Tri-Cities “official” poverty rates hit almost 20 percent
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.
Dr. Greer claims the high poverty rates in the region are due so few people having college degrees. The national average is 28%, here it’s 18% in some counties such as Rick Boucher’s 9th District this drops to 10%. Mr. Greer says,
“Really this economy has been particularly hard on unskilled and lower skilled jobs. Jobs that have all but evaporated.” That has been a fact for years as outsourcing, mass illegal and legal immigration, and Federal tax policies have destroyed the American working class.
Finally Dr. Greer says, “With a high local poverty rate, we’re nearing some of the worst rates in the country.”
Dr. Greer like most of the political class in Tri-Cities either has his head up his rear end or is just ignorant of conditions outside his own affluent college circles. The facts are we have “the worst rates in the country” for years. BHC September 29, 2010
ING Investments noted that the Tri-Cities in 2001 had a poverty rate of almost 24% while “official” government statistics claimed about half of that. In 2008 Both East Tennessee and Southwest Virginia ranked in the bottom 10% in nation on health, income, etc.