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American Idol Gives Back to Poverty Stricken America

I watched American Idol last night and they were doing their "Idol Gives Back" charity show (to be continued tonight). They did segments showing Simon Cowell visiting a food bank in California (he was absolutely amazed to see such a thing existed so close to where he lives) and one with Randy Jackson visiting Katrina victims. They talked repeatedly about how many children (I believe they said millions) were starving in America. If I didn't know better I would believe we are living in one of the most poverty stricken places on earth. Okay, maybe it wasn't quite that bad, but still it was pretty close to a John Edwards stump speech.

Children in America that are actually "starving" are the fault of their parents for not taking advantage of the many government programs and/or private charities that provide food assistance. I believe those on the show mean well, but it would be more accurate to show the food bank and tell the stories of the people being helped and say that because of the many contributions to this food bank from kind and generous Americans, there are disadvantaged children in America that are being fed. Then they could ask that viewers help to continue the worthwhile charity. I guess that is not as effective as saying that children all over America are starving. I would be a lousy fundraiser.

Contributions from the Idol fundraiser will go to charities in Africa and America.

Update: Jodi at Webloggin had a similar reaction:

Africa aside, I have a real problem with the depiction of the deplorable conditions in the United States. It was especially painful to watch Simon peruse the L.A. food pantry. Watching him go around telling us that he didn't realize that "this" existed just a few miles from his house; oh my.

Starvation in America is not for lack of available help or plentiful food. No, the problem of children starving is one of parental neglect. People do not have to starve in this country. The simple fact that charities and food pantries exist should be the tipoff to Simon. Didn't he notice the warehouse full of food? This is one of thousands of such warehouses across America. Help is there for the taking.

FYI to American Idol, I don't need some 17 year old, wet behind the ears adolescent to preach to me about how bad the world is and how we need to give back.


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Comments (43)

It was good for AMERICAN ID... (Below threshold)

It was good for AMERICAN IDOL to focus on this issue. In Oregon, Governor Kulongoski purchased some groceries with the average $21 dollar food stamp weekly allowance to highlight the problem of hunger and poverty, and to prevent any cuts at the state level to the food stamp program.

The Governor had to forego his favorite morning item, fresh grapes in favor of some cheaper bananas, and had to put one back when he was 48 cents over the $21 budget.

Later in the day the Governor had to address some important luncheon. But instead of sharing in this meal, he brought a peanut butter sandwich from the food stamp purchased goods with him.

The governor was raised in a boys home by Cathoilic nuns and worked hus way through life driving a truck and joining the Marines before getting a law degree and going on to become a the Attorney General, a Supreme Court justice and finally Governor. He's always been a honest man who attends the funeral of every soldier who loses their life in either Iraq or Afghanistan and made sure Oregon National Guard members received vital equipment that they were lacking in Iraq.

Actualy, it would have been... (Below threshold)
mcg:

Actualy, it would have been just as good a fundraiser had they done it your way. You know how they said they were giving 10 cents per call? Well, there was a cap on that number, something like 5 million bucks. Don't get me wrong, that's still fantastic---but Idol gets that many calls on a slow day. So basically, they just decided to give 5 million bucks, and involving us at 10 cents per call was marketing. Hence they could have told the story any way they wanted!

Children in America that ar... (Below threshold)
Gianni:

Children in America that are actually "starving" are the fault of their parents, either for having them before they were prepared to sufficiently provide for them, or 2, having too many kids, or 3, not taking advantage of the 1000's of opportunities available in the US. If an illiterate, non English speaking immigrant can 'make it', how come people born here cant?

America is STILL the land of opportunity, a shame so many born here dont realize it, and take advantage of it.

I stopped watching when I s... (Below threshold)

I stopped watching when I saw Simon in Africa. I can't watch when they parade that they are doing "good".

Let's stop with this nonsense, what about the Iranian women who are being arrested for not wearing the appropriate head cover?

There are many things we can do to alleviate hunger, but freedom is one that must be fought for.

I sure wish Simon and Randy would get behind our troops. Maybe raise funds for the widows and children.

Oh well...

I think in principle this i... (Below threshold)
drjohn:

I think in principle this is great but how much are all these multi- multi- millionaires giving themselves?

Why is it multi-millionaires are always asking us to give?

