Forbes columnist John Tamny doesn’t believe hunger or food insecurity in the US is real. He doesn’t believe it’s the government’s business to make sure it’s citizens don’t starve to death and most bizarre of call, he believes programs such as SNAP are actually cruel, as opposed to helpful or necessary.
In an interview with Daily Show correspondent Jessica Williams, Tamny, taking the typical line trotted out by most modern pro-market oligarchs, stated if any of the roughly 47 million people currently receiving food and nutrition assistance were truly starving, they could look to private charity, rather than government, for help.
I think if people were literally starving, you would see a massive outpouring of charity.
Naturally, it would be less than likely that this man, who’s own works read like Cliff’s Notes version of every wealth worshiping, socially darwinian market economics propaganda diatribe since the birth of Ayn Rand, would be less than likely to contribute to such charities himself. But as is typical for one who finds public services to be more offensive than human suffering, Tamny was seemingly oblivious to the fact that Williams was setting him up for even more disgraceful comments, when she posed the question what “literally starving” meant to him.
This is going to come off the wrong way. But I guess it’s where literally people have distended bellies, where they’re getting almost nothing. We don’t hear about the poor in this country starving on the streets.
And there is it. Apparently to free-market plutocrats such as Tamny, unless one looks and lives as a sub-Saharan civil war refugee, they’re neither poor, nor hungry. When given more rope with which to hang himself with, Tamny leapt upon William’s next question, where she asked if there were presently any programs in place already to help people avoid starving in the streets, he answered bluntly,
I haven’t heard of any of them, something tells me they don’t exist, but I’ve certainly not heard of any such program.
So clearly this Wall Street, 1% cheerleader doesn’t feel that hunger is a problem. Clearly, to him, poverty is something that markets and private charity can address better than public services. Clearly, from his fortress of wealth and inscrutable financial analysis, it’s cruel to use tax revenue to feed the hungry who, again, do not exist in this country.
One can only wonder then, what Dasani, focus of the New York Times story Invisible Child, might say, were she of the class or financial standing that Tamny seems to prefer.
Watch the video courtesy of Comedy Central: