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Old 01-11-2012, 02:51 PM
 
Location: MS
200 posts, read 546,540 times
Reputation: 270

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Hello Hello!
The Title refers to this BBC article: BBC News - Poverty and progress in the Mississippi Delta

What are your thoughts on this article? What I found most interesting was that in the 1960s families were starving and needing shelter. This was brought to national attention (an example, when Robert Kennedy came to visit). Then government money came and made sure no one was starving and everyone had a roof over there head. In fact, they did too good of a job, the area is now the most obese in the nation. You hardle see anyone living on the streets. However, it is still the poorest corner in the poorest state! And has the lowest educational scores in the nation. AND the area has only gotten worse over the past 20-30 years. People always talk about how nice Greenville/Leland was 30 years ago, and now everything is closed, census shows a large decrease in population. It is on a study decline.

Second part of my question: what is next? throwing goverment money this way helped people from starving, but the high obesity rates might imply that the government money is being abused when not looked after. So more money is not the answer. I also don't like the opionion "you can't help those that don't want to be helped". That doesn't solve any problems. Perhaps, people don't know that they want to be helped? Maybe the answer is education reform? There is a lot of corruption in the public school system and politics, so maybe total reform, or intervention is required? I am mostly against large government, but boy, this area needs something!

I should also give some background. I am from Minnesota, lived 4 years abroad, and have spent the past 3 (nearly 4) years in Greenville, MS. My family all ask why I still live here. And parts of me wonders the same thing (especially when thinking about starting a family). But a bigger part of me sees that there is potential for growth and positive change, and I want to be a part of that
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Old 01-11-2012, 07:03 PM
 
501 posts, read 836,308 times
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industry here dried up and died, with it went most of the educated and employable population. what was left is a mix of folks that have no interest in ever working because they are "entitled" to money for food and rent, and folks that can't leave due to family/jobs/trapped in a mortgage. a couple of my neighbors have had their homes up for sale for over a year, and no bites at all on them. just 7-8 years ago those homes would have likely sold within a few weeks of listing.

the obesity is not from abuse of assistance, it is from lack of getting off the couch. same reason as everywhere else in the country, but here we just have a larger number of unemployed folks. and don't go by the official UE numbers, they ONLY count folks actively looking for a job. if they counted the folks that don't work and won't look for a job, i really would not be surprised if Greenville's UE rate was over 40%!

BTW, if i were you i would leave ASAP. especially before you start a family. if you do decide to stay after starting one, i hope you can afford private school because there are NO decent public school districts here.
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Old 01-11-2012, 08:21 PM
 
Location: Metairie, La.
1,156 posts, read 1,721,181 times
Reputation: 775
I don't think one can attribute the cause of obesity among those living in the Miss. Delta counties to federal government intervention. There are a litany of other causes.

Moreover, if gov. intervention is the cause of Deltans' obesity, then what are the causes of obesity among Mississippians in other areas of the state?

I'd attribute poor dietary choices to obesity. And for health-conscious shoppers out there, you all know too well that eating healthy is oftentimes more expensive than eating junk food. Not only that, but according to an NPR report that aired some time ago (I think in 2005 or 06), they demonstrated that many food items at grocery stores are several cents more expensive in predominantly minority neighborhoods than it is in majority white areas. According to some study they cited, researchers gauged the prices of various grocery items in many cities and towns across the country. They found, for example, that the prices for a gallon of milk averaged as much as $.15 higher at groceries in majority black neighborhoods than the same gallon of milk at groceries in white sections of the same city or town. They even found that the same grocery chains had more expensive groceries at their locations in mostly black neighborhoods than they did at locations in majority white areas despite these food products coming from the same company warehouse. The gist of the study was that for most food prices, it costs more to shop at groceries in mostly black neighborhoods -- and lack of adequate, private transportation prevented many from traveling across town to shop at other groceries.

As for the BBC report, I don't know what to do about the Delta. I go there frequently to do research at Delta State. It's rather depressing when I'm there. There's nothing there except for many despondent people who have no hope.
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Old 01-11-2012, 08:48 PM
 
Location: NE Mississippi
22,177 posts, read 13,737,021 times
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The problem in the Mississippi Delta is that it has been run by Democrats since 1875.

Utah, for example, is run by Republicans, as are most other prosperous portions of the US. Liberalism makes people feel good, but works against them in the long run. Liberals get to tell each other how much they care about each other, and how concerned they are but rarely does a liberal generate any meaningful input into the economy. Stimulus spending is a typical liberal response to problems like the delta.

Limousine Liberals love to visit and have their picture taken. They form committees; do research; write articles; urge poor people to vote for them but in the end have nothing to offer. Until conservative values, which generate businesses, are implemented in the delta it will remain the delta.

Last edited by Listener2307; 01-11-2012 at 08:57 PM..
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Old 01-11-2012, 10:41 PM
 
Location: Metairie, La.
1,156 posts, read 1,721,181 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Listener2307 View Post
The problem in the Mississippi Delta is that it has been run by Democrats since 1875.
I don't see how you can attribute the poverty of the Delta to one political party given that the two major political parties in this country have realigned their tenets several times since 1875.
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Old 01-12-2012, 12:19 PM
 
Location: MS
200 posts, read 546,540 times
Reputation: 270
It was wrong of me to imply that government money is the direct cause of obesity. I did not mean that. I do believe that the money may have enabled the obesity (How do you over eat if you can't afford to buy the food. And from what I understand from people I have talked to that receive EBT funds...no one is starving. And they don't buy the Walmart/Kroger brand items for a couple cents less like I do). But I do believe the true cause is lack of education about nutrition. There was a NPR investigation about obesity and diabetes in Native American tribes. The people NPR interviewed genuinely had no idea that drinking a 12 pack of soda a day was extremely unhealthy. And after some nutritional education, these participants were able to quickly see improvements in their health by utilizing what they were taught. I don't think may would disagree that a lot of the delta is in need of better education (not putting blame on only school/parent/teacher/government in particular).