It's good that they are doi... (Below threshold)

It's good that they are doing that but I have no desire to watch the show. I've never seen it. Call me old fashioned if you want, but when I want to watch amateurs make asses of themselves in public I still rely on CBS News.

Gianni, a large part of tho... (Below threshold)
Scrapiron:

Gianni, a large part of those that won't take the opportunities available have been taught that from birth by a political party. Without welfare the democrats wouldn't have 60% of they're voters. Keep them poor and convince them it's someone else's fault. Today the hype (brain washing in public school and every major college) is that the rich republicans block their progress when in fact there are as many 'rich' democrats, more rich democrats in the congress that must keep the poor where they are, poor and dependant on them.

IMHO, feeding the hungry is... (Below threshold)
Antonio:

IMHO, feeding the hungry is a useful bandaid. But the real issue here is education and birth control. Rampant sex/baby making is practiced without any regard to the fact that millions of children are being brought into the planet where they are immediately disadvantaged by the circumstances of disease, poverty, ignorance, violence and abandonment.
Sure, feed the children, but educate the people about life, death and birth contol.

Antonio, many persons in Am... (Below threshold)

Antonio, many persons in America fall into poverty when their minimum wage does not keep up with expensive rents or gas bills. And even middle class persons can fall into poverty with a serious business reverse during a recession cycle or else have serious health problems that ruin their ability to be more productive and hurt their employment potential.

The steady outsourcing of jobs to Mexico or China is also very hurtful. The only automobiles currently used in Nascar racing that are American made are the Toyota cars, all the Ford, Chevy or Dodge cars are now built in either Canada or Mexico where wages are cheaper.

America has pretty much ceased to be a manufacturing nation. Anthropologists will tell you that even the most primitive of cultures at least produced their own pottery or other items. They were not all imported from China at the expense of domestic jobs.

Scrap, now why would anyon... (Below threshold)
Gianni:

Scrap, now why would anyone think that intelligence, logic, and common sense would work on the left?

The moonbats will still blame the rich, the GOP, corporate america, Bush, Cheny, Halliburton, etc, instead of taking responsibility for themselves.

If an illiterate immigrant can make it, why not people born here? Some want to work, to sacrifice, to learn, grow, to excel, to succeed, while others would rather sit back and hope to win the lottery, and rely on the govt to provide for them.

Antonio, many persons in... (Below threshold)
_Mike_:

Antonio, many persons in America fall into poverty when their minimum wage does not keep up with expensive rents or gas bills.

Really ? What's your basis for this information ?

My take...
Min. wage jobs are 'starter' jobs. If you're making minimum wage, it's because (with a few exceptions) you've repeatedly made bad decisions in your life and probably have no work ethic or you're in high school / college... even Burger King (according their their sign) pays $8.50/hr after 1 year.

Paul Hooson:<b... (Below threshold)

Paul Hooson:

Antonio, many persons in America fall into poverty when their minimum wage does not keep up with expensive rents or gas bills. And even middle class persons can fall into poverty with a serious business reverse during a recession cycle or else have serious health problems that ruin their ability to be more productive and hurt their employment potential.
There is validity to what you are saying: however, you aren't addressing Antonio's central point. Don't have children out-of-wedlock and, if you have children, don't engage in behaviors and activities that further impoverish you and your family.

Several years ago, while working with a community outreach organization, we donated $750,0000 to the Illinois Subsequent Pregnancy Project (ISPP). The Project was formed after conclusive research done by the University of Chicago (with whom the ISPP was affiliated) showed that, among teenage girls who had one child, a subsequent child would render them impoverished. The financial and social demands of an additional child meant that, as single parents, they would not be able to afford child care or finish high school. It would also render college an impossibility for even the brightest scholarship recipients, and relegate them to permanent welfare recipient status. All because they are one person with no means to afford or properly care for multiple children, and they have not the time or social support structure (aka "family") to pursue the education, job training, etc that would enable them to qualify for high-paying jobs.

I think we both can agree that, no how much you raise the minimum wage, it will never be enough to provide a working- or middle-class existence for someone with no skills. The solution is to change the societal acceptance of "Baby Daddys" & "Baby Mamas", illegitimacy, underachievement, poor diet & nutrition, etc. The stuff you are advocating for, while well-intentioned, is a Band Aid on a gaping wound.

