Can an entire state suffer from battered spouse syndrome?
“Now for the first time in our history we’re going to help the people who brought us to the dance” -- Delegate Vernon Crisp (R – Wood) explaining the WV House of Delegates voting to reduce the severance tax on thermal coal
Today’s Wheeling “newspapers” featured a front-page story that the WV House of Delegates voted to reduce the taxes on steam coal. Delegate Crisp’s comment comes at the end of the story. Is Crisp familiar with West Virginia’s past, or for that matter, present? It’s difficult to study the state’s history and not see that those “who brought us to the dance” have exploited our natural resources (forests, coal, natural gas), left the state’s citizens among the poorest in the nation, and then stuck the state with the added task of cleaning up the exploiter’s mess. Look at any economic study (here or here, for instance) or any measurement of well-being – we’re always at or near the bottom. (Yesterday, the annual Gallup Well-Being Index ranked us last for the tenth year in a row.)
A final thought -- my description of our exploitation probably needs to include our frequent complicity in what has happened to West Virginia. Can an entire state suffer from battered spouse syndrome?