[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/OPINION/01/26/fetterman.braddock.stimulus/tzleft.john.fetterman.jpg caption="For decades, Braddock, Pennsylvania, has been in decline as it lost jobs and people."]
Special to CNN
In 2001, I came to Braddock, the poorest town in Western Pennsylvania, to serve the community's severely disenfranchised young people by starting an employment and GED program. Their lives were the embodiment of what happened to Braddock and this region: chaos through abandonment.
However, tough times and severe hardship are nothing new. It's been this way for decades.
Once one of the most important steel manufacturing centers in the world, Braddock - what's left of it - solemnly affirms one of the great economic maxims of our society: socialism for the rich, and capitalism for the poor.
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