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OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 6/24/09

Don't Feed The Children

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Every Monday through Friday at 8:00PM, I sit down with a cup of unsweetened green tea and a piece of lemon cake to watch my cable news hero, Keith Olbermann. I especially look forward to learning whom Keith will declare to be the night’s “Worst Person In The World”. On Monday, June 22, 2009, Olbermann really picked a rotten tomato in vegetable gardening expert and Missouri State Representative for the 19th District Cynthia Davis. 

Davis chairs two committees in the Missouri State House: Special Committee on Children and Families and the Interim Committee On Poverty; yet, according to her June 4, 2009 blog, she appears to view taxpayer-funded feeding of hungry children with the kind of distain that might even make Mr. Bumble in Dicken’s Oliver Twist blush. 

“This is not a discussion of how to handle the public orphanage,” Davis writes on her blog. “These are children who have parents already providing meals for their children.  This program could have an unintended consequence of diminishing parental involvement. Why have meals at home with your loved ones if you can go to the government soup kitchen and get one for free? This could have the effect of breaking apart more families.” 

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Imagine that—feeding poor kids with tax dollars in schools and summer breakfast and lunch programs risks making their parents so reluctant to cook other meals at home that all in the family will simply stop caring for each other. Sad in today’s America there are no workhouses to provide food for work to all the children whose parents refuse to cook for them anymore. 

Ah, but, then, McDonald’s provides free food to the children old enough (at least 16-years-old) to work there, Davis muses—and even many more kids could get that daily meal if it weren’t for those free-enterprise interfering child labor laws.  

“Can’t they get a job during the summer by the time they are 16?” Davis asks. “Hunger can be a positive motivator. What is wrong with the idea of getting a job so you can get better meals?” 

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Davis offers a tip:  “If you work for McDonald’s, they will feed you for free during your break.” 

Now before liberals like myself get too outraged, Davis points out, “While nobody is disputing the benefits of nutritious food, why the presumption that parents are not providing nutritious food for their children?  Even if they are not, who created a new rule that says government must make up for any lack at home?” 

Is Davis suggesting, then, that, even when parents can’t or won’t provide food for their children, the government of the people should just let those kids starve?” 

Why not? Starving kids would be the ultimate solution to the epidemic of childhood obesity. After all, “People who are struggling with lack of food usually do not have an obesity problem,” Davis brilliantly concludes. 

Keith Olbermann sure got it right Monday night. Cynthia Davis is the worst person in the world.

 

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Retired, Robert Arend was president of an AFSCME local from 1997-2007.
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