Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Rich or Poor

In total contrast to my post about the calories in the $250 lunch at Per Se (which a faithful reader pointed out came to 20¢ a calorie), is this story: A Governor Truly Tightens His Belt - New York Times. (Also covered in Ore. gov. starts week on food stamps - Yahoo! News).

Governor Theodore R. Kulongoski decided that for a week he and his wife would live on a food budget of $3 a day per person -- the allocation for Oregon's average food stamp recipient. The Oregon governor's mansion has no cook, so his wife prepared their single chicken (which lasted for 3 dinners), their cheap Cup o'Noodles, and their peanut butter sandwiches for lunch. They accepted this limit "to raise awareness of hunger here and of a need for the federal government to preserve the current level of stamp benefits."

The contrast between people living on the edge and others stuffing themselves and overpaying is painful. Though other politicians have been asked to follow Kulongoski's example, I wonder if hunger will really be taken seriously. "In Washington, the House Hunger Caucus asked members of Congress to undertake a similar challenge in May. Closer to home, Mr. Kulongoski noted, one of his West Coast counterparts would have a particularly tough act to follow. 'I think Arnold probably has a larger caloric intake than I do,' he said."

Even less seriously: The Onion had a fake poll where people "said" facetious things about the governor's action. This is really sad. Some things aren't that funny.

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