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In The News


 Ethan A. Lang

April 15, 2023


WILMINGTON, Del. – Chris Kenny, the founder of A Better Delaware (ABD), has selected Ethan Lang as its new Executive Director, leading its efforts as a non-partisan public policy and political advocacy organization that supports pro-growth, pro-jobs policies and greater transparency and accountability in state government. 


In April, Lang will succeed Kathleen Rutherford, who has accepted a position as an advocacy consultant for the D.C.-based Taxpayer Protection Alliance. “Kathleen was invaluable to ABD. Her contributions made us a force in Delaware,” Kenny said. Rutherford led the organization through the last two years, advocating more rapidly opening the state during the lockdown. Under her watch, ABD expanded its advisory board with highly credentialled experts and had more than a 90% publishing rate for their blogs. ABD is now looking to advocate for better government transparency and accountability, hoping to establish an Office of Inspector General and an Office of Legislative Ethics.


Lang has been involved in politics for five years, getting involved with his local representative’s campaign as a volunteer coordinator at age sixteen. He went on to Dartmouth College, one of the eight Ivy League schools, and will graduate with degrees in government and public policy. He is also a Politics and Law Fellow and a senior editor for the Dartmouth Law Journal. “I am excited to see what Lang does with ABD. He brings a combination of pedigree and energy to the organization that I believe can take us far and continue the good work of our previous directors.” Vice Chair of ABD, Sam Waltz, concurred with Kenny, adding, “I am pleased with the choice. I believe that the advisory board and Lang have a formidable skill set, and I eagerly await his plans for the future of ABD.”


“A Better Delaware is laying the groundwork for change in our state,” said Lang. “I hope to build upon the strong foundation of my predecessors and bring my perspective to the organization. To me, this is personal. I am young and want to see a Delaware in which I can continue to be proud of and, hopefully, raise my family in. I hope to expand upon our extensive social media reach across all our platforms and continue our grassroots efforts in promoting policies that will benefit our economy. Our mission is essential; Delaware needs a government that is transparent and accountable to the people.”


ABOUT A BETTER DELAWARE A Better Delaware is a non-partisan public policy and political advocacy organization that supports pro-growth, pro-jobs policies, and greater transparency and accountability in state government. A Better Delaware can be found on Facebook @abetterdelaware and at www.ABetterDelaware.org.


Contact: Ethan A. Lang



Developing Delaware’s Workforce through retired Military

Recently, Democratic Gov. John Carney stressed the need to expand Delaware’s economy by building a stronger workforce for the future.  He stressed that this may be the state’s biggest single challenge. His remarks ring a little hollow when the state fails to utilize one of our largely untapped resources – our Delaware veterans.

Today, there are over 70,000 veterans in Delaware. Many are retired after 20 years of service from our respective armed forces with 20 years or more of civilian work life remaining before full retirement. Many retirees receive hundreds of thousands of dollars of high-level education in a variety of fields of endeavor. A majority of veterans say their military service is an important asset for their transition to civilian life and useful in giving them the skills they need for a job outside the military.  A recent PEW research survey points out that over 58% of veterans seeking employment found their military experience was useful or fairly useful in their new civilian jobs.  Military leadership training is invaluable, especially in leadership. Our state recognizes this invaluable commodity and has mentioned this a source for recruitment, but has not placed the necessary emphasis for permanent recruiting. Governor Carey did not highlight this resource in his recent State of the State address. He did address the shortage of teachers and pay issues but did not suggest that efforts should be pursued to encourage retired or separated military personnel to help fill the gaps.  In Delaware, we have the largest air mobility base in the United States with approximately 11,000 airmen and joint force personnel, civilians and families.  Delaware service men and women responsible for global airlift aboard C-5M Super Galaxy and C-17 Globemaster aircraft in support of our armed forces. The United States Air Force cannot conduct these operations without personnel trained in electronics, communications, aerospace and maintenance with sophisticated equipment. Every year many air force personnel retire and look for employment.  Many serve in our state in civilian capacities, yet we do not actively recruit retirees as a labor policy.  We also have active national guard and military service reserve units in the state where they receive military training in their respective military fields of specialties.  This training can easily translate to civilian life and jobs. Delaware should make it a priority to actively recruit at active military locations to fill the gaps for jobs.

The United States Department of Defense manages the Skill Bridge Program as an opportunity for active-duty service members to gain valuable civilian work skills and experience during their last 180 days of service.  Opportunities exist for this program to prepare separating service members to build resources, make important contacts, and explore employment while still active in preparation for the civilian workforce.  The State and civilian employers should take advantage of this preparatory program to help fill unemployment gaps.

