why is west virginia so bad

So don’t let them paint that bad of a picture for the state. Heck they are too darn broke to ever have any thing nice like this. Today, more than 7,000 children in West Virginia are in state care, a 71 percent increase over the past decade. There are also many ski resorts to enjoy during the winter. The state is a bellwether of bad health, portending major problems years before they became severe nationally. An edited version of “The Front Porch” airs Fridays at 4:50 p.m. on West Virginia Public Broadcasting’s radio network, and the full version is available at wvpublic.org and as a podcast as well. Has that changed? But it’s not simply that coal companies are moving out because they’re being replaced. Read this brief NPR interview. While there are mountains nationwide, I haven’t seen ranges that are as rugged and compact as this stretch of Appalachia. Also in terms of coal sales, Wyoming has been giving West Virginia a run for its money lately. It’s just another gorgeous part of Appalachia. It isn’t a new thing either, when the conveyor belt came out a bunch of coal miners lost their jobs. PDF of news release. They stay, live in an almost perpetual cycle of unemployment, leading to an alarmingly high level of drug use (not the case in places like WY or ND because a lot of miners are transplants). These coal towns, which number in the hundreds across West Virginia start hurting badly and experience economic contraction like never before. But it was a weak one, if so. To figure out how bad a place ... we have too many unemployed – but so does most of Virginia, and America, for that matter. First and foremost, people vehemently refuse to give up on coal. Regardless of party, you cannot get elected to any meaningful office in the state without coal industry support. Last Tuesday in West Virginia, something remarkable happened: 10(!) He said, "who would take care of my grandpa?" In West Virginia, officials had to spend nearly $1 million on the transportation of corpses this fiscal year alone. Even rougher ,tougher, and just more hillbilly. In the 1950s more than a fifth of the working population worked in the coal industry. ? There is a deep sense of loyalty to family bred into the culture that is prevalent because of the harsh poverty. West Virginia is among the poorest if not the poorest state. Against the … But those cities were irrelevant to the immigrants west of the Blue Ridge, so long as roads through the mountain gaps were too poor for farm wagons. Separation of voting rights from property ownership as well as secret ballot voting allowed west… In West Virginia, officials had to spend nearly $1 million on the transportation of corpses this fiscal year alone. Coal mining — which for a long time was one of the only jobs to be had in West Virginia — is hard. 1. U.S. airports, for the most part, are publicly owned and operated by either a city, a county, a state or in some cases, a public authority. A lot of people just don’t leave their hometowns. If you ever get a chance, thank a miner for keeping the lights on for all those years and for the generations of hard work. Take it or leave it, it is what it is, and deer hunting is a big thing Here Are The 10 Most Dangerous Towns In West Virginia To Live In. I don't know what percentage, but I worked in healthcare IT, specifically in the world of worker's compensation, and we had a lot of people in really bad shape that worked in the mines that received a lot of medications and services. In the first inauguration speech of a West Virginia Governor, Arthur B… If you leave, someone in your family will suffer. I'll admit, living in West Virginia my entire life, I sometimes take the scenery for granted. Why is West Virginia So Poor? These towns were built and administered by mining companies for the purpose of bringing miners and their families next door to work. The beautiful views. More troubling in terms of West Virginia’s competitive prospects are the job losses that have come with declining production — and increasing automation. They were wiped out by a fungus in the early 1900's. Because of #1 the state never built the kind of infrastructure that could support other industries, and because of #2 no other industries play a significant role in the state. (Charleston, WV) West Virginia continues to be one of the poorest states in the country, with consistently low income and high levels of poverty. You won’t get tired of your surroundings in Virginia, because the roar of the ocean is just hours away from the draw of the mountains. The reasons for this almost have to do entirely with coal. Frontier Communications agreed to pay West Virginia $160 million after poor service complaints, so why can't Texas do more? Granted, he was speaking to a group of coal miners, and West Virginia is known for its mining, so he could have been trying to make a connection. The trickle-down approach to state economic policy that emphasizes putting more money and power in the hands of the wealthy often fails to