Dwindling middle class, clueless ruling class … drugs DO begin to make sense.


This link was forwarded to me last week (thanks W) with the comment, “Heroin as an emotional safety net?”

My personal reaction in reading this story is much the same as when seeing others that come across my screen: How does it fit New Albany?

There are similarities, but also differences. Lincoln is located in central Illinois, between Bloomington and Springfield, and equidistant between Chicago and St. Louis. The population is a little over 14,000, and just past the city limits are plenty of crops. New Albany’s population is 2.5 times larger, and we’re a component of a metropolitan area.

I still like our chances, even if we seem determined to permit an ingrained conservatism (read: innate blind terror) stand in the way of real progress. Almost all that we’ve achieved during the last decade came because we tried something “new” — amid epic struggles comparable to the trenches in the Great War — and yet, even faced with incontrovertible evidence that nothing could happen until the “old” was  rejected and transcended, predictably “old” thinking still mightily resists innovation.

And, given the perennial stranglehold on local political power exercised by one of the two major parties, it is impossible to avoid reaching the conclusion that two major political parties are not ideologically represented in New Albany. DINO-saurs, you know.

But the possibilities are here. Either that, or I’m the one on drugs.

Dwindling Middle Class Has Repercussions For Small Towns, by Kelly McEvers (NPR)

… It turns out that what’s happening in Lincoln is happening in so many towns and communities across the country: As we recover from the Great Recession, jobs are coming back. But they are not middle-wage jobs — they are either high-wage jobs or low-wage jobs. The middle class is in serious decline. And that has all kinds of repercussions.