The Dem trifecta in Minnesota’s state offices is leading to a flurry of bills being passed. The latest is free school lunch for all k-12 students. A well-posed media shot of the Governor being body-embraced by a cluster of elementary school kids is as tart as an artificial sweetener.
We know the school kids aren’t banging down the doors for a bureaucratic response to their midday meal, so who’s asking for this culinary delight? The neediest kids were already receiving free breakfast and lunch at their public schools. From what I can follow on social media, the desireability of universal provision of food will first off not necessitate the requirement of some to ‘ask’ for a meal through the paperwork. And secondly, it will catch the kids whose parents fail to fill out the paperwork.
MN is a pretty well-off state. The poverty rate for children is 12%. From personal experience, I can attest that well over 12% of school kids are receiving free and reduced lunch. In other words, there was already a largesse to feeding the kids. Yet- to look at the celebration in St. Paul one would think this is a breakthrough of some sort.
Some politicians are asking for the ground rules on when and how the government should take from some and give to others. A new legislator, Walter Hudson, from an NW exurban area posted this recently.
It seems like a legitimate question.
Although everyone can feel good about putting food in the mouths of babes, if those babes don’t need the food more than some other babes need mental health assistance, housing, or some other basic need, then the tradeoffs determined by politicians are failing the system.
There’s a deeper answer to Hudson’s question. Where in the interlinked transactions of public dollars flowing to private citizens can we identify comparative needs? Where do we see the production value of public dollars invested?