A Nation of Cold Cheese Sandwich Eaters

Monday, May 4, 2009

If you've followed my blog, you know I rarely post someone else's article in its entirety. I read this article and felt it spoke to Obama’s entire budget agenda. It speaks to everything that is wrong with today’s entitlement mentality. Below is an article by Jeannie DeAngelis that was published in the American Thinker (The link is under 5/3 on my article list).

The "village" is dishing out free lunch. Unfortunately, the natives are restless because the only provision on the collective cauldron is a "cold cheese sandwich." School districts all across America are under attack over the sandwich, fruit and carton of milk provided gratis for students without lunch money or those who fail to pay the tab for charged lunches. The initiative is called the "cheese sandwich policy" implemented as an effort to prevent children from going hungry, while insuring the district's budget remains unstrained.


Tearful mothers pleaded with school districts to stop singling out children by feeding them cheese sandwiches. Students are vowing, they "...will never eat sliced cheese again" after having to eat them as a "courtesy meal." Cheese sandwich anger is palpable and is being interpreted as a "singling out or punishment" of poor children.


One example is the Albuquerque New Mexico school district, which is the fifth largest in the country and should serve as an example to the rest of us of what happens when governmental type entitlement programs are instituted to meet needs that are deemed "rights" for large groups of people. What occur are "cold cheese sandwich" programs considered adequate by dispensers of the privilege, but below the expectations of recipients?


We live in a deluded state of entitlement in this country. Our perceptions of what we deserve don't quite line up with our bottom line. Not being able to meet the expense of a house doesn't stop some of us from purchasing one, forgoing the mortgage payment, blaming predatory lenders for our predicament and expecting the government to come up with the monetary solution. This type of attitude is indicative of the practice of sending children to school without lunch, running up a delinquent tab, expecting kids to be eligible for free hot pastrami on rye and then protesting when all they get is a "cold cheese sandwich".


We were once a nation that assumed responsibility for the needs of our own family. Never would we expect our food or housing to be provided by anyone other than ourselves and we worked hard as proud providers. Over the last twenty years, we're become a country that views itself as "entitled" and deserving of governmental provision of shelter, transportation, education and of course health care. We're sucking our thumb, curled up in the fetal position on the lap of a lactating Nanny state. However, when the government provides what is standard government colostrums we're shocked, appalled and dissatisfied with the stipulations.


We've eagerly elected politicians who are "changing" America into something against the grain of who and what we've historically been, yet we're still expecting what we've been used to -- just minus a monthly statement of any kind. Sorry comrades it doesn't work that way. American's are about to find out that "cold cheese sandwiches" are government cuisine and like it or not we're going to have to gag down dry sandwiches, warm WIC milk and a mealy, rotten apple if we don't wake-up in a hurry.


It is going to be very interesting to see the reaction of American's, who are eagerly awaiting single-payer Universal Health Care and who falsely imagine that for "free" they will have the same access and quality they presently enjoy These are same hoodwinked individuals who think they can skip mortgage payments and remain in their homes or overlook lunch tabs but still demand personal size pizzas and Acai-Blueberry-Pomegranate Vitamin Water without charge.


We are an impatient nation griping on deli lines, exhibiting road rage when caught in traffic, avoiding the inefficient DMV, walking out of the diner if the waitress dawdles and buying stamps online because it takes too long at the US post office. Surprisingly, this is the same group that thinks Universal Health Care is a panacea in waiting.


Wait until Americans get a "cold cheese sandwich" slapped onto the lunch tray of reality.


"Many Americans look to Canada's Medicare program ...ignoring the very real costs that system imposes ... long wait times that can stretch into months or even years of painful and detrimental delay. Chronic conditions can become acute, with increased morbidity and mortality, and curable malignancies may become incurable" (Waiting Your Turn, Studies in Health Care Policy, Fraser Institute, October 2008).


If parents are complaining to school boards about children's free lunches wait until curable cancers become incurable because of rationed treatment.


