• The Economic Decay of American Exceptionalism

    July 1, 2013

    Posted in: #99Percent, Democracy

    As research for my upcoming book, Ghosts of Tom Joad, A Story of the #99Percent, I recently spent several days in Weirton, West Virginia, Steubenville and Mingo Junction, Ohio (the latter town was the site used to film much of the movie The Deer Hunter back in the day).

    Those towns, like so many others along the stiil-beautiful Ohio River, once thrived on steel making. When economic decisions made in the U.S., along with globalized processes that moved most industry out of America into Asia, they left the shells of the mills along with the shells of the workers behind. The towns are devastated. They looked as if they had been evacuated after some terrible event. Maybe not far from the truth.

    Have a look at how some Americans are living. American Exceptionalism indeed.

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  • Recent Comments

    • Rich Bauer said...


      What no dead bodies? Looks like the better neighborhoods in North Philly and the Bronx.

      07/1/13 10:54 AM | Comment Link

    • Expat said...


      In my little town, I grew up believing
      God keeps His eye on us all
      And He used to lean upon me
      As I pledged allegiance to the wall

      Lord I recall, my little town
      Coming home after school
      Flying my bike past the gates
      Of the factories
      My mom doing the laundry
      Hanging our shirts in the dirty breeze

      And after it rains, there’s a rainbow
      And all of the colors are black
      It’s not that the colors aren’t there
      It’s just imagination they lack
      Everything’s the same back in my little town

      Nothing but the dead and dying
      Back in my little town
      Nothing but the dead and dying
      Back in my little town

      Paul Simon

      07/1/13 2:53 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...


      Nothing but the dead and dying
      Back in my little town
      Nothing but the dead and dying
      Back in my little town –

      Exactly. Where are the bodies?

      07/1/13 3:14 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...


      These photos look similar to the ending of “On the Beach.” But is there still time, brother?

      07/1/13 3:17 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...


      Off topic: I have to laugh at the naive Germans et al “Shock and Awe” that a corrupt government which kills innocent civilians would respect their internet privacy.


      Obama: Hey, what you gonna do about it? This drone’s for you.

      07/1/13 3:22 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...


      Rot begins at the head: http://www.emptywheel.net/2013/07/01/james-clappers-double-super-secret-correction/

      Anyone who believes this bunch of liars deserves everything they get.

      07/1/13 3:28 PM | Comment Link

    • pitchfork said...


      Hey PVB..with all due respect..you’ve made a colossal mistake! Those towns aren’t real. Their part of a Disneyland’s new, nationwide Theme park called Name your Town. Yesireebob..for the low low price of a new car, you can travel from one town to another, where you can discover history like you’ve never seen. Youbetcha..replicated to look exactly like towns were in their post industrial heyday..complete with rotting stores, signs, roads, and their industrial birthrights..the actual rusting remnants of an age where humans labored at building America..sans human beings of course. So… come one..come all..Name Your Town is about to open with a star studded cast of …

      uh..what’s that? Whatta ya mean it’s been canceled? Really? Oh my. Geesh..and here I was hoping for a job. arrrrgggggrrrrrr..

      07/1/13 5:38 PM | Comment Link

    • Expat said...


      Speaking of “The Economic Decay of American Exceptionalism,” don’t miss Linh Dinh’s “State of the Union” updates: http://linhdinhphotos.blogspot.com/

      07/2/13 2:17 AM | Comment Link

    • Andrey said...


      A rather old Russian joke from the 90s. News announcement: “Comrades, we regret to inform you that everything that our media told us about communism up till now turned out to be false. Unfortunately, everything that they told us about capitalism turned out to be true”.

      07/2/13 1:15 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...


      The Russian joke is on US, as told by ex-KGB spy Putin:

      “If he (Snowden) wants to go somewhere and there are those who would take him, he is welcome to do that,” Putin said. “If he wants to stay here, there is one condition: he must stop his activities aimed at inflicting damage to our American partners, no matter how strange it may sound on my lips.”

