I heartily disagree with Mia on food stamps and junk food

Here’s the latest from Mia McLeod:

 Dear Governor,

Seriously? Can you just “SNAP” and in an instant, delete certain foods from some South Carolinians’ grocery lists?

Sure, obesity is a genuine, significant health concern for too many people in this state. But that’s not why you’ve made a recent “SNAP” decision. You know it. We know it. And soon, citizens across this state will know it too.
Contrary to South Carolina’s definition, “SNAP” doesn’t mean “Simply Nonchalant About the Poor.” It’s actually a federal program, fully funded by the USDA. Now, isn’t it ironic that our state’s most notorious critics of “BIG” government, are arrogantly hypocritical enough to assume the despicable role of “BIG Brother” when it’s politically expedient?Mia leopard jacket

As asinine as this latest stunt is, it’s even more offensive. Targeting a segment of the population in furtherance of your own political agenda is one thing. Refusing to allow federally-funded healthcare for hard-working South Carolinians while in the same breath, expressing concern about obesity and its impact on their health and well-being, is another.

You don’t want the federal government telling us whether to accept or how to spend our federal tax dollars when a state match or financial investment is required. But yet, you wanna dictate which foods we can buy with SNAP, a fully-funded federal program that doesn’t even require state funds?

The list of qualifying items that can be purchased with SNAP is very straight-forward. As with any program, there’s always room for improvement. But last time we checked, you were able to make nutritional decisions for your family without our intrusion or input. We’re just wondering why you think we need yours.

And since your cronies are traveling the state at our expense, trying to convince us that this is about obesity prevention, perhaps we’ll remember your “heartfelt” concern on our next nonemergency trip to the ER…if we can even find and get to a hospital that’s still open and accessible.

With all due respect, Governor, when it comes to obesity, it’s not the foods that we’re able to buy on SNAP that are making us fat. Perhaps it’s your empty rhetoric that’s making us sick.

If you really cared about this state’s obesity rates or us, you’d do what is well within your purview and power to ensure that we have access to quality, affordable health care, just like you do.

You’d realize that some of us would love to eat the same fresh and organic foods that your family enjoys, but because of “food deserts” across this state, many of us are without the means or access. If you’re genuinely concerned about addressing obesity, you could start by addressing that.

If only we could “SNAP” back from the regressive, debilitating tactics of centuries past, we’d all feel much better. So while South Carolina continues to reek of ignorance, intolerance and insanity, many of our best and brightest continue to leave this state in search of parity, inclusion and meaningful opportunities.

But unlike obesity and other chronic conditions, many never return. Neighboring states too often become the benefactors of our most creative minds and talented contributors. And we’re left with a weaker South Carolina.

So as you continue to cater to your political base by serving folks like us up on a party platter, the only thing that seems to be getting fatter is your reelection campaign account.

At some point, obesity may no longer be an issue for South Carolina. Under your “leadership,” our state is gradually becoming so malnourished on so many levels, it may not be strong enough to “SNAP” out of it.

But you still can, Governor, before it’s too late.

p.s. – South Carolina’s forgotten citizens (a.k.a. – your “other” constituents) may not be members of the Tea Party. But in number, we’re “the real majority.”

She really doesn’t like the idea, does she?

Well, I do. Still. So I guess I’m playing the “despicable role of Big Brother.”

Yes, there are reasons to be concerned about people who live in “food deserts.” I don’t dismiss that, and I can’t say for certain that the stores that now sell junk food in those communities would shift and sell healthier stuff if that’s all their poor patrons could buy. I think that might happen, but I don’t have the full faith in markets that some do.

So that should be thoroughly studied and taken into account before a final decision is made. But I most certainly do not agree with those who have a philosophical, rather than practical, objection to insisting that tax money not be used to buy foods that ruin the health of the poor.

The populists will call this patriarchal, but we are indeed in a position for taking responsibility for people when we undertake to feed them. We are culpable for providing people with the means of poisoning themselves when we could adopt a policy that prevents it.

When we discussed this previously, my old friend and respected colleague Burl Burlingame noted, “when the government wants to experiment, they do so first on the poor.” That may seem a particularly devastating argument against this change. But I submit that we have been running the experiment for half a century now, and the results are in: Paying for junk food kills poor people. It’s time we stop it, and do what we practically can to have a positive, rather than an actively negative, effect on people’s health.

