Yes, I’m back in Seattle, but I’m also in meetings all morning, so I won’t have much time for posting. In the meanwhile, I highly recommend Danny Westneat’s must-read column in the Seattle Times: ‘Self-made’ myth divides us.
Of all stories we tell ourselves, the one about how we’re a merit-based nation of lone wolves has got to be the most enduring. The most intoxicating. And the most baloney.
Nowhere is the myth as confused with reality as in rock-ribbed Eastern Washington. The place depends utterly on the government and communal resources for its existence, from the New Deal irrigation system still being paid for by taxpayers elsewhere, to farming subsidies and crop price supports. Yet in their own minds, they are mavericks living off the land.
“We don’t need the government to come in and try to prop things up,” a Lincoln County grain buyer told me as the economy was collapsing in the fall of 2008. As if the local economy weren’t already propped up.
It’s not often I recommend something in the Times for anything but ridicule, but Westneat nails it. Really… read the whole thing.