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Coal exposes the dumbest state

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The greatest welfare state in the union has to be West Virginia. For all of its statehood life, West Virginia has been blessed with natural resources including coal, clean water, mountains, and beauty. Yet, the state also appears to be one of the most ignorant, undereducated, poor, and backward. Why is that?

Some political scientists theorize that Democrats enjoy serving dumb and impoverished citizens because it keeps people dependent upon them and government for their meager existence. Some theorize that corporations support politicians who can keep citizens in check while they exploit natural resources at the expense of both environment and social responsibility. Corporations don't necessarily care which party is in power as much as they care about who will let them do what they want with the least cost and resistance.

Here is a partial list of why West Virginia comes off as being ignorant:

1. The state has had more than its share of corrupt politicians.

2. Corporations bully citizens with political influence that permit them to foul the environment.

3. Ignorance breeds ignorance.

4. Politicians exploit ignorance to create the great welfare state.

See the list.

1. The state has had more than its share of corrupt politicians.
1. The state has had more than its share of corrupt politicians. Mark Wilson/Getty Images

1. The state has had more than its share of corrupt politicians.

“In his best-selling book, The Making of the President 1960, Theodore White said that West Virginia was among the most politically corrupt places in the country. The basis for White’s observation was the 1960 West Virginia Democratic primary election in which John F. Kennedy buried Hubert Humphrey by a mixture of state-of-the-art political techniques and old-style vote buying.

There is other evidence to justify White’s harsh assessment. In the last third of the 20th century, West Virginia governors were charged with felonies four times in federal court, with two acquittals and two guilty pleas. Two state senate presidents were convicted and sent to prison, and numerous elected and appointed officials (plus a few associates) suffered a similar fate.”

http://www.wvencyclopedia.org/articles/1894

There is much more than this quip if you want to take the trouble to dig in.

2. Corporations bully citizens with political influence that permit them to foul the environment.
2. Corporations bully citizens with political influence that permit them to foul the environment. Mark Wilson/Getty Images

2. Corporations bully citizens with political influence that permit them to foul the environment.

“Advocates for clean government may cheer.  Democrats may breathe a sigh of relief.  Republicans may have a tougher time in November winning the seat in West Virginia.  Everyone can agree, however, that the ousting of Rep. Alan Mollohan (D-WV) in the Democratic primary represents a victory for the cleansing nature of representative government:

A West Virginia congressional seat that’s been held by a Democrat for generations is now up for grabs after 14-term incumbent Rep. Alan Mollohan was swept out of office on a wave of voter unrest that an opponent called a referendum on President Barack Obama.

The congressman is the first U.S. House incumbent to be ousted this spring primary season amid widespread anti-incumbent sentiment. The same unrest helped end the 17-year career of Utah Republican Sen. Bob Bennett, who lost a GOP convention on Saturday.
State Sen. Michael Oliverio carried 56 percent of the vote to Mollohan’s 44 percent Tuesday night after an aggressive campaign that questioned the incumbent’s ethics and support for issues including federal health care reform.

It didn’t question Mollohan’s ethics.  The primary fight exposed his lack of same.  Mollohan has long been under investigation by federal law enforcement for corruption.  The House Ethics Committee recently acknowledged that they had an open probe into his actions as well — until the Justice Department asked them to shut it down to keep it from interfering with their own case-building.

That’s not the only reason Mollohan lost, however.  The people of West Virginia depend on coal for their economy, and Mollohan has betrayed them repeatedly over the last year.  He has played along with Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama as they have attempted to shut down the coal industry by legislation (cap and trade) and regulation (EPA).”

http://hotair.com/archives/2010/05/12/scandal-tainted-democratic-rep-mollohan-out-in-primary-loss/

3. Ignorance breeds ignorance.
3. Ignorance breeds ignorance. Joe Raedle/Getty Images

3. Ignorance breeds ignorance.

“Over the past couple of decades, the resource manufacturing industries have been leaving the state in a slow trickle -- of their own volition, though, and not, as might have been hoped, at the end of a pike -- and gradually, the state is going to have to move to a post-coal, post-chemical economy.

That's a good development, to my mind. But the history of sellout politicians and cheapjack business interests in this region keeps me on watch for the next plague of locusts.

Having been made to endure fucked up Air, Earth, and Water, we ought to be mindful of that history, and make sure that history goes with us, always, into the voting booth, into the streets, into the home, into the wider world.

Otherwise, to steal a line from the old hymn -- and don't we love our Jesus, our stories of noble suffering around here -- we'll all of us, residents and politicians and operators alike, find ourselves standing in the Fire Next Time.

Eric Waggoner is a writer and instructor in the English department at West Virginia Wesleyan College. He writes a blog at culturalslagheap.wordpress.com."

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/eric-waggoner/west-virginia-chemical-spill_b_4598140.html

4. Politicians exploit ignorance to create the great welfare state.
4. Politicians exploit ignorance to create the great welfare state. Mark Wilson/Getty Images

4. Politicians exploit ignorance to create the great welfare state.

“West Virginia The Biggest Welfare State In Addition To Being Dumb

West Virginia cannot seem to get any love lately. In addition to being called the dumbest state in America, another recent study from George Washington University claims that WV also happens to be the biggest welfare state.

In a related report by The Inquisitr, even high school students are winning political office in West Virginia. But an Infoplease study claims the reason that West Virginia is the dumbest state is because of SAT scores and household income:

“West Virginia holds an average SAT score of 1513 and a MHI of $40,196, the third lowest in the nation, while claiming a 17.3 percent rate for the number of citizens holding bachelor’s degrees…. West Virginia was closely followed in the dumbest state race by Arkansas, which held a higher average SAT score of 1697, but fell near the bottom on MHI ($40,112 per year) and percentage of citizens with a bachelor’s degree (18.9 percent).”

The amount of help that the people of West Virginia receive from the federal government’s welfare programs is quite astounding. The state receives 26.2 percent of its annual income from welfare programs while the national average is far lower at 16.7 percent.

The list of welfare programs included in this study was Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid,

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program aka SNAP (formerly known as the Food Stamp program), veterans benefits, military medical benefits, unemployment insurance, and federal education programs, as well the Supplemental Security Income program, which helps low-income Americans who are 65 or older, blind, or disabled. Of course, 75 percent of all the money being spent comes from just Social Security (33.2 percent), Medicare (24.2 percent) and Medicaid (18.2 percent).”

Read more at http://www.inquisitr.com/1278335/west-virginia-the-biggest-welfare-state-in-addition-to-being-dumb/#J0QVYA9mhKViFQ65.99

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