Southwest Virginia Population decline 2010-2018.

Trouble in Bristol Virginia, Again 2010

by Lewis Loflin

Bristol is still in trouble. With 25% of Bristol residents on food stamps, most can't afford to eat out or take their honey to a local motel for a 'quickie.' This has left the City that has wasted $6 million on old train station and a new $10 million public library wondering what to do. They claimed this nonsense was going to bring economic growth, instead are looking for ways to fill their budget gaps.

See Bristol train Station.

Bristol Councilman Guy Odum says, "We're digging a hole and it seems like we just keep digging. I think we're going to have to get all the department heads together and figure out what we can do for the next year or so - until the economy turns around." This is because City leaders have again borrowed $2.5 million to meet falling tax collections.

Now lots of the Tea Party conservatives in the area constantly demand lower taxes and big cuts in government, but what they don't understand is government is much of the economy.

Bristol hinged their bloated budget on lodging and meal taxes dependant mainly on tourism. The lodging tax is down 4 percent and the meals tax is down 8 percent. The Federal Government did provide a temporary bailout for bankrupt Bristol. Officials claim the federal government's Cash For Clunkers program produced a brief spike in collections, I guess due to new car sales. But this is the reality without constant infusions of outside tax dollars. No matter how we cut it, the region is a welfare basket case. Ref. BHC 2-20-10. Posted February 26, 2010.

Return History, Causes of Poverty in Southwest Virginia

Congressman Rick Boucher and President Obama

To quote Lenowisco Broadband Study Warned against Call Centers (PDF file):

"The region has been replacing traditional (better paying) manufacturing jobs with (low paying subsidized) call center jobs, which provide limited advancement and work opportunities. Call centers represent the factory floor of the Knowledge Economy; they are an important part of a diversified economic development strategy, but the region must be careful not to rely too heavily on them, as the work is easily moved to other regions and/or other countries."
No US Job Creation 1999-2009

Lenowisco Broadband Study Warned against Call Centers (PDF file)

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