Good enough for Clay County? We aren't second-rate citizens!

January 23, 2024
Mark Hoskins
Enterprise Publisher Mark Hoskins
Enterprise Publisher

I’ve had a lot of comments about my column last week. If you’ve not read it, I would appreciate it if you did. You can access it online at

There’s an old saying about getting on a ‘soap box’ when you have something to say. I was on the soap box last week and I’m still on it.

There is something I hear a lot that really boils my blood.

You may have heard this also- “Well that’s good for Clay County.”

I’ve heard that said about hourly wages, to jobs, to housing and several other things.

Let me real blunt here- just what in the h-e-double hockey sticks does that mean?

Good for Clay County? I take that as an insult. Good for here but not good for somewhere else?

We aren’t second-world citizens. We aren’t beneath or below anyone, anywhere.

If that comment does not insult you, then you have no idea what the connotation that comes with it is.

When that is said to me my reply is, “Is that good for Laurel County?” Every time it’s a stutter, a blank look, shock because they know it’s not acceptable where they live. Yet, it’s good for us second-class holler hicks from Clay County.

I do not think I’m better than anyone. Never have. I was raised poor, just like most people here.

What gives others the right to judge us? Why do they think the way they do?

It goes bigger than that. For instance, cell phone service. It’s 2024 and we don’t have cell service at Manchester Elementary and Clay County High School-both within a mile of city limits.

Way more than 50% of our county does not have cell phone service. That’s just unacceptable.

Same with internet service. It’s terrible all over our county.

Again, unacceptable.

I see so many things that occurs here that is controlled by either a company or some outside source and I immediately think, “they’d not allow that to happen in Laurel County.”

I’m just using Laurel as an example, don’t take offense to that neighbors.

But the truth is, things are allowed to happen here that would never be allowed or accepted in other places that have larger populations and a large household median income average.

Think about this, don’t you agree that companies like AT&T and Verizon could improve cell service here?

Billion-dollar corporations that invest billions of dollars into their infrastructure- but not in what they view as a poor, rural area? Since we are poor and rural, shouldn’t our cell phone bills be cheaper than what people in Lexington pay? I mean they have service everywhere. Since we don’t then why should we pay the same monthly fee?

Same with internet service. We pay the same prices for Windstream and Spectrum that metro areas pay- without the same service.

Does that make sense to you? It doesn’t to me. If anything, these companies are completely taking advantage of the “poor, rural” areas.

In some areas, we have internet service that equates to the old dial-up days in the late 1990’s. Our cell phone service is worse today than it was in the 1990’s when we had bag phones and most used Ramcell for service.

But that’s pretty good for Clay County, right?