The same citizens who are complaining about "government cheese" sandwiches will be begging for the right to eat one when Universal Health Care restrictions decide the menu. Wait until loss of personal freedom is driven home to dying people who, while waiting for treatment, crave a gooey, grilled cheese sandwich and are then forced to pay increased taxes on the meal because butter, cheddar and white bread are considered detrimental to health and responsible for putting undue strain the health care system. We are in grave danger of finding ourselves sitting around gumming government "cheese sandwiches" because a socialistic Sugar Daddy reprimanded us for the candy stuck in our teeth costing us our dentures.


The witch doctors are entering the village and we're on the precipice of giving government unprecedented control over our lives, which I promise will nurture a response similar to Danessa Vigil's over her free cheese sandwich when she said, "... it makes me feel like I want to throw up"


Wouldn't it be better to insure that the choices available to us are dictated only by our own resources, driven by personal responsibility and initiative? The American people should reevaluate the cost of what the federal, state or local government considers free and if they don't want to have their entire life transformed into a giant, "cold cheese sandwich" maybe they should bag their own lunch and accept responsibility for their lives.


Where I felt the article did not go far enough is explaining why people become unhappy with their free lunches. When government provides, there is no one to thank (maybe Obama in the US of today, but you see, Obama didn’t give the tax payers did). There is no shame. There is no sense of indebtedness. In today’s compassionate government, taxes are taken from people against their will and sent in the mail to someone else. There is no spirit of giving or compassion in the exchange. It’s completely sterile. When a poor child is donated a lunch from an actual person, there is a feeling of obligation and thankfulness towards that generous person. There is a feeling that one must take that investment of generosity and create a return; to work towards a day where the one that received the donation is in a position to donate in order to repay the act of kindness.

In our past, people in communities used to look out for each other. When individuals helped individuals, there was a face to the charity and compassion given. That gave the system of welfare stability. If we want to bring entitlement to an end, we need to walk away from a compassionate government and bring back individual compassion.

15 comments

Devrim said...

You know how we became this way, just don't want to say it :

When the congress decides to keep their "cost of living" raises when millions are taking wage/benefit cuts, millions more loosing their jobs, and the budget is in not red anymore but crimson (remember "let them eat cake"?)

If the USA were a corporation, as the shareholders, we would be DEMANDING the heads of the responsible parties on a silver platter.

Arrrgh matey, if we were on a pirate ship, we would mutiny like it was 1789 and make a couple bigwigs walk the plank.

From Wiki "The situation began to escalate violently in June as the National Assembly began to demand more rights, and Louis XVI began to push back with efforts to suppress the Third Estate" sounds familiar ? The masses demand more, the King, Messiah, the One needs to scale back.

CG you said "In our past, people in communities used to look out for each other." , today USA still has the highest charitable giving/income ratio. We donate more money to Africa than the US government sends via UN. Not just as cash but as human power, i.e. Doctors without borders, but let's have a look at Africa shall we ? It was 1985 when we sang "We are the world", 25 years later, they still haven't learn how to fish, because instead of fishing getting bailouts and skimming from the top is more profitable.

I can't place the name right now but I remember the quote that went somehow like this : "If you want to help a poor man, make him uncomfortable in his poorness".

May 4, 2009 at 11:57 AM

Devrim,

I love the pirate reference. I'm actually working on a post to make the point you are. There have been bloody revolutions over governments acting as our media does.

Yes, we do donate, but I'm talking about getting to know your neighbors. I do genealogy. I have one relative that was lamented as ensuring that all children in the town had a present on Christmas. You don't hear about that as much. We are generous, but not personnal.

May 4, 2009 at 1:15 PM
Devrim said...

CG is there anyway I could e-mail you and bounce ideas ?

In 1985 our idea was to "donate", than teach them "how to catch the fish"...Which failed quite miserably. Once they get addicted to the food "we gave them", they didn't bother about catching fish as the "fish" came to them while they sat on their asses, and the ruling class skimmed the "tuna" while the masses fought over the "sardines".

I will bet you $20, if we knew MORE about this culture of "giving the masses sardines while the king takes the tuna or the Wagyu beef" nobody would be singing "we are the world" back in 1985. AND guess what, if everybody knew, 40%of money they donated went to bureaucracy. 50% of the money they donated went to CORRUPTION instead of that malnourished kid they see on TV, how many people would be vesting in Africa today ?