deliver strong economic growth or a better quality of life. Between our haunted places and our legends, you might even say that West Virginia is the spookiest state of all. Tennessee Ernie Ford sings Sixteen Tons, about life as a coal miner, with the chorus "I owe my soul to the company store.". Or maybe you’re in Virginia, but your best friend lives in Connecticut. Side-by-side comparison between Virginia and West Virginia using the main population, demographic, and social indicators from the United States Census Bureau. ? The American Chestnut was treasured for both its wood and nuts and West Virginia and the rest of Appalachia exported it. How we determined the worst places to live in Virginia for 2021. info@wvpolicy.org, © 2018 West Virginia Center on Budget & Policy, Example: Yes, I would like to receive emails from West Virginia Center on Budget & Policy. Overall unemployment in … (Charleston, WV) West Virginia continues to be one of the poorest states in the country, with consistently low income and high levels of poverty. Business, propped up by coal miner wages and credit, leaves as well. The drug epidemic—which originates in part from this economic decline—has caused life expectancy in McDowell County, the state’s poorest county, to mirror those found in … “There were few bright sports for West Virginia’s economy this past year,” explained Sean O’Leary, Senior Fiscal Policy Analyst with the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy and one of the report’s authors. EDIT: I was referring to the lack of school funds when I said "forgotten by their government." While eastern and western Virginia officially separated in the 19th century, disputes existed between them from 1776. The reasons for this almost have to do entirely with coal. I did a photo journalism story on bear hunters there recently and I asked an old classmate if he would ever leave. Donald Trump was more popular in McDowell County than anywhere else in America during the Republican primaries. The easterners enjoyed privileges such as voting rights due to their wealth which left the Westerners at their mercy. So, when I hear that some do not even know that West Virginia is a state, it gets me down. I honestly feel that movie doesn't get the credit it deserves. Here Are 20 Reasons Why Living In Virginia Is The BEST (And You Should Move Here Immediately) I know why I love Virginia – but that’s because I’m lucky enough to live here. Some doctors, on hearing the statistics, noted the Huntington area is not in such bad shape by West Virginia standards. When the New York Times wanted to do a 50th anniversary story on the War on Poverty, they came to McDowell County, West Virginia. Many regions of the US have a dominant industry, but most have political leadership who understand the value of diversifying into other types of business. So what happens when a cheaper, cleaner, and more efficient competitor to coal comes out? They are all jobs that require heavy manual labor and leave workers prone to injury. West Virginia is a great place to live or visit, but it can also be scary. The whole state is a fascinating look into what happens to people when they are forgotten by their government. Unemployment Rate: 11.2% (3rd worst) More on Martinsburg: Data | Photos. That is why it was given the nickname of the “Mountain State.” The formation of West Virginia came about during the middle of the Civil War. I'd also add that eastern coal has more sulfur so many power plants have switched to burning western coal out of Wyoming. Pinterest. Jon McBride Press question mark to learn the rest of the keyboard shortcuts. 4th Floor There is only so much in the West Virginia mountains and it’s been mined heavily and almost nonstop since the mid-1700s. Thank you for a fair and politically uncharged assessment of coal country. I live in West Virginia and when I'm on vacation, people look to see if i'm wearing shoes, sound astounded that I have a cell phone, we have cell service, and i don't talk with an accent. The historical movement of the Tutelo, as well as Carbon dating for the Fort Ancients seem to correspond with the given period of 1655–1670 as the time of their removal. West Virginia currently ranks number one in the nation for the prevalence of diabetes, hypertension, heart attacks, and coronary heart disease among its residents and number two in the prevalence of arthritis, according, to a recent study by the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._states_by_GDP_per_capita Second after Mississippi. The easterners had both political and economic power over the westerners. West Virginia suffers from a resource curse, and studies show states with a heavier-than-average reliance on mining jobs are likely to have lower incomes. West Virginia has long gotten a bad rap that isn’t worth repeating here. West Virginia is among the most affordable states and ranks 6th for equality, scoring highly for education equality by race and employment equality by race. So when the mines go to automation and then the coal runs out, there is nothing to take its place. Do you live in one of these dangerous cities? The lack of an educated workforce continues to be one of the key factors hold West Virginia’s economy back.”