I learned this afternoon the iron smelter which was ready to come to the Bootheel has already gotten an offer from New York – a state that actually wants the 500 jobs the smelter provides.
Some will fairly note that I have been critical of bills to raise utility rates in the past, and that is true. Previously hundreds of people in the Bootheel would have been out of work if the bill passed. I was against it because I’m for people in the Bootheel having jobs. Today, if the bill passed, hundreds of people in the Bootheel would have jobs, so I’m for the bill. Everything else has always just been rhetoric.
We in SEMO are quick to blame others for some disadvantages, sometimes rightly so, but today we can only blame ourselves.
We can’t blame Washington this time. Our President Donald J. Trump, who can count on the bootheel among his most loyal supporters, has fought off the jackal of the EPA and inspired confidence in American manufacturing that has been a big part of these jobs being possible in the first place. We can’t blame Washington. We only blame ourselves.
We can’t blame St. Louis this time. Hell, it was a senator from the metro area, Sen. Paul Wieland, who fought for us when we wouldn’t fight for ourselves. We can’t blame St. Louis. We can only blame ourselves.
We can’t blame Jefferson City this time. Leaders in Jefferson City gave us numerous chances to have these jobs. In the end, we didn’t even have to vote for the jobs. All we had to do was to sit down and let Jefferson City leaders deliver jobs for us, and we couldn’t even sit down. We can’t blame Jefferson City. We can only blame ourselves.
It’s heartbreaking when you think of proud men having to sign up for unemployment, when you think of grandparents hearts’ breaking as their children and grandchildren move hours away to find work, when you think of an entire generation of children who will never get to grow up as I did, in greatest place in the world for kid: Southeast Missourah.
I’d like to tell you that I’m happy for New York, but honestly, I’m just heartbroken my home.
And we have no one to blame but ourselves.
Scott Faughn is the publisher of The Missouri Times, owner of the Clayton Times in Clayton, Mo; SEMO Times in Poplar Bluff, Mo.; and host of the only statewide political television show, This Week in Missouri Politics.