According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, food insecurity is “a lack of consistent access to enough food for an active, healthy life.” One estimate says that 1 in 8 Americans are food insecure, amounting to about 42 million people including 13 million children. These numbers may be exaggerated, of course.
Americans on food stamps amount to about 40 million. Put the numbers together and you have approximately 80,000,000 people, out of a population of 320,000,000, who have some sort of problem putting food on the table–that is, one quarter of the population.
We often hear that the U.S. is the richest country in world history. Then we read that lots of people are food insecure or on food stamps. My question is simple. Which is it? Are we the richest country in the world, or are we a country where many ordinary people cannot earn enough money to have food? There seems to be some sort of logical disconnect there. We can’t be both incredibly rich, and yet incredibly poor.
Of course one could argue that, yes, we could be both rich and poor. The rich have everything, the poor have nothing. Well, maybe. That doesn’t make sense to me, but maybe.
A Christian friend recalled how when she was taking one class in college, the students were supposed to come up with solutions for various problems the U.S. faced. Pretty quickly it became evident to her that all our problems were at bottom spiritual problems. The problems can be solved, but only if one goes to the root of the problem–people need to get their lives in order via the boring, trite route of being converted to the Christian faith and living in a manner that reflects the fact that they really have been converted. When people do that, they work and produce and feed themselves and their families.
That way of addressing the problems is simple, but not easy. We prefer easy.
I see little chance that we will try to find a spiritual solution to our “food insecurity” problem. The U.S. church gives 2.5% of its increase to God–exactly one-quarter of the tithe He requires. We Christians are on welfare via Social Security, Medicare, the public education system, and the warfare state–to name just a few ways. So we in the church need to get our own house in order. If we do that, maybe we can help other people. Meanwhile, we can enjoy pretending that people on food stamps are on welfare, but we are not on welfare. Yeah, right.
If we want to help poor people get jobs, there are a few practical things we could do. Ending welfare payments would be a great start, but that is not practical. Let’s reserve that until the Christian middle class stops receiving welfare payments, then we can talk about the poor people being cut off. But there are things we can do. End the minimum wage. Encourage people to take part-time jobs as servants, without having to pay taxes on that income. Stop permitting illegal immigration, which drives down the wages of Americans while also adding illegals to our welfare rolls. End the Federal Reserve. The Federal Reserve destroys the purchase power of each person’s dollar. And so on–lots of other practical solutions could be named. We will do none of them, of course.
Does the leadership elite of the U.S. want there to be tens of millions of dependent people who cannot provide for themselves and their families? Yes. But why?
I think it is a kind of instinct on the part of our elite. If people in much larger numbers become responsible for themselves, the elite understands that they, the elite, will be thrown out. Much better to develop and maintain (sort of maintain, that is) feckless people in their teeming millions, than to risk being thrown out. The elite, meanwhile, is never food insecure. They are well paid to destroy this country, and to destroy other countries. That is the way they like it. Moreover, they like to pretend to themselves that they are helping people, even though that is self-deception of the most egregious sort. They won’t change. They are sociopaths:
“Can the Ethiopian change his skin
Or the leopard his spots?
Then you also can do good
Who are accustomed to do evil.” (Jeremiah 13:23)
We will have the poor with us as long as we have spiritual problems. We will have the sociopaths with us, as well.
Reform is unlikely, for a long time. Until we have a disaster of some sort, people won’t consider changing the way they think or live. The church as a whole is not ready to reform.
Perhaps the only way to make a difference for good is to get to know lots of people. Help people find their way. Help children if you identify that they are in a family with feckless parents who won’t work or who won’t budget their income in a practical manner.
A macro-solution is unlikely. Even if we had a brilliant macro-solution, who would listen? Think about it. We can all name three or four well-known Christian leaders or thinkers who have good ideas. But such people, despite their relative fame, are almost completely unknown in the Christian church as a whole. If almost no one listens to them, it stands to reason that no one also will listen to any other Christians who might have a big macro-solution, but who are less well-known.
Probably that is for the best. God has designed the world so that one micro-solution can be very powerful. One family helped toward responsibility is a net gain for the world of great importance. By all means let macro-solutions be advocated. I have spent tens of thousands of words coming up with macro-solutions, and I sense this is not going to change. It is the way I am built. But one micro-solution is worth its weight in gold.
Instead of 80 million people either food insecure or eating food provided by government food stamps, we should have zero people having a problem getting food. Food, thank heaven, is relatively inexpensive. The work needed to be done in the world is endless, thus there is plenty of work available for people wanting to earn money. High-paying jobs may be more scarce than we would like, but we don’t need high-paying jobs in order to earn enough money for food. (I spend less than $30.00 per week on groceries–and I am in no danger of being accused of being skinny. So by working about four hours per week, I easily earn enough to pay for my food.) We just need to be willing to work, to budget in a practical manner, and to have a determination to provide for ourselves and our family. Simple but not easy, or at least not easy for a population whose Christian faith has been hollowed out by generations of pietism and antinomianism.
A macro-solution may come someday. Meanwhile, every micro-solution is precious.