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Saturday, February 22, 2014

 
Hungry in America

by digby

I confess that I am rather obsessed with Rich Kids Insragram and its shameless pride in sickening excess. Here are some recent ones:




Yes, they're are all useless heirs to the .001%, bragging about inherited wealth. These are the nice little boys and girls we musn't tax because of their creativity and the necessity not to stifle the "entrepreneurial" spirit in our job creators.

In other news, Americans are going hungry. Via Susie Madrak, here's a first person account of what life is like among those who've fallen through the cracks:
Jealousy isn’t limited to clothing. I’ve been jealous that friends can do wild and crazy things like buy a full tank of gas, get new brakes for their cars, buy a pack of toilet paper, eat. Food is a big one. In this age of social media, one can guarantee that at least 3 ultra-filtered Instagram photos of a friend’s lunch will scroll on by on their computer screen each day. Back in the day, I would just note that so-and-so had a bagel for lunch and I’d go on with my day. Now, I just sit there and wish it was me.

I wish I had a plate full of good food to obnoxiously photograph, but I don’t.

It’s the food that really drove the issue home for me not too long ago. I had taken my children to Ikea. We weren’t there to buy anything. It was damn cold, we were tired of being cooped up in the house, and there weren’t many options for a free place to play. Ikea has a play zone for my older child. My daughter is more than happy to walk around the store, sitting on sofas and chairs. I love Ikea because it’s fun to imagine having different furniture and organization.

While there, I bought my kids lunch. They had one of their specials going and kiddie meals were free! My kids each had a meal, which included drinks. I didn’t get anything for me. As they ate, I would pick at their plates, stealing a bite here and there. I looked at everyone eating around me and that’s when the tears, which I fought very hard to hold back, started to flow. I wanted so badly to be able to order something for myself. I was starving and the little bites of steamed veggies and mac ‘n’ cheese weren’t very filling.

I hadn’t eaten yet that day and found myself just staring at the plates of strangers, wishing I was free to get myself something to eat. I found myself glaring at people through my tears as they took plates and bowls half full of food to the trash center – what a waste of food! Never before had I been tempted to say, “hey, I’ll take that,” than I was on that day. My son noticed me wiping tears and asked what was wrong. I lied and told him I took a bite of his sister’s squash and it must have had some sort of spice on it and I was reacting to that. He believed me for a moment, taking a last bite of his mashed potatoes before pushing the plate over to me and telling me he was full. More tears to fight off.
I just cannot wrap my mind around the fact that people think this is ok. Sure, people should be able to be rich. But they shouldn't be able to keep it all. Certainly, do decent, wealthy society in 2014 should allow so many people to slip through the cracks and fall into poverty. And no one should be hungry in America. There is something deeply sick about that.


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