Patterico's Pontifications


Hunger in America

Filed under: General — DRJ @ 8:09 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Hard times and no jobs means more hungry Americans:

“The number of Americans who lived in households that lacked consistent access to adequate food soared last year, to 49 million, the highest since the government began tracking what it calls “food insecurity” 14 years ago, the Department of Agriculture reported Monday.”

This is an increase of 13 million Americans since the last survey, and includes this data the Agriculture Secretary terms a ‘wake-up call':

“One figure that drew officials’ attention was the number of households, 506,000, in which children faced “very low food security”: up from 323,000 the previous year. President Obama, who has pledged to end childhood hunger by 2015, released a statement while traveling in Asia that called the finding “particularly troubling.”

Analysts attribute the increases to rising food prices and a growth in unemployment — suggesting the number of hungry Americans will rise even more since this data was based on a jobless rate of 7.2%. Households with single parents and Southern households reported the most food insecurity. However, there are questions about the methodology of the survey:

“The 18-item questionnaire asks about skipped meals and hunger pangs, but also whether people had worries about getting food. It ranks the severity of their condition by the number of answers that indicate a problem.

“Very few of these people are hungry,” said Robert Rector, an analyst at the conservative Heritage Foundation. “When they lose jobs, they constrain the kind of food they buy. That is regrettable, but it’s a far cry from a hunger crisis.”


107 Responses to “Hunger in America”

  1. 95% of the hungry are in families which spend their welfare checks on drugs and booze instead of food. The credit card food stamp welfare doesn’t work either. They take a shopping list from anyone, get the items on the card and sell them for 50% of the cost.

    Scrapiron (4e0dda)

  2. Feed people, not cars!

    daleyrocks (718861)

  3. we are probably the only country in the world where obesity is the principle problem of the poor,

    Mike K (2cf494)

  4. A Presidents’ greed for power, will create a country that is dour.

    A play on “A white mans greed creates a world in need” Barack H. Obama

    Mon (3c07a2)

  5. Robert Rector has an a lot thankless job I think.

    Thank you Mr. Rector.

    happyfeet (b919e7)

  6. Being poor in America usually means having only having one car, or only having a 42 inch flat screen versus a 60 inch.

    Gazzer (f4dafa)

  7. Or being homeles. Assholes.

    Leviticus (30ac20)

  8. Hey, Leviticus, “the poor will always be with you.” Stealing from the not-poor to ostensibly give to the poor doesn’t change that truth. And give me one example of when the government did anything more efficiently and with better quality than the private sector. Give me one example.

    John Hitchcock (3fd153)

  9. Maybe if we spent a lot of monies on them? Then they could eat healthy organic food and also the children. (Children are key.) Sounds like a plan. Ok who’s in?

    happyfeet (b919e7)

  10. Rush hit on this today. The study is incredibly misleading. So what does “lacked consistent access to adequate food”.

    What constitutes “adequate” food?

    What do they mean by access? These people can’t go to a store to purchase food?

    conservativeinthecity (cf1b21)

  11. The article did not provide enough information to see the full picture.

    For instance, nowhere is it referenced that school children whose family’s gross earnings meet the ascribed federal levels, are eligible by law to receive free breakfasts and free lunches. That leaves one meal a parent would have to provide for their children.

    It also doesn’t state what sorts of foods these people are attempting to purchase: the more packaging and preparation done to the food, the more it costs. Are they going for snacky stuff, junk foods, or microwavable – which are all more expensive than basic staples.

    Also, without knowing where these families that are the statistics, spend the money they do have, are we able to accurately make a judgment. Do they have cell phones, cable, gas guzzlers, smoking habits (a pack of smokes costs about $5/$6 – that’s the cost of a box of Hamburger Helper + ground beef).

    And so it goes…

    Dana (e9ba20)

  12. Let’s be clear here, I am one of the poor (follow the comment section). But I own almost as much stuff as when I wasn’t poor. And I’m not going hungry.

    John Hitchcock (3fd153)

  13. Food really can’t get any cheaper in your little country. It was on the cover of one of the little president man’s magazines – time or newsweek I think. People make bad choices sometimes is the deal. Seriously. The amount of money you American losers spend on your narcotic drugs and your marijuana and your oxycontins what briefly help you feel not so empty and worthless could feed all the boys and girls in the world plus also they could have tasty Little Debbie brand snack cakes after dinner for dessert every night.

    Y’all need to shape up.

    happyfeet (b919e7)

  14. Dana – When I was young and foolish I spent most of my money on wine, women and song. I wasted the rest.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  15. And the vast majority of welfare recipients I have known loved their beer and their overweightedness. And that’s the truth. They also loved their free paychecks for not working and pumping out more babies for fatter paychecks for not working.

    John Hitchcock (3fd153)

  16. feets – Does Little Debbie make a Red Velvet one?

    daleyrocks (718861)

  17. Anything but carrot cake. It reminds me of those smelly hippie chicks from college.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  18. Not one person lacks minimum levels of health care in this country.

    Not one person lacks for a 1,500 per day calorie diet either.

