I'll always pull for the Delta to succeed but I left there a few years ago as well. While there, the only way I really felt I could stir emotion and fight apathy was through Delta Scoop, so I launched it for $17 to buy an easy website that's now expired. I tried to physically help in the community. My participation wasn't welcome among the local civic leaders so, BOOM, the Local Reflector was born.
One can accuse many blog participants and commentators of doing nothing but talking negatively. From my perspective a few years ago, just offering an outlet was better than keeping quiet, being censored and saying nothing at all, thus guaranteeing no debate.
I'll challenge those who call existing residents "nay-sayers" to speak to the aspects in terms of civic, economic and educational policy matters. Real policy and real leadership - don't fall back on comments like Greenville has a great steak house,had local writers, a rich blues heritage and other philosophical anesthetics that prevent true issues discussions. The truth is that without discussing cultural offerings that really don't advance the economy or truly increase the overall quality of life (but would hurt it if they vanished), the issues are tough for Washington County.
REAL "meat n' potatoes" policy discussions cause pain right now. They did for my entire life in the Delta. I'll admit.....I wouldn't know what to do either.
The truth is that there is really not a lot any of us can do about the economy of Greenville. The welfare population is growing at three times the national average. Children are having children. Educated students (black and white) flee Greenville as soon as they are handed a diploma... vowing never to return. Tax payers are fleeing Greenville to secure what little savings and equity they have left in real estate.
So, who is left in Greenville? Primarily a group of uneducated, unmotivated, welfare "savvy" residents who ride free on the taxpayers' dollars. Many, not all, are quite comfortable with this system as it is all they have known for generations. Welfare was developed to be a "temporary bridge" between jobs. It has evolved into a way of life for many.
Under our current Welfare system, people are penalized for going to work. If you are unemployed, you get free health care for yourself and your children through Medicaid. You get food stamps and qualify for Section 8 housing in which the government pays all or part of your rent. If you have worked at all within the last 12 months, you can also draw unemployment up to $230 a week.
If your 15 year old daughter comes home pregnant, is that good news or bad? Economically, it is probably good news in that the unborn child will soon be converted to another "check" drawn from the "cash cow" we call welfare!
So, where is the incentive to go out and get a job? If you had free health care, free food, little or no housing costs and up to $230 per week for anything else you wanted... would YOU be pounding the pavement looking for a job?
The system is being abused and WE are permitting it. When was the last time you saw a starving child in the Delta? Most are obese because of their lifestyles and diets. Illegitimate children have become monetary rewards under our system that sets no boundaries to this economic "dole".
To flee Greenville is not to fix Greenville... as LR has noted; however, for many, it is probably the first step toward a brighter future. To those who complain that the "Scoop" is too negative, I refer you to LR's initial motive for founding the Delta Scoop, which was to provide an outlet and forum for debate. I have tried to maintain that tradition which seems to have been moderately successful.
I doubt that there are any simple answers in the debate over of how to "fix" Greenville... but when we stop asking questions, we are sunk!