Skip to comments.Lessons from a Restaurant Tabletop
Posted on 09/19/2017 4:22:21 PM PDT by jfd1776
If you sit down at a major national restaurant chain nowadays, you might be greeted by a sign, banner, or tabletop tent quoting some questionable statistics, and warning you that there is hunger in America.
They quote a study (out of context) reporting that one in six American children experiences hunger at least sometimes. Thats 13 million children, the population of Illinois as the tabletop tent at lunch exclaimed to me, constantly, as I ate my lunch.
This brings to mind a flood of questions, among them: Is it true? If so, Why? And What can or should we do about it?
The Collection of Statistics
Just exactly what questions did they ask when they did this study? This number 13 million starving children alone is rather hard to believe.
Have you ever been hungry? Have you ever gone to bed hungry? Has there ever been a time when some members of your family ate and others didnt? We can just imagine the questions that might elicit a positive answer without really indicating that the subject cant afford to eat, which is implied in any declaration of hunger reaching the point of a public policy concern.
Well, if you read the research section at the source of the project, NoKidHungry.org, you will find that their actual claim isnt for starvation at all; they declare that 48.8 million Americansincluding 13 million children live in households that lack the means to get enough nutritious food on a regular basis. As a result, they struggle with hunger at some time during the year.
Sorry, but thats inflating the numbers for effect, well beyond the legitimate number of people in poverty-caused starvation. This description casts too wide a net; its not hunger, at least not the way the rest of the world sees it. This study is judging the quality of peoples food as well as the quantity. If they dont believe someone eats a well-balanced enough meal, theyll count him as hungry to increase the numbers and scare the target audience. (I can just imagine what theyd think of me; there have been weeks when I live on pizza and diet soda, but my scale will tell you I certainly should not be counted among the hungry).
That being said, however now that we know that their statistic is utterly unhelpful lets start from scratch and accept the fact that there likely are people in the USA who are indeed hungry. Maybe not 13 million kids, but then, certainly at least some, maybe many. How can we identify and solve this problem? What do the creators of the little tabletop tents have in mind for us to do?
The Causes of Hunger
Theres an interesting old saying: The United States is the only country on earth with fat poor people.
When you think of poverty, you naturally envision the emaciated poor of desert countries, subsisting on leaves or rice and nothing else. In America, the poor have government programs to keep them fed.
So yes, there are probably poor Americans starving but are they the ones really in trouble, or is it others whom the alarmist Left doesnt want us to think about? Consider the different groups in America: Citizens and green card holders first, then legal aliens second (people on student visas, work visas, tourist visas), then illegal aliens third (the gate crashers themselves, the ones who came legally but illegally overstayed their visas, and their offspring).
Legal aliens are not our responsibility; if theyre not doing well here, they should go back home.
Illegal aliens are also not our responsibility (though this is likely where a good deal of the real American hunger lies); if theyre not doing well here, they should go back home too. In fact, whether theyre hungry or not if theyre illegal aliens, they should go back home.
The United States government owes nothing to these groups. Not that we dont wish them well; we should wish everyone well. But it is not a matter for American public policy. If there is starvation in the alien community, whether legal or illegal, they should go home. Their problems are not our problems.
Now the first group: US Citizens and green card holders (because green card holders are people who have applied for citizenship and we have accepted their application; under US law, they are treated the same way as citizens are in most areas, except of course for voting).
Our government, and in a broader sense, our society, does have an obligation to care about our citizens and green card community. Philosophically, it is usually not governments role (our federal Constitution makes no provision for the US government to become the cornucopia of last resort) but it is certainly societys role. This is why we have charities; to help out people in need.
But here we must break up the group a bit: We have in America
The wealthy a fluid group, but presumably by definition one that has possessions to sell if theyre hungry.
The non-working poor the welfare class, for which we have countless federal, state and local programs to provide the basics and more. To be a poor person in America, with rent, phone, food and utilities provided by government, is to live a life not defined as poor in many other countries.
The working poor the honorable millions who struggle to find a job, any job, hoping that the American Dream will enable them to climb out of poverty by reaching the next rung on the ladder, and the next, and the next, as far as their ability and industry allow.
The middle class a broad and fluid group, ranging from lower to middle to upper, the people who do work for a living but whose wages as employees have been stagnant for 20 years, and whose chances in entrepreneurship have plummeted in recent years as the tax and regulatory climate has marked them for destruction.
These last two are in fact the areas that should concern us, and no bleeding heart liberal wants to showcase their plight.
The entrepreneur who must put every penny of his savings into the rent and supplies for his kiosk or storefront despite an economy in which his target market can no longer afford to buy his product.
The person who got an entry level job on an assembly line or customer service center as a teen, but never progressed to the next rung because of the flight of such businesses from our over-taxed, over-regulated land to faraway countries across the Pacific. So they struggle on at their entry level job, applying for better jobs that simply dont exist in their cities or even states, at least, not in the numbers of applicants.
The middle class worker who had made it, who had been on his way already, making it to middle management or better, until recession after recession closed off business after business, forcing him to regress, from engineer or buyer or product manager down to customer service or store cashier. The jobs intended for entry level people are, too often, the hard landing of competent employees whose jobs have evaporated in recent years.
