Social Apartheid in Tri-Cities Bristol Virginia-Tennessee Revisited
by Lewis Loflin
Welcome to Tri-Cities and Bristol VA/TN. We are part of Southern Appalachia, a region more like a third-world banana republic. Bristol, Virginia and Bristol, Tennessee is a divided city (by the VA/TN state line) symbolic of the division in our region as our many bickering local governments waste more tax dollars with the least results of anywhere in America. They maintain a system I describe as social apartheid; University of New Hampshire’s Cynthia M. Duncan calls it Worlds Apart in her book on “Why Poverty Persists in Rural America.”
Tri-Cities “official” poverty rates hit almost 20 percent
BY LEWIS LOFLIN
New Census findings show that the official poverty rate in the Tri-Cities region is almost 20%, average and more than 2 percent higher than the state. Economist Dr. Bill Greer of Milligan College says, “No surprise that we’ve seen higher poverty rates since we’ve seen particularly high levels of unemployment,” The official Tennessee state average is 17.1% and the national average of 14.3%. The average for Virginia is around 7%, but Southwest Virginia mirrors West Virginia and East Tennessee. The Milligan College website is at www.milligan.edu.