64 thoughts on “I heartily disagree with Mia on food stamps and junk food

  1. Doug Ross

    I don’t agree with her either but she would be a welcome addition to the governor’s race. She is a far more effective communicator than Vincent Sheheen. If she’s smart AND ambitious, this would be the best time for her to give it a shot.

    1. Mark Stewart

      She needs a little more political seasoning. That language is like pan-frying with lard.

      Still, Haley’s hypocrisy is clearly shown. This is the part that bothers me far more than the food restriction itself. It is a policy at odds with the platform.

      1. Doug Ross

        Might I suggest that you and Brad may not be the best judges of what language Democrat’s in South Carolina want to hear?

        1. Mark Stewart

          If a Democrat wants to win in a statewide election, it has to be with the support of moderate Republicans. That’s people somewhat like me.

          I appreciate moderate language, well articulated positions and rational thought. Mia can probably do that – certainly better than Haley – but this release doesn’t get there.

  2. Brad Warthen Post author

    I like Mia (who, as you may recall, once appeared on the “Brad Show”), and I respect her willingness to speak out on issues.

    But since you praise her as a communicator, in that regard she comes across as a bit too over-the-top. She wants so badly to make her point strongly that she uses language that might turn off people who would otherwise be reachable: “As asinine as this latest stunt is…” “… assume the despicable role…” “Perhaps it’s your empty rhetoric that’s making us sick… [which comes right after saying “with all due respect,” which she obviously does not mean, so it strikes a false note]” “reek of ignorance, intolerance and insanity…””the only thing that seems to be getting fatter is your reelection campaign account [something that is obviously, demonstrably untrue, as any glance at obesity statistics will tell a reader]…”

    In this case, she comes across as too emotional. She needs a good editor to temper her language.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      To elaborate…

      That sort of rhetoric might serve her well in appealing to some of her most supportive constituents — preaching to the choir, that is.

      But you mentioned it in the context of running for governor, which is about broadening your appeal, not just eliciting applause from the people who already know and like you. And it’s in that context that I offer my critique.

    2. Brad Warthen Post author

      Also, totally apart from messaging…

      She’s a long way from having the kind of experience or name-recognition that a statewide campaign requires.

      Even Nikki Haley, as a House back-bencher, had made more of a splash when she started running. (After that, a number of things broke her way to overcome her lack of name recognition at the outset — her being the darling of the Tea Party at the very moment of its rise, the Will Folks charges causing more national media to pay attention, etc.)

      Mia has gained some cred beyond her own district by speaking out on the Election Commission debacle. But I don’t think that really extends beyond the Midlands.

      1. Doug Ross

        She’s black. She’d have an instant base of supporters who would run from just-another-dull-white guy in a heartbeat.

        You don’t think a smart black female candidate who appears to be willing to buck the system would have some juice that Vincent Sheheen will never have?

        1. die deutsche Flußgabelung

          While I agree with you that McLeod could win the primary, her being black has nothing to do with it. Just ask state Sen. Ford how that worked out for him in 2010 when he ran against Sheheen. Blacks didn’t vote for him in large numbers. Most black voters probably voted for the two white guys Rex and Sheheen.

          African-American Democrats are just as rational about picking there party’s candidate as any other voting group. They want someone who will win in the end. You’re right she would win because she is smart and has more charisma than Sheheen, who I am sorry to say doesn’t have much of a personality.

          1. Doug Ross

            I’d suggest Robert Ford lacks a lot of the qualities that Mia McLeod appears to have. Not a good comparison.

          2. die deutsche Flußgabelung

            Thats my point. You said, “She’s black. She’d have an instant base of supporters…”

            I’m just saying being black doesn’t mean you’ll have an instant base of supporters or automatically win the Democratic primary. Ford is the perfect example of that.

          3. Steven Davis II

            “African-American Democrats are just as rational about picking there party’s candidate as any other voting group.”

            One word… Obama. When did churchs send buses out to the polls in the prior elections? Half-blackman runs and it’s a shuttle service.

          4. die deutsche Flußgabelung

            Remind me Steven Davis whether or not Obama won twice. And people like you are the reason the GOP will continue to lose election, after election. Dog-whistle politics won’t work in a majority-minority nation. I’m sorry if the idea of black people voting offends you. And Al Gore, John Kerry, and Bill Clinton got around the same percentage of the black vote as Barack Obama.