It is important for the state to establish and maintain close partnership with the Veterans Administration (VA) in this arena. No mention of this important contact was emphasized in the Governor’s comments.

As a final note, the VA offers the Veterans Employment Service Office for career preparation and transition services to implement the Veterans Employment Opportunities Act. A close partnership with the VA and the State of Delaware would increase employment opportunities for our ever-increasing veteran population.

Briefing takes note of lead role of fentanyl in 515 suspected overdose deaths

From: Delaware Business Now

This week, Lt. Gov. Bethany Hall-Long, along with top leaders from the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services and Delaware Department of Safety and Homeland Security held a briefing on suspected drug overdose deaths in the state. The event included the announcement of an opioid response center.

In 2021, Delaware reported 515 overdose deaths, an increase of more than 15% over 2020, according to the Delaware Division of Forensic Science (DFS). In Kent County, overdose deaths increased 74% from 50 in 2020 to 87 in 2021. DFS also reported that 425 of the 515 deaths involved fentanyl, a synthetic pain reliever that is 50-100 times more potent than morphine.

“As a nurse, Chair of the Behavioral Health Consortium, and Lt. Governor, I hear every day from Delawareans and their families about the challenges they face battling substance use disorder and receiving the treatment services they so desperately need,” said Hall-Long. “We are working hard across our systems to expand access and connect individuals to quality treatment services. In 2020, Delaware was one of only four states to experience a decrease in the rate of overdose deaths thanks to the hard work of those who are committed to this fight. Still, too many families have an empty seat at the table because their loved one lost the battle to substance use disorder. The current data is alarming. We have to do even more to support them and ensure critical treatment and recovery services are ready and available, and to stop the loss. Delawareans deserve a behavioral health system that works for everyone.”

“Unfortunately, the number of accidental drug overdose deaths occurring in the State has seen a 19% increase over the last three years,” said JoHN Evans, director of the Delaware Division of Forensic science  “Fentanyl continues to be the most frequently found compound, with it being identified in 82.5% of the overdose deaths.  If you are a white male between the ages of 30-59, you are the most likely to die in our state as the result of a drug overdose.”

Captain Joshua Bushweller, Intelligence Commander and Director of the Delaware Intelligence and Analysis Center (DIAC) at the Delaware State Police reported that more than 5,000 drug-related crime incidents occurred in 2022, with 19% being cocaine-related, 19% heroin-related, 3% methamphetamine, 2% hallucinogen., 2% amphetamine, 1% opium, and 3% other.  Marijuana comprised 32% and paraphernalia 19%.  New Castle County continues to have the highest incidence of opioid crime incidents compared to the other counties.  Capt. Bushweller displayed a heatmap showing drug incident hotspots, calling attention to the top five cities with drug incidents in the last five years. The cities in order of prevalence are Wilmington, Dover, Newark, New Castle, and Seaford.

Dr. Greg Wanner, chief physician for the Delaware Division of Public Health, provided a demonstration of the use of fentanyl test strips that are now included in the Narcan kits being distributed.  The test strips are highly sensitive and will detect fentanyl down to 0.1 mcg/ml.

“The use of fentanyl test strips is an important part of a comprehensive harm reduction strategy to reduce overdose deaths in the state,” said Dr. Wanner. “Fentanyl is the leading cause of drug overdose deaths in Delaware.  The test strips are a preventive measure. After a test strip detects fentanyl, an individual can choose not to use the drug based on the additional risk. We will continue to discourage drug use and encourage people to seek treatment, but for persons with substance use disorder, we are using a compassionate approach to help raise awareness and empower those individuals to make informed choices.”

Heatlh and Social Services Cabinet Secretary Molly Magarik  encouraged Delawareans who need support – whether they are actively using substances or not – to reach out to trusted sources for help.

“We’re urging people who are struggling with addiction to consider different paths towards help,” said Secretary Magarik. “You can ask for the Police Diversion Program if you get in trouble with the law and are ready to get help. You can visit HelpIsHereDE.com to get information about Bridge Clinics where you can walk in and talk to someone who is in recovery themselves and who can help you explore your options for treatment. You can order fentanyl test strips from HelpisHereDE.com so you know what’s in the drugs you’re using and so you can make smart choices about protecting yourself. And you can connect with Brandywine Counseling’s drop-in centers to get help.”

