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Strong economy will lift people out of poverty

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  • Lesson from Ferguson: Do not lose hope

    Lesson from Ferguson: Do not lose hope

    Friday, August 22 2014 8:00 AM EDT2014-08-22 12:00:24 GMT
    The images from Ferguson, Missouri, look like snapshots from a war zone. We still don't know why city police officer Darren Wilson killed Michael Brown, but we do know the fallout shines a glaring light on what happens when scores of people are disconnected from the American Dream.
    The images from Ferguson, Missouri, look like snapshots from a war zone. We still don't know why city police officer Darren Wilson killed Michael Brown, but we do know the fallout shines a glaring light on what happens when scores of people are disconnected from the American Dream.
  • Political bickering overshadows need for change

    Political bickering overshadows need for change

    Friday, August 15 2014 11:39 AM EDT2014-08-15 15:39:41 GMT
    New ideas and ways to move our state and nation forward are in short supply during this election season.
    New ideas and ways to move our state and nation forward are in short supply during this election season.
  • Diversifying our economy will make it more resilient

    Diversifying our economy will make it more resilient

    Friday, August 8 2014 6:00 AM EDT2014-08-08 10:00:18 GMT
    We have been hit hard with some tough economic news in recent days about our state’s most recognized industry. We learned that Alpha Natural Resources could lay off more than 1,000 workers later this year. Another report showed that it is becoming cheaper for domestic energy producers to import coal from other countries than to use what is mined in the U.S.
    We have been hit hard with some tough economic news in recent days about our state’s most recognized industry. We learned that Alpha Natural Resources could lay off more than 1,000 workers later this year. Another report showed that it is becoming cheaper for domestic energy producers to import coal from other countries than to use what is mined in the U.S.

The Senate Select Committee on Children and Poverty is scheduled to hold another community meeting this month. The committee, which certainly has a noble and worthwhile goal, is looking for ways to better address child poverty in West Virginia. Heartbreaking stories of young children not eating and going without are difficult to hear, and we have a moral obligation to help alleviate this problem.

There are certainly no quick fixes on this issue, and this committee should be lauded for its work. Let's hope, when these senators hear stories of poverty and deprivation, they are moved to come back to Charleston and do all they can to open this state for prosperity.

To truly help, we need to do all we can to encourage investment. That means making this state a place where private enterprise can flourish and jobs are plentiful. We need a tax code that reflects our global economy, a judicial system where justice trumps politics and schools that challenge our students and prepare them for life in the modern work force. 

A steady paycheck won't cure this state's socioeconomic ills, but doing nothing and standing by as our people continue to slide away from the American dream is not an option.