      2. Doug Ross

        Because the first thing she would have to do is beat Vincent Sheheen. Or is the message to Democrat voters that “Vincent Sheheen is the kind of Democrat Republicans want”?

    3. Steven Davis II

      I don’t have a problem with that at all, I’d rather hear someone speak their mind than try to sugar coat or politically correct the same statement as to not offend someone. Screw people who’s feeling get hurt easily, that’s one of the problems we have in this country, if one person get her feelings hurt we gotta change the system regardless of it not bothering the other 999,999 people. Everybody gets a trophy.

  3. die deutsche Flußgabelung

    Hey, I agree with Doug that whats-her-name-now-oh-McLeod should run against Sheheen in the Demcratic primary. Seeing as she represents the party more than Sheheen.

    While she does make some good points about why Haley and company should be cautious in implementing this policy (e.g. food deserts and the cost of healthy foods as compared with “junk” food), I disagree with her total opposition to the proposal. I think the gov’t has a right and duty to set limits on what benefit payments can be spent.

    Now for the slippery-slope argument, for all those Medicare beneficiaries out there who support this proposal if they can limit food stamp recipients from buying junk food with their benefits, why can’t the government mandate Medicare beneficiaries not eat junk food too? They are also recipients of government programs paid for by taxpayers too and it would be good public health policy.

  4. Jennifer Fitz

    I’m frustrated by this debate. I don’t live in a food desert. A quick eye-balling of the benefits-level for a family of four, and thinking about the amount I spend on (healthy) groceries when I’m acting moderately responsibly . . . I was reassured that the SNAP benefits really do provide a decent level of assistance.

    Which tells me: If access to affordable basic foods (the old four food groups come to mind) is in fact a problem around SC, let’s solve that problem. No?

    And if a lack of cooking knowledge is a problem, that’s something a home-ec class can solve? Maybe?

    And if the trouble with cooking is an inability to pay the utility bill, or unsafe wiring in substandard housing, or you-name-it . . . again. Problems that need to be dealt with.

    I don’t in theory have a problem with limiting SNAP-eligible foods, but I’m concerned it will hurt all the wrong people, and create more bureaucratic craziness in the meantime. An example: If you’ve got the flu and all you can hold down is ginger ale, the last thing you need is to run up against a No Soda rule. We don’t need the poor having to run to the ER to get a prescription for fluid-rehydration mix when a liter of store-brand soda would have done the trick.

    And frankly, if you had to work some of the jobs and some of the hours that the working poor are doing . . . yeah, an addiction to Mountain Dew. It happens. Not ideal, but it’s a problem that could perhaps be addressed some other way.

    I know that sounds all whiny and liberal, or grasping at excuses. I can see the argument from the other side, too. I get that in light of the costs for diabetes health care alone, maybe heavy-handed measures are needed. I just wish the debate would move forward a little.

    1. Kathryn Fenner

      How are we going to fix food deserts in this state? State run grocery stores?

      Also, and you touch on it, cooking takes time, especially using dried beans as the dietician in the paper suggested. I use them, but I don’t work outside the home. I can fix a quick, nutritious supper, but it involves chops, steaks or fish, none of which are food stamp cheap.

      1. Steven Davis II

        They can’t put a bag of dried beans in a pot and soak them overnight like my mom used to do? How did poor people eat back in the dirty-30’s during the depression? They grew and raised their own food and ate a lot of things day-after-day. Now the FSA can take their EBT card to a convenience store and buy a Slurpee with it. I posted a link to a picture earlier this week where Advanced Auto Parts now accepts EBT cards. What ever happened to government commodity handouts?

          1. Steven Davis II

            One day when I retire I have a million dollar idea, I’m going to invent an electric crockery kind of thing that you can plug in and it’ll slow cook meals.

            Why is it that most of the people I see with grocery carts full of crap food and paying for it with EBT cards rarely look like they have a job to go to. Sitting on the front porch doing nothing, I’d think they’d enjoy something to do like cook for their family. But I guess microwave pizzas and drinks that have absolutely no nutritional value are good enough for their family.

          2. Steven Davis II

            I don’t know, I’ve never cooked them. You stated you use them, how long do you cook them?

          3. Kathryn Fenner

            It takes more than two hours, during which you should not leave the stove unattended.

          4. Steven Davis II

            Can’t you bake them… you know as in baked beans? Am I to understand that it’s now dangerous to leave an oven unattended? What about the programmable stoves that can come on at a preset time and turn off at another preset time? It’s not exactly a pot of boiling oil.