Hospital Consolidation Continues to Boost Costs, Narrow Access, and Impact Care Quality

From: American Enterprise Institute As hospital consolidations swept the country over the last three decades, their executives predicted the moves would produce lower costs. But decades of health services research focused on the actual results of this trend have found the opposite. Consolidation has consistently produced higher care prices. Nevertheless in 2023, health care merger mania not only continues, but is expanding in increasingly complicated and more costly ways. Why is this happening in a nation that has otherwise made the reigning in of runaway health care costs a top economic priority?

That question was the subject of a University of Pennsylvania Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics’ virtual seminar that brought together four top authorities to review the benefits, disadvantages, and trajectory of ongoing health care industry consolidations. See video presentation on the Impact of Consolidation on Health Care: https://youtu.be/eQMlWvBqheA

Government report: Unemployment fraud may top $60 billion during pandemic

From: The Center Square A U.S. government report released Monday estimates that there could have been more than $60 billion in unemployment insurance fraud during the pandemic.

The report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office says that figure is an estimate spread over the entire unemployment system and should be “interpreted with caution.”

There has been $4.3 billion of unemployment fraud proven by state workforce agencies and at least $45 billion more in transactions that were flagged as potential fraudulent unemployment claims but not confirmed.

The U.S. Department of Labor stated that about $878 billion in total unemployment benefits were paid from April 2020 through September 2022, the report stated. There was $209 billion in expenditures under the regular unemployment insurance and about $669 billion payouts under the various pandemic unemployment programs, which ended September 6, 2021.

The report also questioned the U.S. Department of Labor’s efforts to combat fraud.

“The Department of Labor has taken steps to address such fraud,” the U.S. Government Accountability Office pointed out. “However, the department has yet to develop an antifraud strategy based on leading practices from GAO’s Fraud Risk Framework as required by law.”

The GAO continued: “While these steps help prevent, detect, and respond to fraud, as of December 2022, DOL has not yet developed an antifraud strategy based on leading practices in GAO’s Fraud Risk Framework. Also, it has not yet addressed the six October 2021 recommendations GAO made including to identify, assess the impact of, and prioritize UI fraud risks. These are essential pieces to inform an overall antifraud strategy. Without an antifraud strategy, DOL is not able to ensure that it is addressing the most significant fraud risks facing the UI system in alignment with the Fraud Risk Framework.”

Adding retirees to health panels passes Senate

From: Town Square Live 

Despite vehement opposition from a state retirees’ group, a bill that would add retirees to committees that help determine health care options overwhelmingly passed the Senate Wednesday, just moments after it had cleared a committee hearing. Voting against it were three Republican senators.

Senate Bill 29, sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Bryan Townsend, D-Newark, would give retirees a voice by putting one retiree with full voting rights on the State Employee Benefits Committee that oversees retiree healthcare plans.

It also would create the Healthcare Benefits Advisory Subcommittee of the State Employee Benefits Committee, with three state retirees and four members of the General Assembly and give that committee the power to hold public meetings and make recommendations about retiree health plans, with a goal of doing that by May 1.

Townsend said in both the hearing and the Senate that he didn’t think the May 1 deadline was feasible, but it was a goal.

An amendment added to the bill would require members of the state committee to attend its meetings themselves, instead of sending a representative, but would allow members to continue sending representatives to subcommittee hearings.

The state’s move last year to switch all 30,000 retirees to a Medicare Advantage plan instead of continuing their current specially tailored plan galvanized retiree opposition. The retirees accused the state of failing to live up to guarantees of health care and of hiding the fact that the plan was being changed.

The state argued that it had not been done secretly, but in open meetings that various officials attended, and that it was necessary to stabilize health care expenses in order to be able to continue to provide high quality care for future retirees.

After a group of retirees led by retired state Rep. John Kowalko formed RiseDelaware and sued the state.

Superior Court Judge Calvin Scott sided with them, saying that the state had promised that health benefits would not change, but the Medicare Advantage plan included requirements for preauthorization and demanded retirees use in-network doctors, big changes.

He ordered the state to stop their plans. The state later allowed retirees to stay on their current plan.

Townsend said there is no process in place to confirm what happens next, and his bill would help solve that problem.

Retirees oppose bill

No, it won’t, Kowalko testified in the Senate Executive Committee hearing.

Kowalko said RiseDelaware is worried that the bill is being fast-tracked and that it was only designed to make the General Assembly feel like it was doing something.



