Monday, June 22, 2009

Missouri lawmaker believes Hunger is a "positive motivator"

This story troubles me, and I am glad that ThinkProgress brought it up. It really shows the state of mind some of our elected politicians are in. While talking about government programs to keep children from starving, Rep. Cythia Davis writes:

Anyone under 18 can be eligible? Can’t they get a job during the summer by the time they are 16? Hunger can be a positive motivator. What is wrong with the idea of getting a job so you can get better meals? Tip: If you work for McDonald’s, they will feed you for free during your break.

There are so many things wrong with this, but I am going to try and tackle them all one by one.

First, McDonald's is not healthy. How do you expect a child to live a healthy life and fully develop physically if they are stuffing down McDonald's?

Second, starving children is not a "positive motivator." Do you think children in Africa are hungry because they are too lazy to work? No, they cannot find jobs, mainly because there aren't any. When then unemployment rate is reaching double digits, do you really believe a 16 year old is going to be able to go out and find a job?

Third, if you have ever sponsored a pork-project, you have no room to talk about government waste. A local blog writes:

Rep. Cythia Davis' latest outrage is Missouri’s Summer Food Service Program, which provides food during the summer for thousands of low-income Missouri children who rely on the school cafeteria for free or reduced-price meals during the regular school year. This week's newsletter from Davis contains a point-by-point response to a press release announcing the program, at the end of which she concludes the program is really "all about increasing government spending, which means an increase in taxes for us to buy more free lunches and breakfasts."


Anonymous said...

This woman is ridiculous. If she is re-elected the entire state should be ashamed!!! Lock her up, give her minimal amounts of food, and then see if she thinks!

Zaid at UGA said...

The right's always using "work incentive" as a way to attack the welfare state. You point out that workers in places like Germany and Japan who have a much more luxurious safety net are actually more productive than our workers are as a result, their heads spin, and they can't say anything, because their project is, as Galbraith wrote so many years ago, in the end a "search for a moral justification for selfishness," not an argument about economic efficiency.