          5. Mab, Bean Nazi

            It doesn’t take longer than two hours to cook a 2 lb. bag of those puppies if you boil them for two minutes and then let them soak for one hour. And you don’t have to change the water to cook them, just add more as needed — it makes no difference whatever in the nutritive/digestive results.

            There is a wonderful herb I have discovered that grows well in SC (likes limey/builder’s sand soil) and flavors beans SO well: Peppery Savory. Great stuff, Maynards.

    2. Steven Davis II

      “An example: If you’ve got the flu and all you can hold down is ginger ale, the last thing you need is to run up against a No Soda rule. ”

      Are these people completely penniless? Maybe they might have to dip into their cigarette money or their alcohol money or their hairdo money or their lottery ticket money. God forbid if they have to skip a 26-inch rim rental payment for their 1978 Chevy Caprice.

  5. bud

    There seems to be a cornocopia of unintended effects with this SNAP proposal. Just give the poor folks some extra money and let them best figure out how to use. If that turns out to be McDonalds then so be it.

    1. Doug Ross

      Except then we also have to pay for their Medicaid bills when they develop diabetes and heart disease.
      If you’re getting something for free can you really complain if there are strings attached?

      1. Steven Davis II

        And have you noticed some of these kids? 6 year olds shouldn’t weigh 140 pounds. I remember when poor people were skinny, now they’re excessively exceeding the morbidly obese barrier.

    2. Blue dog

      Giving people the power to make their own choices is almost always the best solution. I agree with ya, buddy.

      1. Steven Davis II

        Even with other people’s money? If my tax dollars are going to feed the hungry, I don’t want it spent on Energy Drinks and Skittles, both which have no nutritional value.

  6. bud

    I look at this as a public goods isse and therefore I’m not concerned about what the recipients feel. What matters is the best way to feed poor children as a means of creating an efficient and productive society. Perhaps there might be health issues down the road but it seems like the issues today are so insoluble that it is better to just kick those down the road and hope the poor folks will make the wisest decisions for their children. Otherwise we are left with a nanny state that most folks, especially libertarians, would find distasteful and certainly inefficient.

    1. Doug Ross

      ” and hope the poor folks will make the wisest decisions for their children. ”

      Because there is ample evidence of that happening in the past?

        1. Mark Stewart

          Unfortunately there are mothers (and probably fathers, too) who think it acceptable to swing by Krispy Kreme or Chik-fil-A before driving their kids to school. Those aren’t the poor ones, those are just poorly conditioned Southerners.

          Food is a complex and troubling issue across the South. We shouldn’t just blame poverty for the choices that are made daily.

          1. Scout

            Hey Mark – my question was in response to Steven’s comment “Kids in those households think HotPockets and Mountain Dew are food groups.”

            I agree with your comment. I don’t think bad eating habits are limited to the poor.

          2. Steven Davis II

            Scout – I’ve been known to make the mistake of going to a Super Walmart the day after EBT card replenish day. Shopping carts full of 99 cent pizzas, Walmart brand soda, Hot Pockets, cookies and candy. Knowing full well they’re going to pull out an EBT card I tend to take an interest in what they’re buying. Rarely do I see vegetables (fresh, canned or frozen) or anything remotely healthy or things that can’t be cooked in a microwave.

          3. Scout

            Steven, one thing that is troubling to me about your comments is that they are peppered with phrases like “knowing full well”, and “Why is it that most of the people I see………. rarely look like…” etc. You make assumptions basically admitting that you have no raw data or first hand knowledge to verify your assumptions. For example, you follow up derogatory comments about people you see in the grocery store using an EBT card with …. “Sitting on the front porch doing nothing, I’d think they’d enjoy something to do like cook for their family. But I guess microwave pizzas and drinks that have absolutely no nutritional value are good enough for their family.” So are we to believe that you followed them home from the store and watched to see throughout the next few days that these same people “sit on the front porch doing nothing” or is this another assumption on your part that people who use an EBT card must be unemployed – which is not necessarily true at all – and also yet another assumption that unemployed people do nothing but sit on the porch all day. You suggest that low income people working long hours ought to be able to cook raw beans and then later openly admit that you know nothing about what is required to cook beans. You apparently draw conclusions about who has an EBT card before you have actually verified this since you “know full well” they “are going” to pull one out. And you just know what a person who has a job to go to “looks like.” So by your own admissions here, one can surmise that if you have the wrong idea of what a person without a job or a person who would use an EBT card “looks like”, then your data set will be completely skewed. I suspect you may not have checked the grocery carts of some EBT users who did not “look like” what you’d expect and vice versa.

