“Valley Latinos stuck in poverty.” That was the headline in the June 10th Madera Tribune. It was an AP story, not a local one.
Story starts out with a 33-year-old mother of seven. Farm worker, drifts into Valley ag wealth, then goes into dwindling white population. I really learned nothing from this story and figured it was a “filler.” Kind of like, “47 killed in roadside bomb in Iraq.” Who cares?
This 33-year-old farm worker, mother of seven, in herself could be a story. Not mentioned was the father. Is there a resident father? Abandoned? No child support? Shown was the mother and one child. Well fed and clothed. Is there real poverty here? With seven U.S. born children, she has support. Let’s be real here. She will have subsidized housing, power bill, telephone, medical, food and what ever else she needs. Plus all the additional handouts from churches and other 501c organizations.
If I were a farm worker with no other income, I wouldn’t be having seven children. I made good money and stopped at two. Story was written by a Gosia Wozniacka. Valley native? Probably not. I would like to see a follow up, a “real story” on Valley poverty. If real, it’s self inflicted.
How much farm work can a pregnant woman do? Probably not much time in the fields the last 10 years. With this, we should look at the additional cash income of farm workers. Yard work, house cleaning and construction. If the government would allow tax deductions for such work with a 1099 we may find out what they really earn.
Copy editor’s note: The mother featured in the AP article works seasonally in the fields, rents a room and sells food and beauty products door-to-door. The only government aid she receives are food stamps.