Does Fox pay you guys for t... (Below threshold)

Does Fox pay you guys for this plugola?

There are many worthwhile charities and fundraisers/telethons on the other networks, but Lorie and the other Wizbangers seem to only plugs Fox shows.

Lee: You wrote ...</... (Below threshold)

Lee: You wrote ...

Does Fox pay you guys for this plugola?

There are many worthwhile charities and fundraisers/telethons on the other networks, but Lorie and the other Wizbangers seem to only plugs Fox shows.

Sure, there are plenty shows besides "American Idol" that do this sort of schlocky "raising awareness" thing. But are they consistently #1 in their time slot? Do they consistently finish among the Top 5 shows of all the networks?

No, they don't. And that's why it is more important, if you will, when "American Idol" does it.

For an example of where 'Li... (Below threshold)
_Mike_:

For an example of where 'Liberals' good intentions produces ruinous results read:

http://www.spiegel.de/international/spiegel/0,1518,363663,00.html

It's an interview with a Kenyan economists. In it, he discusses how the UN's World Food Program has destroyed his country's ability to feed itself, and made it MORE dependent on outside aid.

Lee,Not much of a pl... (Below threshold)
Lorie Byrd:

Lee,
Not much of a plug -- I thought it was more of a criticism. I do watch a good bit of Fox (House, Idol, Prison Break, 24) but watch stuff on the other networks too. I watch entirely too much tv, as a matter of fact. This isn't a tv blog though. The only reason I do the 24 posts is because so many blog readers happen to watch it and write about it, and write about Idol from time to time because me and my kids watch it every season and because it is one of the highest rated shows in America.

The are lots of highly-rate... (Below threshold)

The are lots of highly-rated shows, but the only shows you plug are Fox shows, Lorie.

I was just curious - thanks for the reply.

"The only automobiles curre... (Below threshold)
brainy435:

"The only automobiles currently used in Nascar racing that are American made are the Toyota cars, all the Ford, Chevy or Dodge cars are now built in either Canada or Mexico where wages are cheaper."
Paul Hooson

Uh.... this is incorrect. All the cars USED in NASCAR racing are American made. They use specialized chasis made here in the USA. They have absolutley no relation to cars made by their supposed manufacturer.

If you had said the cars that NASCAR cars are "BASED" on, you would have been more accurate, however:

The Dodge Avenger, used as the new "Car of Tomorrow" is made in Sterling heights Mich.


Ah, compassionate conservat... (Below threshold)
jim:

Ah, compassionate conservatism: "screw you, starve."

Jobs are outsourced. Medical expenses bankrupting working families (I guess families should choose not to get sick?). A wide disparity of available public education locks the poor into poor job training. And McJobs increasingly replace careers...Meanwhile American corporations not only INCREASE their money by pulling jobs out of the US, and get TAX CUTS for relocating US jobs overseas...they get to keep their Cayman Islands tax dodges, which cost the US how many billions in tax funds a year?

But here's my real question:

Let's say that it is 1000% the parents' fault, that their families don't have enough food to eat.

a) how is that the KIDS fault?

b) isn't it a good investment in the future of our country, to make sure that kids grow up well fed and educated, to the best of our ability?

jim, you're bitching about ... (Below threshold)
brainy435:

jim, you're bitching about taxes being "lost" by corporations outsourcing and medical costs, so I would assume you want:
a) forced uncompetitiveness of US corporations
b) universal healthcare

However, you shoot yourself in the foot with the educational rant. If the government can't correctly plan to educate our children, how can they possibly plan to care for us medically?

Jim,Get a grip. I c... (Below threshold)
Lorie Byrd:

Jim,
Get a grip. I certainly didn't say anything was the kids' fault and that they shouldn't be fed. Where the heck did that come from?

In fact, I said just the opposite. That it is the fault of the parents, not the kids (or the government either for that matter). It is not always the parents' fault that they don't have the resources to care for their kids. I know better than most how medical expenses can devastate a family's economic situation. Other things outside of the parents' control can also leave them unable to provide for their kids.

But it is the parents' fault for not making sure their kids get fed. Kids "starving" in America are not in some remote jungle. There are resources available to the poor. Even the illegal immigrant poor for goodness sake.