May 4, 2009 at 2:02 PM
The Law said...

Oh man... where to begin...

First of all, the analogy is flawed. Cold cheese sandwiches may be the system in New Mexico, but having taught in 3 districts in New York, reduced lunch and free lunch students eat the same exact foods. Often, conservatives push for more state rights, and then conveniently blur the distinction between federal and state programs when they cite reasons why the federal government is holding them down. Education is a **state** program, and school lunch is a district issue. If enough parents complained about it, the rules can be changed. Such is the nature of a democracy.

Now, as I have talked about in a COUPLE of POSTS, conservatives and progressives have historically maintained polar opposite positions on the role of government. Conservatives typically live in isolated communities, where the spirit of “neighborhood” is stronger. Typically in isolated areas, people play specific roles in a homogeneous community, and the church is the gathering place. They may not require services from the federal government, because their proximity to a city center often makes it inconvenient to receive services they can provide themselves. Conversely, progressives tend to live in large heterogeneous populations. Thus, to reconcile the needs of many contrasting perspectives, there is a stronger need for a centralized government.

What makes America different from other countries the ability to choose how much or how little one participates in government. Some things like social security, are programs we are required to participate in (I think), but we can choose where to put our kids to school, whether to send mail through the post office or UPS, or whether or not to put your child in a “cold cheese sandwich program.” Look, the federal government is not trying to be an overreaching empire. It analyses an issue where there is mass concern and then seeks to create a law that satisfies the needs of the **many.** When it became a law to wear a seatbelt when driving, there were some who were very angry about this. When millions of people die preventable deaths for not wearing something as simple as a seatbelt, then it makes sense to create a law in the best interest of the many. As I have argued, I believe the conservative ideology can at times be individualistic, which at best, can provide great strength and character to our national image, and at worst, is woefully ignorant of the suffering because “they didn’t try hard enough to pull themselves up by their bootstraps.”

Some people do everything right. A single mom may work 3 jobs, and somehow find the energy to cook dinner, help with the homework, go to PTA meetings, and read the kids a bedtime story every night. And they are still barely keeping their heads above water. What is so wrong with helping these people? Or providing services so everyone has a chance to become a productive member of our society?

May 4, 2009 at 7:38 PM
The Law said...

ooopsy... i captitalied COUPLE of POSTS to remind me to link these... not said for empahsis lol

Episode 51Episode 4

May 4, 2009 at 7:42 PM

Cold cheese sandwich indeed, great post, like the debate here....

May 4, 2009 at 8:48 PM

tL,

I like your points and tend to agree with most of them. To some degree, the rural vs urban cultures. However, I think your points are more nit-picking than holistic.

The point here is that centralization has consequences or unintended consequences as I like to point out. The media in particular are not vetting many of the progs ideas.

I don't think you'd find someone that has a real issue with ideas on the whole. People like the idea of conservation, cheap and affordable health care for all, and so on. However, when you look at actually instituting the programs, it's not as easy as flipping a switch. Obama's plan will cause poor health care and long waits. There is a chance that they will limit health care service based on your age. Cap and trade will cripple our economy and for a .5 degree celsius difference in global temperature.

When the program started, the idea was to provide a free lunch to the poor. When it was found out that they would always be eating cheese sandwiches, suddenly the unintended consequences became apparent.

Back to urban structure. Though people are packed close together, there are still communities to get involved. My idea is reach out to your neighbors and your immediate community. Rural structure is not just church, but the schools, town hall, main st, and yes, the bars. The are all part of the city too, there's just more of them.

May 4, 2009 at 9:16 PM

Devrim,

I'd love to hear your ideas, but I'm not comfortable giving out my email. I will try and think of another medium for us to throw ideas around.

May 4, 2009 at 9:19 PM

LCR,

As always, thanks for stopping by.

May 4, 2009 at 9:20 PM
The Law said...

What doesn't have intended or unintended consequences? School vouchers, a highly supported program by republicans, can single out students by class and deny admittance to the school. They also allow under-privileged students to attend better schools.

The way I read it, the author believes the government plays the role of big brother, doling out "gifts" to the underprivileged, believing they are solving a problem, when they are in fact perpetuating the cycle of political and economic dependency, rather than rely on their own strength and will to persevere.

