James Branscome’s May 22 commentary calling for an Appalachian Homestead Act to economically revitalize Eastern Kentucky and the Appalachian areas of Virginia and West Virginia is a stroke of genius. The proposal would give useless former mining lands now held by bankrupt coal companies to a new breed of homesteaders.
Couple that with Lexington developer Bill Lear’s brilliant idea to build a regional airport at the Clark County junction of Interstate 64 and the Mountain Parkway, miles of land now home to about a dozen cows and a few catfish ponds, and you’ve got a happening solution to a decades-old economic problem. Both are practical, albeit expensive, concepts.
Or, we could wait for Mitch McConnell, Donald Trump, et al. to win the “war on coal” and bring mining prosperity back to the region, or Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, et al. to put a free chicken in every pot and provide free health care to all comers. What kind of odds would you give on either?