      Our American partners in what, exactly?

      With friends like US: “Eavesdropping on friends is unacceptable,” German government spokesman Steffen Seibert told reporters in Berlin. “We’re not in the Cold War anymore.”

      Clueless in State: U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Monday he “didn’t know the details of the allegations, but tried to downplay them, maintaining that many nations undertake various activities to protect their national interests.

      Right, like banning any of the companies who facilitate the NSA criminal spying operations.

      07/2/13 2:08 PM | Comment Link

    • Andrey said...


      @ Rich Bauer

      To be honest, “Is Putin an American proxy?” was always a popular topic in Russian blogosphere. As for that particular statement by Vlad regarding Snowden, right know the most frequently asked question here is “WTF?”

      07/2/13 5:05 PM | Comment Link

    • Eric Hodgdon said...


      American Exceptionalism is alive and well! Only now the Exceptionalism is the Economic Decay.

      07/2/13 6:08 PM | Comment Link

    • pitchfork said...


      quote:”As for that particular statement by Vlad regarding Snowden, right know the most frequently asked question here is “WTF?”unquote

      Meanwhile, back here in the parallel universe of tyrant wannabe’s, I haven’t seen a single “WTF” about that. That doesn’t mean there hasn’t been, but I haven’t seen it. Strange to say the least. Especially for one who called for the prosecution of PussyRiot for..ahem..”hooliganism”. It wouldn’t surprise me if Obama threatened him with NSA obtained blackmail of some kind.

      However, my REAL belief is Snowden/Greenwald still have some kind of evidence of a world wide ruling class/Financial Oligarchy connection to bribery, blackmail, and corporate use of the data. yesireebob…by the looks of things, especially Ecuador’s 180 degree reversal on Snowdens request for asylum, I’d submit some heads are exploding at the thought, or at least being threatened to explode..hahahahahahahaha!

      However, hope springs eternal. All I know is something really serious is happening, expecially due to the revelations of USG surveillance of allies, and they are fucking pissed off big time.

      youbetcha…heads are exploding.

      07/2/13 6:39 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...


      George “Orwell” Zimmerman. Now go back to sleep, America.

      07/2/13 8:28 PM | Comment Link

    • meloveconsullongtime said...


      As a native of Pennsylvania – but of the rich part, not the coal mines – but still I remember ALL regions of Pennsyvlania…

      …I can say that some of these photos remind me of the coal-mining parts of my native land of Pennsylvania, and of this song…

      (meanwhile preemptively telling John Poole to go f-ck himself up his ass, and his State Departement friends too):


      07/2/13 10:01 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...


      Everybody out of the pool now that Putin and Obomba are partners. In their NWO the whole world is fucked.

      07/2/13 10:06 PM | Comment Link

    • meloveconsullongtime said...


      PS, from the final scene of “The Deer Hunter” set in MY NATIVE STATE OF PENNSYLVANIA, so DON’T any of you State Department and/or CIA thugs DARE to talk back to me HERE!:


      07/2/13 10:08 PM | Comment Link

    • Kyzl Orda said...


      Yes, some of the images look like parts of PA or upstate NY or the midwest.

      I’m visiting my Mom and its amazing and sad there are people living out of their cars at the local walmart parking log. I am not sure who the families are; last year it was families displaced from Delaware river flooding from THE PRIOR YEAR and still without assistance

      Andrey, what is the sense there why Putin tweaked his stance on Snowden? What could Russia get out of this?

      It seems most countries have some kind of capitalistic system. The difference is the regulatory framework, which was weakened in the US under the Clinton administration and then further weakened under the Bush (Jr) administration. No regulatory oversight or proper government role enables more chaos, inefficiency, and corruption

      07/3/13 3:53 AM | Comment Link

    • Kyzl Orda said...


      erm “Parking lot”

      07/3/13 3:54 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...


      07/3/13 11:39 AM | Comment Link

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