Boots & Sabers

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1954, 10 Sep 18

Opioid Crisis Linked to Decreased Labor Force Participation

Speaking of West Virginia

The opioid crisis appears to be contributing to decreased labor force participation, especially in certain U.S. states, according to a chart by Deutsche Bank’s Torsten Slok.

Opioid use has been one of many driving forces behind higher disability rates, Yahoo Finance previously reported, which leads to more people being out of the labor force (even when the overall economy is humming).

West Virginia, Mississippi, Alabama, and Arkansas are seeing a particularly high correlation between opioid prescriptions and lack of labor market participation, as indicated by this chart:

Torsten Slok / Deutsche Bank Research

1954, 10 September 2018


  1. Kevin Scheunemann

    Drug test for all welfare.

  2. jjf

    … meaning all the Foxconn execs,  WEDC hand-out recipients, and village TIF district recipients, too?

  3. Kevin Scheunemann

    Who is getting Village TIF “welfare”?

    I’d sure like to know.

  4. jjf

    If I’m getting economic development assistance from the government, should I be drug-tested?

  5. Kevin Scheunemann

    Define “economic development assistence”.

    If a village contracts with you for X amount of development by Y date to generate Z tax revenue for $100,000, is that “economic development assistence” or just a vendor providing a service?

    Especially when eventual tax revenues run into millions generated for the government entity.

    Hard to make a case that is “welfare”. It is economic production.

    Producers should have differing standards than the unproductive demanding economic handouts.

    If the Village were to give you $100,000 to build and not expect anything in return, then, yes, drug test.

    Do you know a municipality that does that outside of Milwaukee or Menomenee Falls? I’m for drug testing anyone doing business with either of those poorly run municipalities.

  6. Le Roi du Nord


    I’m all for drug testing like you describe.  Seems like a great campaign plank .

  7. jjf

    Kevin, what was wrong with the free market?  Why couldn’t that business do that development on their own without a favor from the taxpayers?

    As for “not expect anything in return” do you mean “not bothering to check for results like job creation promises” as WEDC has done?

  8. Kevin Scheunemann

    When you have a nameless, faceless, big bank squating forever on a foreclosure process that prevents development, sometimes a push has to be given to speed the exit of the bank.

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