Thursday, August 4, 2011

Government solutions in search of a problem.


Study: Healthy eating is privilege of the rich, Donna Gordon Blankenship, AP via Chron.com

A healthy diet is expensive and could make it difficult for Americans to meet new U.S. nutritional guidelines, according to a study published Thursday that says the government should do more to help consumers eat healthier.
Of course it does. Because that's the manufactured "solution" to every perceived "problem" out there: A big, expensive, government program that takes money from those that have, and gives it to those that have not.

I would suggest the "solution" is not as complicated (or expensive) as our Statist experts would have us believe.

- Square foot gardening: Teach people, yes even people in apartments, that cultivating a small garden is doable. Yes, it takes work, and work is something that the Statists feel people are not willing to do. But it only costs pennies for a few seeds, possibly a few dollars for a seedling. The ROI on these, if properly tended, is exponential. It's also a good way to teach kids responsibility and install a work ethic, something the Statists understand would put an end to their desired way of life.

- Remove subsidies: The reason it's "more expensive" to eat healthier is because we've let the Government subsidize our food supply thus ridding it of diversity. In reality, the costs that are seen for healthy foods are closer to a real cost than the incredibly low costs for "unhealthy" foods. Simple supply and demand dictates that, as it becomes less profitable for big companies to continue growing wheat, corn and soy, our agriculture will rediscover other grains etc. Because there is more supply, the price on these "ingredients for the wealthy" will eventually moderate.

- Rein in what people on assistance can buy: Don't want people eating unhealthy? Restrict the food options on programs like the Lone Star Card. Fresh fruits, vegetables, dairy and meat. (not processed meat) That should about do it. If someone wants to eat a chocolate bar there's nothing that says they can't do it, just not on the government dime.

- True cost: Used to be a sign of being wealthy was to be plump. That's because the rich could afford food and the poor cannot. In today's society being fat and sloppy are signs of being poor, while the wealthy are bronzed and fit. That's because the poor are now eating TOO MUCH unhealthy food. Perhaps being forced to purchase less healthy food would be a good prescription? Sadly, that did not fit the pre-determined conclusion of this survey.

- What are we really doing here: It seems as though the Statists behind this survey don't have a clear grasp of what food assistance is designed to do. Programs such as welfare, WIC and the Lone Star Card (yes, I know, they are one and the same, but there are slight distinctions) are designed to be safety nets to prevent people from having no food at all. The choice is between starving and having some food to put on a plate. We're trying to act as if those on welfare need to decide whether or not to purchase their Champagne with or without a peacock splashing around. That latter line of thinking is where fiscal ruin lies.

- The bigger picture: Of course, I'm referring to the job market. People with jobs will make more money than people on welfare assistance, and they'll take more pride in the money earned. The secret to "closing the food gap" is to not try and close it at all. More importantly the secret is to create jobs and get unemployment down. Once you do that there will still be a food gap (there always is) but it will be far less critical.


And the solution will not require a big, expensive government program either.

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