Suggested Discussion Outline

Post Reply
Posts: 1709
Joined: Fri Jun 29, 2007 8:43 pm

Suggested Discussion Outline

Post by johnkarls »


Anything that anyone just can’t wait to share. Or that is not covered below.


Throughout Hillbilly Elegy, our author often used the terms “hillbillies” and “blue-collar workers” interchangeably.

Yet throughout Hillbilly Elegy, our author constantly talks about how lazy, dysfunctional and abhorrent of work most Hillbillies are.

B-1. Isn’t there a sharp contrast between Hillbilly culture portrayed by our author, and the legendary “Protestant Work Ethic” of the generations of Midwesterners who have worked in the factories and foundries of Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania?

B-2. Does our author ever disclose the percentage of the populations of Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania that comprise Hillbillies or have Hillbilly heritage? Is it a rounding error??? Or does it actually round up to 1% or more???

B-3. Why does the mainstream media seem so eager to treat Hillbilly Elegy as an insight into the culture of The Rust Belt (Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania) when, in reality, it is only an insight into the Hillbilly culture of the “back woods” of Kentucky’s mountains?

B-4. BTW, Hillbilly Elegy concentrates on the small community of hillbillies that were enticed a mere 30 miles across the Ohio border from Kentucky by Armco to work in its steel-rolling mill -- what does this imply about Armco trying to cut costs by hiring hillbillies who, according to our author, are so lazy and dysfunctional?


Our author discusses at length how NON-religious hillbillies are in general -- he references several national studies of Hillbillies (pp. 93-94) which describe them as a quite-uncivilized group prone to violence, both domestic and toward strangers, and quite dysfunctional.

In addition to citing (pp. 93-94) the studies of how NON-religious hillbillies are, especially contrasted with the long-time residents of Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania, our author cites (p. 92) “MIT Economist Jonathan Gruber” for the principle that: “It’s not just that people who happen to live successful lives also go to church, it’s that church seems to promote good habits.”

C-1. (Reprise of B-3) Why does the mainstream media seem so eager to treat Hillbilly Elegy as an insight into the culture of The Rust Belt (Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania) when, in reality, it is only an insight into the Hillbilly culture of the “back woods” of Kentucky’s mountains?

C-2. Even though our author seems to admire the RELIGIOUS character of Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania, does he seem to harbor any hope that becoming religious might be a feasible cure for the laziness and dysfunctionality of Hillbillies?


We have studied on many occasions how The Establishment has conducted a War on American Workers by Exporting American Jobs beginning with the so-called Free Trade Agreements of the 1990’s.

[We have always defined The Establishment as the billionaires who “own” virtually all the pols of both political parties as a result of campaign contributions and who “own” many members of the media and who “own” many members of academia.]

And we have concluded each time that The Establishment will continue to Export American Jobs until the wages of American blue-collar workers are driven down to third-world poverty levels, since impoverished third-world workers are the recipients of those American jobs.

D-1. Does our author seem to have much of an understanding about the Establishment’s War on Workers?

D-2. Or does he seem to blame the workers themselves for their laziness, dysfunctionality, etc.?

D-3. Does he continually say that there are no governmental programs that could help the situation?


1968 Executive Order 11387 prohibited the Exportation of American Capital. It was promulgated 1/1/1968 at the beginning of President Lyndon Johnson’s last year in office and continued in effect FOR THE FIRST FIVE YEARS of President Richard Nixon’s Presidency until 1/29/1974 (for a total of 6 years).

[An erudite legal analysis of 1968 Executive Order 11387 appears in Duke Law School’s Journal of Law and Contemporary Problems, Vol. 34, No. 1, pp. 47-63 (available on-line at]

Although the primary objective of the 1968 Executive Order was to reduce the deficit in America’s foreign balance of payments -- (A) the retention of more American capital in the U.S. meant that the additional capital had to be invested in domestic projects that would employ more American workers, thereby reducing or eliminating American unemployment; and (B) the resulting increase in the ratio of capital employed per American worker caused the real income of American workers to rise.

As one of our Six-Degrees-Of-Separation E-mail campaigns, we implored President Obama to Renew 1968 Executive Order 11387.

Our e-mail campaign was approved unanimously at our 2/12/2014 meeting in direct response to President Obama’s 1/14/2014 “I’ve got a pen and I’ve got a phone” solicitation of suggestions for Executive Orders only 29 days earlier.

E-1. Is it tragic that another 2.5 years has elapsed without a renewal of 1968 Executive Order 11387?

E-2. Does the failure of President Obama to renew 1968 Executive Order 11287 2.5 years ago demonstrate that even a Lame Duck President who will never run again is still “owned” by The Establishment because he believes it is more important to raise campaign contributions for other candidates running in 2014 and running in 2016, than to “lift a finger” (or at least lift his pen) on behalf of American workers?


On pp. 226-229, Hillbilly Elegy discusses the concept of “Adverse Childhood Experiences” (ACE’s) which are traumatic childhood events which need not be physical but whose consequences reach far into adulthood.

