The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

March 29, 2013

Your View: Joplin’s welfare

By Dick Thompson
Special to The Globe

PITTSBURG, Kan. — Thanks to the Globe for publishing the Citizens Advisory Recovery Team progress report. Prominent among goals achieved are those benefiting local and out-of-state businesses, and local government. Notable among goals not even implemented are many to support individual citizens, property owners and their quality of life.

I hope the Globe will collect and publish totals of the extraordinary infusions of money and labor poured into Joplin by external agencies, groups and individuals — federal, state, religious and service. Without those hundreds of millions of dollars, and hundreds of thousands of labor hours, Joplin would still be struggling to assess and clean up damage, instead of recovering.

My hope is that such an accounting might — just might — encourage some of our self-righteous, stand-on-my-own-two-feet, rugged individualist, anti-government, welfare-bashing voters to consider that we are in fact interdependent.

I was lucky. My home was undamaged. My former community is recovering, helped greatly by the grace, hard work and dollar resources of others. I recognize and thank them. I suggest Joplin’s leaders publicly and repeatedly do the same, as welfare continues to flow to Joplin. I pray all Four-State Area residents will learn from Joplin’s experience and moderate the extreme political views evidenced by their past collective rhetoric and voting.

It does take a village.

Dick Thompson

Pittsburg, Kan.