The Socialist Capital Of Missouri: Joplin

As I have mentioned before, the EF-5 tornado that blew through Joplin on May 22, killing 160 people and destroying or damaging more than 7000 homes and businesses, also seems to have destroyed or damaged the anti-government sentiments of a lot of folks around here. 

At least until it’s time to elect more anti-government politicians to office.

In the wake of the deadly storm has come a tsunami of socialism to this notoriously fed-up-with-gubmint part of the country.

Consider just the last two days of reporting in the Joplin Globe.  On Friday, the above-the-fold news was:

In that article we learn:

JOPLIN, Mo. — Gov. Jay Nixon at a news conference Thursday afternoon announced state funding of up to $1.5 million for the Joplin School District to offset a projected drop in property tax revenue as a result of the damage wreaked by the May 22 tornado.


Without the state funding, state and local officials said, the district would have had to contemplate raising the local operating and debt-service levies to meet financial needs for fiscal year 2012.

Think about that, all you anti-government types in Joplin.  In order to keep from raising local property taxes, our school district needs the help of other Missourians.  That’s called democratic socialism, my friends.

Or consider Saturday’s Joplin Globe:

In the first story we learn:

JOPLIN, Mo. — Joplin’s city administration will ask the City Council at its meeting Monday night to allow the city to make application to the Federal Emergency Management Agency for individual storm shelter funding.

Assistant City Manager Sam Anselm said that if the council authorized submission of the application and it was eventually approved, residents could build storm shelters or safe rooms and be reimbursed for 75 percent of the cost.

In the second story we learn how eager some other area communities are in getting in on the federal program that would help with storm shelter funding.

Now, you can call this stuff anything you want, but when other Americans are helping Joplinites purchase and install storm shelters, I call it democratic socialism.

Finally, Saturday’s Globe also brought us this headline:

Contracts total $31 million for temporary schools

FEMA to pick up most of the cost.

In that story we find out many details about to whom this particular FEMA money—courtesy of democratic socialism in America—will go.  The money, only part of what FEMA has done for Joplin, is designated for contracts to establish temporary schools to replace those that were destroyed in the tornado. 

Here is a partial list of some of the local direct monetary beneficiaries of democratic socialism around the area:

Crossland Construction of Columbus, Ks.: $9,456,774

R.E. Smith Construction of Joplin: $5,786,104

Intelligent Investments of Neosho: $2,485,498

KIR Joplin, which owns the space in Northpark Mall that will house half of Joplin High School: $1,000,000 per year

Northpark Mall‘s management company: $134,250 per year

Joplin Business and Industrial Corporation for leasing space for East Middle School students: $432,000 per year

Bentley Investments, owned by Joplin resident Gary Hall: $420,000 per year

Joplin Memorial Hall, owned by the city: $400,000 per year

There you have it.  Socialism is alive and well in our fair city, but few dare call it that. 


  1. Jim Hight

     /  August 13, 2011

    Add to that Medicare, Social Security, Medicaid, pensions of all kinds, and governmental-sponsored mortgages, and this area is a true example of socialism. The above was also present prior to the tornado. For many, it would be difficult to survive without the socialism that helps the local economy.


    • Jim,

      You got that right. You forgot the school lunch program, too. I believe in some areas, more than half of the student population partake of free or reduced lunches.

      Look, I understand why some folks don’t trust the government. It’s sort of in our national DNA. But such folks like the ones I have seen at the three Tea Party rallies I have attended in Joplin—many of them on Social Security and Medicare—should at least be honest about their hypocrisy. Then maybe we can begin to reason with them about public policy.



  2. Angelfire

     /  August 13, 2011

    I’m so sick of hearing about Joplin I could puke. I’m sorry people died but enough is enough. THAT area deserved EXACTLY what they voted for — nothing.

    No one helped Springfield, Nixa, Battlefield etc when the tornado’s wiped out whole neighborhoods.

    To hell with them — plain and simple, they’ll vote for Billy Long, Peter lap-dance Kinder, Roy Blunt etc again and be proud of it. And what in the hell does Nixon think he’s doing—buying votes? We don’t have money to rebuild Joplin or their schools. Let ’em reach down in their pockets and pull out money to pay their own way — isn’t that the Tea Party motto? Forget it Jay, they wouldn’t vote for you if you gave them $1000 bills.

    Arrr….it makes me soooo mad!!!

    Can you tell 😉 ?


