December 10, 2010

Insight into Republican policies

No wonder they want to give tax breaks to the rich, and have very little concern for the working poor. According to Kate O'Beirne, parents of children who get their breakfast at school are criminally negligent:
"'If that’s how many parents are incapable of pulling together a bowl of cereal and a banana, then we have problems that are way bigger than -- that problem can’t be solved with a school breakfast, because we have parents who are just criminally ... criminally negligent with respect to raising children.'"

17 comments:

Janet said...

Feed the kids. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, every day. Weekends too. Run the buses on Saturday and Sunday. Breakfast at 8:00, bus the kids back home at 9:00, bus them back to school for lunch at noon, then back home at 1:00. Dinner at 5:00, bus back home at 6:00. Fund it from the salaries of teachers and administrators. If they complain, say "It's for the children".

This could be great. Kids get free meals. Bus drivers and maintenance workers get more hours. More cooks can be hired. The farmers are helped by selling more food to the schools. Mom and Dad no longer have to worry about using their dope money to feed junior. Everybody wins!!!

Streak said...

Thanks for proving my point, Janet. You actually think that everyone who is poor is also morally deficient. Your compassion is quite unimpressive.

Janet said...

With food stamps, welfare, unemployment compensation, the many food pantries and private charities around, there is no excuse for parents to not be able to provide some simple breakfast for their kids, most of the time, except incompetence.

I realize that sometimes parents get the flu, or have some other legitimate reason for failing to provide for their children, but that's not really what we're talking about here. We're talking about the chronic failure to provide food for one's children. And given all the resources that are available now, I really don't see a valid reason why children should go hungry on a regular basis. If they are, their parents, or caregivers, are not doing their duty.

Streak said...

Ok. You seem to have decided based on your concept of normal. Those who struggle to put food on the table have to be incompetent in your eyes. Or morally deficient. Or both.

I assume you are a conservative Christian? Am I wrong there? Say you are right about the parents. The kids are still hungry. Do you really want to punish them for their parents?

Janet said...

No, I don't want the kids to go hungry. What I want is a truthful acknowledgment of who is responsible. It is not your job to feed my children, that's my job. If I can't do it, there are resources available to help. Right now. No new government program is needed.

If I'm buying cigarettes to feed my nicotine addiction, instead of feeding my children, that IS a moral failure on ME. And just because I'm addicted to nicotine does not make you, or anyone else, responsible for feeding my kids.

Streak said...

Ok. Your condescension toward the poor aside, let me suggest that your insistence on individual responsibility may be misplaced in this case, and doesn't reflect the interconnectedness of our broader community.

First, I am not sure this is a new program. We have had Head Start for years, and it has been a very popular and successful program.

And second, say you are correct about these parents. They are incompetent as parents, and so those other programs won't help either. But kids with bad nutrition do poorly in school. That means that those kids are more at risk to drop out, and repeat the problems of their parents. That means more pressure on government services--including a higher likelihood for criminal activity.

You see this just as a cost. I see it as an investment in helping people get out of a cycle of poverty.

leighton said...

Like horses and water, you can lead a Christian to the poor, but even Jesus himself couldn't make them give a shit. (Of course, there are plenty of horses who are wise enough to realize that dehydration is a Very Bad Thing, but they're too busy drinking to fill the airwaves and the internet with wild allegations of water as government socialism.)

Gary said...

Most of the private charity practiced in the world is done by Christians. And most of the socialism practiced in the world is done by non-Christians.

Streak said...

Gary, this is a very, very, very stupid comment. I almost deleted it because of its stupidity.

You forget that many of the people pushing for school lunch programs are also Christian. Many of us here at Streak's Blog are Christians.

Gary said...

My comment was exactly right. That you think not shows how foolish and irrational you are.

And I strongly disagree that those who agree with you are Christians. You are not a Christian. That's another of your delusions.

Streak said...

Oh right, I forgot that anyone who disagrees with Gary is not a Christian. My mistake.

Smitty said...

Dude. I have no idea how you keep attracting the lunatics. It's like they have a secret email they send to the looney buddies to all come troll one particular blog or another. I actually had a funny theory once that it's actually you trolling your own blog for fun, but I just don't think you're that delusional.

My comment was exactly right. That you think not shows how foolish and irrational you are.

I am going to print that quote on some fancy paper and frame it, it's so beautifully fucked up. That quote is like a government-funded piece of modern art, like piss in a jar. Poop on a cross.

Also, too, I think I might consider changing ATK's subtitle to "My comment is exactly right."

steves said...

While this is purely anecdotal, I have a somewhat jaded view of some parents. In my experience, there were an unfortunate number of parents who were at least borderline negligent in how they cared for their kids.

These parents chose to spend their money on other things besides their children. I used to help parents calculate a budget. In one case, a parent spent around $4000 on smokes and beer in a year I pointed out that the money would be better spent on coats, hats, food, etc. In some cases, parents did change, but in many cases, they were too self centered to do so.

This is certainly applicable to all income levels, it is just that parents with more money are probably more likely to have some money left over and poorer children are more adversely effected by these kinds of choices.

Ultimately, it is the child who suffers, so school breakfast programs are necessary. They shouldn't have to suffer when their parents are selfish.

Smitty said...

Janet's responses were glib, but there is a grain of truth to them in some cases. The parents are poor and selfish, so the kids suffer.

But as you correctly point out, Streak, free breakfast programs ain't new. These have been around a while, and shouldn't be cut because we are (often rightfully) mad at the parents.

There are several thousand extremely poor kids in the East Lansing/Lansing area. The Rotary Clubs in those areas (I am a member of East Lansing's) pack backpacks every month, filled with non-perishables. Research by the American Red Cross showed that the kids who qualified for free breakfast programs were going hungry on the weekends; in fact, in some cases, that free breakfast was all they were ever eating. These non-descript backpacks (so the "poor" kids don't suffer ridicule from others....kids can be cruel) are filled with food to get them by for a few weekends until the next pack came along.

Some parents are so poor that "coats or food" is a legit question. That's what the Red Cross found, anyway. So the free breakfast program helps some parents choose "coats" because "food" is handled. Free breakfast at school, food-bank food for 1 or 2 other meals.

The key is this: the free breakfast program is based on family income. Maybe the kid is eating breakfast or other meals at home, but maybe not. Well, now, the kid will eat breakfast, and given the income level, there is enough left in the family coffers to buy shoes and coats, and get enough gas in the car to hit the food bank for a week's groceries.

Streak said...

I don't doubt there are incompetent parents out there. But as I noted, education is a way to stop that cycle. Making the kids pay for it--more than they already do--is not terribly rational policy.

I think an awful lot of conservatives I speak to base their public policy recommendations on their belief about how the world should be rather than how it is.

steves said...

There is not an easy solution. We can't make parents give a shit or adequately parent their own children. In extreme cases, they can be removed from an abusive or neglectful environment, but that is costly and has it's own problems.

Streak said...

Agreed. No easy solutions. But we can, as a bare minimum, try to make sure that poor kids get some nutrition.