6/14/2012 7:35 PM ET|
America's own Third World
Tammie Shifflett of Glouster, Ohio
● Population: 1,791 (2010)
● Poverty rate, households with related children: 37.6% (2006-10 census estimate)
● Unemployment rate: 16.9% (2006-10 census estimate)
In 1966, when Tammie Shifflett was born in this sleepy village in southeastern Ohio's Athens County, most of the coal mines that had drawn her grandparents to Glouster had already closed.
As in so many other Appalachian towns, the demise of the salt and coal industries -- which had been the lifeblood of places like Glouster in the first half of the 20th century -- has left a stagnant economy that has resonated across generations.
Today, employment opportunities in such towns are limited by industry, geography and education. "You gotta have more than a high school education to get a job (that's) more than McDonald's," Shifflett says. "If you're looking for a job, you gotta get outta here."
Shifflett, however, has deep roots in the Glouster community. "All my friends, all my family, they are all here," she says.
It's a hardscrabble life for Shifflett. She ekes out a living working as a part-time home health aide. The work allows her to pay her mortgage while supporting her disabled husband, Terry, and helping her 18-year-old daughter, Jameska, who is a recent single mother. Food stamps and disability payments for Terry help, but Tammie Shifflett frequently finds herself borrowing money from her parents to make ends meet.
Glouster has struggled mightily in recent decades. Its population shrank 10% between 2000 and 2010. As of the 2010 census, this small rural town was contending with a 16.9% unemployment rate, and poverty was rampant.
More than 37% of Glouster households with kids in 2010 were living below the poverty level, which was defined that year as a family of four earning less than $22,113 annually.
Though Glouster's economy has shown no signs of brightening recently, the town itself is looking a little less shabby thanks to one man's painting crusade. According to a recent CBS News report, a widower named Jim Cotter has embarked on a project to paint the entire town. "It's just amazing what a little bit of paint will do," Cotter told CBS. "It changes people's hearts."
-- Andrea Morales
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Daniel Robertson, 33, and 29-year-old Marlana Robertson were born and raised in Hattiesburg, Miss., and have known poverty all of their lives.
WHY DID THEY HAVE 8 KIDS?
I am sorry, if you have been poor all your life, and you have 8 kids, I no longer feel bad for you. You are not very bright! I am almost wondering the statistics on this, because I think the lower class is growing simply because they are out reproducing any other class. This is by no way science, but you see it in all communities, it doesn't matter race, black, hispanic, white, if they have more than 5 kids, 9 times out of 10 they are dirt poor.
I think greatter access to birthcontrol and sexual education might help put a dent in this madness!
Knew about his MS at age 15, can't work, but went ahead and had 8 children. When you can't afford to keep yourself, you need to keep it in your pants! And, how many of those kids did he pass that MS on to?
It's funny how Americans will give aid in the BILLIONS to other countries and we won't even give a single poor woman in the ghetto a toaster.
We'll step over the homeless right here at home, but give MILLIONS to the poor abroad.
The hollywood movie stars will step over a child that need adopting at home, but go to Africa and adopt a baby there.
Aren't we great people.
I don't know any of these peoples' situations personally, except what little details they have given us, but most of them seem to have brought poverty upon themselves. Having 8 kids when you know you are going to be disabled your entire life is ridiculous! As is staying where your "friends and family" are, in a town of only a couple hundred or thousand, when you know damn well that there are no jobs there! With the exception of the sick, homeless man, who actually travels to find work, the rest of these people are just making excuses. And I say this as a liberal. I am sick of the excuses made in this country for not having to support yourself.
I know times are tough, but eventually we are going to have to cut people off. We can't support everyone all the time, especially people who refuse to make sacrifices (like relocating or having less children) to better their life.
Hmmm... people single parenting... a married couple where neither works and they have EIGHT kids... people who refuse to leave their hometowns to seek work... golly, wonder why they're having trouble getting by, poor abused folks...
Rudolf, at least the illegal aliens you speak of are willing to pursue a better life... rather than sit back and expect it to come to them.
I understand there are people who cannot work for medical reasons, and they should not be left to starve, but neither should they be eating much steak... and there are those who would work, but their industry is suffering right now, same deal as above... but recognize that "from each according to ability, to each according to need" is the DEFINITION of socialism. "From each according they have more, to each because they feel entitled," that's just STUPIDism.
The homeless man in Atlantic City is at least making an effort... but there was probably a reason his sister's landlord said he couldn't stay at the house anymore...
What a sad comment on the state of affairs in what used to be the greatest country in the world.
Just look at us now...despised by the rest of the world for our foreign policies.
Basically broke! Actually even worse than that. Our entire government operates on borrowed money that we have no way of knowing how we will ever pay it back.
Millions without health insurance and many that have it, going broke trying to pay for it.
Unemployment that is at an all time high and the number in this article doesn't count all the people that have given up finding a job or used up their unemployment benefits.
The Middle Class is now the working poor.
Greed so rampant in our businesses it's just sickening!
A political system that's corrupt, ineffective and so wasteful it makes you want to puke.
And don't tell me to leave if I don't like it, because I spent my entire life working to make this country a better place and a better life for my family and I'm staying right here to voice my disgust for the way it's been destroyed. After all, isn't that what the thousands of soldiers that have died all over the planet were fighting for...our freedoms?
Yet we still have famous hollywood actors begging for our $$'s on tv commercial's to send overseas. Whatever happened to taking care of our own first?! Wow what a concept.
Want to get "the poor" working. Insist that to get their unemployment they have to show up each day witout fail at the unemployment office where they are formed into work gamgs and sent throughthe city with brooms, mobs, bags, pick up th gargage, scrape off the graffitti, an dsweep and mop the streets. Six hours a day 6 days a week. In the winter they get snow-shovels and brooms to clean up the snow. Work prgrams planting flowers in parks and beautifying the country.
In four weeks you'll cut the unemployed poor in half. Make sure the orders are only given in Englsih and you'll find out amazing that most illegals have learned English in record time.
Disciplinary problems simply lose their check. Extreme disciplinary problems lose their check forever and are sent to a re-education camp. Someplace like Magadan or Chelyabinsk.
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