  3. KCChieffan

     /  August 13, 2011

    You are right, Angelfire, in spite of everything that the state and federal government does for Joplin, both with Democratic executives, the good tea partiers of Joplin will look for elephants or Rs in the next election and vote that way. I can’t understand it at all–people voting against their own benefit. Even though i do not agree with them, and perhaps the teabaggers deserved to be told that the government could not afford to help them as Billy Long and Roy Blunt advocate, I do have problems seeing anyone lose everything and suffer. Yes, I am a bleeding heart liberal, advocating help to the people who deserve it less, but they are still people in need.


  4. ansonburlingame

     /  August 14, 2011


    I my view, which doesn’t count for much in this blog, the issue is NOT how MUCH money Joplin receives from others, it is where that money eventually comes from, meaning borrowed money or “real” money.

    A private email is on it’s way to you and jim regarding my research on where the State money ultimately comes from. Short answer it comes right out of the pockets of ALL state (of MO) taxpayers. It is NOT borrowed money in any way.

    So Anglefire is correct in that Joplin is taking money away from other areas of the state by accepting the state financial assistance now being provided. Who know for sure where the federal govenment money is ultimately coming from. And you know my old arguments of where it SHOULD be coming from.

    The BIG distinguishing factor in Joplin today is NOT how MUCH money we receive from outside Joplin it is how we USE the money provided right now. THERE is where you should focus in my view.

    As the recent FEMA senior official has noted Joplin is now a case study on how to USE scare funds to rebuild. My God, just look at deris removal. Compare our two months of such removal to New Orleans post Katrina as an example. NO comparison between the two in who is BEST using the resources available.

    So why not focus on the good things in Joplin rather than trying to call us socialists, for Christ’s sake.


    • Anson,

      My focus is on the politics because this is a political blog. Joplinites will ultimately decide how they use the money, of course, but I am more interested in the dynamics of the situation in which folks who vote for low-revenue, small-government suddenly find themselves in need of financial assistance from other Missourians and other Americans—many of those Missourians and Americans being liberal Democrats who believe in government as a source of help.

      You seem to always want to deflect the conversation away from the philosophical. But it’s philosophy that is driving the debate today, not just in Missouri, but in Washington. And since this blog is dedicated to commenting on conservative philosophy, it is only proper that I comment on local conservative philosophy—as expressed by local politicians and voters—and the scrambling for post-tragedy money.

      And by the way, I tried to tell you that the money Nixon was allocating was not borrowed, which you originally contended, but was money previously set aside. Remember?

      Finally, we are all democratic socialists, Anson. Even—especially—me and you.



  5. “So why not focus on the good things in Joplin rather than trying to call us socialists, for Christ’s sake.”

    I would submit the idea that Christ would be in favor of socialism!…..for Christ’s sake.


  6. Tracy,




  7. ansonburlingame

     /  August 15, 2011

    No Sekan,

    Christ would stay out of “Caesar’s realm” and stick to individual spiritual matters, like how to deal with adversity yourself or treat others when adversity strikes them. He would never tell Caesar what to do other than within Caesar’s own “soul”.

    And NO, Duane, “we” are not all democratic socialists. Actually we are not even democratic to the full degree. Thus far and for 235 years we have been “republicans” meaning representative government, not straight rule by the majority of all the governed.

    And socialist, no way either. Yes most of us want to help when it is possible. But many reject government force used to “help” selected “slices” of Americans when it degrades the conditions of those providing the help.

    And again, Sekan, it is that “private” help to which Christ speaks, not the role of government.

    Now would Christ drive an SUV? My guess is he would say “a what?”



  8. Stephen Ernest Smith

     /  November 2, 2011

    Yes, this a socialistic effort to help the people of Joplin and, although the assistance may not be meted out perfectly, the help from FEMA and the SBA goes to the people who need help after a natural disaster. This is the JOB GOVERNMENT SHOULD BE DOING! It makes a lot more sense than creating a cooked-up war in Iraq or paying off Wall Street billionaires. So if the help to Joplin is Socialism, that’s fine with me.


  9. keith

     /  November 18, 2011

    I live in Joplin and nobody in Joplin asked for a handout. First, the tornado went straight through the middle of our f***ing town and demolished 1/5 of standing structures. I knew 5 people who got their houses demolished (and I don’t know that many people). We all salvaged what we could from inside the homes and then we bull dozed the f***ing things to the ground. We collected house insurance payments and went about life like normal, except with a big f***ing empty field going through the center of our town. The only thing we got for free was a shit load of bottles of water.

    [comment edited–***–by TEC]


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