I think the author doesn't really understand how communities outside her own work, and/or doesn't have a firm grasp of issues affecting urban and low-wealth Americans. She points out the "disease" but cannot identify the "symptoms."

I am not in any way versed in New Mexico politics. Why on earth would they chose to make such a blatant and discriminatory distinction between low income and middle class lunch foods is beyond me. That is something that should've been fought in PTA meetings. But to use this as an example intended or unintended consequences of centralized government or as a microcosm of the failings of centralized government is an inaccurate analogy in my opinion.

May 4, 2009 at 10:54 PM
Devrim said...

tL,

school vouchers is a good step to start with, but instead of giving them to couple underprivilidged kids, why are we not giving to everyone ?

Today, firing a teacher takes about 5 years. If I had a voucher, instead of having to send my kids to the school they are assigned to, I could just take my voucher and move to another school, or I could strike a deal with the principal saying "I'll give you my voucher but you will not assign my kids to this teacher". Than let's see how long it will take to fire one.

I'll pass you my experience to why I see this is exactly a good example of unintended consequences of centralized government. During my wife's first pregnancy, the doctor told us that according to the ultrasounds the baby was around 12 pounds, there was a risk that they could dislocate his shoulder during delivery, or need to have an emergency c-section, or we could choose to have a scheduled c-section. We always dreamt about a natural birth, had taken (and paid for) classes for a natural birth, but after a short delibration we decided the risks to the unborn were too high and chose the c-section tough its costs (a longer hospital stay, certain risks to mom, and not to mention no sex for couple months) were higher. At my wife's ob-gyn office there were 3 doctors, I liked the bedside manner of one better than the other two, so I asked her if she can schedule the c-section for her delivery. See, no government involvement , we made our choices, we paid for the consequences, and if you don't count the terrible twos, we are delighted with the results.

Around the same time of our arrival at the hospital another couple arrived by ambulance, the "dad" couldn't drive as he was too stoned, government sponsored healthcare in my state doesn't allow "electoral" precedures so they had to go through a natural birth, after 18 hours of labor they had to do an emergency c-section. The baby was briskly carted off to the NICU as his heart was flatlining. For 3 days I watched half a dozen staff hover over this baby 24 hours a day, while I hovered over mine and one nurse helped me learning the ropes.

From the tidbits I learned while I talked to their other family members, the "dad" has been on disability for 5 years; the "mom" is on and off work at several local fast food joints; this is their 5th kid, 3 of which are in state custody in foster homes; the baby was born "addicted" and without an anus, as soon as they could stabilize him they would "medevac" him to a major hospital to make him an artificial anus.

See any problems here ? Please do post your opinions, then I'll make my points why this is a microcosm of the failings of centralized government

May 5, 2009 at 12:41 AM
Devrim said...

HIJACK THREAD CG feel free to move, edit or delete this post, as we can't e-mail yet, this is the only way we can bounce ideas.

Idea of the day (enter full sarcasm mode). Senator John Edwards is a man of my heart. He is under investigation for misallocation of funds from his campaign. In my belief, Sen. Edwards should appear in front of the court, in his best souther gentleman voice declare that "funds spent on a mistress are well allocated, not misallocated, therefore the prosecution has no case".

Why funds spent on a mistress are well allocated ? As we have seen in former New York Mayor Eliot Spitzer's case, using prostitutes creates a paper trail, in his case a phone call record; while having a mistress attached to your campaign (her firm was employed to record the travels of Sen. Edwards) tough leaves a trail, is explainable.

Prostitute Recounts Ex-Mayor's Trysts With 2 Girls, http://www.nytimes.com/2003/03/14/nyregion/prostitute-recounts-ex-mayor-s-trysts-with-2-girls.html ; as seen here prostitutes tend to talk, and when they talk, public figures are "embaressed". While a mistress, especially one bearing your child, might choose to keep her yap hole shut.

I am a man, I like beer and boobs. I don't know about beer, but apperantly Mr Edwards likes boobs too (Perez Hilton doesn't like boobs so all involved in this federal investigation don't like boobs, therefore they are in bed with Perez Hilton, literally !!!!). So he is a man after my heart, vindicated by gays, and all this BS about misallocation of funds needs to go. YES SIRREEEE that was money well goddayumn spent !

