Contributed by Victoria Taft, KPAM 860
And it’s all done in the name of ‘social justice.’
Multnomah County, like much of the country, is at a critical juncture in fixing its food system. Currently, we have a two-track food system: those who can afford it have access to sustainable, locally grown, healthful foods, while the poor have few healthful food options in their communities, and even fewer economic resources to purchase such foods. Hunger, food insecurity, and health disparities result from a system that perpetuates economic inequality and social injustice. The scales must be rebalanced.
“Empowering,” “funding,” “creating,” “fund opportunities for,” “increasing opportunities for,” “develop incentives,” mean we’re going to pay for this “new” plan to take over the marketplace. Furthermore, the avowed goal to hook more people on welfare is unseemly and wrong. When did it become government’s job to make it easier for people to shirk their own responsibilities?
Worse, millions of taxpayer dollars will undoubtedly be wasted on this program before we arrive at the point where it’s obvious government can’t solve the problem of people wanting to eat french fries.
Among the groups urging more government involvement--if not takeover--of the food available in Multnomah County are those whose fortunes will rise with the government’s increased involvement.
ReCode Oregon meets in the “Che” (Guevarra) room of a local church. Their goal is “legalizing sustainability.” Various farmer’s markets support the plan. We can agree that farmer’s markets are wonderful community assets. But they’re private and they’re “markets.” They would become even more beholden to government under this plan.
TransitionPDX is a group created to agitate for government control of food. The group invokes the belief of ‘peak oil’ and ‘climate change’ as reasons to transition to government control over food.
The reasons for needing the program according to the food plan web page? Well it reads like they sat down and threw everything against the wall. Objectives appear to be in conflict with the other.
• About 36,000 people in Multnomah County access emergencyOn one hand people are hungry but on the other hand the do gooders want to deprive them of fast food or out of town sources of food.
food boxes each month.
• Only a small portion of the food we consume is locally grown.
• Over half of all adults in Multnomah County are overweight or obese.
• Chronic disease such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke is on the rise.
• About 30% of Multnomah County children receive food through the SNAP food assistance program.
• The average age of an Oregon farmer is 58 years.
On one hand they claim to be concerned about the poor but on the other hand they want to drive up the cost of food by having most of it from local sources.
On one hand they say 30% of children are on the food stamp program--a huge number--and on the other hand call for a higher number of people to be on welfare.
On one hand they claim more people should grow food and on the other hand they want to use the force of government regulation to deprive people of private property rights to do it.
For free markets--literally--and free peoples this plan is a disaster. Making food and shelter a ‘right’ sounds like a laudable goal, until you realize that when government takes over, things have a tendency to rise in price, not to mention it disincentivising taking care of oneself. When lesser things become a ‘right’ government takes control of it and people come to expect it.
We become Greece.
I want to help people. That’s why I give to charity. Government is not and should not become a charity.
[Victoria Taft may be heard daily, Monday through Friday on KPAM 860, Portland, Oregon from 11:00 AM to 3 PM. She blogs at her own blog, VictoriaTaft.com]