These are the real challenges of our current economy. Consider a coal mining town; it had a restaurant, a shopping mall, a hotel, gas stations, laundry, all to support the booming coal mine; when Democratic Party policy targeted the mines for destruction, all these support industries were in their crosshairs as well. No Democrat politician ever said Elect me and well close down your restaurants, your hotels, your gas stations and malls, but when they promised Elect me, and well shut down those dirty coal mines! that WAS the unavoidable corollary. A promise to ruin one industry is also a promise to ruin many more.
These may not be the kind of poor we think of when considering hunger they arent the people on street corners begging with a cardboard sign. But the struggling working folks are the ones who have to count every penny at the store, because they dont get a check or a SNAP card in the mail to meet their needs.
They would probably argue that if people cant make their SNAP cards feed their families, they should analyze their purchasing habits; try being a struggling entrepreneur or a low level employee whos taking twenty years to accomplish what ought to have been five years of career progress - they know how to stretch every dollar at the discount grocery store.
So What Should We Do?
We acknowledge that there is hunger, but what are the cures?
Should government be more generous in its welfare programs? Under the Obama administration, food aid recipients climbed to an unprecedented figure: over 46 million Americans get food stamps today. Can we expand that? The government is bankrupt as it is, and making more and more people dependent on government is no path to prosperity.
Rather, we must concentrate on fixing our broken economy.
The dying mining towns are dying because government policy marked them for death; as the Trump administration has reversed those Obama-era decrees, these critical energy producers can come back.
The cities are dying because government policy an unaffordable welfare state, a massive bureaucracy, horrific avoidable crime, and the flight of industry has rendered them unlivable. To save Detroit, Chicago, Cleveland, and the other struggling cities of America, we must fix policy errors at every level. The federal government must allow real crime control again, the illegal aliens who flood our welfare rolls and populate the drug gangs must be ejected, and the tax and regulatory overreach must be trimmed from state capitols to Washington DC.
Fix the economy, you fix most of the nations problems. A 50% cut in the maximum income tax bracket is critical; we have the highest tax burden in the developed world for the businesses we desperately need to employ our citizenry. We must invite employers back and enable them to succeed; only then can their employees climb out of the very real struggles of hunger and cold and homelessness.
But there is another question worth asking, before we close:
Why the cards and banners at all?
Why do restaurants participate in a program that raises awareness of a vague problem, gives false impressions as to who the real sufferers are, and distorts statistics to create vague compassion?
Here we must turn to political philosophy, and the world of political agitators: you cant rile up people unless they believe theres a problem that only you can solve. Create the problem and you build support for the problem-solvers.
The Left in America is dependent on dependence.
In order to get people to vote for the American Left, they must convince the public that this is not the greatest nation in the world, that in fact this country suffers from terrible, widespread troubles, from homelessness and hunger, from sadness and danger.
By tugging on a nations heartstrings, they can turn that compassion into votes for the party of dependence, against the party of resilience and rugged individualism on which our nation was founded.
The Left hopes for only one thing: that the public doesnt think too hard about these problems and discover the truth: that the problems the Left wants to solve are of their own creation; that the jobless are jobless because of leftist policy, that the criminal gangs flourish because the Left invited them in, that the factories closed and the businesses struggle because the Left marked them for destruction.
If you care about the issues the Left raises, it is clear there is only one solution: to free America from the grip of the Left once and for all.
Copyright 2017 John F. Di Leo
John F. Di Leo is a Chicagoland based trade compliance manager, writer and actor. A former county chairman of the Milwaukee County Republican Party, his columns are regularly found in Illinois Review.
The two worst problems facing the poor in America are obesity and hunger.
If children are starving in the US today it’s because they have rotten parents.
My mother could never understand that kids in Africa were going to starve whether I ate my peas or not.
Is not gluttony one of the sins?
Classic dinner memory of mine..
... My sister (Who is now a barking moonbat) is older than I am. In 1988, sitting at the table my mother said the same thing when she didn’t finish her dinner.
My sister, who had just seen the new comedian named Sam Kinnison, quoted his famous scream : “THEN GET OUTTA THE F!!!!IN DESERT OH OH OHHHH” and she screamed it. My parents did not get the joke, because they had heard of such a man as Sam Kinnison.
The beating was that much more funnier for me to watch.
Not if you are a democrat gluttonous for power, silly...
I sent my 10 year old grandson away from the table the other night for being an ass. He went to bed without finishing his dinner. I guess he could answer yes to their questions.
i no longer eat at national restaurant chains because I’m picky about the quality and tastiness of my food, and therefore i purchase fresh, high quality ingredients that I cook into delicious, nutritious, healthy and relatively inexpensive meals, but if i WERE to sit down at a table at a national restaurant chain and was confronted with such propaganda, when the server arrived I would get up and leave, telling them that I had lost my appetite thinking about all of those starving children. i would encourage others here to do the same.
A bunch of BS by “do gooders” who have nothing better to do.
Shoot, I’m hungry at least two or three times a day. Won’t somebody help me? Sob. Snif.
” I guess he could answer yes to their questions.”
You’re correct——they can tweak the figures to get MORE from the taxpayer.
Now that right there is funny, I don’t care who you are.
I work at a liquor store
Every time you donate to a food bank or “hungar group” you enable some drunk to feed their addiction
Addict parents who trade benefits for drugs and neglect their children. Otherwise I call BS.
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