About This Blog

Ludwig von Mises (1881-1973) was the greatest economist of my time. His greatest works can be accessed here at no charge.

Mises believed that property, freedom and peace are and should be the hallmarks of a satisfying and prosperous society. I agree. Mises proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that the prospect for general and individual prosperity is maximized, indeed, is only possible, if the principle of private property reigns supreme. What's yours is yours. What's mine is mine. When the line between yours and mine is smudged, the door to conflict opens. Without freedom (individual liberty of action) the principle of private property is neutered and the free market, which is the child of property and freedom and the mother of prosperity and satisfaction, cannot exist. Peace is the goal of a prosperous and satisfying society of free individuals, not peace which is purchased by submission to the enemies of property and freedom, but peace which results from the unyielding defense of these principles against all who challenge them.

In this blog I measure American society against the metrics of property, freedom and peace.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Politicians Better Learn The Difference Between A Problem And A Pet Peeve

I was listening to the radio today and a local talk show guy was expounding on something called a "Food Desert." Well, I got home and went to work on Google. Sure enough, the United States Department of Agriculture Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI) Working Group has designated certain areas of the country Food Deserts. What's a Food Desert? Here's the definition provided by the USDA:
While there are many ways to define a food desert, the Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI) Working Group considers a food desert as a low-income census tract where a substantial number or share of residents has low access to a supermarket or large grocery store. To qualify as low-income, census tracts must meet the Treasury Department's New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) program eligibility criteria. Furthermore, to qualify as a food desert tract, at least 33 percent of the tract's population or a minimum of 500 people in the tract must have low access to a supermarket or large grocery store.

The NMTC program defines a low-income census tract as: any census tract where (1) the poverty rate for that tract is at least 20 percent, or (2) for tracts not located within a metropolitan area, the median family income for the tract does not exceed 80 percent of statewide median family income; or for tracts located within a metropolitan area, the median family income for the tract does not exceed 80 percent of the greater of statewide median family income or the metropolitan area median family income.

Low access to a healthy food retail outlet is defined as more than 1 mile from a supermarket or large grocery store in urban areas and as more than 10 miles from a supermarket or large grocery store in rural areas.
Good grief!!!! "While there are many ways to define a food desert..." Are you kidding me? I must really be out of it. Until this morning I never knew there was such a thing as a food desert and now I learn there are many ways to define it!

In essence, I guess, a food desert is an area which is more than one mile from a food store and in which there are poor people. I guess the morons in the government worrying about such things are deeply concerned that poor people won't get enough to eat. (Last time I checked most poor people were obese, but that's a topic for another discussion.)

You want to know if you live in a food desert? Luckily, the USDA has spent billions of dollars coming up with a Food Desert Locator! Just click here and knock yourself out. (Can you imagine spending 40 hours a week 52 weeks a year in a USDA cubicle in Washington, DC slaving away over such garbage? Talk about useless!) 

The radio talk show host had a clip of Kathleen Sebelius, the current Secretary of the US Department of Health and Human Services, saying that these food deserts are a problem because these low income people don't have access to fresh and healthy foods.

You know, Sebelius and all the rest of our politicians and Washington bureaucrats have to learn the difference between a "Problem" and a "Pet Peeve." Everybody has a pet peeve. My pet peeve is people who litter public beaches and parking lots with soiled, disposable baby diapers. (I'm telling you if I ever catch a perpetrator in the act, there will be hell to pay, but that's another discussion as well.)

But my pet peeve is my problem, not the government's.

The problem with government is that those in government turn their pet peeves into everybody else's problem. Sebelius' pet peeve may be that low income people (however the hell she wants to define low income) may live over a mile away from a grocery store. But that doesn't give Sebelius the right to make her pet peeve the government's problem. I'm pretty damn sure the Constitution does not have a Clause in it which allows politicians to eliminate their pet peeves with taxpayers' money!

Maximum Leader Obama's pet peeve is that we're using too much oil and not enough algae to make jet fuel. So he makes his pet peeve the government's problem, the Navy's problem and the taxpayers' problem by forcing the Navy to stop buying jet fuel refined from oil for $4 per gallon in favor of jet bio-fuel made from algae for $26 per gallon!

Mr. Maximum Leader sir, poor people living over a mile from a grocery store is NOT a problem! The Navy burning jet fuel refined from oil is NOT a problem!

The TSA strip searching 90-year-old grandmas at our airports in direct violation of our Constitution IS a problem! Forcing individual Americans to buy health insurance through the government IS a problem! Running up an annual budget deficit of $1.5-trillion IS a problem! Incurring a public debt of over $10-trillion IS a problem! Allowing a pseudo-governmental bank called the Federal Reserve to inflate the currency to the point where stealing Tide detergent becomes a profitable enterprise IS a problem! Allowing this same FED to keep interest rates at zero until the end of 2014 IS a problem!

Mr. Maximum Leader, you and people like you who don't know the difference between a problem and a pet peeve ARE THE PROBLEM!


LD Jackson said...

Wow, you are stirred up today, Sherman. Actually, I happen to agree with you. I can't believe our government spends as much time and money on things like this. Their priorities need some serious adjustment.

Sherman Broder said...

Thanks, Larry.

A "problem" should be defined as the government overstepping its Constitutional limits. A "pet peeve" should never motivate government action of any kind. That's the real point I was trying to make, but it may have been lost in my excitement. I sure was (and am) stirred up. LOL.

Actually, one thing that occurred to me immediately upon hearing about Food Deserts is that they assume food shopping as a trip destination, which is totally bogus. Most people, I expect, food shop as part of another trip, for instance, coming home from work, or church, or a social event.

I didn't get into that because the entire concept is Constitutionally bogus prior to being just plain ridiculous.

LD Jackson said...

My family do the whole "buy groceries on the way home from church" all the time.