Debating 'Hillbilly Elegy' and Working Class Decline
The working class is in trouble - especially the part with roots in Appalachia.
In his best-selling memoir "Hillbilly Elegy," J.D. Vance tells how he escaped the chaos of his mother's drug abuse and serial boyfriends/husbands.
In an interview with "Inside Appalachia," Vance acknowledges the role de-industrialization plays in working-class decline. But he says cultural decline may be even more important.
"It's the fact that people are dying of heroin overdoses...it's the fact that families are breaking down, that more and more people are going to jail, and more and more people are not able to build a better life for themselves," Vance said.
And that, Vance says, is the main thrust of Donald Trump's appeal.
In this week's Front Porch podcast, we debate whether economics or culture is the main culprit behind the decline of working class families in Appalachia. Laurie Lin says it may be time to bring back good old-fashioned shame, but Rick Wilson is skeptical.
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