I would like to thank Michelle Obama for the excellent government lesson she gave schoolchildren all over the country recently. I would have been hard-pressed to think of a better way (although opportunities abound!) of illustrating to the children of this country the negative effects of big government liberalism.
All over the country, children were (and in some cases still are) being forced by the government to eat what the government considered a good and healthy lunch and what the children considered to be an awful lunch.
Like many liberal ideas, it was founded upon what sounds like a good intention: Let’s make sure we have healthly lunches in schools. Who could be against that, right? I mean, if you are against kids eating healthy, you’re downright mean! But also like most liberals ideas, it combines a big dose of “government knows best even when it doesn’t” with a huge chunk of “damn the consequences, we know better than you little people”.
The lesson begins with the federal government, or in this case Michelle Obama, dictating some rules on the content of school lunch programs that must be followed for school districts to qualify for recieving the federal funds the government gives to help finance school lunches in districts throughout the country. That’s the beginning of the lesson, young pupils: Liberals will tell you that they know better than you and that you have to do things their way or you don’t get the money they’ve made you dependent on to survive. It’s the most important part of the lesson because it highlights both the liberal’s belief that they know best and the danger of taking government assistance because of how it puts you under the power of the government.
So what are these onerous rules? The rules are too numerous to list here and are as boring to read as I’m sure the meals are to eat. For example, one of the rules is that all pastas, biscuits, tortillas and grits in schools be whole-grain rich, or more than half whole grain, if they can demonstrate that they have had “significant challenges” in preparing whole-grain options. The lack of availabile options that meet those criteria is causing problems with schools all over the country. And kids often just don’t like the taste. In July, the USDA suspended the rule for two years. There are other rules on fat, calorie, sugar and sodium limits that are also causing problems. The net result is that the cost of lunches is rising sharply while the number of lunches being eaten drops because kids refuse to eat them. It is estimated that more than 1 million students have stopped purchasing school lunches and over $1 billion in good food has been thrown out since 2012.
SCnow.com reports: Sophomore Madeline Taylor noticed that hardly anyone was eating. “The entire rest of the day all I heard about was how hungry everyone was,” she said. “I then became very concerned about what would happen if this continued everyday throughout the school year.”
School districts all over the country started reporting that kids were not eating the mandatory lunches and were instead either bringing lunches from home, buying lunch at fast food restaurants or just not eating. This causes an additional financial problem for school districts. If kids don’t buy lunch, the district loses money and has to dig into its general fund. This takes money away from text books, computer labs and school facilities. Another unintended consequence of liberal “good intentions” that result in bad results. Keep paying attention kids…it’s a great lesson!
County school districts can opt out of the federal school lunch program but doing so results in forfeiting hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal funding. Some of the richer areas of the country have school disctricts that are doing so. This means that the poorer areas of the country will be stuck with providing inadequate lunchs to the poorer children of the country while the wealthier areas of the country give their children better lunches. Also, how many poor families are now going to start sending their kids to school with lunch bags to supplement the inadequate school lunches? This will add an additional financial burden on these already financially stressed families. Did you get that part of the lesson, kids?
Another point on contention is that the new rules ban bake sales, severly limiting the opportunity for PTAs, school advisory councils, booster clubs and others to raise money for their activities. All of these groups are recognized as being important to schools and to the development of students as young adults. Dropping out of the federal school lunch program allows schools to maintain their vending machines, bake sales and cupcake birthday parties, which serve as profit-makers to subsidize the afore-mentioned school activities. The school programs are going to have to go away or survive without any type of funds to do activities. Did that reinforce the lesson, young pupils?
The net end result of this disaster of a program is that it proves that proper food nutrition and meal portion guidelines are best decided at a local level. The program was a perfect example of liberalism. It encompassed good intentions, the thought that the government knows better than we do, and no consideration as to what the population actually wanted or what the negative consequences could be. Michelle Obama actually did a great service to our country by providing this great example of failed liberalism to the youth of our country.
I hope that, as these children go through school and grow up to become the young people Michelle Obama calls “knuckleheads“, they remember this valuable school lunch lesson and understand that liberalism is all about control. As they get older and see even more examples (like Obamacare) of failed liberalism, they will hopefully learn the wisdom of President Reagan’s famous quote “Government is not a solution to our problem…government is the problem.”