Those Southerners of us with gray hair can still smell the furniture plants and textile mills that gave our small towns life and propelled the young into adulthood. We worked summers at one plant or mill along with our neighbors and family. Paychecks were stuffed in the local branch savings accounts to fund our next chapter and we learned quite a lot about human dynamics, problem solving, and life.
We all saw the end on the horizon, when the politicians were elbow deep in the pockets of the banks and their M&A divisions, all crowing about "new age, new era" and "transitioning from manufacturing to service economy" with "shareholder value" on all their black tongues. NAFTA was the icing on the cake, the cake of manure we were all forced to eat. Every bite. And made to smile about it.
The same play was performed in the North but on a different stage: the unionized work force was destroyed more slowly but more effectively and the effects will be in the genes of their offspring for generations.
Well hell. You know what? Screw all that. The past might be dead but I'll be damned if I will submit to eating another sh** sandwich. And good luck getting me to smile. We, the normal people of the United States, have been hypnotized and led along a path to slaughter by the people we entrusted to protect us. I think things are beginning to change, but it is time to cut the strings of dependence on "the global good" and take care of our own by our own means.