Monday, March 20, 2006

OK babies, the next round is on your Uncle Sam

I was eating lunch at the local Einstein Bagels today and the only thing to read was a portion of the local excuse for a newspaper. Nonetheless, the Police Blotter is always entertaining. Among the routine domestic disturbances and stolen cars in Bridgeport, there was mention of a convenience store robbery. The crook made off with about two dozen packages of underarm deodorant and some cans of baby formula.

Then it mentioned a very troubling statistic. What's the number item stolen by shoplifters in the US? No, not cigarettes or liquor (my first two guesses), or even underarm deodorant (which is surprisingly popular among shoplifters)... it's baby formula. This little statistic, buried in the local police blotter pretty much sums up how we are failing as a country. There is absolutely no reason why anyone should have to steal baby formula. If you have a baby and can't afford to feed him/her, there has to be a government program to pitch in.

The merits of welfare have and always will be a source of great debate in this country. But, how can anyone - even the most right wing libertarian bastard argue against providing formula for babies that are going hungry. Regardless of what you think of the parent(s) and their circumstances, be they drug addicts or well-intentioned people that have fallen on hard times, no one should be forced to steal just to feed a baby.

How many malnourished babies do you think we could feed for the cost of just one day of the war in Iraq? I would guess pretty much all of them. Before we can even begin to justify "spreading freedom" to the rest of the world, we should be sure that at least the basic needs are being met for our children. You don't need to be a scholar on Maslow to understand that freedom and democracy are not even on your radar when you can't afford to feed your own child.

I'll make this promise now, and to my friends and family, hold me to it. When I'm king, no parent will ever have to steal baby formula.

1 Comments:

Blogger The Continental Op said...

I agree 100% about the baby formula. But underarm deoderant? That's just kind of wierd!

1:28 AM  

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