West Virginia is a beautiful state, rolling hills and nestled in Appalachia.
But it has been economically depressed since I was in high school (long time ago) and before.
Wikipedia (a biased, easily editable source) details
Personal income growth in West Virginia during 2013 was only 1.5% – the lowest in the nation – and about half the national average of 2.6%. Overall income growth in West Virginia in the last 30 years has been only 13% (about one-third of the national average of 37%). Wages of the impoverished bottom 1% income earners decreased by 3%, compared to the national average, which increased 19%.
Gallup-Healthways annual "State of American Well-Being" rankings reports that 1,261 concerned West Virginians rated themselves as "suffering" in categories such as Quality of Life, Physical Health, and Access to Basic Needs. Overall, West Virginia citizens rated themselves as being more miserable than people in all other states – for 5 years running. In addition, the Gallup Well-Being Index for 2013 ranked Charleston, the state capital, and Huntington last and next-to-last out of 189 U.S. Metropolitan Statistical Areas]”
Pretty depressing, isn't it?
Yet the state continues to support and funnel funds into the dying greyhound racing industry. And while the state continues to face socio-economic crises, the state plays a flush sugar daddy role in supporting an industry unable to sustain itself on its own merit.
Maybe it was the “good old boys” network, those who favor a quick buck, sitting in governmental positions of power? Maybe it was the apathy of this is the way it’s done?
Odd since racing was not introduced until long after the state was formed so I lean towards the former.
House Bill SB437 just passed and is on the governor’s desk to sign. A state with a “$500 million shortfall in the 2017-18 state budget” should not be gleefully tossing away the $15 million annual purse to dying industry.
The reality is the state needs funds. Badly. Subsidizing something that is incapable of sustaining itself without large infusions from the state, when other areas require more effort, is throwing money away.
Please contact the governor to show support for SB437 and politely request his signature
Office of the Governor State Capitol 1900 Kanawha Boulevard, East Charleston, WV 25305 http://www.governor.wv.gov/Pages/SubmitaCommenttotheGovernor.aspx