May 17, 2017

Poor people are cash cows. 

It makes no sense, really. One would think that poor people, by virtue of being poor, would not be profitable customers. However, for many large corporations that target the poor and working poor, there's big money to be made on the backs of...

May 10, 2017

My mother died the day she turned 55. 

This Sunday will be my first Mother's Day without her, but nearly a year after she died, I still find it impossible to be heartbroken over her passing. As I wrote in her obituary, she suffered from both mental and physical illness...

May 9, 2017

In Appalachia, our biggest export is people. 

I have heard that all my life. I continue to hear it from small-town politicians concerned about brain drain. I hear it from economic development officials concerned that the steady stream of young folks leaving town makes i...

May 6, 2017

I grew up poor. 

Often, when one reads memoirs or oral histories from folks who grew up where I did -- that is, in Appalachia, or in the South, or somewhere that's either both or in-between  -- one will see a disclaimer from the speaker or writer indicating that while t...

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