Are We Next: Residents Fear Furloughs Could Be Death of Small South Carolina Town

Are We Next: Residents Fear Furloughs Could Be Death of Small South Carolina Town (Image 1)

Set among shuttered store fronts is the Jackson, South Carolina Post Office.  It can be one of the cheapest places in town–after all a stamp costs 46 cents–but they're already feeling the effects of SRS furloughs.

“When you've got people working five days a week, four days a week, cut back to three, that's a lot less traffic coming in here,” says Postmaster Nancy Goff.

The postmaster loves Jackson–she grew up here.

“Most everybody knows everybody and you have that tight community,” she says.

But it could be growing a little too tight.

“What would draw a new business to town if our population is going down,” she asks.  “There's no incentive for people to come here to start any business.”

The businesses that are already here are shutting their doors for good, or for at least some of the time.

“Our First Citizens bank is now closed three afternoons a week, so you have to hit them in the morning or you can forget your bank,” she says.

When I asked her where to go to grab a bite, there weren't a lot of options.  Wendy Lott works at Pizza Stop.

“It's almost like a ghost town now, it's surreal,” Lott says.

She says when workers come in:

“We see the worry on their faces when they come in, they're like, 'I hope I don't lose my job, I hope i'm not next,'” she says.

She loves her job and hopes she's not next–with reduced hours, she's not taking home a lot as it is.

“Making 62 dollars a week, it goes to gas, there's nothing to take home,” she says.

Nothing, except stress.

“All you can do is stay awake at night going, what's going to happen to us,” she says.

She's seen it happen before:

“It's probably just going to end up dead like Graniteville did when the mills closed, it's a ghost town,” she explains.

And she says she has a message for politicians who want to point fingers–she says towns like Jackson don't want to hear about he said she said; they want to hear about jobs.

“I could care less about them and what the big whigs do on the hill,” she says. “I just huddle around the TV and think tell me about work.  That's all I want to know. They can talk until they're blue in the face, but what matters is what's my job if I can get one can I even keep one.”

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