“Retirees represented by RiseDelaware have concluded that this piece of legislation appears to be an attempt by the General Assembly leadership and this administration to avoid or ignore their responsibility and obligation to retirees,” Kowalko said.

Faith Rentz of the Delaware Department of Human Resources said that her office does support SB29, but it will come with costs, even though the bill says there will be none.

Rentz said that will include $100,000 for salary and benefits for someone to organize and oversee the subcommittee, and likely another $150,000 for consulting and actuarial advice. In addition, she said, the Department of Justice is likely to ask for money because it will be expected to provide advice.

Former Sen. Karen Peterson, who has been leading the charge with Kowalko, said Townsend’s bill is merely moving around the deck chairs on the Titanic.

“Senate Bill 29 will do absolutely nothing to resolve the retiree health care issue because the subcommittee created by this bill is loaded with the people who are hell bent on shoving Medicare Advantage down our throats,” she said. “We already know what the recommendation is going to be. But this way you can all pat yourselves on the back.”

She said a vote for the bill was a vote against retirees, especially those over 65 who are on Medicare.

“If you want to do something constructive, then grandfather us into a Medicare supplement plan. People who are already in the plan stay there. New people get the new plan,” she said. “That’s how it’s always been handled and should continue to be handled.”

Mary Graham said there are more options to explore than just shifting everyone to a Highmark Medicare Advantage plan, and the state should consider them.



Sen. Brian Pettyjohn, R-Georgetown, said during the committee hearing that the bill is not an end-all, be-all solution.

“But this is a step,” he said. “It’s a very important step so that we as a body know what we need to do to make healthcare for retirees work.”

His mother is a state retiree and he said she had a lot of questions.

“I think this bill gives us the tools that we’re going to need to make an informed decision for all of you,” he told the people who testified. “Not just the ones that are here now, not just the retirees, the current retiree. Let’s take a look at a long-term, sustainable solution to retiree health care.”

During the Senate debate, Sen. Eric Buckson, R-Dover, asked for the Senate to table the bill to allow more comment.

So many people wanted to comment during the committee hearing that they were limited to one minute each.

“Many folks who showed up today and had value in their conversation and deserve the opportunity to speak in committee,” said Buckson, who is serving his first term in the Senate.

Changes in Unemployment Rate by State

From: WalletHub

December’s jobs report showed a slowdown in growth. The economy gained 223,000 nonfarm payroll jobs, down from 256,000 the previous month. In December, there were notable gains in sectors including leisure and hospitality, health care, construction and social assistance.

Now, the U.S. unemployment rate sits at 3.5%. We have come a long way from the nearly historic high of 14.7% in April 2020, due to a combination of vaccinations and states removing restrictions. However, inflation and the potential of a recession threaten to push the unemployment rate higher again if Federal Reserve rate increases are not able to stave them off.

In order to take stock of how unemployment rates are changing throughout the U.S., WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia based on six key metrics that compare unemployment rate statistics from the latest month for which data is available (December 2022) to key dates in 2022, 2021, 2020 and 2019.

Change in Unemployment (2022 December vs 2022 November)
Biggest Decrease
  • 1. Maryland
  • 2. Colorado
  • 3. Montana
  • 4. New Mexico
  • 5. Florida
Change in Unemployment (2022 December vs 2022 November)
Smallest Decrease
  • 47. New Hampshire
  • 48. Nevada
  • 49. Louisiana
  • 50. Vermont
  • 51. Minnesota
Change in Unemployment (2022 December vs 2021 December)
Biggest Decrease
  • 1. New Mexico
  • 2. New Jersey
  • 3. Missouri
  • 4. California
  • 5. Massachusetts
Change in Unemployment (2022 December vs 2021 December)
Smallest Decrease
  • 47. Oregon
  • 48. Nebraska
  • 49. Arkansas
  • 50. Indiana
  • 51. Oklahoma
Change in Unemployment (2022 December vs 2020 December)
Biggest Decrease
  • 1. Hawaii
  • 2. Florida
  • 3. Massachusetts
  • 4. California
  • 5. North Dakota
Change in Unemployment (2022 December vs 2020 December)
Smallest Decrease
  • 47. Idaho
  • 48. Delaware
  • 49. Kentucky
  • 50. Maine
  • 51. Nebraska
Change in Unemployment (2022 December vs 2019 December)
Biggest Decrease
  • 1. Minnesota
  • 2. Louisiana
  • 3. Mississippi
  • 4. New Mexico
  • 5. Montana
Change in Unemployment (2022 December vs 2019 December)
Smallest Decrease
  • 47. Illinois
  • 48. Colorado
  • 49. Nevada
  • 50. Oregon
  • 51. Hawaii
Unemployment Rate (December 2022)
Lowest Rate
  • 1. Utah
  • T-2. North Dakota
  • T-2. South Dakota
  • T-4. Florida
  • T-4. Minnesota
Unemployment Rate (December 2022)
Highest Rate
  • 47. Delaware
  • 48. Oregon
  • T-49. District of Columbia
  • T-49. Illinois
  • 51. Nevada
In order to examine changes in unemployment rates throughout the U.S., WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across two categories. In the first category, we compared the change in unemployment for the latest month for which we had data (December 2022) to November 2022, December 2021, December 2020 and December 2019, in order to show the impact since the beginning of the pandemic and the recent changes in the job market amid high inflation. We also compared not seasonally adjusted continued claims in December 2022 to November 2022. In the second category, we looked at the state’s overall unemployment rate. We then used the average of those categories to rank-order the states.

