Interview by Lillie Powell
I asked Dale Walker of Greensboro why she thought that so many people in this relatively wealthy state have to work so hard just to feed themselves well.
Walker wasn't confused about her answer.
"Our whole economic system is individualistic," she said. There are "limited educational opportunities," and especially "a lack of technical or trade education."
Walker is the associate pastor at Presbyterian Church of the Cross in Greensboro, and directs the church's subsidized degree program for children of low-income working parents, most of whom live near the church. She has also been involved in researching 'welfare reform' in Greensboro along with other public policy and social justice issues.
In her view, parents just "can't afford to put their child in day care." Even Head Start, the pre-school program to help orient very young children toward success in school, cannot help those children who aren't able to go.
For those who do have steady jobs, she said, "corporations pay less" in this "low wage state." Unions might be able to help bring up wages, she said, offering what she saw as one possible way, perhaps the only way, to get companies in North Carolina's "booming" economy to share some of the profit their workers make for them.
|Lillie Powell is a resident of Rocky Mount.|
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