    Big lies.

    HeavenSent (01a566)

  19. She needs to get on it I think. Can you imagine how many lives she would touch?

    happyfeet (b919e7)

  20. “Then they could eat healthy organic food and also the children.”

    Eating healthy organic food is all right, I guess. I’m not too keen on the idea of eating children.

    Dave Surls (eead54)

  21. Little Debbie makes a carrot cake! I think. brb.

    happyfeet (b919e7)

  22. Mr Surls, they only squirm for a little bit. After that, it’s smooth sailing.

    John Hitchcock (3fd153)

  23. “Hey, Leviticus, “the poor will always be with you.”

    – John Hitchcock

    Hey, John, “whatsoever you do to the least of my people, that you do unto me.”

    And I said absolutely nothing about government in this thread – I said (in a rude way – sorry) that people were blowing off a serious problem because it’s easier to spout off a bunch of crap about poor people buying flat screen TVs than it is to step back and actually examine those hunger numbers for what they are.

    Leviticus (30ac20)

  24. Another thing re the study, how many of the subjects are overweight? How many of them buy food randomly, impulsively vs. doing the hard work of planning and counting every last cent? The provided information only begs for more specifics.

    Comment by daleyrocks — 11/16/2009 @ 9:34 pm

    As I suspected! :)

    Dana (e9ba20)

  25. Leviticus – In the depression, when my parents were children, my Mother’s family had to move into a small apartment with another (unrelated) family.

    Homelessness – living on the street with nothing – is seldom, if ever, the result of an economic problem. It’s almost always related to mental illness and/or substance abuse. While this is sad, factoring out one of the major causes of the problem (that is unrelated to the current economy) skews the report and produces an unrealistic presentation.

    It is cheaper to purchase basic food staples now than it has ever been in recorded history, when earning capability is factored in. Hundreds of millions of people all around the world live on far less than most of the poorest Americans. There’s even a food drive in my city for the shelters, to which I’ll contribute.

    People are not starving in this country because they can’t make enough to eat. There’s almost always something else.

    Apogee (e2dc9b)

  26. This is one of those great Left of center “gotcha” studies. How can you be against kids getting food?

    First off, the Left wants everyone to make the fat jokes, the drug comments, and so forth. I agree that lifestyle choices are the critical point here, but the Left just salivates at conservative comments in this vein.

    Dana’s point is absolutely correct: our schools do provide breakfasts and lunches to poor kids.

    None of that matters. Like most issues with the Left, feelings matter more than fact.


    Eric Blair (711059)

  27. Oh, and Mr. Feet makes the most important point. You see, the Left doesn’t want anyone to be responsible for anything…the Government will take care of you.

    Eric Blair (711059)

  28. nope. I think just Hostess does and you can get ’em at Walmart. Walmart is of the people.

    happyfeet (b919e7)

  29. Leviticus, excuse me for buttin gin, but what is your take away re the numbers? As I stated, for me there are are too many unasked and unanswered questions in the NYT article but what do you get from it?

    Dana (e9ba20)

  30. Without any snark:

    “…it’s easier to spout off a bunch of crap about poor people ….than it is to step back and actually examine those hunger numbers for what they are….”

    Fixed that for you.

    Seriously, there is no analysis in that study. Period. It’s all about feelings and perceptions, not fact. But that is the point.

    It’s like that old anti-nuke group who called themselves “Physicians for Social Responsibility.” How can you be against that?

    Studies like the one cited promulgate more statism, and encourage dependence on government handouts. But it is all wrapped up in “do you want to see kids go hungry” gift paper.

    The answer? More government hand outs!

    Instead of looking at the data.

    Eric Blair (711059)

  31. Eric Blair, in order to look at the data and draw an accurate conclusion, you have to have all the particulars, and what is provided doesn’t fit the bill. It’s lacking too much.

    Holy cow! In #29, that should be “butting in”, not “buttin gin”, which is a gin unfamiliar to me.

    Dana (e9ba20)

  32. Dana, there is a reason that the data is not provided. You know it and I know it.

    This reminds me of an academic story. I remember a college official bragging to me that our institution had received a big grant to study the value of diversity in the classroom.

    But, I said, that’s not research.

    Excuse me, he replied.

    Well, I said, what would you do if your research showed that diversity damaged student learning in the classroom?

    But it doesn’t, he exclaimed, outraged.

    What if it did, I persisted.

    He admitted that they wouldn’t publicize that fact, if they uncovered it.

    So it isn’t research, I concluded. The guy walked off, irritated.

    This is what is going on with these kinds of studies. The point is to justify more government spending. It isn’t to research anything.

    It’s advocacy, pure and simple.

    Eric Blair (711059)

  33. Aside from extreme psychological disorders (and the left already closed down the insane asylums many moons ago), drug addictions, alcohol addictions, how many homeless does that leave? Factor in minors that ran away because their parents were “mean” (and not abusive (but the left has made much appropriate discipline “abuse”)) and the homeless numbers drop some more.

    Now, it is absolute truth that the poor in the US are much fatter than anywhere else in the world. In fact, the poor are more likely to be obese than underweight in this country, contrary to the rest of the world. And, for the record, at 5’8″, 137 lbs, I am not helping the obesity factor.

    John Hitchcock (3fd153)

  34. One thing that surprises me about this article is that it was written and published at all. It reminds me of Mark Helprin’s column on how homeless stories crop up more during Republican Presidential Administrations than Democratic ones. James Taranto even had a series he called the “Homeless Rediscovery Watch” that made the same point.

    I would chalk this up to a disillusioned media if I didn’t also believe the real goal is to help Obama spend more taxpayer money.

    DRJ (dee47d)

  35. For the record, “starving homeless people in the US” is a major theme in MSM every time Republicans (and not even Conservative Republicans) hold the reins. When Democrats hold the reins, that story almost completely vanishes. Almost. Unless there’s something the left is pushing. Then it’s brought up in an effort to push some leftist agenda.

    Other than that, it is persona non grata at the newsstands.

    John Hitchcock (3fd153)

  36. Heh, DRJ and I cross-posted.

    John Hitchcock (3fd153)

  37. I no longer give the media the benefit of the doubt – as in it not being disillusioned but rather intentional, with having the goal be to convince us of their pov because they assume we won’t parse anything in the “data”. So I’m going with the old standby: media attempting to further the goals of our President.

    Perhaps these articles come up mostly during a Republican administrations as a way to point the finger at the big bad non-sympathetic Republican government for not spending money to feed the poor/homeless therein confirming their ogre status; and smiliar articles during a Democratic administration instead become a calculation of emotionalism and despair. Manipulative, IOW, to further a left leaning (spend taxpayers money/we all share the burden) President’s ideals.

    Dana (e9ba20)

  38. “Hard times and no jobs means more hungry Americans”

    In my case, it’s just because I’m too lazy to go whip something up.

    Dave Surls (eead54)

  39. Dave – Heh. I resemble that.

    John – Maybe that means we have great minds that are thinking alike.

    DRJ (dee47d)

  40. Barefoot Dana, you’re getting saucy. But I cannot disagree with anything there.

    John Hitchcock (3fd153)

  41. And, DRJ, it’s about time someone other than me realized I have a great mind!

    John Hitchcock (3fd153)

  42. Dana,

    I think questioning the numbers in the case of studies like this is perfectly legitimate, given reasons that a number of people have pointed out. Personally, I find it hard to believe that 1 in 6 people in this country don’t have enough to eat (which is the message this article tries to send through probably intentionally ambiguous language – the “access” to “adequate” food that someone said Limbaugh pointed out on his show). I have been talking with Apogee about something like this on a thread at the Jury – the notion of words losing any meaning through over-use – and I think studies like this are guilty in that regard when it comes to the term “hunger” or the phrase “go hungry” or any number of other similar expressions.

    So, if people had stuck to criticizing this study for the legitimate reasons others have elaborated, I wouldn’t have gotten all pissy. But they didn’t: they launched into the same tired BS about poor people having to settle for smaller flat-screen TVs than the rest of us.

    So my pissy response was to the flippant attitude which ignores the fact that there really are some dirt-poor/homeless people in this country who can’t afford food – regardless of the probably inflated numbers put forth in this study.

    Leviticus (30ac20)

  43. And, Leviticus, I couldn’t afford food for a while. But people afforded it for me, without some leftist program articles like these push. That’s the point.

    John Hitchcock (3fd153)

  44. The only ones sufferring are Popeye’s, KFC, McDonald’s, Wendy’s and Burger King.

    nk (df76d4)

  45. And, Leviticus, do me a favor and walk a mile in my moccasins before you attack people for their (mostly accurate) snarks.

    John Hitchcock (3fd153)

  46. “..So my pissy response was to the flippant attitude which ignores the fact that there really are some dirt-poor/homeless people in this country who can’t afford food – regardless of the probably inflated numbers put forth in this study…”

    What you call “pissy” I see as equally flippant and analysis-free as you see the responses of others. And the fact is, you don’t have data on this subject. Just you have your own preconceived notions, which you object to in others.

    Why not look into this subject? You are a smart guy, and have the time, right? The data is out there (the Mark Helperin link above is a good place to start digging—sure, he is conservative, but you can start looking for hard data).

    And more practically, people like JH (and yours truly) actually contribute to food drives and other events for others less fortunate. I hope you do as well. That is probably much more useful than cussing at each other regarding a advocacy driven article.

    Eric Blair (711059)

  47. Government in the US, since the advent of the Great Society/War on Poverty, have flushed TRILLIONS of DOLLARS down a rat-hole, accomplishing only one thing, the poor are now, generally, obese, and the rich are fit.
    We have turned history upside-down.

    AD - RtR/OS! (785778)

  48. So, howzit that we just got through being cornholed with nearly a trillion dollars in federal spending thrown haphazardly at the economy, and yet we are still hearing about how poor and hungry our people are?

    Wait! I know! The stimulus package was around $800 Billion. Current US population is around 305 million. That’s barely $2,285 a person! Who can really afford to eat on THAT?!

    Steve B (5eacf6)

  49. “What you call “pissy” I see as equally flippant and analysis-free as you see the responses of others. And the fact is, you don’t have data on this subject. Just you have your own preconceived notions, which you object to in others.”

    – Eric Blair

    What do you mean I don’t have data? I have the same data that you have. And to which preconcieved notions of mine are you referring? The ones that say “there are some people in the US who are homeless and can’t afford food?” Did you read #42, where I explained that I didn’t take this study at face value by any means, based on legitimate criticisms elaborated by some of the commenters in the thread? And since you’re assigning me homework, what subject should I be looking into, exactly?

    Please – elaborate.

    Leviticus (30ac20)

  50. Most of the poor really don’t know how to cook from scratch. The welfare payments really do provide more than enough to eat buy only if you buy bulk and raw foods instead of prepared foods. Time consuming no doubt but much more than adequate if taken the time to prepare the meals.

    Now if you are not a drunk or drug addict or crazy what excuse does anyone of normal intelligence have to be chronically poor in this country?

    cubanbob (409ac2)

  51. Between WIC, food banks, welfare and green stamps I would imagine you could certainly survive. WIC provides quite a bit of food. Been on it myself. Lots of cheese, dairy, bulk beans and other stuff.

    I’d be interested to see statistics on how many people starved to death in the US over the last year. I suspect durn few.

    It’s disengenuos to suggest that “hunger” is uniformly systemic and use that to indict either an ideology, and adnministration, or an economic system.

    One cannot help but harken back to the choices a lot of the Katrina displaced poor made when given a pre-paid government charge to spend.

    Yes, we should help our poor. But the best way to do that is not to make even more of them through excessive taxation and irresponsible defecit spending.

    Steve B (5eacf6)

  52. Leviticus, I suggest you look at charitable output when weighed against government activity. I also suggest you look at cents-per-dollar going to the end-user via charities vs via government. And maybe read these three articles (three different links, folks). Two are about the affect of government on giving while one is about the affect of government after giving.

    John Hitchcock (3fd153)

  53. WIC, Welfare, foodstamps are all cash cows for Democrats and all cost far more than provide and all reward bad behavior. Want more of those three? Get pregnant out of wedlock (again). Want those three to start with? Stop working. Want to keep those three? Don’t get a job and don’t marry that person who is already living in your house.

    Reward the behavior, get more of the behavior and get the behavior amplified.

    That’s not to mention all three are unconstitutional and Davey Crockett’s Words will tell you that.

    John Hitchcock (3fd153)

  54. and all reward bad behavior.

    Not always. Was on WIC for a while after my son was born. New couple, new expenses. Yes, we were married. But the job I had, while enough for a young married couple, wasn’t enough for a young family. WIC saved our bacon.

    Of course, it was always my goal to get off of it as soon as possible, which we did. But I won’t say it wasn’t nice to have it there as a resource.

    Steve B (5eacf6)

  55. We received WIC as well, 21 years ago. And I did everything I could to get off WIC and Welfare while my ex did everything she could to stay on the programs. Those programs most definitely do reward behavior that keeps people on those programs and punishes people who work hard to stand on their own. And I had to fight my ex (to whom I was married at the time) tooth-and-nail to actually be honest about our income, knowing that our income was going beyond “freebie” status.

    I know full well what those programs do. They make leeches out of humans and they make a voter-bloc out of leeches. Fullstop.

    John Hitchcock (3fd153)

  56. knowing that our income was going beyond “freebie” status.

    LOL! I fought the same battle!!

    I would agree that it’s too easy to become reliant on the handouts. I’d propose something more along the lines of some hard and fast time limits on benefits, rather than completely getting rid of the programs.

    It’s unfortunate that there not the same social stigma there once was. It’s also unfortunate that our churches aren’t fulfilling that role as well as they should. tough nut to crack.

    Steve B (5eacf6)

  57. Here in MA the poor are FORCED to have a free, insured automobile and cell phone. The homeless are FORCED to live in hotels and apartments. During the winter the bums on the street (what they used to be called)are FORCED into a facility where they are FORCED to eat and FORCED to have medical and dental care, then FORCED into warm, safe beds in heated facilities. We liberals really know how to abuse the homeless and poor.

    J (2946f2)

  58. And since you’re assigning me homework, what subject should I be looking into, exactly?

    Please – elaborate.

    Comment by Leviticus

    Levi, if you are in southern California, I would be happy to take you on the tour I take my medical students on. We visit the homeless shelters and talk to the administrators. A good place to start is the Downtown Drop-in Center. It is state of the art as you can see.

    The Midnight Mission is another example of what is done right. They do not allow anyone to enter after 7PM until 6 AM so the residents can’t go out and get high, then come back in. The administrators tell us that 60% of the homeless are psychotic, 60% are drug and alcohol addicts and half of each group is both. There is about 10% who are “situational” cases and most of those are for very short periods. They mostly live in their cars for a week or two.

    Children are immediately taken to shelters with their parents but some psychotic parents hide the children.

    The administrators say that the homeless can eat six full meals a day if they want to, there are so many shelters and missions that provide them.

    I take first year students so they can see where a lot of County Hospital patients come from. We used to have a guide who was terrific. He had lived on the street for ten years until he kicked a crack habit. The past couple of years we haven’t had him because he got a better job out in the Valley and got married. He would take us places I would not dare to go.

    Almost all the propaganda you see about homeless is related to fund raising. Ditto for hunger as there is simply no problem that is not behavior related. I will say that the economy could get a lot worse with this crew in charge and I don’t know what things will look like in two years with unemployment at 15%.

    MIke K (2cf494)

  59. Yeah, screw ’em for being crazy, heh Mike?

    Seems to me, we had a mechanism in this country to take of crazy and addicted people: they were called institutions. In the ’80’s and ’90’s and Republicans, like Ronald Reagan and Evan Bayh,* eliminated them. Good thing we poured them on the streets!

    In the end it’s win-win for you! In addition to saving your 2% of your precious money from taxes, you also get to be the moral scold: “tsk, tsk. Why don’t you go eat cake at the shelter.”

    What they need is therapy, medication, and help. What you give them is judgment and a shake of the head.

    Oh, and by the way, I’m not sure what they teach in medical schools, but does it have anything to do with your constant reliance on anecdotal evidence to rebut empirical findings? If so, your students are in trouble

    *Well aware, Evan Bayh says he’s a Democrat.

    timb (449046)

  60. Leviticus, why not just tell us what you think should be done about this problem, if in fact you take the figures according to your own POV? No need to quote statistics or go on a fact – finding mission here, just off the top of your head.

    Dmac (a964d5)

  61. But I own almost as much stuff as when I wasn’t poor. And I’m not going hungry.

    So who is buying your food? Paying for your house?

    Michael Ejercito (6a1582)

  62. Leviticus, people are blowing off what you call a serious problem because of the rampant misrepresentation, exaggeration and outright lying that its advocates engage in.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  63. I certainly did read Leviticus’ comment where he expressed mild doubt about the particulars of the report—but then he went on to say that it *had* to be genuine problem, regardless.

    Without any data. Which was ironic, since the fellow dislikes flippancy in others.

    Most of us discussing this issue now have read up on it (and not from partisan sources or advocacy groups). Many of us, like Dr. K. points out, actually do things to address this issue. Which is not “black and white” but very complicated. The substance abuse issue in particular comes to mind.

    My point was this was an issue being touted for partisan, statist purposes. And it has for many years. When a Republican is power, we get articles about the Homeless and Hungry Problem. When a Democrat is in power…um…not so much. There were even links to some articles about this topic.

    Personally, I think using homeless people as a political weapon is immoral. But that’s me.

    The push now is for MORE money. So determining the extent of the problem with genuine data seems like an important thing to do. Unless the goal is to feel good by throwing taxpayer money at someone. Feelings should not govern policy; facts are more fundamental.

    It’s not asking someone to “do homework” when addressing a subject about which they express strong opinions—and while they stand in judgment of others regarding that subject. Better to have real data.

    As I said, Leviticus is a good guy. He should get involved. Some of us have, and it is eye opening. And much more important than verbiage like my own.

    Eric Blair (bc43a4)

  64. Michael Ejercito, had you followed the link in my comment you quoted, you wouldn’t have asked that question.

    John Hitchcock (3fd153)

  65. Eric, it is interesting that the chief homeless advocate in Los Angeles has become a Republican. Not the New York advocate who hanged himself a few years ago. I’m talking about Ted Hayes, who is a bit odd but has some interesting ideas.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  66. Eric Blair,

    Here’s some data.

    “85.4 percent (100 million) of U.S. households were food secure throughout 2008, a decrease from 88.9 percent in 2007.” 8.9 percent of households have “low food security” and 5.7 percent of households have “very low food security”. (From

    And here’s a report explaining the definitions of food security/insecurity/hunger as used in the data above:

    Here’s the report’s definition of food insecurity: “Limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate and safe foods or limited or uncertain ability to acquire acceptable foods in socially acceptable ways.” [“e.g., without resorting to emergency food supplies, scavenging, stealing, or other coping strategies.”]

    Now, if you accept those numbers at face value, will you admit that this is a problem with which we ought to be concerned?

    Leviticus (30ac20)

  67. I think the “if you accept those numbers at face value” thing is kind of important. Remember Michelle telling us how damn hard it was to keep fresh fruit in the house?

    JD (740b06)

  68. As I pointed out above, the more government involvement in our lives, the less money is available for charities. And that charitable money can well be taxable to the end-user.

    John Hitchcock (3fd153)

  69. “…definition of food insecurity…”

    That short definition could fill a text-book when parsed in a legal manner or in the way that legislative language is composed.

    The devil is in the details, and the details are about funding for further studies, and funding of an expanding bureaucracy.

    If you could take the mental cases, and the substance abusers, off of the streets and institutionalize them where they could be helped, or at least prevented from being a danger to themselves or others, 80+% of the “homeless problem” in America would disappear.

    But then, what would the “homeless advocates” do?
    Why, they might have to go out and get a real job.

    AD - RtR/OS! (138fbd)

  70. Leviticus, over 99% of American homes have a TV. I didn’t make that up, it’s an accurate stat.

    That people depend on the government for their needs is why they buy TVs when they can’t afford food.

    THAT’S a problem. People need to think about taking care of their families. Government needs to cut its taxation in half and its spending to a quarter of where it’s at today. People need to understand their responsibility to their own families.

    Dustin (bb61e3)

  71. JD & Ad-RtR/OS!,

    I think you’re right – but now the burden is on you guys to come up with non-partisan data which supports the claim that we shouldn’t take those numbers at face value.

    Leviticus (30ac20)

  72. Leviticus, if you’re admitting your data is unreliable, the burden is not on others to prove anything.

    Until they do, we just don’t know what the situation is. We don’t have to assume anyone is right. Of course, the problem is that there are people who cannot be reached or helped no matter how seriously you take their problems.

    Dustin (bb61e3)

  73. AGW….
    It seems to me that the “homeless problem” came to the fore back when we were debating the on-set of “The Coming Ice-Age”, and what were we going to do to save these poor souls from freezing to death on street-corners.
    Since “Global Warming” would not seem to be a danger to, and could be considered an advantage for, the “homeless”, any renewed emphasis on the problems of the homeless, could be considered a priori an admission by the compassion-mongers that AGW is not a problem that has to be dealt with, and that the Earth is, in fact, cooling.

    AD - RtR/OS! (138fbd)

  74. Leviticus – I know from experience when an organization has to create a metric like “food insecurity”, someone is about to be dishonest. Maybe this time is the exception, but I doubt it.

    JD (740b06)

  75. Yeah, JD, why are we talking about ‘food insecurity’? We have much better metrics for starvation. What is the percentage of death certifications for starvation? Is it zero? I think it’s about zero.

    It would be nice if we could eliminate all the problems that were more important than this one. Until we do, we should worry about problems that affect more than zero percent of our people. Food is cheap and plentiful. Anyone can get a cooked meal & clean water, in a couple of minutes, for $2.

    It’s probably quite true that a lot of kids have parents who do not take good care of them. And a lot of drug abusers who wind up totally dysfunctional. that’s not really a food problem. That’s why comparisons of today’s time to the depression are so stupid. It’s not that bad anymore. You really care about starvation, think about places that aren’t America. It would take millions of dollars to fix 100 mentally ill druggies and families of loser parents. That kind of effort would feed many thousands of people outside the USA.

    Dustin (bb61e3)

  76. I saw recently a picture of Michelle Obama working at a soup kitchen, and in front of her was one of the hungry she was feeding, taking a picture of her with his very expensive cell phone. Does he qualify as one of the hungry and poor in need of assistance?

    Rochf (ae9c58)

  77. About 8 years ago, a friend, the Human Resources Director at one of the big local firms decided to take his 2 week vacation and go homeless to see for himself what people were up against. Job applicants for entry positions repeatedly made the case that homelessness itself was so debilitating that it was almost impossible to overcome. he decided to see for himself.

    So, during harsh winter conditions he gave up his vacation to live on the street, he kept company with drunks and panhandlers, he slept in cardboard boxes when the temperatures dipped below zero, and ate at soup kitchens and at church “food ministries.”

    After his ordeal, he was interviewed by newspaper reporters. They said he looked to be in pretty good condition, not too scuffed up. What, they asked was the biggest problem he encountered while homeless?

    Too much food he replied, those church do-gooders would come around in warm mini-vans handing out sandwiches and soda pop, offering free rides to sit-down diners, 3-4-5 times a day. The various denominations were in competition to give away free food. He gained 16 lbs in 2 weeks.

    ropelight (466343)

  78. “Leviticus, if you’re admitting your data is unreliable, the burden is not on others to prove anything.”

    – Dustin

    I’m not admitting anything of the sort. I’m saying that it’s up to you guys to demonstrate through your own data that the data I’ve presented is unreliable.

    Leviticus (30ac20)

  79. I saw recently a picture of Michelle Obama working at a soup kitchen, and in front of her was one of the hungry she was feeding, taking a picture of her with his very expensive cell phone. Does he qualify as one of the hungry and poor in need of assistance?

    Are you sure that he was a receipient of the food, and not a volunteer?

    Michael Ejercito (6a1582)

  80. The other thing about hunger in America is how the dirty socialists are so hostile to free enterprise and do all they can to keep the food from coming to the people. Los Angeles is among the worst with respect to trying to starve its own populace into dirty socialist submission. It makes me so mad.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  81. Wait, leviticus, you said “I think you’re right”

    What did you mean by that? I thought you were saying that your data can’t be relied on.

    Why would it be up to anyone to prove something untrue? Look at the language of your stats? They are obviously twisting about. No reputable study would use that kind of language, so it’s impossible to find one that directly refutes what your posted, but so what?

    You haven’t proven anything, so there’s nothing to disprove.

    Michael Ejercito, do you have any evidence that this cell phone user was a volunteer? Because ‘poor’ people with nice cell phones is a very common thing in our country. People buy stuff they cannot afford, and this should simply be accepted as fact. People Obama was feeding at a soup line owned nice TVs and cell phones and cars. No. Doubt. About. It.

    Dustin (bb61e3)

  82. “…He gained 16 lbs in 2 weeks…”

    Must have been Hell missing all those hours at the fitness-center.

    AD - RtR/OS! (138fbd)

  83. #81, AD, actually he was just trying to beat the cold. If he would eat he could sit in the warm van or chow hall. Day temps were in the freezing range with harsh winds, occasional ice and snow in the evenings and over night.

    For him, it was a case of eat or freeze. SOP during bad weather for most of the homeless street people.

    He was also given a free 30 day membership at the Y so he could shower and use the fitness equipment. But it made him feel like a hypocrite to work up a sweat while he was living a lie, so he skipped it. But, he needed and was given a new pair of pants after 10 days when his old ones got too tight.

    ropelight (466343)

  84. It is tragically funny, in a perverse sort of way.
    Go “homeless” in the dead of Winter, increase your caloric input way beyond your needs (diminished physical activity but increased caloric-burn to maintain body temp), and have to have new clothes to accomodate your increased girth.
    Obviously, he was suffering from “food insecurity” – not to say that any future weight-gain would be problematic if he was truly “on the street”.
    Any mention on how much he made daily pan-handling?

    AD - RtR/OS! (138fbd)

  85. Leviticus, I notice you ignored my offer. I could help you find the homeless shelters in your area if you don’t live in California. I’m sure the circumstances are quite similar except for the mild winter weather. All you have to do is ask.

    Anytime someone comes up with a metric like “food insecurity” you know there is something fishy. I would suggest that someone needs to do a study of Body Mass Index of people with food insecurity. That might be interesting. I suspect a lot of people with food insecurity are morbidly obese. Now prove me wrong.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  86. Leviticus writes: “but now the burden is on you guys to come up with non-partisan data which supports the claim that we shouldn’t take those numbers at face value.

    Amusingly, that isn’t a burden that you met in the first place, as your data source is not non-partisan.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  87. #83, AD, no, no mention of his pan-handling. He was actually rather pleased with himself going on the street and all, but even if he had asked for spare change I don’t believe he would have acknowledged it. Too revealing, too real, it was a game for him. He always knew he could call a cab and go home.

    He did say it was surprising how much money others collected in a short time. 30 minutes to get a 5th of White Port, the drink of choice, add a package of Lemon/Lime Kool-Aid and it don’t get no better.

    He also said you could never tell in advance who was going to drop some change into the cup. Old, young, rich, poor, male, female, would walk on by and some would make a contribution. They often tried to guess who would give it up, but could never get it right.

    ropelight (466343)

  88. Dustin,

    I think it’s right to question whether or not to take certain studies at face value – examining their methodologies, the backgrounds of their administrators, etc. The fact that I believe in the principle of skepticism doesn’t mean that I disbelieve the findings of this particular study.

    “Why would it be up to anyone to prove something untrue? Look at the language of your stats? They are obviously twisting about. No reputable study would use that kind of language, so it’s impossible to find one that directly refutes what your posted, but so what.”

    I’m not asking anyone to “disprove” the data I’ve presented; I’m asking you all to address it, to tell whether you believe it or disbelieve it, and to present your own data to support your reasoning (since you are all so keen on valid data, the presentation of data, etc.) So – I’ve given you some data (from the USDA – is that a biased source, now?); if you take issue with the data I’ve presented, present some of your own or risk being derided in the same way you deride Myron when he fails to present enough data to meet your oh-so-lofty standards.

    Mike K,

    Sorry. I didn’t mean to ignore your earlier post, but I’m not sure what it is you’re trying to say.

    I understand that most homeless people are homeless due to mental illness or substance abuse or both. I understand that there are a great many shelters, charities, and resources available to homeless people in the US – an admirable amount, to be sure.

    I’m not deriding the efforts of those trying to take care of the homeless or advocating any specific program. I’m saying that as good as those efforts are (and, from what I’ve read, they’re as good as anything the world’s ever seen), they could always be better (given that there are still people suffering from these problems). And the question is how to make them better – through private charity and generosity, or through government programs. I’m fine with either.

    Leviticus (30ac20)

  89. SPQR,

    I tried to go to a government agency. If the United States Department of Agriculture isn’t a non-partisan source, what is? (Seriously – if you know of better sources that present different numbers, I’d be glad to look at those).

    Leviticus (30ac20)

  90. “…I’m asking you all to address it…”

    I addressed it here…
    “…the details are about funding for further studies, and funding of an expanding bureaucracy…”!

    Color me cynical!

    AD - RtR/OS! (138fbd)

  91. Creating a metric which magically supports your position for an expansion of funding seems to be a bit less than unbiased.

    Myron does not cite insufficent sources, Leviticus. He cites nothing, other than his ass.

    JD (d4820c)

  92. I guess I should put it like this: if zero percent of Americans are starving to death, then starvation is not in the top 100 list of problems we should worry about.

    If there is some insane statistic that points out that life isn’t perfect, for example, some kid missed a meal, or some mom was uncertain about something, I honestly don’t see why that’s a problem. The world is imperfect, but trying to solve that would create bigger problems. It already does. People buy crap they cannot afford because they believe the lie that someone will make sure their needs are taken care of.

    but I’ve seen no accurate statistic on how many Americans are actually starving. I see a study that clearly didn’t take the issue seriously, and a demand to refute it. No need.

    Dustin (bb61e3)

  93. But, Dustin, there’s poverty in those hollers in Appalachia…someone, somewhere, must be hungry starving.

    AD - RtR/OS! (138fbd)

  94. If you have cassava root handy you can make nourishing and flavourful cassava chips!!!

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  95. Levi, my point is that an awful lot of BS passes for wisdom these days. I see it in medicine. The LA Times had this article about how uninsured had higher mortality from trauma. It’s here. I e-mailed the reporter a couple of times to point out that people who shoot and stab each other, and who drive drunk on the freeway at 100 mph, have a higher incidence of being uninsured. I’ll bet the correlation is 0.8 but they are dying because of the type of trauma, not because some ER doc or trauma surgeon checked their insurance. You just don’t find out about insurance until the next day or even the next month.

    She also suggested that one reason might be that uninsured got sent to hospitals with less in the way of facilities. In fact, the big city hospitals in the high trauma areas, are far more likely to get better results with trauma because they see so much of it. She doesn’t understand.

    I went to the link in the story and looked at the article, which is available in full text. It looks as though they didn’t even try to sort out type of trauma and insured status. Without looking it up, I can tell you that car accidents are mostly insured and stab wounds aren’t.

    That’s an AMA medical journal putting out one more bit of Obamacare propaganda. I’m sorry to say that the woman surgical resident who is chief author is now a resident at USC. I hope I don’t run into her.

    Yes, Levi, the department of agriculture will lie. The piece was probably written by the chief of food stamps.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  96. I had some tasty Chinese for lunch at a new place I had wanted to try. Fast food carry out and cheap. I could not eat it all. I did not feel guilty, though.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  97. Volunteering at your local food bank is a far more tangible way to deal with any problems your community may have with people in bad circumstances.

    Its also more educational about the real problems and the ancillary scamming than faked “studies”.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  98. SPQR, that takes some effort. It’s much easier to type stuff on your keyboard.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  99. So I’ve noticed, Mike K. So I’ve noticed.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  100. Leviticus, scroll back up to my 3 links, where I say paranthetically that’s three links, folks. Check out those three links. One link says Obama’s actions will cause a severe drop in charitable contributions and is dated March of this year. Another says charities are having it rough and is dated much later. The third link is from UK and says some artsy organization got a sizable donation and had to pay a 40 percent tax on it.

    Every time the government steps on charities’ toes, charities suffer. It’s a historically proven truism.

    And, again, I strongly suggest you examine the “pass through” of money given to charities compared to the “pass through” of money used by government agencies. Which is more efficient? Which does a better job? While you’re at it, look at the historicity of governmental action compared to charity action and see the absolutely clear reverse-correlation.

    “Religious” charities have rules for those who work there and for those who receive their charity, like the shelters someone above mentioned. Can’t get in after a certain hour to prevent unwanted behavior. Government gets involved and those charities have to drop their rules or close up shop. And I’ll tell you, if I have rules (which are proven to work) that the government demands I drop, I close up shop instead of dropping my principled rules. And that’s what happens — a lot.

    John Hitchcock (3fd153)

  101. reverse-correlation == inverse-correlation

    John Hitchcock (3fd153)

  102. Charities: We’re here to help you get back on your feet and self-dependent. We have some rules for you to follow which are proven to get you sturdy again.

    Government: Don’t forget who gave you that. Do whatever you want, but if you start to become self-sufficient, we’ll cut you off entirely. Vote for us so you can keep getting your freebies.

    John Hitchcock (3fd153)

  103. There was no Ahi Tuna or Sea Scallops at the grocery store tonite. I am experiencing food insecurity.

    JD (9769aa)

  104. Speaking of which, JD, I saw the price of American open-water salmon (that Alaskan-like stuff you see on TV) compared to Chinese salmon a few months back. For 16 bucks I could buy the same size salmon fillets as I could for 45 bucks for the US version. Since I prefer to “buy American” and hate “made in China”, does that qualify as food insecurity?

    John Hitchcock (3fd153)

  105. Yes, John, it does.

    JD (9769aa)

  106. I’m against hunger.

    I probably should have said that up front.

    happyfeet (b919e7)

  107. Happyfeet, you’re against championships? Because every person or team that wins a championship hungers for it first.

    John Hitchcock (3fd153)

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