Go, read Anglachel on the Red Queen on Ezra Klein.* Once you’ve recovered from outrage over the sheer arrogance of Klein, Coates, and Fallows claiming to “understand” why poor people eat so “badly”, come back here and explain to me why we as a nation have decided the family described by the Red Queen shouldn’t get food stamps. Unless you’re willing to argue that no one should get food stamps, I can’t imagine what explanation there could be.
Poor people - and especially poor children - shouldn’t go hungry. And it’s just plain stupid to not do everything in our power as a society to support the working poor who are doing their best to earn their own way and raise a family along with it. If they need a little help putting food on the table - and personally I don’t care if it’s kale and peppers or fried chicken in cream gravy as long as it shows up regularly - then we should give it to them. If we can give families like this even a little cushion against financial disaster we greatly increase their chances - and their children’s chances - of getting to a point where they really don’t need our help.
* For a combination head shake and chuckle read Anglachel’s follow-up on the inability of some of her readers to solve mathematical word problems.