My point is that this country is very prosperous and very generous and there are scores of government programs (state and federal) to provide for "starving" kids. There are also scores of private charities feeding kids. I just wish American Idol had stressed the prosperity and generosity of this country.

Um... I believe the actual... (Below threshold)
mrjimm:

Um... I believe the actual definition of "starving" when used in conjunction with statistics of "millions of starving children in the United States" is "HAVING GONE TO BED HUNGRY AT LEAST ONCE DURING THE PREVOUS 12 MONTHS" which could easily apply to almost reader of this blog or anybody in Middle America. Certainly applies to me, and I myself am far from "starving".

Sorry i don't have a link to prove this, but youcan look it up.

jim, you're bitching abo... (Below threshold)
jim:

jim, you're bitching about taxes being "lost" by corporations outsourcing and medical costs, so I would assume you want:
a) forced uncompetitiveness of US corporations
b) universal healthcare

No. It's interesting that you assume that, though. No, what I want is:

a) Corporations to pay their fair share of taxes, not use dodges
b) Corporations not get tax cuts for relocating US jobs overseas

That's reasonable, right?

But corporations have gotten out of paying their fair share, and gotten away with screwing over the American working man who's helped make them what they are, by USING 'competitiveness' as an excuse to do whatever they want.

But not all things that increase profit increase competitiveness; and if it's a conflict between what's good for the corporation and what's good for America, I think we should go with what's good for America.

As for health care, I want:
a) the same system of payment for health care that Canadians and European nations enjoy.
b) very specifically, the same level of care for children that other nations enjoy.

Call that socialized medicine, call it whatever you want. It works for them, we're human too, it can work for us.

If the government can't correctly plan to educate our children, how can they possibly plan to care for us medically?

a) Just because the current people in charge of the government are doing it all wrong, doesn't mean another bunch of people in charge can't do it much, much better.

b) once again, other governments around the world do it just fine. If they can do it, why can't we? They aren't any better than we are.

Okay Lee, Whatever y... (Below threshold)
Lorie Byrd:

Okay Lee,
Whatever you say. The show I have "plugged" most here lately,though, has been The View. I was under the impression it was on ABC. Maybe on a different network in your part of the world? And you have already established that by "plug" you are referring to my post criticizing Idol, so I must assume the same rules apply to The View.

Actually on my personal blog I have plugged Medium (NBC), Ugly Betty (ABC), Shark (CBS), Jericho (CBS), Project Runway (Bravo), Glenn Beck (CNN Headline, I think?), Dennis Miller (CNBC), Oprah (Syndicated), Supernatural (I don't even know what the heck channel it is on, but I find it by clicking "guide"), The Amazing Race (CBS -- I used to do a weekly update on it back when I watched more regularly in previous seasons), some HGTV programs and others. I post tv stuff here at Wizbang, generally, for the most part, when there is some political or cultural connection.

But thanks for your concern.

Get a grip. I certainly ... (Below threshold)
jim:

Get a grip. I certainly didn't say anything was the kids' fault and that they shouldn't be fed. Where the heck did that come from?

Well, all I see is an article full of complaining that American Idol went and actually tried to do some good for some people, and didn't do it in a way you liked.

I can understand being annoyed at feeling preached at. No one likes feeling preached at. And I can understand feeling annoyed that what the US does isn't highlighted as well.

But when you say, Children in America that are actually "starving" are the fault of their parents for not taking advantage of the many government programs and/or private charities that provide food assistance. - I'm just appalled at what I see as a total lack of sympathy.

Oh, and double thanks for t... (Below threshold)
Lorie Byrd:

Oh, and double thanks for the Fox payola insinuation, Lee. I wish I was on the Fox payroll. Just give me what Keifer's gettin'.

You really should re-read t... (Below threshold)
Lorie Byrd:

You really should re-read the post, Jim. No one said kids deserve to starve or (to quote you and Kos) "screw you." I praised the people in this country that give to charities to feed the underprivileged.

You are right about one thing though, Jim. I have a total lack of sympathy for a parent that would let their child starve before they would go to a food bank or a church or to a government agency for food. I have plenty of sympathy for people who have a child (like mine) that had nine surgeries in five years beginning at the age of 3 mos. and have suffered financially for it. Or for all the people who are born into a cycle of poverty, or for people who have been devastated by natural disasters, or disability or for any other reason are hurting, but I do not have one ounce of sympathy for a parent that would let their child starve in America.

In Africa or somewhere like that I have enormous sympathy for a parent that cannot feed their child. I can't imagine anything worse. But in America there is no excuse for any child starving -- not when even the non-English speaking migrants working on the tobacco farms down the road from me can figure out how to get government assistance for food through the school lunch program, Smart Start, etc.

Lorie, I guess I flew off t... (Below threshold)
jim:

Lorie, I guess I flew off the handle a bit. I apologize. My perception of this article just really pushed one of my big buttons.

It would be easy for me in some ways to look at some who are struggling and say "they can do it better." And I can point out real mistakes they've made, that are obvious to me and in my mind "should have been" obvious to them.

And they are individually responsible for how they run their lives, there's no question.

But there's also no question that where they're starting out from is a position with a ton of disadvantages. I had a family, fer chrissakes. Without alcoholism, without drug issues, without violence, without physical illness...I am so freaking fortunate, out of the gate, it's like I'm already born on second base. Starting out with any of those problems, it's like trying to run to 1st base dragging your grandmother.

Some people can do it from scratch. Some exceptional people can shine from wherever they land. And they all seem to have great outlooks on life, because of the tremendous amount of adversity they've overcome, and the optimistic mindset they've chosen and built for themselves, to do it.

But to blame people who are hurting for their own damage, is besides the point. And I was perceiving your article as blaming the poor for being poor.

And my outlook is that blame and is irrelevant. Blame doesn't solve any single problem. Blame just makes one person feel good, by making someone else wrong in some way for some bad thing.

Now blame is different than accountability. Accountability is finding out how something happened, so you can understand it and hopefully keep it from happening again.

Blame takes accountability one step further: it says, "because this is how it happened YOU SUCK." Which I think is just irrelevant and counter-productive.

I can see how your article was pointing out that there are a lot of resources available to most people. Now, in the case of the Katrina catastrophe, a lot of those resources still aren't reaching the affected people; but hopefully they eventually will, and hopefully we will be able to rebuild New Orleans and our nation as a whole better than it ever was before.

And my point about it not b... (Below threshold)
jim:

And my point about it not being the kids' fault, is this:

Even if the parents are totally at fault for not taking advantage of every single program that's available to them - if it means that we have to go and knock on their door and physically put the food in their hands to feed their children, then we should do that.

Because even if it "should be" soemthing that parents should do and not us, it's in America's best interest to make sure that we have the best and brightest next generation of kids as possible - regardless of how bad their parents are at making decisions.

"'jim, you're bitching abou... (Below threshold)
brainy435:

"'jim, you're bitching about taxes being "lost" by corporations outsourcing and medical costs, so I would assume you want:
a) forced uncompetitiveness of US corporations
b) universal healthcare

No. It's interesting that you assume that, though. No, what I want is:...'

' As for health care, I want:

Call that socialized medicine, call it whatever you want. '"


Yeah, I was WAY off the mark, huh?


As for "once again, other governments around the world do it just fine," the reality is that they don't "do just fine," as seen in the fact that Canada just had to reverse itself from banning private insurance and cases like this:
http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/health_medical/article2481020.ece

Brainy435, your article ref... (Below threshold)
jim:

Brainy435, your article refers to the UK health system, not the Canadian.

However, if you want to have that as your example of the possible evils of socialized medicine, fine.

I see your article, and I raise you the many documented instances of US insurance companies denying life-saving operations because they would hurt their profits.

http://chat.lawinfo.com/health_insurance_denies-t7079/index.html?s=cc5ad90beb2c1dd04e5376fe6f4e9e2c&

"My husband Pat recently passed away In August 2002 Pat was diagnosed with AML. After two rounds of chemo he was put into remission. Right away the doctors sent him to Omaha NE for a bone marrow transplant. Our health insurance company denied him the transplant because he "did not show any high risk features an allogeneic transplant could not be considered standard of care". On January 4th we received a call from the insurance company telling Pat they "approved" the transplant so we started the transplant process again. On January 27th Pat had a checkup with a doctor in Omaha and we found out not only was the cancer back but it was now ALL much stronger and more aggressive. On June 8th 2003 Pat passed away. I believe that if Pat would have received the transplant in November 2002 after his first remission he would be here today. I do not understand how an insurance company could ignore medical professionals and deny treatment."

Then there's this woman, who had to wear a freakin' HOCKEY HELMET to keep her brains in, because her insurance company, Medicaid and the hospital kept trying to pass the bill for the procedure to put her skull back in after the surgery.

http://www.sptimes.com/2004/05/14/Worldandnation/She_kept_her_head_as_.shtml

And finally, here's an article you really should read. It gets right to the differences between our health care system, and the Canadian one:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canadian_and_American_health_care_systems_compared

Read it and gain some information.

Perhaps of most interest re: our systems of health care:

a) Canadians live an average of 2 1/2 years longer than us, and have lower infant mortality rates

b) though the US spends 50% more on cancer, more Canadian cancer patients survive.

Both of these situations are probably due to the fact that Canadians have cheaper treatment overall. So, even though the Canadians have a lower doctor/patient ratio than we do, they seek health care earlier - so cancer and other health problems are caught much earlier, when it's much easier to treat them.

c) poor health has been linked to poverty. They can help feed off of each other. Making it easier for the poor to stay healthy, makes it easier for the poor to improve their lives.

I am interested in what works. Our health care system doesn't work, and we can do much better.

Whoops - read a little deep... (Below threshold)
jim:

Whoops - read a little deeper into the Wiki article, and the figures don't quite say that about cancer. Since more Americans develop cancer than Canadians, more Americans die from it; adjusting to this, it seems that American cancer treatment is more effective.

So, scratch that part of my argument...

Well, jim, you've already d... (Below threshold)
brainy435:

Well, jim, you've already debunked one of your claims, so let me get to the others.

First, I know full well that article refers to the UK, I never implied otherwise. that's how it refuted your claim that the "Canadians and European" health systems are superior to ours.

Second, it's not terribly convincing to say that the incredibly expensive system you want to implement is horribly flawed, but it doesn't matter because the one that exists isn't perfect. On top of THAT, one of the examples you used as a gotcha refers to the ineptitude of Medicaid, which is an already implemented version of government-run health care.

Lorie, Your essa... (Below threshold)
doctorj:

Lorie,
Your essay breaks my heart. This is what America has become. We in Katrina land have seen first hand how well government programs work - they don't. So let the children suffer. Before Katrina I might of understood the point you were trying to make, but post Katrina it just seems hard hearted, arrogant and cruel. This is not the future of America.

Lori, thanks for running le... (Below threshold)

Lori, thanks for running lee silent before he was able to launch the Lie Allegation.

Doctor J,Where do yo... (Below threshold)
Lorie Byrd:

Doctor J,
Where do you get that I said only government programs were needed or that we should "let the children suffer"? I think I mentioned several times that Americans are generous and kind and give to many charities that do wonderful work. I think that is a wonderful thing and that Idol is steering people to those charities is a wonderful thing. I just think that when they said millions of children in America are "starving" that it creates the impression that kids in America are starving to death while we all sit by and do nothing about it.

I am really curious though, what exactly, which quote, from my "essay" did you think was "hard hearted, arrogant and cruel"? I was tough on any parent in America that would let their child starve when there are so many programs -- both government and private to feed kids. Can charities use more money to do even more to good? Absolutely. That is why I praised them in the post and strongly support private (even, gasp, faith based) charities over government in most instances to provide goods and services to the poor.

Every conservative I know supports charities, not only with words, but with their pocketbooks. I don't have much, but I do give to food banks and to church charities and various local charities. I hope that those who don't will be inspired by Idol to give too.

Hey, I have to agree with L... (Below threshold)
Ryan:

Hey, I have to agree with Lorie on this one (shudder). There is no reason for anyone to go hungry in this fat-ass country. I was a homeless runaway back when I was 15-16 on the streets, and I ate well. You can walk into any Denny's and offer to roll some silverware, (wrap a freshly washed knife, fork, and spoon in a napkin and fill up a bus tub) for a Grand Slam breakfast. It takes about 15 minutes. That's not even taking into account church food programs, state homeless shelters, etc. I know full well what programs are available to a family with small children. My brother and sister in law haven't paid for their own food in years, and they all eat like kings. This isn't Biafra, for crissakes.

