OpEds

October 9, 2019 by Sean O'Leary
Sean O’Leary: Use Economic Data With Care

Charleston Gazette-Mail - Every year, at our Summer Policy Institute, I give a presentation to the students there on finding and working with economic and other data sources. One of the key lessons is that, with economic data, particularly in a small state like West Virginia, there is a balance between timeliness and accuracy. Read…

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September 20, 2019 by Kelly Allen
Kelly Allen: SNAP is Effective Anti-Poverty Program

Beckley Register-Herald - West Virginians often show our love through sharing food. Whether it’s a big pot of beans and cornbread on the stove when we show up to a relative’s house or a friend sharing her “world famous” pepperoni roll recipe, we show love by filling up bellies. Read op-ed. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance…

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September 13, 2019 by Linda Frame
Wagner, Frame: Proposed Rule Only Helps Debt Collectors Harass Citizens

Charleston Gazette-Mail - In May, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued a proposed rule regarding abusive debt collection practices. Contrary to the Bureau’s pretense that it protects consumers, the proposal unfortunately only helps collectors track down and harass them. Read op-ed. The rules will help collectors contact consumers via text and direct messages — even…

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August 25, 2019 by Kelly Allen
Kelly Allen: Equality for Women? Close Income Gap

This week marks the 99th anniversary of the adoption of the 19th Amendment, granting women (though not black or native women, in many cases) the right to vote. Read this op-ed in the Beckley Register-Herald. This date has become known as Women’s Equality Day, but nearly a century later, women – and particularly women of…

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August 20, 2019 by Ted Boettner
Ted Boettner: Time to Raise Gas Severance Tax

West Virginians have something to learn from Alaskans. Several years ago, Jay Hammond, the Republican governor of Alaska from 1974-1982, wrote a memoir called “Diapering the Devil,” about how Alaska turned its rich oil assets into an everlasting source of wealth by creating the Alaska Permanent Fund. Read op-ed in the Charleston Gazette-Mail. During the…

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August 11, 2019 by Kelly Allen
Kelly Allen: Title X Care Essential to Rural Areas

No one should live without access to health care. But fulfilling that principle requires helping our population overcome many of obstacles in West Virginia, including our high poverty rate and our state’s rural landscape. Nineteen percent of our state’s population lives in poverty, the fourth-highest rate in the nation- and the poverty rates are even…

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July 12, 2019 by Kelly Allen
Wells, Allen: What Better Investment for Surplus than Census?

In under nine months, the decennial Census will begin, with a goal of enumerating, or counting, all who live in West Virginia. The Census determines how much political representation we get at the state and federal levels and how much federal investment comes to West Virginia for programs that fund highways, school lunches, health care,…

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May 18, 2019 by Sean O'Leary
Sean O’Leary: Trump’s Tax Cut and Jobs Act Hasn’t Kept Its Promises

It has been over a year since the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), and despite efforts from its proponents to massage the data and deceive the public about its effects, it’s clear that TCJA has completely failed to deliver on its promises, and has left the nation worse off. Link to…

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April 15, 2019 by Kelly Allen
Kelly Allen: Time to Re-Evaluate How People Are Taxed

Charleston Gazette-Mail - Just like voting, paying taxes is a civic duty and a shared expression of our representative democracy. Our taxes allow us to achieve together what any one of us would never be able to accomplish individually or through charity. Link to article. Inscribed above the entrance of the Internal Revenue Service building…

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April 7, 2019 by Ted Boettner
Kunkel, Boettner: Money Doesn’t Fall Up in West Virginia

Charleston Gazette-Mail - Reflecting on the legislative session that ended last month, one topic was never directly addressed even though it underlies many of the issues that became key topics of the session, from foster care to raises for school employees: West Virginia’s growing economic inequality. Link to article. In West Virginia, the top 1 percent…

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