PREV Previous PREVIOUS Pritzker flips on support of local control over wind farm siting decisions Pritzker flips on support of local control over wind farm si… (The Center Square) – A bill that strips local control from … NEXT Next Up NEXT UP Illinois quick hits: Lawsuit over whiskey; NASCAR announces concerts for Chicago race Illinois quick hits: Lawsuit over whiskey; NASCAR announces … Fire engulfs Chicago high rise TOP STORY Businesses coping with Illinois’ minimum wage increase

From: The Center Square 

– Illinois’ minimum wage increased to $13 at the beginning of the year and businesses are feeling it.

In 2019, after no increases in the minimum wage since 2010, the legislature agreed to a gradual increase that will top off at $15 an hour in 2025.

The passage fulfilled a campaign pledge from Gov. J.B. Pritzker. In step with the ramp-up, the Illinois minimum wage will increase to $14 an hour on Jan. 1, 2024, and on Jan. 1, 2025, the minimum wage will reach $15.

Todd Maisch, president and CEO of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce said the increase is “particularly painful” for retailers, restaurants and employers in the service industry.

“Employers are trying to decide whether they will trim hours or trim jobs. In some instances, if they think they can get away with it, they will have to raise prices,” Maisch told The Center Square.

Maisch said that for businesses that are struggling with inflation, paying a higher minimum wage is more pain for the bottom line.

“Governments cannot create demand; they cannot create revenue,” he said. “So that means that small businesses must decide how to cut costs. Way too few members of the legislature understand that basic fact.”

Lawmakers act as if all businesses have a secret vault of cash that they can tap to pay higher wages, Maisch said.

“We all know that that is not the case,” he said.

Keeping wages artificially high makes it harder for inflation to go down, Maisch said, and raising prices is not an option for many businesses.

“Coming off of very aggressive inflation, that is the last thing that small businesses want to do,” he said. “Over time, inflation impacts consumer behavior more and more. Consumers are spending less and less at restaurants and other places.”

Maisch thinks most employers will opt to trim jobs and cut hiring rather than raise prices.

The service industry, including retail, is on the frontline when it comes to the minimum wage hike, Maisch said. He expects businesses to opt for more automation in response.

“Whether it will be self-serve sodas or having customers tap screens to put in their own food orders, more businesses will decide that they have to go that route,” Maisch said.

Raising the minimum wage will have a ripple effect, he said.

“For a manufacturer, the fact that somebody can come in and on the first day on the shop floor make $13 an hour, that means that everybody that’s been there for six months or a year or two is going to pressure the employer for higher wages,” Maisch said.

High-performing employees will get the wage increase, Maisch said, but employers will become even more hesitant to bring on new employees that they would have to train.

State lawmaker proposes rules change to limit powers of House leadership

From: Delaware Public Media

State Rep. Bryan Shupe (R-Milford) is promoting a proposed change to House rules that would scale back House leadership’s ability to leave bills in limbo.

According to data from the 150th General Assembly – covering the 2020 and 2021 legislative sessions – bills sponsored by Democrats were roughly twice as likely to receive a hearing when assigned to the House Administration Committee compared to bills sponsored by Republicans.

The same disparities do not appear in other powerful committees, including the House education committee.

Shupe attributes the disparity in the House administration committee to the powers of the chair, the House Majority Leader – a position currently held by State Rep. Valerie Longhurst. The chair is responsible for setting the committee’s agenda, and while House rules dictate all bills receive a committee hearing within 12 days of their introduction, that isn’t easily enforced. The House Speaker exercises similar control over the floor agenda.

