July 24, part 3 on July 27, and part 4 on July 30. World Socialist Web Site reporters recently visited the coalfields of southeastern Kentucky and southwestern West Virginia and interviewed residents on their conditions of life. Accompanying interviews are posted in four parts here: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4.
The region has long suffered a deep economic distress. One-third of the 100 poorest counties in the United States, as measured by median household income, are concentrated in the coalfields. This “pocket of poverty,” as economists sometimes refer to it, has, for decades, recorded extremely high levels of deprivation, unemployment and all the social problems that accompany them. This has been exacerbated by the dearth of government spending on the region and scarcity of basic infrastructure—freeways, commuter rail, airports, Internet connectivity, public universities—which lend the region a remote and disconnected air…
[continues at the World Socialist Web Site:]