* Growth in disposable income: According to the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center, adjusted for cost of living, disposable personal income per capita was $36,938 . . . $2,500 higher than in forced-unionization states as a group."
* Reduction of poverty: The Mackinac Center for Public Policy in Michigan reported in 2007 that between 1969 and 2000, poverty rates "dropped by 6.7 [percentage points] on average in right-to-work states, compared with a reduction of 2 [percentage points] in non-right-to-work states.
In some states, Americans are scrambling to rebuild the nation from the ground up. West Virginia should be one of those states.
There's an ocean of capital out there. Corporations will invest it once there is certainty about energy and tax policy in the states.
Some states are positioning themselves to get on the short list for investment. Others are not.
States that do not will not get as much investment as they could, and will continue to lose jobs, income and young people - and gain poverty and dependence - for decades to come.
West Virginia's political leaders should move now.
There is no prize, economically or politically, for being the last state on the short list.