May 5, 2009 at 1:20 AM
The Law said...

Devrim, interesting story, and I'm happy to hear that the delievery went well. However, I don't have healthcare, and I was able to choose my doctor at the free clinic I have to go to. Even so, the proposed healthcare plan does not in anyway take away your right to choose any doctor you wanted. Actually Devrim, in your exact senario, you might have been able to deliver your baby naturally or by C-Section for next to nothing under the proposed healthcare plan.

7 years ago, I had near fatal appendicitis. Gangrene was setting in my intestines, and required intensive surgery, and took 2 and a half months to recover from. The bill for my hosptial stay was $35,000. Because I had insurance at the time, I walked out paying $60 (co-pay and surgery fees). If I didn't have insurance, my medical bill wouldve costed more than 4 years of undergraduate school.

The second example, you lose me a bit. That seems to have less to do with government insured healthcare and more with their ability to be effective parents, and possible child endangerment.

Remember, the proposed healthcare plan WILL NOT take away your right to choose your doctor. You don't even have to use government insurance. You will not not have to go to some halfway house to get care. Quality of care is in no way diminished. If anything, it will improve, as there will be less people will be using emergency rooms to get medicine for the cold. If the law was passed tomorrow, it in no way affects your current health plan. It does however offload much of the healthcare burden of off private enterprises. It also offers a piece of mind to every American so they don't have to crap bricks when they get sick. As the only industrialized nation without some kind of state sponsored healthcare (and the proposed system is by far the LEAST "socialistic" of all of them).

The only difference to your life because of the plan is the piece of mind that no matter what happens to you... you and your wife both lose your jobs, injury at work permanently disables you, whatever... you can still get healthcare.

Again, every action has intended and unintended consequences no matter if it is a democrat or republican making the decision... and the example the article cited is fundamentally inacurate because she is using an example of state government to prove a point about federal government.

May 5, 2009 at 11:46 PM
Devrim said...

tL,

You completely missed the point of the second example. Me and my wife were on an insurance plan where we could choose, and pay for our choices. For the pregnancy, our insurance covered natural birth, and 1 day stay at the hospital; when we chose to have a c-section we covered the cost of the c-section + 2 extra days of hospital stay.

The 2nd family, on state health care didn't have to pay a dime. None for the delivery, none for the NICU, none for the addiction treatment, none for the plastic surgery. My point is when you don't need to pay a dime because the government pays it for you, you tend to spend the money on crack instead of prenatal vitamins; when you know the government is going to take care of you, you don't use a condom instead of waiting till your finances allow you to have a kid. In their case, the decision was already made for them, "no elective medical procedures, i.e. boob jobs", so they had to go through a natural birth instead of an elective c-section.

Am I afraid that I am going to loose my health insurance ? Yes, I am, that is why I stay away from drugs (my workplace has a random testing policy), that is why I try to produce more than the guy in the next cubicle.

Lastly, I don't know if you have kids but let's say we both do, and I expect my kids to do basic chores around the house, like making their bed, setting the table; and you give them a quarter for each chore done. When they are old enough whose kids do you think will go and cast a vote and whose kids would expect to get paid to cast a vote. Policies implemented even at the nuclear family level does have consequences at the nationwide level. Remember, it was just the friggen Bostonians who mucked it up for the Brits in the first place.

May 6, 2009 at 9:26 AM
The Law said...

Now that I understand your point on you second example, I think you are making a gross generaliztion that is impossible to substantiate. I can just as easily say that my nuclear family consists of myself, who holds two college degrees, my mother who also holds two college degrees, my brother who is earning a BA next week, a younger brother who is in the honor society and has had straight A's for 16 consectutive quarters, and a father who has been in a high level admin in the healthcare feild for 20 years. And if we had free healthcare, that wouldn't turn us to a life on drugs,booze, and unprotected sex, which would make your example an anomaly.

We have to be careful about using "free health" and other codewords to indicate we are going to become "low class" as a result of these policies. It is an unfair assumption.

May 7, 2009 at 2:41 AM

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