Social Breakdown in Tri-Cities Virginia Tennessee
Posted April 17, 2015 by Lewis Loflin
The problems here are the same problems that beset Indian reservations and inner-city slums - lack of human capital compounded by family and social breakdown.
By focusing on the economy while ignoring market forces and cronyism has proven to get us nowhere.
Even though the population is white unwed motherhood, broken families, welfare dependency, and general sloth plague the region and are rising. Drug arrests are out of control.
While there are jobs here most are low paying retail and service jobs. Many employers to evade Obamacare regulations have cut the hours of their already part-time low-paid workforce to under 30 hours.
The disability rates in this region runs from 17% to 18% in Tri-Cities and Washington County Virginia to a staggering 30% plus in coal counties such as Buchanan and Dickinson. And this is based on Census Bureau statistics of those aged 18 to 64 that should be in the labor force. The real unemployment rate for the Tri-Cities region when all factors are considered easily exceeds 25%.
The reason government checks and disability payments are so popular is the complete lack of stigma they once carried in the past. Pregnancy of out of wedlock women also once carried a very negative social stigma yet both today are considered perfectly normal by far too many.
The problem with disability for example is that many of its recipients could work at something if they would try and simply clean up their personal habits. We've got people on disability for drug addiction, alcohol addiction, a bewildering array of mental problems, or minor aches and pains.
They don't get disability on any single problem but the government operates on a points system where minor problems can add up to enough points to get the government checks.
SSI in particular brings a slew of benefits unavailable in the region's poverty wage service sector. Most important is mandatory enrollment onto Virginia Medicaid. And if families can get multiple members collecting checks, which they often do, that's a lot more than one can earn at McDonald's.
In addition to collecting disability for drug and alcohol addiction low levels of education are also helpful. An older worker, many in the region who are simply illiterate, is not considered trainable and any modern sense of the word for say $8 an hour call center job will be awarded disability on that basis.
So what we have developed in Southwest Virginia, Tri-Cities Virginia Tennessee is a vast low-wage labor hostile service economy that has replaced traditional middle class mining, manufacturing, and farming jobs with the welfare industry that rewards the lazy and the screw ups.
As one local temp agency noted 90% of their job applicants are turned down due to illiteracy, drug problems, or inability to pass a criminal background check.
In March 2015 alone in just Scott County and Washington County Virginia police have busted another 80 individuals on drug distribution charges. And this is a monthly event somewhere in the Tri-Cities region.
And that's just the ones that make it in the news headlines. In an examination for instance a federal district court records in Greeneville Tennessee reveals the bulk of convictions evolve around illegal drugs.
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