If coal is so good, then why is W.Va. so poor? - Printable Version
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If coal is so good, then why is W.Va. so poor? - Willinois - 07-22-2011 12:42 PM
A good question and excellent article. The same question should be asked about other coal regions like Southern Illinois and eastern Kentucky.
It quotes a report which concludes that:
Quote:When nearly 1/5th of personal income in West Virginia came from mining earnings, it was easy for the booming mining sector to be the driver of economic growth. However, as mining’s share of the economy fell, so too did the economic performance of the mining counties. Without economic diversity, mining counties saw their fortunes rise and fall with the energy booms and busts.
Part of the problem is that cultural tradition and coal politicians keep mining communities focused on nothing but coal as an economic development strategy. It keeps them from diversifying their economy, which keeps them poor.