The local crisis ministry here in Thomasville has seen an increase of 450 per month. There are 450 more people in our town of 30,000 that are in need of assistance. The main reason, no work and higher costs.
Globalization has taken over in our little town and jobs have left for China. Thomasville Furniture’s [you’ve probably heard of them] headquarters are here and for years so were all its factories. From what I have been told, ten years ago this town was still bustling with TFI Trucks (Thomasville Furniture Inc.) coming in and heading out. We use to have a movie theater, bowling ally and a thriving downtown Main St. Now since Thomasville has found it cheaper for China to make the furniture and ship it to us, ALL the factories are closed and Thomasville, the town, is hurting. The industry that built this town has let them down because profit is more important than people.
You add on top of that the fact that gas has hit a record high and food prices are on the rise you have beaten up and broken. They get paid $7 an hour to do jobs that do not offer insurance or retirement packages. If they work an 8 hour shift this is what where their day goes: 1 hour goes to the gas it took to get to work and back that day, 1 an hour goes to a gallon and 1/2 of milk, 2 hours goes to put diapers on the baby, 1 hour goes to the government for taxes, FICA, Social Security and the rest, 1 hour goes to by a loaf of bread and some peanut butter to eat, and what is left over goes to pay rent, and pay bills.
How can people live like this? I ask myself all the time as I drive through my new town. As I hear what the retired people in my congregation did for this town, the hours they worked, and the pride they took in their work and town, it saddens me to see how that was returned to the next generation. The people of Thomasville love this town and it is growing on me. It is a shame that big business, greed, globalization and the bottom line have taken over and left them high and dry.