By Ben Cohen
A poignant letter written to 'The State' on South Carolina's inability to reform:
The times change, but S.C. doesn’t
According to Walter Edgar’s South Carolina: A History, during World War
II, when recruitment was pushed and the draft became law: “more than
one-half of eligible black males and one-third of white males were
declared unfit due to illiteracy or poor health. These rejection rates
were among the highest in the nation and an indication of the poverty
in which the majority of all Carolinians lived.”
More than 60 years later, we still cannot get a tax to discourage the
use of tobacco, which we know kills thousands every year. We should
have the 50-cent tax and use it to improve the level of health in the
Our education level is one of the lowest in the nation, and it has
received national publicity. It was federal law that made integration
possible. Had it not been for the federal government, our schools would
probably still be segregated.
With the stimulus money, the federal government stepped in to try to
shore up our financial situation, and the governor rejected it, only to
be over-ruled by the S.C. Supreme Court. And why is it that so many
other states realize that payday lenders prey on low-income citizens
because of their lack of education, which results in low-paying jobs
that result in a hand-to-mouth existence and the inability to break the
cycle of poverty and raise their standard of living, while our state
just muddles along with the status quo?
When will our politicians move into the 21st century? Why can’t we move ahead for once and be a leader for constructive change?
The governor is worried about debt in the future and rightfully so
because in the present situation, I see nothing improving, and I get
the feeling no one cares. It’s really too bad.
photo by mrwaterslide