“We all want progress,” C.S. Lewis once observed, “but. if you’re on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; in that case, the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive.”
That's not the definition of “progress” that's been operative in this country for much too long. No, “progress” has meant abandoning traditions and principles proven to work in the real world in favor of utopian fantasies, often leading to disaster.
We were so “progressive” in West Virginia until recently that we nearly destroyed our state economically.
We were so retrogressively progressive that we long held the distinction of having the most anti-business courts in the country. That was a major deterrent for companies looking to relocate or expand their operations here. For our citizens, that meant fewer jobs to choose from, less opportunity for advancement, and a life deprived of potential.
Fortunately, there were some true progressives among our leaders. They turned around and led us back to the right road, and now we're going in the right direction.
Our latest step in the right direction is House Bill 4013, passed unanimously in both chambers of our state legislature and headed for the governor's signature as soon as the House concurs with Senate alterations. The bill would prohibit most instances of out-of-state plaintiffs filing lawsuits in West Virginia for alleged harm that happened elsewhere.
In his recent State of the State speech, Gov. Jim Justice told the state legislature that “we’re moving like you can’t imagine.” Moving with all deliberate speed is a good thing, so long as we're moving in the right direction, which we are.
Kudos to the 95 members of the House of Delegates who voted to approve the bill, kudos to the 30 state senators who likewise voted in its favor, kudos – in advance – to Gov. Justice for signing it, and kudos to all the citizens of West Virginia who let our leaders know that we're tired of going in the wrong direction.