Why I’m Leaving the South


The Daily Kos has the post Why I’m Leaving the South. Before I get any questions, let me make it clear that this is not my post, so the “I” in the headline does not refer to “me”, Steve Greenberg. Sharon and I have already decided that we cannot move to Florida, even if the climate is appealing in the winter.

Anyway, back to a quote from the post.

I have a master’s degree in counseling, and I’m particularly good with teenagers. For ten years I had a decent career, although counselors aren’t paid much. Then the economy tanked and social services were cut. I lost my job. Then another job. Nobody was hiring counselors; I got an hourly wage job. Lost my health insurance, lost my car, lost everything. I went into default on my student loans.

Things began to pick up for counselors, but there was a new question on applications: are you in default on your student loans? South Carolina and a few other red states passed a law saying that such persons cannot be hired by any agency receiving state funding, which for me and my degree, is nearly all the jobs here. Getting out of default would be feasible if I had a professional job, but on $8 an hour? No way. As a single person with no family, meager survival is nearly possible on that low of a wage.

I can just imagine the response from the legislators who thought that punishing people for defaulting on their loans would get them to pay up. As we always used to say in the Army when caught doing something stupid and being asked why we did it, usually by a sergeant, “Gee, Sarge, it sounded like a good idea at the time.”

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