… but a big warm bun and a huge hunk of meat:
Food Nag Mark Bittman returns
to the New York Times' "Opinionator" feature. The libertarian
bait-and-switch that irked
me previously appears to be his shtick. Here's the bait:
In recent weeks we've seen a big, powerful government agency, a big, powerful person and a big, powerful corporation telling us what to eat.Specifically: the USDA, Oprah, and Wal-Mart. Yeah, they shouldn't do that.
The switch is… the entire rest of the column. Because, in fact, Bittman doesn't mind the idea of "us" getting told what to eat. That's what he does. And he doesn't mind doing so using the resources of a "big, powerful" newspaper.
He just wants everyone to be singing off the same page of the food-nag hymnal. His page.
For a change of pace, see the new group Keep Food Legal.
Their "Mission" page aims at three big targets:
- KFL will advocate in favor of abolishing all
food-related subsidies. Government subsidies distort prices and demand,
cause environmental problems, and have played a large role in creating
America's obesity problem.
- KFL will work to defeat food regulations and bans which limit our
freedom to produce, cook, buy, and sell the foods we want. The
government has no right to tell people what we can and can't eat.
- KFL will advocate at the federal, state, and local levels in favor
of more food choices. It is not enough to oppose bad new laws. We will
work--in legislatures and in the courts--to roll back bad ones already
on the books.
- KFL will advocate in favor of abolishing all food-related subsidies. Government subsidies distort prices and demand, cause environmental problems, and have played a large role in creating America's obesity problem.
All this talk about food is making me hungry. So let's talk
I'll get so depressed, I'll lose my appetite.
After a couple of months avoiding the phrase, President Obama
fell off the wagon
over the weekend:
This week, we received a report on jobs and unemployment that told us we're continuing to move in the right direction.Dian Chu is less Pollyanish. She quotes the Brookings Institute:
[…] If the economy adds about 208,000 jobs per month, the average monthly rate for the best year of job creation in the 2000s, then it will take until July 2023 to close the job gap. At a more optimistic rate of 321,000 jobs per month, the average monthly rate for the best year of the 1990s, the economy will reach pre-recession employment levels by May 2016.Only problem is:
However, over the past three months, job gains have averaged only about 83,000 a month, no where near the levels indicated by the Brookings Institute.(Previous "in the right direction" sighting here.)