The most common ACE’s that Hillbilly Elegy listed are:

1. Being sworn at, insulted, or humiliated by parents.
2. Being pushed, grabbed, or having something thrown at you.
3. Feeling that your family didn’t support each other.
4. Having parents who were separated or divorced.
5. Living with an alcoholic or drug user.
6. Living with someone who was depressed or attempted suicide.
7. Watching a loved one be physically abused.

Then our author has the audacity to claim that “studies have shown that ACE’s are far more common in my corner of the demographic world” for which, incidentally, he once more conflates Hillbillies with Blue-Collar Workers in claiming --

1. Among those “with a college degree or more” fewer than half had experienced an ACE and only 29% had experienced multiple ACE’s.

2. Among “the working class, well over half had at least one ACE, while about 40% had multiple ACE’s.”

Then our author proclaims that his Aunt Wee had 7 ACE’s, our author and his sister each had 6 ACE’s, and his wife who came from a family “with a college degree or more” had 0.

F-1. So how is it that our author has never heard of inner-cities such as Detroit and Cleveland?

F-2. After all, does NOT Cincinnati OH occupy the first 10 miles of the 30 miles that he and his family travelled into Ohio to get to Middleton OH? And doesn’t Cincinnati have a sizeable inner-city?

F-3. The many times that we have focused on America’s 30% Permanent Under-Caste occupying our inner-cities, we have recognized that the typical conditions facing the 178 “I Have A Dream”® Programs in 51 American cities during the 1990’s when Yours Truly was the volunteer Treasurer of IHAD-National were --

F-3-a. SINGLE-DIGIT high-school graduation rates for the class immediately preceding, and the class immediately following, the Dreamer class.

F-3-b. 99% of all Dreamers living in single-adult households.

F-3-c. 95% of all Dreamers living in single-adult households headed by a druggie.

F-3-d. 75%-80% of all Dreamers living in a single-adult household headed by a druggie who hands over all receipts to the pusher so that the kids have to steal just in order to eat.

F-3-e. Virtually-universal recognition by inner-city 5-year-olds that their only realistic career objectives are pusher or pimp, or girl friend of a pusher or pimp graduating to whore.

F-4. So with regard to our author’s discussion of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE’s) and his grotesque assertion that Hillbillies experience the greatest number of ACE’s, would any of you be surprised if Yours Truly estimated that from his 25 years of experience of dealing with inner-city children that NOT ONLY WOULD THE TYPICAL INNER-CITY CHILD HAVE EXTENSIVE EXPERIENCE WITH EVERY CATEGORY OF ACE -- BUT IT IS INCONCEIVABLE THAT VIRTUALLY EVERY INNER-CITY CHILD HAS NOT HAD HUNDREDS IF NOT THOUSANDS OF ACE’S IN THE FIRST TWO CATEGORIES ALONE???

F-5. Why does our author have the gall to pose as an expert who constantly opines that governmental programs are powerless to help???

F-6. Is our author simply reinforcing America’s refusal to “Enter The Promised Land” about which it has known for three decades --

It was 30 years ago that the “I Have A Dream”® model began enclosing an entire inner-city third-grade class (or public-housing third-grade cohort) in a protective cocoon in which --

(A) they would receive tutoring and mentoring through high school graduation with a guarantee of college tuition;

(B) education and accomplishment are worshipped rather than ridiculed; and

(C) the tutors and mentors become SURROGATE PARENTS.

The earliest IHAD programs typically transformed the SINGLE-DIGIT high school graduation – college matriculation rates from SINGLE DIGITS to 60% - 65%.

And when we realized that half the female Dreamers typically became pregnant because they felt there was nobody who loved them and they were going to create a human being that had no choice but to love them --

but the other half of the female Dreamers had an IHAD tutor or mentor who had become a SURROGATE PARENT and told them they could make something of themselves with the IHAD program, AND IT WOULD BREAK THE HEART of the tutor/mentor if she failed to do so --

so that we had all our tutors/mentors express their love and hope in such a manner, the graduation/matriculation rates blasted through the 90% barrier!!!

Note --

Our author can NOT use as an excuse that he has been misled by Bill and Melinda Gates and their Foundation causing the nation to turn away from The Promised Land.

It is tragic that Bill and Melinda Gates and their foundation caused the nation to worship for 10 years the "false idol" of breaking up inner-city schools into smaller units and, after admitting that failure, of leading the nation to worship the "false idol" of school choice.

Recent comprehensive studies by the Brookings Institution and by Stanford University show that charter schools are no better than public schools even though the charter schools typically accept only children of functional parents and then expel anyone who isn't performing.

"School Choice" is treating a SOCIOLOGY problem as an EDUCATION problem and makes no more sense than closing a police precinct in whose jurisdiction a crime is committed and hiring amateurs in their place.

BTW, since the reckless behavior of Bill and Melinda Gates are "Crimes Against Humanity" as defined in the Rome Statute establishing the International Criminal Court at The Hague, our 9/12/2012 Six-Degrees-Of-Separation respectfully requested President Obama to petition the U.N. Security Council to provide the ICC with jurisdiction to prosecute the Gates. After all, they condemned more inner-city children to a "fate worse than death" than the number of victims involved in all of the prosecutions at the ICC combined.

Post Reply

Return to “Discussion Outline – Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of Family and Culture in Crisis - Sep 14”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest