Wednesday, August 17, 2011

What the heck? Pry open our wallets and let's just feed everybody.

Detroit, Michigan, that paragon of fiscal responsibility, has now decided to give free breakfast, lunch and mid-day snacks to every kid in the school system just to spare kids from low-income households from being embarrassed about being seen accepting "free" food.

That's right. Courtesy of a new Obama Administration Dept. of Agriculture program that you and I will be paying for, Detroit Schools will now feed EVERY kid for free (to the kid and his/her parents) just so that a few kids can get free food without feeling ashamed that their parents don't work.
“One of the primary goals of this program is to eliminate the stigma that students feel when they get a free lunch, as opposed to paying cash,” said DPS Chief Operating Officer Mark Schrupp. “Some students would skip important meals to avoid being identified as low-income. Now, all students will walk through a lunch line and not have to pay.
Ironically, this means that people who do work and struggle to pay their bills will now get to pay more in taxes so that they can buy food for the kids of much richer families, because no kid is exempt from this latest welfare give-away.

But hey--if it coerces just one more welfare mom to vote Democrat in the next election, it'll be worth it, right?

Hell, welfare should be embarrassing, if only to help motiviate it's recipients to get off of it. Like Benjamin Franklin once said, "If you give the poor just enough to keep them comfortable, they'll stay poor." And they'll vote Democrat in order to keep the free cheese coming.


  1. Anonymous9:43 AM

    I agree with you in spirit, but have some disputes...

    I was a free lunch kid in middle school. I was eligible because my single parent mom was only working part time while she was a full time student. Yes, its embarrassing to have to go through the free lunch program. Being poor isn't fun and this isn't the only way it manifests itself. As soon as I could, I had my own job (started working part time jobs at 14) and started paying for my own lunch. By the time I was in HS, my mom had finished her degree and was working full time again.

    Now I agree with you that this is a bad solution to this problem, but I doubt any of those kids WANTS to be on that program - at least not the ones that understand it.

    What would you say to some other payment arrangement, ID card swipe or whatever that could help remove the social stigma of being on the free lunch program?

    I agree with Ben Franklin, but please don't lump my mother and I in with everyone who abuses the system just because I was on a free meals program.

    HM1(FMF) J.H. USN(R)
    Ohio State University Class of 2012

  2. I've long railed about the idea of giving kids a free lunch in schools. What happened to brown bags, apples and PB&J on Wonder Bread? Then we got free breakfast because it is important to learning to be well nourished. What about breeders feeding their litter? Then mid-day snack and there are even some "after school" meal programs so essentially Big Bro is stuffing the inconvenient mouths all day long.

    And now we remove the stigma of being a lazy worthless slug of a parent. That's the whole point of stigmatization! If your kid is embarrassed, you should be too, Mom (and Pop, if you know who you are.)

    Disgusting from top to bottom. But we all know that already.

  3. TANSTAAFL... There is no such thing as a free lunch. Another Heinlein quote.

    But don't tell the politicians and government employees.

  4. If indeed there is a obesity epidemic amongst the Nation's schoolchildren (and I do not doubt that there is, nor that it is limited to the schoolchildren), then shouldn't we be NOT feeding them?

  5. This is a TRULY bad way to solve the problem... and WE have to pay for it.

  6. @navy-jeremy - The problem is not that we object to helping those truly in need. We have a moral obligation to do so. The problem is that it is not the STATE that should be doing it, for various reasons. One of those reasons is being played out right now - the development of an entitlement mentality that DEMANDS to be taken care of. With an ever increasing definition of what "taken care of" means. For instance, not all that long ago, the idea that citizens would be taxed so that EVERY child could have free meals at school would have been over-the-top outrageous. What if, say, we address clothing instead? Some poor children undoubtedly are in need of shoes, and, especially in colder climates, winter clothes. Shall we demand then that every citizen pay money towards purchasing new shoes and coats for EVERY child each new school season, in order to avoid the hurt feelings of the truly needy?

    The issue isn't that some will need help - we get that and are happy to assist. It's that when the State, which is irresponsible and inefficient at handling money for such things, demands by law and threat of fines and jail (the possibilities for non-payment of taxes) that those who are not needy be given exactly the same things as those who are. That's not charity. It's injustice to the taxpayer. And that's our objection.

  7. The schools in Texas in most districts, have a system where you pay for your kid's lunch in advance, the kid has a PIN number and buys their lunch every day using the PIN. When the kid's account runs low, the automated system calls the parent to let them know so that you can send a check with your kid to school the next day.

    If a kid's account gets too low, a negative balance will be on the account and will accumulate and you get a call from the school every day until you send that check.

    No kid goes hungry and at the end of the year, if you have a negative balance on your kid's account, you don't get your kid's final report card, etc.

    Kids on the free lunch program also have a PIN number, that they put in and no one knows that it's a free lunch.

    It's a pretty good and convenient system actually. When my kids were in school, I just wrote them a check for lunch once a month, rather than worrying about sending them to school with cash.

    I was once a single mom, living in poverty trying to work and support my kids. I never used the free lunch program, I never even applied. I was too embarrassed and my folks would have shamed me for relying on the government for anything, rather than asking them for help.

    PIN numbers is a much cheaper solution than giving every kid a free lunch. School lunches aren't the healthiest things on the planet...... bleh.

  8. And when they all starve to death over summer break...

    Dann in Ohio