Growing Poverty and Job Losses in Tri-Cities VA-TN

by Lewis Loflin


Tri-Cities, Bristol Virginia-Tennessee will not only have among the lowest growth in the nation, but the lowest in Tennessee and Virginia. The region already suffers a 20 percent plus real poverty-unemployment rate. Oddly liberals and Progressives work with big business Republicans to destroy labor, drive down wages. Where do I begin?

Quoting futurist Ed Barlow before the Sullivan County Chamber of Commerce:

"Seniors create low-wage service jobs. They tend to withdraw from working, and they generally don't create new wealth. A retirement community strategy has long-term negative economic consequences unless there is a diverse economic base of other employees around it...A significant component of your economic future in Sullivan County is recruiting Hispanics, making sure they get highly educated and integrated into the community."

In 2011 Bristol-Tri-Cities was ranked number 5 in the 10 poorest cities in America by

See Bristol Virginia-Tennessee News Opinion 2015 Has has updated economic stats.

Posted Nov. 2015

Posted August 5, 2015:

Illegal Immigration

Posted April 16, 2015:

Bristol Virginia Tri-Cities Crime 2014

Steb Hipple on a Shrinking Tri-Cities Labor Force 2014

ETSU economist Steb Hipple is the last word in economics in Tri-Cities, but lately nobody in the press or government are saying much about him - they claim unemployment is down and all the corporate welfare has turned the economy around. Well, not really. To quote Dr. Hipple:

During the first quarter (2014), the Tri-Cities Consolidated Statistical Area (CSA) continued to see job losses. Compared to the same period in 2013, regional job levels were lower by 0.7% to 221,514. Employment has now declined for the past eight quarters and increasing numbers of jobless workers are withdrawing from the regional labor force.

As a result, unemployment fell 16.5% to 16,072, and the labor force contracted by 1.9% to 237,586. The jobless rate for the metro area was 6.8%, compared to 7.9% a year earlier. Under these conditions, a falling unemployment rate is a sign of labor market weakness...

During the January to March period, employment was higher by 0.5% in Bristol, but fell 1.6% in Johnson City and 1.2% in Kingsport. Matching the regional pattern, large numbers of unemployed workers are exiting the labor market in each city.

This has lowered jobless levels by double digits, contracted the labor force, and reduced jobless rates. The percent of workers unemployed fell to 6.6% in Johnson City, 6.7% in Bristol, and 6.8% in Kingsport. As in the metro area, the lower jobless rates in each city are a result of weakness in the labor market.

Happy Face Assault on our Individual Liberties

Liberalism's Double Standard on Bigotry and Intolerance

The dismal future of the working poor in this community is tied directly to a job structure hostile to working people. Lack of economic opportunity is not a racial thing but system wide planned policy cutting across all demographic groups. Mass immigration has pushed millions out of the job market hurting in disproportionate numbers Black Americans.

Meat packing for example was once heavily black and white paying $18 an hour - today illegal alien Hispanics and some Asians now dominate the factory floor with dismal working conditions and abuse while wages have fallen below $12 an hour.

See Proof Limiting Mass Immigration Helps the Working Poor

Letter to the Editor

Published Bristol Herald Courier January 2, 2015

RE: GOP dominates SWVa. The sheeple of SWVa. Tri-Cities vote for Republicans determined to cut their throats, pilfering millions of public dollars for corporate welfare at the same time bitterly opposing expanding Medicaid.

"We don't want socialized medicine." What's Medicare, Medicaid, and the Veterans Administration?

"They are working for jobs." Really? Republican dominated Tri-Cities- SWVa. labor force is imploding, disability roles explode as thousands turn to that for a living, and the region continues to rank in the bottom of the nation in most social demographics. Check with Dr. Steb Hipple at ETSU. Check the Sullivan County Jail - we even got our own TV show! (Southern Justice)

Republicans refused to defund the Obama amnesty - they support more replacement workers to further depress wages for the working poor. Where were you Mr. Griffith?

Republicans have reduced public office to private fiefdoms. "Economic development" is catch-phrase for corporate welfare, lucrative jobs, and a bonanza for contractors, consultants, and their friends - and zero accountability.

$150 million plus looted for the Falls, Pinnacle, etc. BVU using ratepayer funds to underwrite millions (most of it hidden) for The Falls, a stupid music program, etc.

An $8 an hour call center crosses State Street, get millions in incentives, and we call them "new jobs."

Why is the Tobacco Commission even paying Dominion Energy $10 million? The $2 million being wasted to fund the so-called "Center of Excellence" I predict will produce nothing like the last $2 million. Other than bailing out a non-profit and the Abingdon Incubator the program suffers from vague goals, no measurable standards, and zero public oversight. The Phil Puckett scandal aside when will the public shut this scandal-ridden agency down?

Now back to Obama's birth certificate.

TVA Slashes Nearly 2000 Jobs in 2014

As if the job misery in East Tennessee isn't bad enough TVA has cut 1,750 high paying jobs. The Chattanooga Times Free Press and AP report TVA "supplies power to about 9 million people in Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Kentucky, Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia."

The fact is TVA's peak production was in 2007 before the massive losses in manufacturing across the region that is still ongoing in 2014. They stated "increased conservation and energy efficiency since then" has led to declines when in fact it's the loss of manufacturing I believe is the big factor.

Manufacturing uses a lot of electricity. 124 industrial plants in the TVA service area have slammed the doors since October 2008-9.

See TVA Jobs Losses to Raise Power Rates

Again the loss of middle class jobs be it TVA, manufacturing, or the over 600 mining jobs lost in recent months in Southwest Virginia will ripple across the whole community. We simply can't replace these jobs with tourism crap jobs and expect the high poverty rates to not get worse.

One has to wonder how it is possible to spend these hundreds of billions to alleviate poverty and still have the same number of poor people that we had, say, in 1968...It prompts the more suspicious among us to ask: What happened to the money?...[A] tremendous chunk of these domestic outlays goes to pay the salaries of people who work for and with the federal government - including well-paid civil servants and an array of contractors and "consultants," many of whom have gotten rich from housing programs, "poverty" studies, energy research grants, and the like...

"Where Do All the Welfare Billions Go?" (Human Events, February 6, 1982) M. Stanton Evans

Thomas Sowell

Does becoming an atheist make one a better person?

This is the latest answer to my challenge on atheism. I'm not here to judge or attack, but believe everyone has a right to express a view. For the record I'm a staunch believer in God, evolution, and science. Shocked? By the way I had Bible classes in college and if I had to believe in the Bible I'd be an atheist.

See Debunking the New Atheists