Monday, January 20, 2014

SALON Explains Food Stamps to Paul Ryan

What I learned from a week on food stamps: Paul Ryan couldn’t be any more wrong -

The entire "SNAP / Food Stamp" discussion is a great example of differing world views and people talking past each other. The MSM is of course extremely clear on the Republican view; "heartless, cruel, war on the POOR, blaming the poor, etc, etc ...." It often reminds me of the evil Tim Pawlenty being accused by Mike Hatch, and effectively by MPR commentators of wanting to "release the worst psychopathic sex offenders to save money".

That particular quote showed up on MPR a number of times, and each time it was uttered, one wondered what the person uttering it had between their ears. Really? Had there been a policy meeting in the Pawlenty office that went something like:

(Staffie A) "Hey, we have to save some money, let's release some sex offenders!"

(Sr Staff) "Great thought, but it seems a little weak as a news item ..."

(Staffie B)"Oh, wait, how about THE WORST sex offenders?"

(Sr Staff) "SUPER, I think you are REALLY on to something here, but let's hone it some more ..."

Eventually, the Pawlenty team apparently arrives at the ultimate idea, "Let's release the WORST psychopathic sex offenders to save money!!!"

So how does such an astute group of folks like those at MPR just repeat that back verbatim as being official policy from the Pawlenty administration without at least SOME little bell going off in their heads?

We ARE our biases!!! Unless we work VERY hard to THINK!

The current Republicans, SNAP and the media view are quite similar. Obviously Democrats including BO have signed off on everything to do with SNAP cuts -- BO has the vaunted veto pen, and the Senate is in the hands of Harry Reid, both willing to shut the government down rather than NEGOTIATE on  delaying BOcare at all ... and we now KNOW what a WINNER BOcare is!

So they have been willing to negotiate on SNAP, which means that it must not be nearly as good as BOcare for starters (or at least not be projected to buy votes as well). Yet, we see column after column assuming (apparently correctly) that the American public believes something to the effect that Republicans have some sort of a Hitleran Concentration Camp fetish, or USSR Starving Gulag wish relative to "the poor".

For starters there is the small (and hard to find) matter of CUTTING THE RATE of GROWTH, vs CUTS! only in the whacked out place called Washington, can a program like food stamps DOUBLE in size, and be projected to GROW at 20% a year for TEN YEARS, and someone that comes in an talks about "cutting" (reducing the rate of growth) on a program that would cost $760B, so it "only" might cost $730B!).

But after YEARS of trying to explain to lefties the difference between "cutting the rate of growth" and a CUT,  I DO understand that when the choice is between "human beings" and "numbers", lefties simply care not for numbers ... so I'll focus on the "human interest".  If I expect a 10% raise next year and only got a 5% raise, my salary was CUT! It is just too hard for the left to see it any other way!

Here are some revelations that crept up on the intrepid Salon reporter as he tried to live on SNAP:
  1. Some people look down on taking them as "welfare". Ah yes, for some of the young, life's little embarrassments are rather harsh. Wait until after age 50 when you can go through hours on the porcelain throne preparing to have many FEET of tube inserted in through the out door in the interest of not dying of cancer. Yes, even death is less than optimum, but so far, not even the supposedly godlike BO has proposed a law against it -- no doubt one which would also be blocked by evil Republicans!
  2. Food Stamps don't cover lattes or even take out. Oh, the horror!

    "At first, $41 seemed like a lot of money for a week’s worth of food, but this was $41, full stop — not $41 (unless I’m running late for work and need to stop by a coffee shop for a muffin) and not $41 (and then ordering from Seamless because the temperature has dropped and I wanted to cozy up with some hot soup). This was $41 to pay for three meals a day for seven days. This was going to require some planning."
  3. Oh, the "planning", and the work of prep! Having to reduce meat and cut out "organic" ...

    "Trying to stretch my meager food budget, I found that while some healthy items were expensive — anything organic or gluten free jumped in price, and meat prices are very high — fruits, veggies and oatmeal were far less expensive than frozen meals or cereal. The most difficult part was preparing and portioning out my meals."
  4.  "Time was an unexpected source of frustration. I was late to class because I mistimed how long it would take to cook and clean up after a stir-fried lunch. When running behind schedule on a Thursday night, I resorted to a meal of cold, leftover brown rice and carrot sticks. Hardly nutritional, or filling."

     Dear me ... it takes time to cook! Perhaps the only human activity for which this is the case. No doubt it takes no time to GROW the food too -- if one was forced to think "holistically" !
We were once a nation founded by hardy souls that got on SMALL boats and migrated to a new land, taking MONTHS to arrive, with NO HOPE of assistance should they run into difficulty. Many of them were even aware they could not just "pick up a muffin", or "order Seamless" in the new land.

Even just 100 years ago, there were plenty of people in rural areas that had no power, no running water, no even "relatively instant" communications, and not only no "food stamps", but they also had to put up with the minor inconvenience of GROWING and preserving their food rather than just finding the time to cook it and clean up after! 

We are no longer that nation, and clearly a whole bunch of us believe that our sustenance ought to be delivered like mothers milk, with no effort at all on our part -- although no doubt even in mothers milk, this generation would demand more flavors and the assurance of "100% organic"! 

The very idea that someone might have to shop, prepare, plan, cook and manage storage and such ON THEIR OWN! Is beyond the ken of people like this author. 

So how DO we communicate with each other? Are the Chinese going to be willing to cover the tab so many of us don't have to bother to shop, cook, clean, plan, etc? One wonders how this poor reporter imagines that the foodstuffs show up at his local market or "Seamless"? He must view the sorts of people that deal with the much greater difficulties of working the ground, planting, tending, reaping, processing, etc as some sort of an alien race. (no doubt a race of aliens he is far superior to) 

Can we possibly be a self-governing people when some write columns like this and think they are conveying useful information, and some farm thousands of acres raising the food so that someone that has extreme difficulty in just cutting it up and preparing it can complain that it's too hard / complicated / time consuming / etc? How DO we talk to each other?

So the policies of BO have created the worst economic recovery since the Depression, and the ONLY idea of the Statists is to double down on more of the same policies, including INCREASING the minimum wage, which will reduce the number of available low paying jobs, and to INCREASE the ease of the safety net, rather than putting SOME limit on how fast it grows!! 

It is HEARTLESS to look at numbers, realize the difference between slowing rate of growth and "cuts", and it is HEARTLESS even if Democrats sign off on it! They bear no responsibility for that, because they ought not have to "negotiate" at all. There IS NO REALITY ... reality and Republicans should just shut up and die!

'via Blog this'

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