In “SNAP work rules could cause spike in deep poverty” (July 9), Robert Doar of the American Enterprise Institute says that work requirements for nutritional assistance could lead to less deep poverty. But the work requirements are about reducing SNAP funding, not reducing poverty.
Are we now satisfied to offer working Americans “less deep poverty?” Not exactly the land of opportunity advertised in my youth.
Many of the 41 million people who are able-bodied adults and who live below the federal poverty level already have jobs, many of them more than one. The real problem is their employers’ refusal to pay workers a living wage, and federal and state governments’ refusal to raise the minimum wage.
So why do politicians and business leaders want a poorly-paid work force? Is it to provide higher profits for stock holders – simple greed? Is it classist prejudice? Is it to provide a poverty draft for our military forces?
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And why do the well-paid and well-fed begrudge them a little nutritional assistance?
Regarding “Protest distractions” (July 5): Trump is not simply enforcing current law as the writer stated. His interpretation to identify all adult illegal immigrants crossing the border as criminals, zero-tolerance, led to mass family separations. Children cannot be detained in detention centers with criminals awaiting court dates.
Trump’s signing of an executive order on June 20 reversing his earlier order stopped the family separation policy, and is proof that Trump knew his order – and not the law – required mass separation of families.
Previous administrations deported gang members and felons, but granted asylum to non-criminals, processing them through civil courts. Families of the non-criminals were not separated from their children.
The immigration system needs urgent reform. Neither Democrats nor Republicans have done the work necessary. Trump is solely responsible for the interpretation that led to the mass separation of families. He blamed everyone but his own policy.
On a recent trip back home, I saw countless signs stating “Stand for Hog Farmers” posted by mailboxes on the highway. Then, when Senate Bill 711 passed, and subsequently when the General Assembly overrode Governor Cooper’s veto, there was fervent rejoicing by many in eastern North Carolina, celebrating the protection of the farmer.
We should all be aware how important hog farming is to our state’s culture and economy. I believe that steps should be taken to ensure that this industry thrives in North Carolina for years to come. However, the recent push against the ongoing nuisance claims is misguided.
First, the narrative that these complaints are directed at individual, family-owned farms is incorrect. The defendants in these cases are the billion-dollar, multinational corporations. Smithfield, Murphy-Brown and, more broadly, the Chinese owner WH, have ceded the safety of our citizens for their profit margins.
But these corporations certainly have the means to reduce the harm that they cause. Even without an overwhelming amount of cash that can be put toward solving these problems, simple solutions such as lagoon covers, such as those implemented at Kenansville Farm in Duplin County, could have a minimizing effect on the damage to local citizens.
In the face of this, the argument becomes about what matters more: the rights of a multi-billion dollar industry or the rights of everyday property owners of North Carolina.
We cannot allow our love and support of the farmer to cause us to overlook the concerns of the vulnerable. I contend that the rights of those that have suffered at the hands of gross corporate negligence should be held in higher esteem than they have been in this debate, and steps must be taken to ensure that the suffering of North Carolinians in the face of a multi-billion dollar industry is minimized.
S. Byron Frazelle