Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Republican vs. Social Service

Click on image for interactive map from the New York Times to see food stamp rates.

Wyoming is a traditionally Republican state, no surprise there. However, here in Sheridan, that does not bear on social services. There are over 150 registered nonprofits in this town of 15,000 people.

The beliefs that the government should stay out of the way and that a community should take care of itself, including the impoverished among them, are not mutually exclusive.

In some ways, it makes so much sense. By cutting government programs out of the picture, taxes aren't as high (theoretically, as there is no Wyoming state income tax anyway) and so people who need those programs aren't being charged for them. Social service programs are supported by private donations, foundations and grants, many of which are local and therefore can address issues that pertain specifically to that community.

I've just never seen it actually work that way before.

But in this small community without many people moving in or out, it does seem to.

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