“Drug Firms Poured 780 Million Painkillers into WV Amid Rise of Overdoses”
Eric Eyre | Charleston Gazette-Mail
Rural and poor, Mingo County has the fourth-highest prescription opioid death rate of any county in the United States.
The trail also weaves through Wyoming County, where shipments of OxyContin have doubled, and the county's overdose death rate leads the nation. One mom-and-pop pharmacy in Oceana received 600 times as many oxycodone pills as the Rite Aid drugstore just eight blocks away.
In six years, drug wholesalers showered the state with 780 million hydrocodone and oxycodone pills, while 1,728 West Virginians fatally overdosed on those two painkillers, a Sunday Gazette-Mail investigation found.
* * *
“The Most Politically Dangerous Book You’ve Never Heard Of”
Adam Weiner | Politico
Although he is all but forgotten now, Chernyshevsky was one of the great destructive influences of the past century: first in his home country, where his writing helped spawn the Soviet Union, and now, of all places, in the United States, where his rational egotism continues to reverberate in American political and economic thought. For decades Rand has been a muse to American politicians ranging from Ronald Reagan to Ron Paul to Paul Ryan to Clarence Thomas—not to mention businessmen like Ted Turner and Mark Cuban, to say nothing of Greenspan at the Fed. The libertarian movement claims her as one of its original inspirations. And Rand’s Atlas Shrugged has become a cult classic, continuing to sell hundreds of thousands of copies every year.
[I]n the writings of the German philosopher Ludwig Feuerbach, Chernyshevsky found the idea of the “man-god,” the replacement of god by man in a materialist universe. Into this roiling cauldron of ideas Chernyshevsky dropped one last secret ingredient: Adam Smith’s “invisible hand,” the notion that an individual’s selfish gain is a gain for all society. The rational pursuit of self-interest should form the basis for all human interactions, and once this “rational egoism” becomes universal, it will result in happiness, harmonious economic and political conditions, and an ideal reconfiguration of the world.
Or so Chernyshevsky argued in What Is to Be Done?, which Chernyshevsky wrote while in prison for sedition and which, despite its eclectic jumble of philosophical premises and its deplorable prose style, became an instant classic in Russia.
* * *
“I Make $2.35 an Hour In Coal Country. I Don’t Want Handouts. I Want a Living Wage.”
Nic Smith | The Washington Post
The good wages that my father and grandfather fought to win are gone. I’m 20 years old, and I’m working at Waffle House, getting paid $2.35 an hour and relying on tips to reach the federal minimum wage of $7.25.
Our reality goes unmentioned but for every four years, when politicians start knocking on our doors and stumping outside old, shuttered mines and factories. But we don’t need empty promises about bringing back coal jobs. We need the jobs that actually exist in our towns to pay us wages high enough for us to afford basics we can live on.
In the run-up to the election and its aftermath, politicians, analysts, pollsters and pundits tried to divide the working class along the lines of race. Growing up in Dickenson County, in a community that is 98 percent white, all I knew was the struggle white working-class families faced. But when I joined the Fight for $15, I met people who work in restaurants in other parts of this state and learned how jobs that pay this little are taking a toll on working people in bigger cities, too. And many families in those larger cities face additional threats, like police violence and the risk of deportation.
White, black, brown — we’re all in this together — fighting for a better life for our families.