Weak economies lead to income inequality
The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities recently released a study showing widening inequality between the richest and poorest residents in each of these United States.
West Virginia ranked seventh in the nation for the largest growth in "income inequality" over the last several decades.
In the mid-2000s, the richest 20 percent had an average income of $134,464 - 8.4 times as much as the poorest 20 percent, with an average yearly income of $15,917.
In the late 1970s, the only 4.9 times as large.
"Extremely troubling," said Stuart Frazier, a policy analyst for the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy.
As is the fact that West Virginians collectively have been at the bottom of the national per capita income rankings for decades.
Robert L. Pollock, writing in Wall Street Journal's Political Diary, noted that the national center's map of "income inequality' - the greatest disparities coded the darkest blue - "looks so much like the Obama Electoral College victory map."
West Virginians did not go for President Obama this time, and cut state Democrats' majority in the House of Delegates, which may affect policy.
Here's hoping for policies that lead to a much faster rate of economic growth, which is what helps the poor the most.
"Over the same decades covered by the study, there's been a growing scholarly consensus that the blue state [Democratic] model of high taxes and generous social welfare benefits risks creating a culture of dependency and slow growth. . . . Weak economies do not reduce inequality."
Truer words were never spoken.