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Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Obama mainstream kook

Bread Shortages: Coming to a Country near You


By —— Bio and Archives--April 15, 2010

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We all know what’s coming. If an incoming Republican Congress does not quickly de-fund and then repeal substantial portions of the Obama health care nationalization, the nation will ultimately confront chronic shortages of doctors, nursing home and hospital care, and prescription drugs.

Thank God government doesn’t have its eyes on providing the food on our daily tables.

Don’t thank Him yet—New York’s United States Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is working on a little something.

Capitalism has been simply terrific at feeding us. No government agency prescribes how many cartons of eggs or cans of sliced beets or gallons of skim milk a supermarket has to stock. No ivory-tower bureaucrat or Ivy League professor commands a Gristedes or a 7-11 where to locate their outlets.

And, yet, it all gets done. The Invisible Hand moves amber waves of grain from farm to factory to freezer.

We all get fed.

Until now.

This month, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand decided she would allocate another $1 billion the federal treasury on building 2,100 grocery stores nationwide.

Don’t think that Ms. Gillibrand, appointed to the World’s Greatest Deliberative Board by New York’s accidental governor David M. Paterson, is some isolated kook. No, she is an Obama mainstream kook. Her “Healthy Food Financing Initiative” is merely upping the ante on a proposal already found buried in Barack Obama’s 2011 budget to expend $345 billion on a similar fool’s errand.

The idea, if it may be termed that, is to provide grants and loans to fund groceries in so-called “food deserts,” areas “under-served” by the right kind of food emporia, those not providing “fresh” food and thereby fueling the national “obesity epidemic.”

Oddly enough, 350 of the 2,100 stores to be magically created nationwide would be in Gillibrand’s own New York State. Two-hundred-and-seventy-three would be created in New York City, a locale in which the last time I looked, there was a supermarket, deli, or bodega on roughly every street corner and another one halfway down the block for good measure.

“By building new grocery stores in underserved areas across the state,” says Gillibrand, up for election this year, “we can give people the opportunity to live longer, healthier lives, save billions in health care costs, and create tens of thousands of good-paying jobs.”

Getting specific, Gillibrand estimates that her act will “create” 26,000 of those “good-paying jobs.” It’s funny how expropriating money from the private sector to fund tin-horn politicians’s hobby-horses always “creates good-paying jobs.”

Much of the rationale for combating these alleged “food deserts” relies on data as bogus as the “facts” that support the current global warming (er, excuse me, “climate change”) hysteria. Michelle Obama has recently contended that 23.5 million people—included 6.5 million children—now live in these “food deserts,” defined by Ms. Obama as “communities without a supermarket.” Oddly enough, many of these folks are not poverty-stricken. Some are quite well to do. And thanks to the genius of Henry Ford and American capitalism many of them still own cars, so living that distance from a supermarket, translates into driving a whole 4.5 minutes more to a supermarket. “The food desert problem—people more than a mile from a grocery store without a car—,” notes blogger Pete Wilson, “afflicts 0.2% of the U.S. population.”

And that translates into another federal crisis—another federal program.

But beyond jobs and geography, there is health. There is always health, nowadays.

“This initiative,” contends Brooklyn Congresswoman Nydia Vasquez, “is about empowering families to make healthier food choices so they live longer.” 

It is an interesting theory, not particularly supported by multi-millionaire Senator Gillibrand’s presumed own access to fresh, locally-grown, fair-trade, free-range arugula—and her own assembly-district-sized girth.

Senator, starve thyself.


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David Pietrusza -- Bio and Archives | Comments

David Pietrusza davidpietrusza.com, is the author of 1920: The Year of the Six Presidents and Silent Cal’s Almanack: The Homespun Wit & Wisdom of Vermont’s Calvin Coolidge


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