There is Nothing Cosmically Preordained About West Virginia’s Lack of Prosperity For generations, West Virginia has been an object of ridicule, pity, and even curiosity – its economy and people among the poorest in the United States for well over a century. An “island” of poverty in the wealthiest country the world, West Virginia’s brighter future depends on a new paradigm – a new way of looking at the world with new ideas and a philosophy built on innovation, human flourishing, and a recognition that freedom is the greatest alleviator of poverty the world has ever seen. Ours is a philosophy built on the entrepreneur, the tinkerer in the garage, and the idea that small government means more room for people to create and build their own futures.


The Four Pillars

Economic Freedom and Opportunity

Cardinal believes the record of history is quite clear: widespread prosperity occurs when individuals are given the freedom to be the author of their own story; start a business, create jobs, and build a better future for themselves, their families, and their communities. We believe this manifests in public policy through low taxes, low barriers to entry, minimal regulation, limited government, and a belief that the first rung on the economic ladder should be easily within reach of all people as possible.

Worker Freedom

The ability to earn a living is a fundamental necessity and should, therefore, not come with preconditions, coercion, or forced association.

Education Freedom

We recognize that a strong education foundation is the key to a brighter future and that no two children are alike in their learning needs, styles, and interests. West Virginia has lagged behind the rest of the country in its lack of recognition of this fact by prohibiting flexible education options and school choice. As we continue into the 21st Century, it is critical for West Virginia to allow the type of personalized education experience that will cater to each child’s unique needs and strengths. We believe that policies like education savings accounts are well-suited to facilitating this type of tailored education experience. The research is clear that greater flexibility and choice in education leads to better results for children and families.

Montani Semper Liberi

West Virginia’s founding ethos and state motto means “Mountaineers Are Always Free.” West Virginia must rediscover its passion for freedom and independence and recognize that its prosperity will not come from its capital, Charleston, or another federal government intervention or program. A prosperous West Virginia must be built by its own people pursuing their own goals and dreams. Cardinal strives to bring the message of freedom to all audiences through social media outreach, earned media, research, interviews, and original content.