            Objective raw data matters. When you start with assumptions, it is easy to dismiss data points that don’t fit your preconceived notions, which you seem to have a lot of.

            Suppose we could get a sample of every shopper that checked out of Super Walmart in one hours time on a Saturday and analyze it by how many are EBT users or not and quantify what each bought by whether it is healthy or unhealthy. I don’t know what it would show (since I tend to take in information first before drawing conclusions), but I think a raw data set like that would be very helpful to this discussion.

  7. Scout

    Her attitude comes across loud and clear. It’s too bad that her legitimate points are buried half way down behind all the attitude and derogatory comments. If her goal is to actually have the governor listen, this was not the right approach. Not sure than any approach would get Haley to listen and consider such points, but this one is most likely guarenteed to have deciding to be against any valid point Mia might have before she even hears it. Makes me think actual commuication with the governor was not her goal. Which makes me sad. No matter how frustrating the other side is (which in this case they very much are), when we stop making good faith efforts to communicate with them, how can we ever hope to succeed.

      1. Scout

        Maybe – if that is the case. Since it hasn’t happened yet, I don’t know if I’ll be able to say that. But yes, I do think civility is something to be valued.

        But more than the fact that the above communication style is uncivil, it annoys me more from a pragmatic perspective, I think, in that it sabotages it’s own chance of success.

  8. Bryan Caskey

    This is a hard question for me. I’m trying to reconcile my natural inclination to let people make their own choices with not letting people abuse a system that is basically giving them free money. I want people to make good choices on their own.

    Firstly, I don’t know very much about SNAP/EBT. I would assume that one cannot buy cigarettes or alcohol through these benefits. If that’s not already a rule, we should start there. After that, it gets more complicated.

    Will people make less than optimal choices? Sure, but that’s ok. You can’t legislate that people excercise good judgment. Practically, I think the best you can do is make sure the system isn’t being flagrantly abused. What people choose to eat and what they choose to feed their children is a decision that will vary from family to family, and will be based on a plethora of factors that are probably constantly changing.

    I completely understand the desire to prohibit “unhealthy” choices on the public dime. However if I have to make a call on this one, I’m going to err on the side of letting people decide what is best for their particular situation.

    1. Scout

      I agree with you Bryan. But I think the place to start is to make sure the availability is there for people to make the healthy choices, if they want to. Right now, in food deserts where low income people also have limited transportation options, they may be using their SNAP benefits to buy unhealthy foods because that is the only thing available to them in their situation. I agree it is better to let people make their own choices. If we put things in place to better ensure that there are at least healthy options available, it could be that they will make those choices more often. I think Mark also made a good point that middle and upper class make poor choices too, despite having perfectly good access. It’s not an isolated problem with the poor.

      There is the consideration that Brad mentioned that maybe such a requirement would cause convenience stores in poor rural areas to begin to carry more healthy foods. I suppose it would depend on how much of their business comes from SNAP recipients – whether or not it would be to their benefit to make that change.

      There is at least in my school – not sure if this is just a district thing or a state thing – a concerted effort over the past year to have more real live actual fresh fruit and vegetables as part of the lunch program. Every day they get an apple, a pear, a banana, or an orange – seems to pretty much just be a rotation of those 4 from what I can tell. But many kids do eat them. I’d hope that this exposure would carry over into home eating habits assuming kids are with their parents when they shop, but I have no way to measure if that is happening. That assumes of course that they shop in places that sell fresh fruit – which gets us back to where we started – make sure it is available.

      So what are ways to encourage convenience stores in small rural places to carry healthy food choices? That is the question (or one of them.)

      1. Silence

        Columbia tried to open a grocery store in a “food desert” on Harden Street. Despite heavy promotion from the city, and a lot of taxpayer dollars that were expended, the “Food Fresh” closed within a year or so. Of course it was only 1.1 miles or 22 minutes walking away from the “Food Lion” on Harden Street, so maybe it wasn’t a food desert after all.
        Fortunately there’s no “beer desert” or “lottery desert” in our urban areas.

  9. Ralph Hightower

    Okay, I’m trying to get a handle on this and understand it.

