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Columns

September 24, 2013

Congresspeople unwilling to work, shall not eat

Are we a nation with a food shortage? No. Are we a nation with hungry people? Yes. Why? Good question.

Conservatives used to admit amongst themselves — behind closed doors — that food stamps were a way to keep crime down; a cost-cutting alternative to incarceration, which would pacify the hungry masses. That was when conservatives cared about costs, unlike our current crop of nihilists who are comfortably Bush-blind and vehemently pro-Amabo (opposite of Obama).

Not that poor people, to their minds, were criminals, but that desperate people are prone to do desperate things. And people feel less desperate if they are less physically hungry. It’s simple pragmatism. That used to exist in government, I’m told.

These vintage conservatives used to have a long game (See: The pre-Obama individual mandate, an alternative to socialized medicine).

Poor people — the lower and working class — were a good investment. They could build things and fight our wars, so best to feed them. And feed them we did.

In 1959, during the infamous “Kitchen Debate,” then-Vice President Nixon argued that by working, anyone in America could afford the ranch-style, three-bedroom home the Soviet media and Nixon’s debate challenger, Premier Nikita Khrushchev, had dubbed “Taj Mahal.” The commies were starving. Americans had plenty. Capitalism was therefore winning.

That was the conservative case. Then there were just the bleeding hearts: the churchy liberals who will always be on the side of the downtrodden because their religion strongly suggests it. LBJ launched the War on Poverty five years later.

This week, according to the new Census Bureau Report, there are still 46.2 million Americans impoverished. This hasn’t budged in the last six years. It’s gotten progressively worse in the last 30 years.

The poor are described as food insecure, meaning they don’t know when or from where their next meal is coming. Which is why many are obese too. Calorie-dense food is cheaper thanks to a lopsided government policy.

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The Iowegian wants readers to think about the solicitation ordinance that will prevent groups or individuals from entering a roadway to solicit money. The Centerville City Council in June by a 5-0 vote passed the first reading of just such an ordinance. Public pressure and during a subsequent special meeting, the council voted 3-2 to table the ordinance. A second special meeting to discuss the solicitation ordinance is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 7 at City Hall. So, the question of the week is, "Do you or do you not support the ordinance to prevent solicitation of funds in city streets?"

A. I support the ordinance
B. I do not support the ordinance
C. Not sure
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