Harlan County: Gap Between Rich and Poor

The differences between the coal miners of Harlan County and the white-collar higher ups within the same companies represent the huge gap of America’s rich and poor. In addition, the almost futile efforts of the coal miners illustrate the greater struggle of America’s poor in comparison to the upper class. America isn’t the promised land of opportunity for all, just a privileged few. The perseverance of those who participated in the Brookside Strike ┬áis fueled by the desire to be heard rather than a tiny increase in wages; they were supposed to be helpless because they were labelled so, but they proved to be able to catalyze change regardless.
The severe conditions of the poor in Harlan County was a direct result of side-supply economics’ soaring popularity in the 70’s, leading up to it’s solidification by Reagan. The blatant lack of effort by the rich to better the coal miners’ income and benefits reflected this.