When Hillary Clinton said “we” are ruining the coal industry, she meant our economy is ruining the coal industry.
Consider the context. Like other Democrats, Clinton obviously believes that we need to take shared responsibility for the vulgarities of our economy as communities and a nation. That responsibility includes taking appropriate government action for those adversely affected by downturns, recessions and depressions. We cannot abandon our neighbors. Note that her campaign platform has included a $30 million coal energy plan since last year.
Her meaning is clear to Democrats, but it’s vexing to Republicans. For them, government action violates their political party’s dogma. That’s why Sen. Mitch McConnell wants to abolish our clean air standards, instead. Donald Trump wants to repudiate our international trade agreements. Both want desperately to believe that the so-called free market will simply take care of everything for us. They want us just to watch the market do its magic. That’s all they have to offer.
But, those of us who have experienced jobless recoveries, layoffs, wage stagnation and termination of pension plans might be skeptical of the GOP’s political dogma.