To the editor:
In the late 1800s and early 1900s, people of all creeds and nationalities came to the Ohio Valley for employment opportunities. We were known for our coal and steel making. These industries provided a livelihood and paycheck for thousands. These industries brought with them numerous services such as railroads, local merchants, religious institutions and organizations.
The Ohio Valley has the river; this was the main source of usage for industry and transportation along with the rail service. So what has changed, that these life bloods of communities are a thing of the past and a shell of what they use to be? These industries made a commitment to the communities: to build, employ workers and pay taxes.
When speaking of steel, we always hear the words "rust belt," and for the longest time, I never understood what that meant until really looking at the steel mills of the Ohio Valley. Many of these mills were built in the middle to late 1800s and look it. There is no pride in the appearance of these now operating or closed buildings. So why is this the case? These companies made profits, so why didn't they keep up their operations or build new ones?
Well, we have to look no further than to our own federal government and our elected representatives for our answer.
When it comes to steel, this sector of industry was doomed when our politicians got involved. These companies were profitable, and we all know that government and politicians don't like profitability for businesses, to them it's obscene. So they legislate or regulate them to where there is no profitability - problem solved.
So, when you look at our steel mills, know that somewhere in the world (most likely China) there are brand new mills being erected and employing their citizenry.