Shupe says he plans to introduce a proposal giving a committee hearing automatically to any bill that hasn’t been heard within 12 days of its introduction. He also proposes amending House rules to put any bill on the House floor if it is released from committee and not added to the agenda within 12 days.

He says the rule changes would limit the control of House leadership enough to give every bill an equal opportunity for consideration.

“If a bipartisan committee – Democrats and Republicans – have voted for a bill to be heard on the House floor, then it deserves a spot on the House floor,” he said. “That should not be up to one person – the Speaker of the House – regardless of who it is.”

Though Shupe has detailed his proposal to constituents, he hasn’t yet introduced it for a vote.

Delaware Needs a ‘Pick-me-up’

From: Caesar Rodney Institute In 1925, Delaware’s government anointed a state song, “Our Delaware,” by an act of the General Assembly. According to Wikipedia, “Our Delaware” is derived from a 1904 poem by George Beswick Hynson, comprising three verses, each honoring one of Delaware’s three counties.

After listening to Delaware’s state song, it seems to be very dated and lethargic-just like Delaware. You don’t have to take my word for it; CLICK HERE and listen for yourself!
Perhaps it is time for a refresh by adding a “state anthem” to go along with the “state song” and choosing a tune that better reflects Delaware today.
Below are my seven recommendations for consideration for a “state anthem” from a few existing songs created by four Delaware-related artists! I hope you will give them a listen.
  • Delaware-born artist George Thorogood’s “Delaware Slide captures precisely what has been happening in Delaware – it is sliding down. Delaware’s economy has been suffering 1970’s era stagflation over the last 18 months. Furthermore, Delaware’s smaller businesses have been strangled by government regulations and seriously harmed by Delaware’s painful Gross Receipts Tax. It is the “Delaware Slide” in real time.
  • George Thorogood’s “House Rent Blues” presents a realistic description of life faced by many Delawareans. Delaware has a serious affordable housing crisis along with lower employment today than before COVID-19 (See Chart nearby). As an added benefit, the last half of the song describes the protagonist’s efforts at self-medication through drinking. Sadly, Delaware’s problem is not so much alcohol as it is drug overdosesSee below graph: 463,600 Non-farm jobs as of October 2022 versus 469,500 as of March 2020, according to the Delaware Dept of Labor.
  • Bob Marley’s “Three Little Birds.” Bob Marley’s mother was a long time Delaware resident, although I’m not sure he spent much time here. His music maintains universal and global appeal – something Delaware clearly lacks. In “Three Little Birds,” each bird could be a substitute for one of our three Counties; however, the song is probably rightly considered Jamaican property. Rats!
  • Bob Marley’s “Exodus might be a great secondary option because, between 2010 and 2020, Delaware’s 18 to 24 year old population declined by 9.0%Quite an exodus!
  • Cab Calloway’s “Minnie the Moocher.” The great Cab Calloway spent the last years of his life in Delaware. This hit song reflects the growth in government transfer payments in Delaware, which have grown by almost 400%  from 2002 to 2020 – 20% faster than the national average. In addition, as shown in the graph below, Delaware’s workforce participation is lower today than at any other time since the federal government began tracking the statistic (with one COVID-19 related exception). Too many Delawareans are forced to mooch off the State rather than participate in the workforce and economy.
  • Cab Calloway’s “The Hi-De-Ho Man (That’s Me). This song is one of the greatest call-and-response songs ever performed. Given that New Castle County’s (NCC) economy is smaller today than it was 20 years ago. Maybe the NCC government could respond to the call of success of Sussex County’s economic growthComparison of County, State, and National economic growth in constant dollars for Delaware (Source: Bureau of Economic Analysis).
  • David Bromberg’s “Sharon.” Any potential list of artists would be incomplete without David Bromberg, who performs/tours often and has a luthier shop in Wilmington. The song “Sharon” can be interpreted as an allegory about the seduction of power. The audience members depicted in the song could be seen as Delaware’s elected officials losing themselves in their backroom deals. Delaware needs transparency in public education and needs an update to the antiquated 1970s FOIA process.
No list would be complete without these four artists and the seven specific songs. I hope these selections will generate some thoughts and laughs. However, I am sure I have missed some other obvious choices, and I hope that CRI readers might come up with their own examples and share them on social media.
Delaware’s future “state anthem” should reflect Delaware as it is today while connecting to artists who have a connection to the State.