Thursday, July 31, 2008

The ideal government program

I'm not against all government programs. There is a Federal program that provides money to local districts so they can feed kids for free. It's called the "Free Lunch Prongram."

I take advantage of it myself. I take my two kids to a local school and I sit there while they eat. And I watch the other kids come in, most of them alone, some shirtless, some with no sox and shoes, most with unkempt hair, and a few wearing long pants and long sleeve shirts on a hot summers day.

Usually I just sit there while my kids eat, but sometimes I pay the $2.50 it costs for an adult to eat. And I set there and watch the kids eat, and listen to them chomping on their food. And, I think, how cool this is that we have a government so cool that it provides such a service as this.

The free lunches are set up in three different regions of Shoreline, and in some of the urban districts around Shoreline. Some even provide free breakfast too. And funding is completely based on how many kids show up.

And, it is not the decision of a person in Washington to decide where to set up the stations, or how to dole out the money: these decisions are made by local officials, who know exactly where the poor kids are.

Oh, and they are also set up in areas where there are more likely to be poor kids who could really benefit from a free lunch, and the free lunch is close enough to where they live and play that they can walk or ride their bikes.

It's a good program because it does something wonderful, and it is well run.

I wish we could take other government programs that are intended to help people, and fix them up so that they are as efficient as this free lunch program.

I don't think people would think so poorly of our politicians if the government programs they created were efficient. And if it was proven by audit that a program was not efficient, these same politicians fixed the program so it was efficient.

If a program continues to fail to accomplish it's goals in an efficient manner, it should be scrapped, just as a failing business has to close it's doors when it is poorly managed.

The Free Lunch Program is a perfect example of an efficient government program.


Righty64 said...

I am certain that you heard the Los Angeles city council has passed a one-year moratorium on building new fast-food restaurants in South Los Angeles. I am all for trying to stem the tide of obesity, especially with young children. But, when the government goes after people who are already in bad financial circumstances and says no more fast-food restaurants, there is something wrong. The reason there are not other alternatives is because it is a low-income, high-crime, gang infested area. No supermarket chain or something like a Whole Foods(bleech!) would go into such an area. Anyhow, I just think that if the schools did a better job in educating children about better nutrition, that would help the problem right there. Maybe this is a good program. But, I would like to see it funded at the local level, not a responsibility of the federal government.

Freadom said...

I agree with you righty64. However, even though you or I disagree with the LA council, they do have the right to make stupid decision. People have a Constitutional right to be stupid if they want.

In my opinion, however, it is none of the LA councils business what I eat or what I sell. Personally, I doubt a program like this will curb obesity, as people will just find a different McDonalds to go to across city lines. People aren't stupid.

It's kind of like if you take guns away from people who want to kill, they will just kill with knives. There was some country in Africa or Asia I was reading about, where guns are banned, and knives were the most common weapon used in murder.

I digress a bit here, but I think I make my point. One council can make a stupid decision, but smart people will find a way around it -- they always do.

Freadom said...

However, I do think the Fed can fund local charities to help people in need. It happens when we had a national disaster due to flooding in this region, the Fed helped us out. Otherwise, we'd still have holds in all our roads.

I think if you are going to have a Federal program, the money should be doled out to the states, and the states should dole it out to local communities, so people RIGHT HERE are making decision.

If a local community -- say LA for example -- make astupid decisions, then only one local area has to suffer the results and not the whole country.

See what I mean. I think schools should be funded this way too. That way each school would have some autonomy, and whether they get funding or not would be up to the states and local governments, and not the Fed-- which is incompitent to make such decisions.

Apparently, there wasn't enough need here in Shoreline, so the program had funds cut off midsummer. Last summer the program ran through the entire summer because there were lots of kids taking advantage of it.

The State, however, decided to cut off funding to Shoreline and send it to, say, Detroit where there was a bigger need and greater demand for the program. This would never have happened in a Federal program.

If our schools were run this way, you wouldn't have Uncle Sam telling us what we could and couln't teach in our schools, that would be up to local communities.

For example, this would put an end to a liberal or conservative sitting on a bench in Washington deciding what's best for every school. No politician knows what's best for everyone.

Righty64 said...

Freadom, it is actually GREAT BRITAIN where people have turned to knives to kill each other.

Freadom said...

So I suppose the next thing we'll hear about is a ban on knives. Sorry cooks.