EDITORIAL: West Virginia Needs to Try Something New to Spur our Economy

HNN Staff
EDITORIAL:  West Virginia Needs to Try Something New to Spur our Economy

West Virginians, for all of the jokes told about us by outsiders, actually get many of the most important things right.  

For example, our instinctive love of all things related to family is one of our strongest suits.  People who leave the state for work always try to get home for Christmas, the home county fair, and any other excuse they can find.

Another facet to West Virginia life, regardless of region or income, is the pronounced efforts made by families for their children's future.  Whether in working together to build up the local school system, saving up for college, or helping our children get ready for their first job, West Virginians have as much hope for their children's lives as any other Americans.  

Homes are often mortgaged for a second time in order to fund a child's college education here.  But West Virginia couples gladly do it so that their children can chase their dreams.

The poignant aspect to all this is that so of these West Virginia students are able to chase their dreams here in the Mountain State.  For decades now, politicians in both parties have told us that they want to make it more possible for our young people to either stay here or return here.

Ask yourself:  how have the politicians done on that score?

With few exceptions, most areas of West Virginia are either in a permanent recession or even a depression.  Our state leaders, despite some of them having good intentions, have not been able to generate any economic excitement, prompting investment in West Virginia by out of state investors or our own would-be entrepreneurs.  

Why is that?  Is there a magical formula to spur economic development?  Are other Appalachian states like Virginia, Kentucky, and Tennessee really possessed of better economic and intellectual assets?

Not really.  We simply have to have persuasive leaders who understand how to develop private sector jobs again in West Virginia.  Private sector jobs not only produce the kind of good-paying jobs that West Virginia families need to raise a family but also send tax revenue into our coffers for needed infrastructure projects statewide.  

U.S. Senator Joe Manchin had his chance to make a mark on job creation as Governor for five years.  No lasting progress was made on any front.  

His last year and a half in Washington, D.C. have shown us a politician more inclined to protect his own future than to support the views of his state's citizens, whether on expensive items like Obamacare and Planned Parenthood funding or persuading more U.S. Senators to challenge the President's EPA policies towards coal.

Manchin can be charming in person.  But if you were asked to give even three of his job-creating accomplishments as Governor or U.S. Senator, what would you say?

See what we mean?  How much longer can we have "leaders" in the highest offices in the land that can't make a dent in West Virginia's economy, despite all of the experts at their disposal?

West Virginians have a chance to go in a new direction in this fall's elections.  Only John Raese has the business know-how to help get us on the right track.