Food, Farms and Poverty

Now I have two pigs, two sheep and a dog, in addition to a bunch of little plots of potatoes, in the Farm Town game.

In less cheery news, my dad and brother are due to return from a volunteer trip to Appalachia soon. They’ve been helping out clinics and medical care facilities in some intensely poverty-stricken areas down there, and though I didn’t get to talk to my dad for very long (we were on roam, so I kept it short), he had a few very interesting things to say about the new face of poverty in America.

Again, I didn’t get to talk long, but he said the rates of obesity and its children, heart disease and diabetes, were very high. Fast food is prevalent and can be cheaper than eating real food or fresh food.

And the worst of it is, the poor pay more, states this article from the Washington Post.

One of my favorite authors, Terry Pratchett, gives the best explanation of this effect in "Men at Arms."

The reason that the rich were so rich, Vimes reasoned, was because they managed to spend less money.

Take boots, for example. He earned thirty-eight dollars a month plus allowances. A really good pair of leather boots cost fifty dollars. But an affordable pair of boots, which were sort of OK for a season or two and then leaked like hell when the cardboard gave out, cost about ten dollars. Those were the kind of boots Vimes always bought, and wore until the soles were so thin that he could tell where he was in Ankh-Morpork on a foggy night by the feel of the cobbles.

But the thing was that good boots lasted for years and years. A man who could afford fifty dollars had a pair of boots that’d still be keeping his feet dry in ten years’ time, while the poor man who could only afford cheap boots would have spent a hundred dollars on boots in the same time and would still have wet feet.

This was the Captain Samuel Vimes ‘Boots’ theory of socioeconomic unfairness.

 
I have a feeling my dad may have some interesting stories that corroborate the Boots Theory when he returns.
 
But that will have to wait.

 

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