Poverty, welfare, and unemployment in Wythe County, Virginia

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

The primary purpose of this thesis was to review and evaluate economic conditions in Wythe County, Virginia as they relate to the incidence of poverty, to welfare, and to unemployment levels and causes.

A brief review of our national economic heritage and philosophy with emphasis upon attitudes was necessary to establish historical perspective. Various types of employment and unemployment were defined and major cause factors were examined. The background, current conditions, and potential for economic development of Wythe County were reviewed. Particular attention was given to present employment opportunities and the possibilities for expansion of the income level.

The contributions of education from the standpoint of economic returns to the individual and the nation were analyzed and local educational facilities were examined. The extent of poverty, the operation and costs of welfare programs, the funding patterns of these programs, and economic motivational factors were evaluated.

The conclusions of this thesis are based upon the concept that the economic conditions of mankind can be improved, that such change will reduce human suffering and enhance the quality of life, and that such improvement is within our capabilities.