Lorrie, It was... (Below threshold)
doctorj:

Lorrie,
It was this phrase that made my heart clinch- "Children in America that are actually "starving" are the fault of their parents for not taking advantage of the many government programs and/or private charities that provide food assistance." I was always a hardcore conservative. I too felt the way you do now. Then I lived a disaster where it was time for the government to step up and it just plain didn't. Oh, plenty of money was "allocated" (7 months after the fact) but none can be accessed because it is all set up as a re-imbersement plan. (unlike 9-11). You have to spend the money first. In a catastrophe, there is no money there to spend. So many of the the worst hit communities like my hometown New Orleans and my mom's town of Pass Christian, MS lay in limbo, only able to do small projects as they scrape some money together. I believe in faith based charity but I never believed it would be the ONLY help Americans would receive. But this is what happened to us. SO if the government worked so poorly when we needed, exactly how well are the government programs to help the poor working? My guess is it the same story. We cannot depend on the government that we send so much of our money to in taxes to do its job. I just can't believe it anymore after what I have lived. It is only the charities that are working.

Even if you don't consider ... (Below threshold)
Tim in PA:

Even if you don't consider gov't assistance or private charities, I'm issuing a proclamation of sorts, here:

Unless you are too young to care for yourself, or old enough but not able-bodied (or minded), then if you still manage to starve in the United States, you are INCREDIBLY STUPID.

Period, end of story.

And jim, yes, jobs are outs... (Below threshold)
Tim in PA:

And jim, yes, jobs are outsourced and industries change or go away - but there has been serious discussion that the number of jobs outsourced TO the US is greater than the number outsourced from.

As for caring for children - I don't have much faith in child protective services and the like. It'd be nice if they could catch parents who were starving kids; there is no easy answer. No one wants to write them off, but what are you really going to do?

If you're that concerned about making sure the next generation comes out well, I'd be more worried about our failed public schools (which screw over millions) than a couple hundred or even thousand neglected children.

First, I know full well ... (Below threshold)
jim:

First, I know full well that article refers to the UK, I never implied otherwise. that's how it refuted your claim that the "Canadians and European" health systems are superior to ours.

OK, fine. I already acknowledged it as your example of a non-American system, and treated it as such.

My argument is that your one incident of something bad that can happen in one non-American system, can certaintly be balanced out by the many examples of bad things that can happen in the American system.

Second, it's not terribly convincing to say that the incredibly expensive system you want to implement is horribly flawed, but it doesn't matter because the one that exists isn't perfect.

Mistake 1: it doesn't have to be horribly expensive. That's the whole point. If done as it is in different nations, it will be LESS expenseive to begin with.

Mistake 2: that's not my argument. My argument is that what we have right now is WORSE for 99% of Americans than other health systems are for the citizens of other countries.

On top of THAT, one of the examples you used as a gotcha refers to the ineptitude of Medicaid, which is an already implemented version of government-run health care.

There's no question, a government can do something wrong.

Other nations' governments run their systems about Medicaid. I'd think that means, that we should make Medicaid run better. Don't you think we should make it run better?

How about letting Medicaid collectively bargain, to get cheaper prices for medication? Just to begin with? Wouldn't that be a good idea?

And what's your answer to the other example I posted?

And jim, yes, jobs are o... (Below threshold)
jim:

And jim, yes, jobs are outsourced and industries change or go away - but there has been serious discussion that the number of jobs outsourced TO the US is greater than the number outsourced from.

And there's also been serious discussion that UFO's exist. Got figures?

As for caring for children - I don't have much faith in child protective services and the like. It'd be nice if they could catch parents who were starving kids; there is no easy answer. No one wants to write them off, but what are you really going to do?

Do something for them, because every kid you help is a brighter future for that kid and for America.

Just because a system has flaws, doesn't mean we can't improve it.

If you're that concerned about making sure the next generation comes out well, I'd be more worried about our failed public schools (which screw over millions) than a couple hundred or even thousand neglected children.

Sure, let's do something about the schools that actually works. I'm totally agreed there.

Lets see 2 white folks in a... (Below threshold)
omar:

Lets see 2 white folks in africa, all white performances and artist all dressed in white and we all know how fox gets down, politically subliminal




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