Let the Poor Starve (updated)

by | Jun 6, 2013


Congressman Stephen Fincher, a Republican from Tennessee, is part of an effort to cut $20 billion from food stamps, a program that helps feed nearly 50 million Americans, at a monthly cost of around $275 per person.

Fincher has collected $3.5 million in farm subsidies since 1999 (mostly for cotton), but according to Mark Bittman in the New York Times, the Congressman has a simple explanation for why he thinks spending money to feed poor families is wrong.

He quotes Paul’s second epistle to the Thessalonians.

For even when we were with you, we gave you this command: Anyone unwilling to work should not eat.

Read the whole thing and weep.

Update: Alex Evans gets it touch to point out something quite unexpected. Fincher, it seems, is in fact a communist. Lenin was a tireless advocate of the notion of no-work-no-food and made sure it was given a prominent place in the 1936 Soviet Union constitution:

In the USSR work is a duty and a matter of honor for every able-bodied citizen, in accordance with the principle: “He who does not work, neither shall he eat.”

The congressman professes that “the Constitution and the Bible are our guiding documents.” Surely it is time for him to propose an amendment finally to bring the American version in line with its sadly-defunct Soviet counterpart?

(See the comments for further theological thoughts from Alex.)

Author

  • David Steven is a senior fellow at the UN Foundation and at New York University, where he founded the Global Partnership to End Violence against Children and the Pathfinders for Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies, a multi-stakeholder partnership to deliver the SDG targets for preventing all forms of violence, strengthening governance, and promoting justice and inclusion. He was lead author for the ministerial Task Force on Justice for All and senior external adviser for the UN-World Bank flagship study on prevention, Pathways for Peace. He is a former senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and co-author of The Risk Pivot: Great Powers, International Security, and the Energy Revolution (Brookings Institution Press, 2014). In 2001, he helped develop and launch the UK’s network of climate diplomats. David lives in and works from Pisa, Italy.


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