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Robert Byrd's Highways to Nowhere: Government pork hasn't made West Virginia prosperous.
Wall Street Journal ^ | 7/10/10 | BRIAN BOLDUC

Posted on 07/10/2010 10:24:03 AM PDT by rhema

'His heart belonged to you," President Obama told the hundreds of West Virginians who attended Robert Byrd's funeral last week. "Making life better here was his only agenda." Maybe so. But despite the $4 billion in pork that Byrd served his constituents over the past 19 years alone—not to mention the untold billions before observers started keeping tabs—West Virginia remains the third poorest state in the country. Government spending does not prosperity make.

When Byrd became senator in 1959, West Virginia ranked No. 39 in median family income, and No. 42 in per capita income. Today, it's No. 48 in both categories.

[ . . .]

Take Route 50. Thirty years ago, the federal government extended the route from two lanes to four with the hopes of spurring development. But hit the open road today and you'll notice it's just that—open. "You won't see another car for two hours," says Russell Sobel, a professor of economics at West Virginia University. "You can't just build roads and expect that things will happen. People who want to transport goods and services need to be there."

Byrd's supporters point to Interstate 68. In 2003, the federal government built a penitentiary in Hazleton, W.Va., precisely because the highway made it an ideal spot—sparsely populated yet accessible. But in both cases, the government made the development, not private investors. In fact, 51.3% of the state's economy relies on spending by the local, state and federal government—the highest level of any state. "We've created this culture of dependency," warns Mr. Sobel, "Our human capital is not good at competing in the marketplace; it's good at securing federal grants."

(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Editorial; Government; US: West Virginia
KEYWORDS: byrd; dependency; lping; pork; robertbyrd; westvirginia

1 posted on 07/10/2010 10:24:08 AM PDT by rhema
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To: rhema

If W. Virginia had ever become prosperous it wouldn’t have voted for Robert Byrd!


2 posted on 07/10/2010 10:27:13 AM PDT by SWAMPSNIPER (The Second Amendment, A Matter Of Fact, Not A Matter Of Opinion)
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To: rhema

Byrd and all liberals could reverse the course of poverty, urban violence and single parent families simply by reversing or even heavily curtailing the flow of Johnson era “Great Society” programs.

I have never in my life been more certain of my conservative principles than I was sitting on a mass transit train over Atlanta and seeing impoverished housing projects as far as the eye could see.


3 posted on 07/10/2010 10:32:24 AM PDT by Artemis Webb (DeMint 2012)
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To: Artemis Webb

well...Byrd COULD have...sorry for the present tense on the dear senator.


4 posted on 07/10/2010 10:33:23 AM PDT by Artemis Webb (DeMint 2012)
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To: rhema

Government spending does not help the economy


5 posted on 07/10/2010 10:38:07 AM PDT by GeronL (http://libertyfic.proboards.com <--- My Fiction/ Science Fiction Board)
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To: rhema

Why would someone call US 50, Route 50?


6 posted on 07/10/2010 10:43:23 AM PDT by Mark was here (It's either Obama or America. There cannot be both.)
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To: rhema
Speaking of highways to nowhere, here's a 2006 map of desired highway construction projects for the Feds, designed to help NAFTA.

I don't know if Byrd was losing his touch by then, but check out Georgia's share of the highways.

BTW, Gov. Perry in Texas almost lost his governorship by pushing the Texas part of the corridor.

7 posted on 07/10/2010 10:47:04 AM PDT by Richard Kimball (We're all criminals. They just haven't figured out what some of us have done yet.)
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To: rhema

What’s worse, pork projects rarely include the costs of long-term maintenance. Hence, the locals are stuck forever with the maintenance costs for built structures whose economics were dicey from the beginning — further draining life from the real economy.


8 posted on 07/10/2010 10:50:48 AM PDT by AZLiberty (Yes, Mr. Lennon, I do want a revolution.)
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To: rhema

It never gets pointed out that if State and local pols wouldn’t waste the money they take from taxes to spend that pork would not be necessary. Pork means that your politician has wasted your local tax dollars and needs to borrow from the Federal gov’t who wasted your Federal tax dollars.