    Governot Nikki Haley doesn’t want the Federal government telling South Carolina what to do.

    Yet, Governot Haley is quite content with telling the citizens what they will do with Federal money.

    I’m sorry, but I just don’t understand her. Damned Hypocrite!

  10. Kathryn Fenner

    You have to boil dry beans before you can bake them, and you really shouldn’t leave the oven unattended, either, but it is not so bad as the stove.

    I have a very touchy digestive system, and even with Beano, I need to soak overnight, instead of the quick soak method, and it takes more than 2 hours to get tender beans on my stove. Even the quick soak method is three hours start to finish.

  11. Steven Davis II

    Food Stamp Nation: http://news.yahoo.com/food-stamp-nation-090000155.html

    “For the past three years, the Ortizes’ lives had unfolded in a series of exhausting, fractional decisions. Was it better to eat the string cheese now or to save it? To buy milk for $3.80 nearby or for $3.10 across town? Was it better to pay down the $600 they owed the landlord, or the $110 they owed for their cellphones, or the $75 they owed the tattoo parlor, or the $840 they owed the electric company?”

    They can’t afford food, have to worry about how to pay for rent and utilities… but can afford to get tattoos and expensive cell phones. And we’re supposed to feel sorry for these freeloaders for how long?

  12. Mark Stewart


    Did you read Scout’s response to you? If not, do. People are people. Rich or poor, we all try to make the best of life. And we all make shortsighted, myopic decisions about our lives. What’s interesting is who tries to improve given the opportunity and who doesn’t.

    1. Silence

      Some people make more shortsighted myopic decisions than others.
      I saw plenty of food stamp fraud when I was working in retail – Store owners buying stamps for cash for ten cents on the dollar, that type of thing. I don’t blame the recipients for that, although they were abusing the program and breaking the law, I tend to blame the store owners.

      Why can’t we do the SNAP program like WIC, where each week needy recipients get a voucher for very specific food items that are healthy and nutritious? That way we could be assured that recipients are getting at least a certain amount of healthy food. I’ve never heard any complaints about how WIC is run.

    2. Steven Davis II

      @Mark – Sure, but nobody is handing me free money to make my shortsighted, myopic decisions. If I spend foolishly, it comes out of my pocket, not yours. EBT users spending money on things like non-nutritional food, lottery tickets, at ATM machines in liquor stores, etc… doesn’t come out of their pocket it comes out of mine and yours. If they don’t want me to have a say in what they can buy, they’re free to turn in their cash card. Like with the Obamaphone fiasco, I’d love to see tighter regulation on determining eligibility for EBT cards, There are stories of people using them to buy supplies for their restaurants, not their families.

        1. Steven Davis II

          So were you talking about the line drawn between those down on their luck and career welfare recipients?

  13. Joannehig

    Just throwing this out there, but many of my students don’t have power in their homes at all times. One girls used to come into my first block and immediately start charging her laptop… that the school district gave her to use. Then during homeroom she’d start doing her homework.

    Many times the girls go straight to the bathrooms at school when they get in from the school buses to clean up. I have even seen some of the girls setting up their curling irons… because they want to look nice… in the bathrooms. These are teenagers. They want to be like their friends.

    I don’t have all of the answers, but don’t assume that everyone in this state has the same as you do.


    1. Silence

      Joannehig – can you say what district or city you teach in?
      My mom had kids in her school that lived in a chicken coop, and others who couldn’t afford shoes. Of course this was in rural Appalachia 20-30 years ago.

      1. Doug Ross

        There always has been poverty and always will be poverty. There is not solution to poverty because that would require people on both sides of the equation to understand that government can’t fix it.

      2. Mark Stewart


        There are probably at least several kids in every single school in the state who live with intermittent electricity. Doug, is right, too, there is hard core poverty in SC as there is elsewhere. There just happens to be more of it here. It is too bad that these people are so nearly invisible; it enables many to continue to rail against their imagined constructs of what poverty is without ever really understanding how hopeless, dehumanizing and corrosive poverty really is.

  14. Silence

    Mark – I’m not disputing that there are kids in SC who live with intermittent electric service, or who live in some level of poverty. I was just curious.
    It seems like if we are giving laptops and cell phones to people who don’t have electricity in their hosue, or maybe don’t have a house, we have our priorities out of whack. Maybe if we took care of the big stuff, the smaller stuff would take care of itself, or cease to be a problem.

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