Friday, January 09, 2009

Welfare: The Other Bridge to Nowhere

Local Reflector said...

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!



A Black Racist speaks said...

Very good insight from both of you. Now if I may, as a black Deltan who still has hope, I’d like to add my two cents.

There seems to be a tradition in the Delta (and the whole country for that matter) where black people, unable to come up with a strong enough argument against a white protagonist, almost out of desperation calls the white person a racist.

This, of course, implies an unwritten assumption that black people are not capable of being racist and that all criticism of black people by white people is based on racism.

Well, I think it is time to debunk that myth. Black people can be as racist, or even more racist, than some of the worst white racists.
I sincerely believe that black people use the race card when they are unable to come up with convincing arguments against white people. This is not to say that sometimes the criticism by white people of black people is not based on racism, but this is not always the case.

I believe that, by calling somebody a racist, it probably says more about you than about the other person.

In any case, how in heaven’s name are we going to be able to have decent debates here if all white people are going to be scared to criticize black people? No one likes to be called a racist, and it is inevitable in the Delta for whites who criticize blacks to be tarnished with that label.

I try to deal with this issue by confessing that I am a racist. Once I have done this, I believe that it levels the playing ground for us to have a conversation about race and racism.

And it is important for us to have this conversation. I believe that in our haste to become a “rainbow nation”, we did not deal with the issues that caused us so much pain in the past, and racism is one of those.

Unless we deal with the issues of race and racism, unless we talk about them, they will always come back to haunt us.

Now let’s say this together: I am a racist. You are a racist. Let’s talk.

And what better time to do it than now, before it gets worse for us here and more of the good ones that could lead in the future leave us.

old school white boy from the delta!! said...

I am not a racist! I do not hate the black people.
But I do hate someone to ride the our government that I work so hard everyday paying 33% of my check to!!!! I hate for someone that takes advantage of situation that should not be taken!! And it seams but not all of these people are of the black race! I have black friends, and the black people I work with are great and I enjoy there company.

But I hate welfare, disrespectful N white or black!!!

Oopps did I say that!!

Anonymous said...

How in the world can any taxpayer in Greenville support the mayor or any of the council members. Just look at our city !
The mayor is on a mission to prove that Greenville can thrive under black leadership. My friends this will not happen under Mayor Hudson. Her reputation within the city among people who could make a difference is not good and that is being nice. Sure they smile at her and talk to her but they do not support her.
Now for that racist statement that has been discussed here.
Greenville will not move forward until we have White leadership. Yes i said it: wow you are right it feels better and not intended racist it is just a fact.
It will take probably 3 to 4 yrs to clean the city up before we start seeing industry come back in to our town. Yes and it will take white and blacks working together to accomplish this. It will take tearing down structures,cutting lawns , painting buildings, arresting many people and probably a curfew to start with. Yes we have got to be strict but within the law to clean up our citizens. If we are strict the job will get easier and easier because some will leave and that will be good because they do not pay taxes anyway. It can be done !
I could go on and on but i will stop. When your classmates want to have a class reunion outside of Greenville because of the sadness it brings when they visit is a sign to me things are worse than even i see living here everyday.

Anonymous said...

Maybe the levee will break just like in New Orleans and the bottom feeders will be relocated somewhere else other than G'ville. Once they have been bused so far away that they can't get back ,then G'ville will have a fighting chance. Just wishful thinking but it would work.

Sick of the degrade! said...

Just simple paint on these orange, purple, and lime green houses would be a cheap fast fix in some neighborhoods.

Has anyone seen the purple house on Negus St. between McAllister and Arnald Ave?? Close to the churches??

It is awful! It should be against the law to degrade that nice community like that!! If you haven't seen it, take a quick detour and check it out!!

I just wonder why someone would paint there house like that???? anyone know??

No mystery said...

I am white and have no problem having Black leaders...the key word is leaders..not yes people, not ne'r do wells, not racists, not prejudiced...leaders who care, leaders who work for the best of our city, leaders who have open minds to enterprise and new business, leaders who are not looking for a company to "take care" of the employees because they are black or only to hire blacks....leaders to do what they were elected to do, no matter what their color is! If they did not want the job, they should have never run and would do all of us a favor to resign before we find a way to boot them out....first on the list...hmmm...oh well that is obvious...she only cares about herself, what she can gain or take credit for from the work of others and what fun trip she can cost the city taxpayers next...guess!?

kennard said...

I believe it is time to elect a Chinaman mayor.