9 posted on 07/10/2010 10:59:41 AM PDT by ReneeLynn (Socialism is SO yesterday. Fascism, it*s the new black. Mmm Mmm Mmm.)
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To: SWAMPSNIPER
If W. Virginia had ever become prosperous it wouldn’t have voted for Robert Byrd!

You nailed it. And I'd add that any state that could put Robert Byrd into office over and over WILL NEVER become prosperous! Pork never leads to prosperity for the general society. Good and smart people don't vote for clowns and buffoons like R. Byrd. I hope West Virginians will elect a better Senator. I won't hold my breath.
10 posted on 07/10/2010 11:08:56 AM PDT by truthguy (Good intentions are not enough.)
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To: truthguy

Most of Appalachia was purposely turned into a dependency long ago. My family settled in S.W. Virginis in the 1750s, proud, resourceful people. My line broke off, moved to Georgia just before 1800. I’ve got cousins up in the mountains who are foaming commies, hooked on the koolaid, in spite of some of them being well educated.


11 posted on 07/10/2010 11:57:13 AM PDT by SWAMPSNIPER (The Second Amendment, A Matter Of Fact, Not A Matter Of Opinion)
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To: rhema

With all due respect to our West Virginia FReepers, but whenever I drive through the state, I simply get depressed thinking about how dependent and downtrodden the general population seems to be.


12 posted on 07/10/2010 12:00:00 PM PDT by Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus (Whoever disagrees with me at any point is a RINO)
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To: Richard Kimball
Perry was trying to sell off 35 to a foreign toll road company and he will do the same thing again once he gets elected. He is just another Rino like that Daniels clown in Indiana.
13 posted on 07/10/2010 12:04:40 PM PDT by org.whodat
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To: Mark was here

“Why would someone call US 50, Route 50?”

For the same reasons they called US 66 Route 66,


14 posted on 07/10/2010 12:05:18 PM PDT by bwc2221
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To: rhema; SWAMPSNIPER; Artemis Webb; GeronL; Mark was here; Richard Kimball; AZLiberty; ReneeLynn; ...

This is a great, great article. When it came to pork-barreling, I always instinctively knew that federal largesse could never substitute for a viable local economy but I didn’t know enough to put it into words.


15 posted on 07/10/2010 12:14:25 PM PDT by sinanju
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To: sinanju

bump


16 posted on 07/10/2010 12:21:47 PM PDT by GeronL (http://libertyfic.proboards.com <--- My Fiction/ Science Fiction Board)
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To: sinanju

Wealth is only created when you increase the value of materials or effort. Mine some ore, make some steel, use the steel to make a car. Plant a seed, sell tomatos, you’ve created wealth. Most of the pork is good for visual effect only.


17 posted on 07/10/2010 12:22:06 PM PDT by SWAMPSNIPER (The Second Amendment, A Matter Of Fact, Not A Matter Of Opinion)
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To: sinanju
Bird was doing this all over the state of West Virginia, he just about had Hwy 19 turned into an interstate, he spend billions on that road. But the West Virgina toll road is the roughest damn road you have ever driven on, on second thought, they run a tie with parts of New Jersey and New York, and they charge you to beat you to death.
18 posted on 07/10/2010 12:45:16 PM PDT by org.whodat
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To: rhema

At one time and another I’ve pretty much driven all over West Virginia.

I am amazed at the number of “projects,” monuments, statues, buildings, highways, etc. that honor Robert Byrd. It really is outsized.

He may have gotten billions in pork for WV. IMHO, they have little to show for it.


19 posted on 07/10/2010 12:50:30 PM PDT by upchuck (This November, we MUST win by more votes than they can cheat by. h/t to originalbuckeye)
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To: bwc2221
For the same reasons they called US 66 Route 66.

I thought of Route 66 but isn't that more of an exception, because of some song? Do the local folks in West Virginia call it Route 50 or US 50? In the Detroit area try telling someone to take Route 24.

