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A parliament of whores* (11/04/2007)
By John Edstrom

There has never been an older generation which wasn't entirely convinced that the world was going to hell in a handbasket and they have seldom been wrong. Fresh evidence came to light in last Tuesday's edition of the Minneapolis Tribune, in an article entitled, "A kernel of truth? Nation's obese are corn-fed."

It is the story of two recent Yale graduates who produced a documentary entitled "King Corn," which links the nation's ongoing epidemic of obesity, especially among the young, to highly subsidized row crops, particularly corn and soybeans. Were it not for the low prices and ubiquity of these grains, encouraged by government cash payments, our children would not be turning into fat little greaseballs, overstuffed on corn- fed beef, soda sweetened with corn syrup, and baked goods made with soy oil.

Congressional solons are currently crafting another farm bill in Washington, which will run about $286 billion, half of it in subsidies to row crops, mainly corn and soybeans. The logical conclusion to this obviously perverted public policy is to cease the subsidies, and if that is what "King Corn" advocated, one could see an improvement in the human condition glimmering on the horizon. Instead, the film (or perhaps the article) seems to advocate yet more subsidies, now for fruits, vegetables, and -- yes! -- organic agriculture.

The Senate farm bill seeks $4.2 billion additional spending on nutrition programs, and one Neal Barnard, a physician heading a group called Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is quoted: "...everybody thought the farm bill was only about farms. Now they realize it's about whether our kids are going to be eating at McDonald's because it's cheap."

The poor dear children. Just yesterday, many of them were going hungry for lack of free, hot breakfast and lunch at school, while today the little butterballs can hardly waddle for an overabundance of cheap fast food. Could the antidote possibly be an end to the subsidized public board groaning with free lunch? Never! The answer surely lies in subsidies to make green, organic salads cheaper, as if that would encourage their consumption by those given a choice between the latter and a big juicy hamburger or sweet roll.

The astute reader will have already sniffed out my thesis, which is that the real obesity epidemic in this country is run amok government, whose only evident purpose is to get and spend ever more, while keeping a conniving, cynical, hereditary political class in power whose debauched constituencies are utterly dependent on them. It sees no problem which can be solved without government intervention, and no solution not involving the expenditure of tax dollars, a parliament of whores convening a carnival of thieves.


*for additional reading consult P.J. O'Rourke's book of that title



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