When it comes to funding social services, the folks with their hands on the purse strings always have a long speech ready about how they would provide more funding if only there was more money available.
Perhaps if they sat down and had dinner with Jane Stillwater, they would realize that actually those funds are indeed available, it is just a little question of how we spend them. You see Jane has solved the problem of hunger in America, not to mention world peace. It’s simple really, go to dinner at Alice Waters’ Chez Panisse.
As Jane quickly points out, most of us would find the tab a bit steep, but compared to the cost of a Lockheed Trident missile, it’s a steal because as it turns out, a Trident costs $30.9 million dollars. According to Jane, for that price, 386,250 people could eat the healthy, delicious food at Chez Panisse. And imagine if two of those people were the heads of state of say India and Pakistan, Israel and Palestine, well you get the idea. Or suppose we used that $30.9 million to feed the hungry, imagine the feeling of security those people would have.
And then look at that pie and realize there is a whole lot more goodness to be had if only we buy the right ingredients. The problem is the folks that go shopping at the national mall, your elected representatives and mine, are major pushovers for glitzy advertising by those savvy marketeers on K Street.
In recent days we’ve seen numerous reports about how much money members of Congress get from the health care and banking industries. And as PilotOnline points out, much as we’d like to think of Republicans as the big recipients of defense dollars, the reality is that Obama got more defense industry contributions than McCain in the last election. It’s gotten so bad that the recent tobacco legislation that is being hailed as a big reform was co-written by Philip Morris. Uh huh, and I’ve got some swamp land in Florida that you can have for a song. What truly is wrong with these folks that they don’t see the inherent conflict as problematic and why do we allow it to continue?
The good folks at Open Secrets have an outstanding database that shows in painful detail which of our elected officials get what from whom. Bears some serious digesting.
Courtney E. Martin sheds some light on another thing that might lead to some better economic decision making. Again, quite simple–let women have at it. Yeah really, forget that bad rep about going to the mall and racking up debt, it turns out that,
(W)omen make up just 10 percent of all mutual fund managers and only 3 percent of the approximately $1.9 trillion invested in hedge funds. This, despite the fact that women-owned funds outperform funds in general; Hedge Fund Research has just released a study that found that women-owned funds delivered an annual return of 9.06 percent compared with 5.82 percent among all hedge funds from 2000 to date.
Food for thought.