West Virginia University College of Business and Economics Professor Russell Sobel has the answer to the states economic problems: capitalism.
Known nationally for his research criticizing the Federal Emergency Managements Agency after the 2005 Hurricane Katrina debacle, Sobel has recently edited and contributed several chapters to a book titled,Unleashing Capitalism: Why Prosperity Stops at the West Virginia Border and How to Fix It.
West Virginia has the least reliance on free-market capitalism among the United States�€and nothing hurts our states prosperity more,he said.This book shows why our economy has lagged so far behind other states, and gives specific reforms that could put our state back on the path to greater prosperity.
With four introductory chapters to provide background in basic economic principles, the book is written to provide the layman with ideas on why.
Sobels preface points out,The average citizen in West Virginias 28 border counties is $2,147 poorer that the average citizen in the 34 counties on the other side of our border. When we see pictures of our state line, or the borders between countrieslike the two sides of the former Berlin Wall separating wealthy West Germany from relatively poor East Germanyit is clear that institutional differences, differences in the rules of the economic game, are the true source of differences in prosperity.
The cover of the book and the chapter title pages feature pictures of the West Virginia state line, showing the economic activity that lies just on the other side of our state border.
Published by The Public Policy Foundation of West Virginia, the 14 chapters address a broad spectrum of issues including tax and legal reform; eminent domain; economic development subsidies; minimum wages; and other labor market restrictions, welfare reform, and business regulation.
Twenty-five authors from across the nation contributed to the book, including many who are associated with the Department of Economics in WVU s College of Business and Economics.
The book was made possible by funding from the Kendrick Fund for Free Market Research. It will be widely available at all major booksellers.
During the next few months, Sobelthe James Clark Coffman Distinguished Chair in Entrepreneurial Studies at WVU – will be traveling around the state giving public presentations on the research. To learn more, visit the books Web site at:http://www.be.wvu.edu/divecon/econ/sobel/UnleashingCapitalism