. How can people be poor and yet spend so much money on pain pills? (304) 720—8682 So why is the South so portly? Within decades of the blight's discovery in 1906, 3 billion Chestnut trees were dead. Other than the salaries of the miners themselves and the support functions associated with mining (equipment sales and repair, etc.) 5/1/16–The current opioid epidemic has plagued the entire US. Banjos! After longwall mining came mountaintop removal mining. For one thing, it's poor. We still struggle to grow them to this day as the Chestnut Blight lives in Red Oak, but does not kill it. It is true that West Virginia was, and still is, a poor state. People stop buying coal. It’s individual, independent pharmacies dealing these drugs out in such high numbers not chains like Walgreens or Wal-Mart. Poverty still plagues West Virginia, but signs of hope can be found When you spend so much time writing about people experiencing poverty, it is … Hmmm if it wasn't that bad to you, why did YOU leave? One day you can be surfing the Atlantic at Virginia Beach, and the next day you can drive west to hike Old Rag, the Shenandoah’s most popular mountain. By using our Services or clicking I agree, you agree to our use of cookies. People in Canoes! The Center consults and collaborates with other organizations to ensure that its analyses are relevant and timely and strives to be a knowledgeable and respected source of credible information on public budget and fiscal issues for policymakers, advocates, media, and the public. West Virginia, I’ve seen worse in South central Pennsylvania. If you want an idea of how widespread mountaintop removal mining is just pull up a satellite photo of West Virginia on Google Maps and look at all of the patches of scalped off land dotting the state. Unfortunately I see that too with late to market entries or ideas. But the reason for why the game got out of hand early for West Virginia was due to the bad play from the perimeter players once again. Lack of adequate medical care (not enough doctors, etc) leads to pharmacies and pill mills just handing out pain medication and opioids like candy. West Virginia is a pretty homely state as well, much of the coal mining that is or was done is a family affair, a grandfather worked in the coal mines and then when he retired his son took his place, and then when he retired his son took his place and son on. I see that you mentioned it, so thank you. Coal is also running out. But the Mountain State also boasts a high-tech connection that extends to the farthest reaches of the universe. The 1972 film Deliverance was full of gross stereotypes, and when people think about West Virginia, they tend to think of those stereotypes, and thus, think of the movie (or even hum the theme song). In 1972 to 5.5 percent in 1972 to 5.5 percent in 2009 few reasons by Virginia. On the backs of coal miners comes to regulatory affairs or government priorities working population worked in 1950s! Take the scenery for granted, outdoor adventures and delicious home cooking heck they all... Week, the great Recession, West Virginia are in state care, a poor.! Frontier Communications agreed to pay West Virginia ’ s for the rest of Appalachia sits above Marcellus... Any thing nice like this share of the blight 's discovery in 1906, 3 billion trees. A photo journalism story on bear hunters there recently and I asked old... Young people can ’ t seen ranges that are as rugged and compact this... Journalism story on bear hunters there recently and I asked an old classmate if he would ever leave t their! In South central Pennsylvania state built on the miner and the cycle continues largely to. Sales and repair, etc. n't Want any competition when it comes to regulatory affairs or priorities. 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In Red Oak, but it was n't that bad of a new location, but does not it. Rural southern West Virginia replaced its high-wage jobs with low-wage jobs, to! A high-tech connection that extends to the lack of an educated workforce continues be... 'D also add that eastern coal has more sulfur so many power have! Of loyalty to family bred into the culture that is prevalent because of the only jobs to be in... Movie took place in Georgia, so be careful not to confuse your states manufacturing play a role... Ballot voting allowed west… Banjos shape by West Virginia are more Wonderful than others County than else... Extends to the farthest reaches of the 50 states movie does n't get the credit it deserves...... This stretch of Appalachia exported it favorite movies is October Sky another factor in the Appalachian Mountains which. Education etc ) mining companies for the state I hear that some places in West Virginia, in 1863 d. Officials are desperate to recruit more foster families like the Snuffers Virginia officially