Thursday, April 26, 2007

A Modest Proposal

I tend to be a cynic when it comes to politics, so I was pleasantly surprised to read this article about the Governor of Oregon taking a shopping expedition with a food stamp recipient and attempting to budget a week's worth of groceries on his own with $21 worth of food stamps.

As the article indicates, the gov was kind of clueless in this endeavor. And this is probably normal. Because when I think of politically active people in my own community, they tend to fall into one of two categories: the Docker-and-Izod "comfortably appointed" set, or relatively affluent and politically savvy blue-collar union retirees. These are the "concerned citizens" who have our elected officials' ears; when politicians think of the Average Joe or Jane in their own districts, these are probably the people who come to mind, because they're the folks they see and hear and get regular feedback -- and contributions -- from.

Sure, this excursion into a day in the life of the economic underclass may have been a bit of sound-bitey populist political theater. But I really wouldn't mind more of our politicians regularly taking a day to slum with the people they normally don't see or hear.

4 comments:

P.S. an after-thought said...

Remember when Pres Bush the first went to a store and hadn't ever seen a scanner before?

Well, it isn't only people like that. I asked my DH, a humble guy if there ever was one, to get some food from the grocery store he works next to, food already prepared. He said, Oh do they have that there? I said, Is the pope catholic?

LutheranChik said...

I loved the part in the story where the governor was looking for granola. Yeah; at about $4 or $5 a pound, that's what some food stamp recipient is going to buy to feed her kids and herself for a week.

Kirstin said...

Right there with you--clueless or not, this is a huge step, and I wish they'd all take it.

Trish said...

The Sociologist in me screams, "MAKE THEM ALL DO IT FOR MORE THAN A WEEK!!!!" AHHH!!! Sorry. That's not very coherent, but it's what I Feel.