16.6.19

IS EVERY AMERICAN ENTITLED TO EAT?

John "Grumpy Economist" Cochrane has a "Provided by whom?  Blank-out" moment. "Just who does what to whom?"  There's a lot of material in the post (and yes, in blog years, it's old.)  It's worth your time, if only for its dissection of the way in which the Establishment press, in this case public radio's Scott Simon, advance The Narrative.
Scott reveals deeply the deliberate confusion among "progressives," between your right to do something, to purchase a good or service from another, and an "entitlement" to have the Federal government pay for it by taxing others. No, you do not lose "access" to something just because you have to earn the money to pay for it. But by deliberately confusing the issue, and repeating the mantra over and over, they can ride the moral authority of the former to the illogical conclusion of the latter.
The interview being deconstructed is not about recession conditions in which substantial numbers of people face difficulties finding opportunities to earn money.  It's about a common sense agricultural policy, with fewer farm subsidies and stiffer requirements for food stamps.  That might be heresy around public radio, where making food more expensive by making it an entitlement is right up there with making health care more expensive by making it an entitlement.  "Single-payer food is apparently so taken for granted around the NPR studios, that this seems like a scoop."  Or "Republicans want to starve children," which serves to fire up low-information bases of all sorts.

Never mind that for at least as long as I have been following these things, the log-rolling of members of Congress in districts with a lot of food stamp recipients supporting farm subsidies in return for support for public assistance has been the quintessence of bipartisanship.  Perhaps the best thing Our Political Masters could do for hungry people is ... go away.

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