Thursday, July 17, 2008

CNBC Rates West Virginia Three Spots Lower in 2008

Open for business? Not according to CNBC.

In the past year, West Virginia has dropped from 44th to 47th in the nation in terms of having a business friendly environment. While we rate very well in the cost of doing business, we rank 49th in technology and innovation and 50th in terms of business friendliness.

Surely that is part and parcel of being in a traditionally neglected Appalachia, right? Not necessarily. Our neighboring states rate far better than we do. Virginia ranks 2nd, falling from number one last year. Ohio, usually cited as an underachieving state, rates 30th. Pennsylvania has a rating of 23rd and Maryland 36th. Even Kentucky earned a rating of 35th. Kentucky pulling ahead of Maryland is a surprise on the surface, but the left-liberal stranglehold on our northern neighbor cannot be helping it much.

These numbers desperately scream for a change. In this situation, change is not a platitude. Republican nominee for governor Russ Weeks and most GOP candidates for the legislature agree that West Virginia requires structural changes in the way it approaches the business sector. It is not just the law. We need to help transform people's basic attitudes about business. There is a mistrust there that goes back generations and this must be addressed. We also have people who prefer to keep West Virginia as it is because they see no need for economic development. They have their fortunes made and do not worry too much about the rest of us.

We must address this issue or continue to fall farther behind. Here is a link to the article from CNBC.

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