Coal Industry Downturn Spreads Beyond Coal Miners

by Lewis Loflin

Virginia coal devastated by low natural gas prices and environmental regulations is costing jobs beyond the coal the fields themselves. We have lost 50% of our coal jobs I guess in the last 18 months. One news report notes the loss of 35 jobs in Norfolk at a coal loading facility.

Now the Bristol Herald Courier is reporting the loss of 300 railway jobs with CSX in Erwin, Tennessee. This was a repair and maintenance facility that has seen the volume of traffic nose dive. Coal revenue declines over the last four years has totaled over $1 billion according to reports.

But our famous Santa Train will keep on running. Every year around Christmas various celebrities ride a train to the coalfields area with Santa on board throwing out gifts and candy to thousands of children waiting along the rail lines. Fortunately this tradition is going to survive the cutbacks. Hopefully the children of the laid-off coal miners and railway workers might get a handful of candy for Christmas.

The Train originates in Shelby, Kentucky and travels 110 miles to Kingsport, Tennessee. The train gives out an estimated 15 tons of clothing, food, toys and gifts at stops along the way. This year's train will travel the route on November 21. CSX donates the train while others donate toys and gifts.

More Waste No Jobs

Bristol Virginia October 1, 2015

Bristol Virginia will receive $228,000 in federal pork barrel spending courtesy of US senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine.

The funding will not produce anything of value but is designed to "help local governments fight housing discrimination, improve economic conditions and increase access to affordable housing.


In other words useless social engineering in a city that is broke, has had its credit rating down graded twice, and is straddled with at least 11 public housing projects.

Bristol Virginia after investing tens of millions in arts, entertainment, tourism development, and music concerts has simply failed to produce any real jobs or opportunities for its thousands of residents trapped in poverty and lifelong occupancy in public housing.

It's time to look at the two main causes of these problems: family breakdown and self-destructive behavior within this particular community - it doesn't have a damn thing to do with racism. Nobody wants to deal with a population with high crime rates and whose homes are simply social chaos.

The second issue to look at is widespread political corruption and lack of economic opportunity. This simply can't be solved locally particularly on the economy. There is simply no demand for unskilled, uneducated drug addicted people. We can't pay someone $15 an hour to flip hamburgers.

We must deal with economic realities. Stop looking for damn racism in everything. We import millions of Third World peasants to do the jobs these people in public housing should be doing. As long as we import replacement workers in order to push down wages then reward those sitting in public housing getting high all day there will be a no solution.

Lewis Frog

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