Last week, the Mississippi House of Representatives Select Committee on Poverty conducted a public hearing in Laurel to discuss issues of poverty in Mississippi. Several of our local representatives attended the event, which was successfully spearheaded by State Rep. Omeria Scott. As a part of the hearing, an informative presentation on poverty was shared by representatives from Mississippi’s Institutions of Higher Learning. It was an important hearing to attend, and I was honored to have been invited.
After some initial presentations, an opportunity was allowed to ask questions and make comments. The group discussion quickly revolved around government assistance in combating poverty. Instead of searching for solutions of a personal or local nature, some among the crowd, which consisted of hardworking people, focused only on the responsibility of government. To be honest, it broke my heart, because government has already demonstrated that it cannot adequately satisfy their concerns.
To a few in our society, it has sadly become a generational habit to expect government to owe the benefits it confers, but impoverished Mississippians deserve more than false hopes provided by government programs and the false promises of government salvation. We have allowed government to wage its ineffective war on poverty for 44 years; now it is time for a different approach.
Sen Chris McDaniel