Monday, January 25, 2010

I got your class war right here

Give a man a fish and he'll eat it, teach a man to fish....and he may starve to death waiting to get a bite.

There has been a lot of asinine talk lately about the evils of creating dependence among the poor by...well, y'know, making sure that they don't starve to death. My previous favorite were entitlement-crazed assholes like these on the right who felt that sending money to Haiti would just encourage people there to remain poor. It's funny that no one thought of how the Haitians were encouraging the French to be poor while they were paying reparations for freeing themselves from slavery between 1804 and 1947.
But my new favorite in the "I hope one day your car breaks down in the slums you helped create" sweepstakes is South Carolina Lt. Gov. and gubernatorial hopeful Andre Bauer who thinks the poor are a bunch of ungrateful layabouts breeding like the vermin he thinks they are because of school lunch programs.

GREENVILLE - Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer has compared giving people government assistanc to "feeding stray animals."

Bauer, who is running for the Republican nomination for governor, made his remark during a town hall meeting in Fountain Inn that included state lawmakers and about 115 residents.

"My grandmother was not a highly educated woman, but she told me as a small child to quit feeding stray animals. You know why? Because they breed. You're facilitating the problem if you give an animal or a person ample food supply. They will reproduce especially ones that don't think too much further than that. And so what you've got to do is you've got to curtail that type of behavior. They don't know any better," Bauer said.

In South Carolina, 58 percent of students participate in the free and reduced-price lunch program.

Yes, Mr. Bauer, by all means deny aid to the children of irresponsible poor parents, that will teach them a lesson! And if little Johnny and Janey can't attend school because they are out dumpster diving to get enough to eat or can't concentrate at school because they didn't have breakfast and can't afford lunch, well then I guess they will learn not to be poor -- certainly it won't reinforce the cyclical nature of poverty and make more poor people. That would be unthinkable in a state as prosperous and egalitarian as yours

  • According to statistics collected by the South Carolina Appleseed Legal Justice Center, (cribbed from the comments but tracked down to the linked source above)

    South Carolina ranks 45th in overall child wellbeing today.
    26% of children under the age of 6 years old lives in poverty.
    1 in 10 children live in extreme poverty.
    In 2006, 38% of babies were born to mothers who lacked adequate prenatal care.
    Infant mortality: 47th

    High school grad: 48th

    Obesity: 45th

    Infectious diseases: 42nd

    Violent crime: 50th (highest)

    Lack of health insurance: 37th

    Premature deaths: 46th

    Mental health: 41st

    Per capita income: 45th

    Underemployment: 46th

And what is this little tidbit of info?

hmmm, maybe the U.S. federal government should stop feeding South Carolina?

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