It gets to the point where we dread the latest report on West Virginia's economy. They are rarely pleasant. The newest one is pretty much the same old story: The U.S. Department of Commerce says West Virginia came in almost last in economic expansion in the 1990s.
This shouldn't come as a real big surprise. Hawaii, Alaska and the District of Columbia grew at a slower rate. So much for "thank goodness for Mississippi."
The states which had the biggest growth -- Arizona, Nevada, Colorado and North Carolina -- saw big increases in the manufacture and sale of computers and software products. These states saw expansion ranging from 5.1 percent to 7.3 percent between 1992 and 1999. West Virginia's expansion rate was only 2.4 percent.
This, of course, only illustrates that the Mountain State failed to enjoy the economic boom of the last decade and there is nothing on the horizon that would indicate the next decade will be any better.
Just as there is no one magic solution to our problem, there is no one single cause.
It would be nice to think that with Sen. Robert C. Byrd back as chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee we might see some more federal dollars flowing our way, but the senator said last week that with the passage of President Bush's massive tax cut, the money won't be there.
And so, it would seem that we're in for more discouraging economic reports in the years to come.