Starve Them If They Can’t Earn a Buck
So with all the chatter about the clitoral stimulation package. Um. Hang on ……I’m looking at the wrong notes, I mean the economic stimulus package……with all the chatter about that mess, I found this segment of the discussion to be a real knee-slapper.
Apparently, Megan McArdle, a paid writer for The Atlantic, wrote a piece that illustrates that she doesn’t understand a fucking thing about the cost of groceries and she doesn’t understand a fucking thing about being fat.
As I was scrolling through my RSS feeds, I found this post by ZuZu which highlights the nincompoopery of McArdle. When I read it, I couldn’t believe that someone with half a brain (perhaps I’m giving McArdle too much credit?) could write such uninformed hogwash. Here’s a sample:
1) The poor don’t need more food. Obesity is a problem for the poor in America; except for people who are too screwed up to get food stamps (because they don’t have an address), food insufficiency is not.
2) Food stamps only imperfectly translate into increased cash income, meaning that the poor will spend . . . more money on food…
5) The economy doesn’t need a food sector more distorted by daft government programs than it already is. If you want to give money to the poor, give it to them. Even if they spend it all on drugs, it will hardly be much worse than spending it all on increasing their already astronomical obesity rates.
Here’s a great response, written by Jill at Feministe, to McArdle’s boneheaded Atlantic piece.
I’m with Becks; if you really think that poor people are fat simply because they make bad food choices, I’d suggest you take this challenge. See how well you can eat a healthy, well-balanced diet on a food stamp budget — that’s about $3 a day, by the way.
Cutting off money for food isn’t going to help low-income people eat better, and government-sponsored starvation is not the antidote to obesity. I know this is going to sound totally crazy, but if you give people access to fresh, healthy food they can actually afford, they’ll buy fresh, healthy food. If you give them $3 a day, they’ll buy ramen and frozen fish sticks. Read the rest…..
Jill makes the point that when you have very limited resources, you have very limited options. That’s true for almost anything. Anyone who’s actually gone to a grocery store lately understands that everything costs more now. Most of us would be better off to eat fewer processed foods, but when you’ve got a couple of kids to feed and you have very little money with which to buy food, you’re going to buy what know your kids are going to eat, what’s going to stretch the furthest and what’s going to be the most filling.
The government programs are definitely imperfect. There are improvements that can be made. I suppose the WIC program might have been developed as much to subsidize farmers as it was to provide women, infants and children with food. But to make assertions that starving the poor is going to do them a world of wonder on the weightloss front or to provide them with cold cash with which to purchase drugs? Well, not unless you’re planning on making drugs legal and safety regulated.
We’re a nation that’s coming unglued and therefore people are more apt to look at their fellow citizens as the enemy. As the resources are more tightly squeezed and there’s more concentration of wealth at the very tippy top of the economic ladder, we’re turning ugly on ourselves. Whites will blame blacks, blacks will blame latinos, skinnies will blame fatties, jocks will blame brains, rednecks will blame everybody and the rich will blame the poor for not being happy with the dregs.
Don’t let them eat cake on Mondays and Fridays, says someone like McArdle. Let them shoot heroin on Tuesdays and Thursdays! Let them work at McDonalds on Wednesday and Saturday! And send them to church on Sunday.
Whatever you do…..send them to church on Sunday.