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The middle class determines the wealth of the nation

An economy such as we have now that causes wealth accumulation in a small percentage of the population is not sustainable. Whether or not you believe that unions are the Antichrist or communism personified, or that the tax policies of the 1950s were the work of Nikita Khrushchev, the spending power of the strong middle class that came about in the 50s and 60s and 70s because of these and other factors was what made America vibrant and prosperous.

We are getting back to economic demographics of the 1800s now with the powerful rich being able to literally control the direction of the country because they own or can influence most of it. Tax laws favor the offshoring of manufacturing. Workers’ ability to organize and negotiate for more favorable wages and working conditions has been eroded legally and by the fear of loss of employment.

The extreme skewing of wealth does not equal the economic power that the strong middle class had, however.

I am not sure we can agree on what governmental policies or laws we need to begin recreating the existence of a strong middle class, but we had better agree or the next generations will not be better off than we are now.

There are few tried and true models of how to favorably alter complex economic situations, but we need to begin somewhere. I submit that something is horribly wrong when we argue about raising the minimum wage by a small amount, rather than trying to use our system of government to encourage significant onshore economic development that pays the substantial wages that our parents had.


Matthew B. Cole

Falling Waters


GenJ for homeschoolers

Homeschooling is becoming increasingly popular in Jefferson County. The Home School Legal Defense Fund, an advocacy group for homeschoolers, has a club they created called Generation Joshua. Generation Joshua is a national club for homeschoolers, and is available for kids ages 11 to 18.

Generation Joshua is a civics club for homeschoolers who wish to have a voice in their local and national government. The club is also student-led and the leaders of the club are kids. There are many GenJ groups around the country, but so far only one in West Virginia and it is located right here in Jefferson County.

Our Jefferson County club has monthly meetings where we learn about our government and the political process. We also discuss current events and plan field trips in order to learn firsthand. There are currently GenJ groups volunteering in the Northern Virginia elections. There are also awesome summer camps and contests. Our GenJ group helped to elect Patrick Morrisey in last year’s election. During his campaign, members made phone calls and went door to door.

The Jefferson County group meets locally, usually at Fellowship Bible Church on first Fridays but the best way to join is to contact William@hslda.org.


Catherine Rucker

Harpers Ferry



Fracking hysteria

It is my hope that some public officials and others get the facts before they continue to denounce “fracking.”

I am a Jefferson County native that lived in West Texas for over 14 years and that was in the Permian Basin. Oil and gas wells are drilled far below the fresh water strata and into or below the salt water strata. Fracking is done in the Permian Basin as well as eastern New Mexico with no damage to the environment and has been done for many years.

To start, the drillings are nothing more than what is stone dust. That is chippings much the same as from a water well drilled here. No fluid is used except water for cooling the bits. One could say it is the same as “tailings” from rock mining. It is only when the well has been drilled to the desired depth and casing and cement sealer is injected that fracking takes place. At one time it was diesel fuel when it was inexpensive, but could be some form of acid or even sand in a compressible fluid that is injected down the well at very high pressure. Water cannot be used as it cannot be compressed. Hence the term “fracking” as it would fracture the strata to extract more oil or gas.

It seems to me that fear-mongering is what fuels these assertions about “fracking” with no basis other than some unproven ranting.


Zack T. Fleming




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