Economic Inequality in Virginia

Two Virginias that live side-by-side. On one side, white-collar workers who have adjusted to the pandemic with Zoom meetings and social distancing; on the other, blue-collar workers who have faced losses of their jobs, healthcare, housing, and economic stability in the face of a global pandemic.

But COVID-19 has only exacerbated trends that have plagued Virginia for forty years, if not the state’s entire history. This week, the Bold Dominion podcast talks with Peter Galuszka about the growing divide in Virginia’s economy, and UVA Professor James Harrigan about the economic trends that have heightened income inequality nationwide for the last forty years. Click here to access the podcast.

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8 responses to “Economic Inequality in Virginia

  1. This is a good place to find out just how well Virginia’s private sector economy is doing:

    https://www.vec.virginia.gov/warn-notices

    I did not know that the Bristol compressor plant had closed 2 years ago. A lot of these plant closings are not widely reported.

    Back in the 90s most of the builder-grade air conditioning units were made with Bristol compressors.

    • At least it would be if they updated it. Looks like the last WARN notice was posted on 7/31/2020. Either they haven’t updated it in over a month or Virginia’s private sector economy has drastically improved in the last month.

  2. Thanks Mr. Peter I enjoyed the pod cast. I skipped the UVA professor. You might be wrong about Northern Virginia. Mrs. Whitehead works as a partner for KPMG. All hands on deck zoom call tomorrow. After the call if you get an email you are out of a job. 1,500 people are going to get that email tomorrow. KPMG is cutting non productive managers and partners. There is going to be some belt tightening in Northern Virginia especially as we close in on the business world end of year time in October. On the flip side some blue collar workers are doing better than ever. Any tradesmen connected to the housing industry is working more hours with the best pay ever seen in the industry. If you check the help wanted ads companies are looking for skilled and even unskilled blue collar labor to fill the needs of the house building industry in Virginia.

  3. Baconator with extra cheese

    A question on my mind is this. Since the office as we have known it may never be resurrected, how long will it be before companies out source as much of the work force as possible? Those with certain white collar jobs should be scared.
    No need to deal with pesky visas now… the foreign workers can just work from their homes and will be willing to accept even lower wages.

    • In a world where the GOP is looking to provide businesses with lower and lower-paid workers and Democrats are seeking votes and jobs for the professional caring class, illegal immigration drives down wages, increases public spending and taxes and enriches people who hire “cheap labor” while passing on the social costs to others.

      It could not be published now, but remember Democratic Congresswoman Barbara Jordan who called for very stringent restrictions on immigration and for immigrations policies to benefit Americans. She said back in 1995, “Immigrants with relatively low education and skills may compete for jobs and public services with the most vulnerable of Americans, particularly those who are unemployed or underemployed. Jobs generated by immigrant businesses do not always address this problem.” Had she said this today, she would be attacked by the MSM, academia and most Democratic office holders.

  4. Interesting discussion but devoid of facts. Virginia is #29 in Gini coefficient out of the 50 states and DC. Basically middle of the road. In other words, Virginia has the 29th worst income inequality. Maryland, another state with massive US government subsidies, is number 11. Meanwhile, bright red Utah and Alaska are least and second least in income inequality. New York has the worst income inequality in America followed by … wait for it …. Lousiana.

    The first quick hypothesis I’d put forth is that income inequality in America has nothing to do with the liberal or conservative slant of government.

    Facts are stubborn things.

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