20 posted on 07/10/2010 1:30:40 PM PDT by Mark was here (It's either Obama or America. There cannot be both.)
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To: Mark was here

We call it route 50 or just 50. I’ve never heard anyone call it US 50.


21 posted on 07/10/2010 1:50:15 PM PDT by meatloaf
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To: rhema

No it hasn’t, but - and this is what really counts - look at all it did for Byrd.


22 posted on 07/10/2010 1:53:49 PM PDT by DPMD (~)
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To: rhema

W.Va. Would need much more than Byrd to become prosperous.
He did however transfer quite a chunk of Federal govt. work offices to his state. Which in turn creates well paying jobs there in lieu of having them in say D.C. where they would cost much more.
And he was quite striking in his KKK get up.


23 posted on 07/10/2010 1:59:04 PM PDT by Joe Boucher (Just say NO to RINOs. (FUBO))
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To: meatloaf

Must be why the article refered to Route 50. I thought it was kind of odd. I have take US 250 from Sandusky to Virginia. It was a fun ride.


24 posted on 07/10/2010 2:03:40 PM PDT by Mark was here (It's either Obama or America. There cannot be both.)
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To: rhema
Robert Byrd's Highways to Nowhere: Government pork hasn't made West Virginia prosperous.

No, but they made a bunch of contractors and union workers VERY prosperous, which is all Byrd cared about as long as the campaign contributions kept coming.

25 posted on 07/10/2010 2:08:05 PM PDT by PapaBear3625 (Public healthcare looks like it will work as well as public housing did.)
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To: rhema

We know, but WV people don’t know that.


26 posted on 07/10/2010 2:38:20 PM PDT by Theodore R.
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To: rhema

‘His heart belonged to you,” President Obama told the hundreds of West Virginians who attended Robert Byrd’s funeral last week.

Obama may be right about Byrd’s heart. But I’ll bet his soul is in the hands of Satan right now.


27 posted on 07/10/2010 2:55:09 PM PDT by cquiggy
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To: rhema

‘Big Daddy’

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-3929510174676456533&pr=goog-sl#


28 posted on 07/10/2010 5:09:15 PM PDT by traviskicks (http://www.neoperspectives.com/Ron_Paul_2008.htm)
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To: SWAMPSNIPER
This article is a great read! The Wall Street Journal does and awesome job with real journalism and research. If only they could eliminate their blind spot on illegal aliens!
29 posted on 07/10/2010 6:53:05 PM PDT by Vigilanteman (Obama: Fake black man. Fake Messiah. Fake American. How many fakes can you fit in one Zer0?)
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To: truthguy

People in WV truly believe that Robert Carlyle Byrd was indispensable to their prosperity. They are sincerely wrong and shall remain so.


30 posted on 07/10/2010 8:07:25 PM PDT by Theodore R.
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To: bamahead

Big government doesn’t work ping


31 posted on 07/10/2010 8:55:52 PM PDT by Clintonfatigued (Obama's more worried about Israelis building houses than he is about Islamists building atomic bombs)
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To: Artemis Webb

...all liberals could reverse the course of poverty, urban violence and single parent families simply by resigning.

There fixed it. :)


32 posted on 07/10/2010 9:21:55 PM PDT by GGpaX4DumpedTea (I am a tea party descendant - steeped in the Constitutional legacy handed down by the Founders)
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To: Clintonfatigued; Abathar; Abcdefg; Abram; Abundy; akatel; albertp; AlexandriaDuke; ...



Libertarian ping! Click here to get added or here to be removed or post a message here!
View past Libertarian pings here
33 posted on 07/11/2010 7:34:47 AM PDT by bamahead (Few men desire liberty; most men wish only for a just master. -- Sallust)
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To: org.whodat
Speaking of toll roads, I saw a great bumper sticker the other day:

Madness takes its toll.
Please have correct change.

34 posted on 07/12/2010 12:37:37 AM PDT by AZLiberty (Yes, Mr. Lennon, I do want a revolution.)
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