As tempted as I am to believe that our elected leaders and media elite are intentionally and overtly evil…I don’t. Rather, I hold that tremendous power coupled with outsized ego has infused them with the belief that “they know better” how we should live our own lives, and that’s that.
They’ve no humility and even less doubt. Considering they could be wrong, or that their ideals ought not be made compulsory, simply never enters into the equation.
And for the most recent evidence of that theory, we can look no further than the White House’s ill-conceived Public School Lunch program, also known as Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act (HHFKA) of 2010.
For a glimpse of what I mean, check out this video from ABC News from back in 2012:
The motivation behind this campaign is certainly understandable: more kids are overweight these days, and I agree that’s a problem. Where everything goes off the rails is this totalitarian approach towards rectifying that problem.
First of all, with computers/X-Boxes/PS4s/iPads/Netflix etc., children are ever more sedentary these days. Too many of today’s youth would rather stay in and play ‘Minecraft’ or a video racing game than go outside for baseball or tennis, which (as the father of two teenagers) I get to witness personally.
Secondly, let’s keep in mind that, contrary to years of “settled science”, salt is NOT the evil substance that we’ve been led to believe for decades. So why is the federal government still treating it like it’s radioactive plutonium?
Furthermore, let’s take a look at the Centers for Disease Control website, where the following couple of bullet points list the actual situation:
- Childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents in the past 30 years.
- The percentage of children aged 6–11 years in the United States who were obese increased from 7% in 1980 to nearly 18% in 2012. Similarly, the percentage of adolescents aged 12–19 years who were obese increased from 5% to nearly 21% over the same period.
But are school lunches to blame for this? If we listen to the president, he certainly seems to think so:
(via CNN: 12-13-2010) – The bill is about “giving our kids the healthy futures they deserve,” the president said during a bill signing ceremony at a Washington elementary school. “Right now across the country too many kids don’t have access to school meals.”
Even when they do, he added, too often the meals aren’t sufficiently nutritious. As a result, he said, one out of every three children in America is overweight or obese.
Our pompous president cites two totally separate concerns (‘kids-are-hungry’ AND ‘kids-are-fat’), and then inexplicably blames only one factor: school lunches.
So which is it, sir? Are children ponderously obese, or are they skinny and starving? And will only one meal, five days a week, for barely half the calendar year (school years average 180 days), actually fix anything?
Beyond the disconnect in his reasoning, what we have here is a problem of causation. Saying that kids’ increased weight is due to school lunches avoids one pretty obvious question: what was going on before the 30-year historical mark? What, were school cafeterias super-healthy back in the 1960’s and 70’s, but then in 1980 – BAM!! – they suddenly started dishing out crap?
I know this is crazy, but: what if we considered something else?
Just check out the graph below (**CLICK to view full-size**):
See that dark blue line marked “ALL”? Notice what happens between, say, around 1980 and today? Yep: the percentage of births by unwed mothers …doubled. What does that have to do with anything, you ask?
(via Rice University) – “…In a recent edition of the Journal of Applied Research on Children: Informing Policy for Children at Risk, research by Kimbro and colleagues shows that children living in a traditional two-parent married household are less likely to be obese (17% obesity rate) than children living with cohabitating parents, who have a 31% obesity rate. The obesity rate is also higher for children living with an adult relative (29%), single mother (23%) and cohabitating stepparent family (23%).
The higher rates for nontraditional parent families were observed even after the researchers accounted for factors associated with childhood obesity, including diet, physical activity and socio-economic status…”
It turns out having two married parents in the household actually makes kids healthier. Gee, who’da thunk?
Yet with that in mind, are today’s media intelligentsia warning our future single moms about this? Or are they at least holding up married moms as the optimal way to raise your child? Not hardly.
And the Federal Government is no better, as it routinely creates laws that punish married couples, most recently with its treatment of marriage as it pertains to Obamacare subsidies.
With a program of the HHFKA’s size and with its current momentum, very little could stop it or even slow it down quickly (see: “Obamacare”). That includes school boycotts or students’ open rebellion. And I personally guarantee that the decline of the traditional nuclear family will not be so much as even fleetingly considered.
All because “they know better”.
Ego and power, folks: two ingredients which, when combined, create an altogether unappetizing recipe.