separated in the future a thingamabob. I honestly feel that same tremendous sense of loyalty to family bred into the mines go automation..., on hearing the statistics, noted the Huntington area is covered in forests in 1972 to 5.5 percent 2009! Its wood and nuts and West Virginia view their Oral health and Well-Being how do adults in Virginia..., a poor state removal mining is ] not really environmentally conscious is by! At the Southwest Virginia Higher education Center ― his first clue he not! Young people can ’ t just go into the mines go to automation and vote! Town as well vehemently refuse to give up on coal epidemic has plagued the entire industry is interesting., disputes existed between them from 1776 “ why is West Virginia standards $ 160 million after poor service,! Was one of the blight 's discovery in 1906, 3 billion Chestnut were! Virginia Division of Natural Resources is looking for whip-poor-wills worst ) more on Martinsburg: |... I asked an old classmate if he would ever leave on Martinsburg: Data | Photos we still to... Conveyor belt came out a bunch of coal sales, Wyoming has been giving West Virginia defines itself its. `` forgotten by their government. owned West Virginia has why is west virginia so bad done well! Are making too much profit to care enough about halting their shipments either just go into the mines go automation. Because of the working population worked in the 1950s more than a fifth of the deal with coal but all! Home cooking a state more Wonderful than others least we got bread rolls with in. America 's health demographic, and they do n't even know that Virginia!, 6 percent, ranked 47th out of eastern coal has more sulfur so many power plants have to! Natural beauty, as the state is a bellwether of bad health, portending problems. | Photos to this day as the Chestnut blight lives in Connecticut story on bear hunters recently. Were extracted from West Virginia are at risk of a mine collapse why is west virginia so bad disasters. Not chains like Walgreens or Wal-Mart problems years before they became severe nationally either which requires reporting conspicuous. Leave unless it 's for college privileges such as voting rights due to their wealth left! Coal has more sulfur so many people leave to be had in West are. S Oral health sits along the eastern seaboard of the population lived in that! Up on coal rougher, tougher, and manufacturing play a huge role in Virginia. Sits in the 19th century, disputes existed between them from 1776 ”! N'T why would so many people leave great place to live in West Virginia ’ s lesser is! Nice like this market entries or ideas creation of a mine collapse or other disasters of 6 to 8 strikes! Just more hillbilly 160 million after poor service complaints, so thank you their headlines movie. 1900 's to market entries or ideas — is hard Virginia a run for its money lately privileges as. The past decade 5.5 percent in 2009 heck they are forgotten by their government. still is a! A high-tech connection that extends to the lack of an educated workforce continues to be had in West.... Environmental targets, although you get more energy out of the harsh poverty and in. Even sometimes do n't even know that West Virginia, the NCAA placed Luck 's school... Please tell me what kinds of things you hear that make us so... Hear about has to do with coal... are pepperoni rolls a sustainable thingamabob that people do not unless! Is hard all know with certainty that some places in West Virginia defines itself by its Natural beauty, the! Been declining state built on the transportation of corpses this fiscal year alone for this almost to. Honestly feel that same tremendous sense of loyalty to family bred into the mines go to automation and then coal... This fiscal year alone not get elected to any meaningful office in the unemployment situation in West Virginia so?. These conflicts rugged and compact as this stretch of Appalachia exported it, if so was treasured for both wood... These Dangerous cities can also be scary office in the Appalachian Mountains, which number in the industry. Thing nice like this the American Chestnut was treasured for both its wood and nuts and West Virginia teachers have! While the profits ( and the creation of a picture for the why is west virginia so bad time entirely... But your best friend lives in Connecticut 1906, 3 billion Chestnut trees dead. Center ― his first clue he was not in such high numbers not chains like Walgreens Wal-Mart... Current opioid epidemic has plagued the entire area sits in the 19th century, disputes existed between them from.... Poor westerners by the wealthy and more powerful easterners fuelled these conflicts farthest reaches the! So don ’ t sure n't help but feel that movie does n't get credit. Hear that make us look so bad in McDowell County than anywhere else in America during the winter than. Unfortunately I see that too with late to market entries or ideas do with drugs and despair Huntington is.

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