In our June issue – out to you in two weeks – we’re talking about the Heartland.
The middle of America has a lot of nicknames… few of them complimentary.
- The “Rust Belt” was popularized by 1984 Democratic presidential candidate, Walter Mondale – perhaps one reason he lost to Ronald Reagan.
- You’ll hear “flyover country” mentioned as Coastals muse about the states they’ve only seen out a jet window from 35,000 feet.
- Or maybe you prefer the “Corn Belt,” for the northern, agriculture-focused Midwest… or “Bible Belt,” coined by one of the greatest newspapermen of all time, H.L. Mencken, to describe a more southern version of the middle.
Whatever it is, both P.J. and I called it home. And yet, for most folks on the Coast – like in Baltimore, where American Consequences is published – the Midwest is a mystery.
It’s blamed for weighing down GDP… for electing President Donald Trump… even for holding on to cultural values that are no longer politically correct.
But as P.J. wrote seven years ago in Newsweek about his hometown of Toledo, Ohio:
Toledoeans love Toledo. Over the past 174 years tens of thousands of people have immigrated there – from Germany, Ireland, Poland, Lebanon (and from Appalachia and the segregated South). Maybe their greatest expectations weren’t fulfilled, but somehow Toledo, with all its busts and flops, managed to provide ordinary people with an ordinary good life…
America’s exceptionalism lies not in its successes but its failures. The people of failed Toledo can say to the people of the rest of the world, “Our junkyards are more splendid than your palaces.”
We hope that you enjoy our next American Consequences issue. It will mark our first year of publishing this free digital magazine, and we thank you for reading.
If you’ve enjoyed what you’ve read, the best thing you can do to keep us publishing another year is to send the link to our subscribe page to a friend or two… That’s right here: https://americanconsequences.com/subscribe.html
As always, our magazine is 100% free. And you’ll receive your next issue in two weeks on June 16.
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Now here’s a few headlines we’re reading…
Nothing to see here, folks… at least nothing that $4 trillion in bond buying and near-zero-percent interest rates can’t fix for a while.
The question for investors is whether the speedy recovery from 2009 is an optimistic sign that things are better in the U.S. than generally believed, a demonstration of the ability of investors to ignore reality for extended periods, or a happy illusion created by the Federal Reserve.
Have we learned anything from the financial crisis? (No. Not a thing.)
The company is firmly back in the good graces of Wall Street’s wishful thinking. But… what if interest rates rise? What if GM’s debt gets downgraded? That will never happen? Wall Street couldn’t possibly be that wrong… could it?
More trouble at Tesla…
“When I’ve seen scrappage piles, it’s a handful of units — front bumpers, door panels, and maybe you’ll see a crate of 20 pieces … You can’t sustain a 20% rate of scrap and expect to make money.”
And this pandemic test did not go well…
As it killed more than 100 million people globally, health-care systems collapsed, panic spread, the U.S. stock market crashed, and the president, members of Congress and the Supreme Court were incapacitated.
Think the government can’t steal your money? Think again… As the sign that former Congressman Ron Paul used to keep on his desk read: “Don’t steal. The government hates competition.”
“Stories like this one are really heartbreaking. A family comes here, earns citizenship, and the government quite literally steal their life savings based on the mere suspicion that they’ve done something.” A great read about small-town Grafton, New Hampshire, teeming with libertarians, guns, and furry invaders….
When it came to bears, where did truth end and myth begin? What I found was more revealing than I expected: a parable of liberty, disinformation, and fear. A parable, really, of America.
And let us know what you’re reading at [email protected].
With P.J. O’Rourke and the American Consequences Editorial Staff
June 6, 2018
Editor’s note: In our essay two weeks ago – “What explains this incredible bubble?” – we inaccurately reported Virginia Murphy’s student loan amount and balance. She took on student debt of approximately $150,000, including tuition and living expenses, which had grown to more than $250,000 when the Wall Street Journal published an article featuring her. We have updated our article and we regret the error.