F ChannelAlissa: They Want You to Leave

Friday, March 5, 2021

They Want You to Leave

West Virginia is notorious for driving out it's bright-eyed, bushy-tailed youth.

Back in the days when Robert C. Byrd was alive, I told myself it was because old men ran this state, and I remember the "good ole days" of A. James Manchin and Arch Moore crookery. However, now that we're in 2021, it seems that young male legislature members seem emboldened to continue the tradition.

The state is famous for it's deep, rich resources that "keep the lights on" (coal, natural gas) but what some outside here do not understand is that the processes to get to these are harmful to the environment. It isn't news to anyone here. Minden hasn't had clean water and likely won't. But these aren't pressing issues. The pressing issues for our state are driving smart people out.

I'm not kidding. I'll say it again: the pressing issues for our state is driving out young, bright, smart people.

Why, though? Well, how many things would be more difficult for mine owners, gas companies, and those preying on our dumbe down society, if we had a society full of educated people not in poverty? Would men line up at the ready for stints in the oil field, taking years off their lives? What about coal mines? Would the numbers dwindle for the company store to keep a dying industry propped-up? If young, precocious members of society filled positions at the WVDEP, wouldn't those assholes have to actually fuckin' follow the laws and guidelines? I can tell you American Water wouldn't have gotten away with what it did five years ago in Charleston. I can tell you that Jim Justice wouldn't have been able to settle with the WV Tax Dept on his fines and taxes. Would the MVP still be trucking through if we had a strong, environmentally-conscious workforce of scientists and laborers who had permanent jobs in their communities? That, I don't know.

Let's talk about charter schools. Just an example, but something that continues to be pushed year after year, and it will pass. Maybe this year, but at the latest, next year. They've gutted public education. They've created "bathroom laws" for schools, starved budgets, boosted sports over academics. We can also look at the many shitty ways they've pushed teachers to the brink; forcing teachers to buy their own supplies, screwing with PEIA (health insurance), jerking them every which-way with Covid plans and forcing them to report in-person on snow days, that's just a few things. Let's not forget that the legislature proposed making teacher strikes an offense worthy of termination of employment. Charter schools start out by replacing public schools, and offers "voucher" or "lottery-style" systems to choose their students. Yep, that's right, after the first couple years, if your kid isn't doing well on national tests, they don't have to pick Little Jimmy for their school next year. And if you don't have at least a high school diploma? Guess what - you cannot home school your child in WV. And charter schools can choose their teachers based on their own criteria. If you don't like it, they'll simply tell you to find another school. With all of the teachers flocking out of WV, there won't be much to choose from in rural areas. How many people can afford $11k a year in tuition?

How about that elimination of the income tax and increase of sales tax? Yeah, that won't hurt the corporate store, but it sure will kill the state budget. Roads. Education. But, we'll toss it onto the backs of the poor, at the grocery store, in the sale of pop/beer/cigarettes, those unhealthy choices that poor people are forced to make to allow living here to be palatable. What about when whole generations and families are too ill from their water and soil toxins and cannot procreate and produce more "good little soldiers" for the company store? That might sound far-fetched right now, but how many families in this area have children and elderly family members alike fighting cancer?

We elect good people to the legislature, and they get bulllied, stalked, threatened, they leave. We recruit people to stay that come here for higher education and tourism, but how long until people realize that this method is yet another hamster wheel?


  1. I don't live in WV, and now i sure as hell don't want to. Thanks for your candor about what's going on and how people are choosing not to take it. I feel horrible for those who can't change their situations, probably the people of color and poor white people who cannot afford better.

    Your clear writing really exposes how toxic the environment is. Well stated!

  2. This is only a fraction of the sad truth we face in this state. It is truly atrocious what they do, have done, and will continue to do to rape our state. Human sacrifice means nothing to the almighty dollar. That should be out state logo.