Monday, June 21, 2010

A census pondering...

A bitch filled out my home’s census form when it came in the mail because it matters…big time.  Missouri faces the very real possibility of losing a Congressional seat if the census shows that our state population no longer warrants that representation.

Lose a Congressional seat and you lose political power.

The entire situation has a bitch pondering population in Missouri.

When I first moved back home to Missouri I met up with some classmates from high school who had started an organization that sought to address the fact that many women of color leave Missouri in search of better opportunities.  Lots of us chose to move to cities with less racial segregation and better job opportunities…cities and communities that are more inclusive and less rigidly conservative. That situation is not limited to women of color...lots of folks grow up in Missouri and then leave.  And there are a lot of reasons why a person leaves their home state…employment opportunities, societal pressures fueled by Missouri’s conservative shift, education opportunities for children or just a wish to see if the grass is greener.

The problem comes when the reasons folks leave Missouri are also the reasons why folks and/or businesses don’t move here.

Beyond the real threat of losing a seat in Congress, Missouri faces a budget crunch that is somewhat related to our population…fewer people means fewer people to tax and Lawd knows no one wants to raise taxes on the folks who stay, so we’re stuck in a vicious cycle of slash and cut that results in fewer services which impact communities and make them less attractive for folks who may have considered moving here.

Pause…sip coffee…continue.

Now I know and you know that I know and you know that some of our census problems come from people not filling out the forms.

Based on this article it seems that southern Missouri is posting some of the lowest returns…and that failure to stand up and be counted may rest in the regions anti-government sentiment.

If that shit holds, those anti-government Missourians will get their fondest wish…

…smaller government by way of one less seat in Congress.

Mayhap this is part of their Missouri sovereignty master plan?



Anonymous said...

My home town has a similar problem (Pittsburgh)...people leaving the city, so that there are less people to tax, needing to raise taxes to build better facilities to entice people to seems like a never ending cycle.

Mark said...

Hmm.. interesting blog Shark-fu. Wisconsin faces a similar problem to Missouri, I think. It is pretty much a rural, backwater state, as much as it pains me to say so. Despite a few big cities (Milwaukee, Madison) the opportunities for high-paying work just aren't there. The young people have known this for years and so they leave for Chicago or the Twin Cities. It's a problem. My own dad is an example of it. He was born and raised in Wisconsin but went away for his education and never went back there to live. I was born and raised in Chicago, but I feel a pull towards Wisconsin. I went for my undergrad in Wisconsin and will for my graduate work too. My family is there, my roots are there. There is nothing like one's home place, no matter what they say. I will probably end up working in Chicago or the Twin Cities too. Bah, as long as I am working anywhere I will be grateful, in this economy, but I would rather stay here, where the land is lovely and the people are polite.

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