I definitely agree about the food costs being higher on average! However, I never would it thought it would be related to the predominant race of a certain area. I thought there were two possible reasons for the higher food costs. 1) Distribution costs. 2) I thought it might be related to the poverty level of an area. If an area has large portions of government aid related to food, than grocery stores figure they might as well get as much profit out of the government as they can by charging more for an item.

Everything is more expensive in the delta, except Rent. (an this might go for rural areas everywhere. This is my first rural area experience). Groceries, insurance (house, auto, life), gas (for the house), electricity, water, etc. I pay more for all those items for my 1000 square foot house then my dad pays for his 3000 square foot house in the Midwest. I am not sure how my delta costs compare to Jackson costs though. I will have to ask some of my Jackson friends to find out.

As for being advised to leave...I hear that a lot, and we are considering it. But there are a lot of good things about the Delta; it just takes a little longer to find them . I should probably mention that my husband is born and raised Delta. There are many things that I love about the area. But, the cost of living, cost of education, and the lack of jobs are the main reasons we would leave. However, we have no decided on that yet. I still would like to be a part of improving the area.

I also don't agree with the statement that the problem with the Delta is that it is run by Democrats..I have heard that before from friends and family in the area, and I just don't believe it. I think it is a scapegoat to all that think this. To me, all sides are in the wrong, but neither side is willing to admit it, or take the steps to change. For overall change, all sides need to accept blame and want to improve. The area definitely needs more cooperation.

So same ol', same ol' arguements. No one knows what to do with the Delta. It is either just shake your head and move on, or point fingers. I guess I don't have any ideas either I just wish for more input on how to improve the area...
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Old 01-12-2012, 04:03 PM
 
Location: NE Mississippi
22,177 posts, read 13,737,021 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DiogenesofJackson View Post
I don't see how you can attribute the poverty of the Delta to one political party given that the two major political parties in this country have realigned their tenets several times since 1875.
The two parties - Republican and Democrat - have, indeed swapped positions during the last two centuries. You are correct.

But here's my reasons for saying what I did.

1) Political alliances, are, like religions, inherited. Most of us did not really choose the party we claim to endorse; we got it from our parents. And in some families the thought of changing political parties is every bit as distasteful to family members as changing religion, say, from Protestant to Catholic. It happens; but rarely.

2) From the years 1880 forward to about 1940 the poverty in the delta was not significantly felt to a greater extent than the poverty felt any where else. Growing up poor was simply part of growing up.

That changed with FDR. FDR and his programs changed the experience of being poor. Now, with the new policies, there was money coming from the U.S. government. Jobs were being provided by the U.S. government. And FDR was understandably anxious for people to know which party was providing assistance.

As it happened, the people in the Mississippi delta were already aligned with the party who seemed most interested in their plight, and they dug in even harder. Today, hardly a Republican can be found, even among those who are uninformed about politics. They just know they are Democrats.

This fact is not lost among The Democrats, and they encourage the weaker, less informed people to support their party while rejecting The Republicans as the party of the rich. The Democratic leadership makes sure that the money and housing keeps flowing and the recipients of such money and housing respond by voting Democratic.

Unfortunately, the recipients themselves have become victims. They are now more dependent than ever upon the U.S. government and continue to look to the U.S. government for more and more of what is necessary.

And that is how the Democratic Party itself is responsible for holding the delta back, and is why the delta will continue to go nowhere.
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Old 01-13-2012, 08:53 AM
 
452 posts, read 851,206 times
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We lived in the Delta and have moved away primarily for children’s' education. The Delta is set in its ways and needs to move a little faster to come up with the rest of the nation. With this being said, it does not want to do this! When we moved, people said it would take 3 generations for us to be a 'true' part of the community. I would not mind me giving away my life but I am not willing to give my children’s' life away. The schools did not provide a positive reinforcement for doing right; it was more of what family lineage you came from. Someone once told me a 'joke' "They put up with me so there is a different bloodline in the city". Unless, the Delta is willing to change which it is hard to teach an old dog new tricks-it will not. The Democrat vs. Republican or the North vs. the South mentality needs to change and put it in the past for the Delta to rise and it needs to move on.
If you really want to change Greenville, I would suggest that you talk to someone about getting a government grant to pursue a community garden for the area. This could help take part of the problems with obesity and federal aid-helping people get back to the roots of learning to live off the land which the Delta is best known for. Good luck!!!!
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Old 01-13-2012, 09:45 AM
 
Location: The South
767 posts, read 2,184,822 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3a's View Post
If you really want to change Greenville, I would suggest that you talk to someone about getting a government grant to pursue a community garden for the area.
I don't think a government grant to plant a garden is the solution.
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Old 01-13-2012, 11:44 AM
 
452 posts, read 851,206 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mccarley View Post
I don't think a government grant to plant a garden is the solution.
I never said it was a solution this would be more of a start maybe. There is no quick solution to this issue but one idea maybe the starting point to change or a "sead" to change.
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