Friday, January 25, 2008

Stupid, stupid, stupid

Megan added the following comment to the post focusing on food stamps,

I've also "worked on the front lines", and while theoretically, food stamps might push people into healthy food, in practice, they don't seem to. If you restricted food stamps to produce, unprocessed meats, and so forth, then yes, it might force the poor to spend money on healthy food, but of course, you can choose between tater tots and apples, and the poor choose tater tots. A healthy, balanced diet is not inherently more expensive than living on chicken fingers; it's just less hedonically satisfying in a life with relatively few hedonic satisfactions. To be sure, I've only written one article on the subject, and that a while ago, but as of 2003, the researchers on the subject I spoke to agreed that the problem in poor communities was not an insufficient quantity of food, or that it was not possible to compose a balanced diet out of what the poor were spending on food; it was that the poor were choosing unhealthy foods over healthy ones. It is possible that if we doubled their food stamps, they would suddenly cut their calorie consumption in half, but there is absolutely no evidence to indicate that this is the case, and it seems to fly against everything we know about human nature, and obesity. The new research on obesity indicates that people are almost always eating to set points that rise slowly every year; whatever causation there is in the link between income and obesity almost certainly runs the other way.

Posted by Megan McArdle | January 24, 2008 8:01 PM
I can't even add anything. Fuck you, Megan, again and eternally.

4 comments:

clever pseudonym said...

You've got to love the way she talks about "poor people" as if they were some monolithic, unvarying group of people with exactly the same lifestyle and habits. I wonder what she means by "worked on the front lines"? Did she once miss a subway stop and actually have to rub elbows with the plebes or somethig?

brad said...

Most likely her prep school, like mine, had a community service requirement, and she ladled out soup at a Catholic charity 2 hours a week for a semester.
Bear in mind, this would have been in the late 80s/early 90s, before Rudy forced most of the homeless to the Bronx and East NY, so Megan would have been feeding a very different selection of the poor and homeless than make up the vast majority of those groups. She was feeding those homeless Vietnam vets her and Bill O'Reilly don't believe exist.

clever pseudonym said...

Well then I guess that makes her pov cred just air tight. There's a pattern on her site that I've noticed now: She writes an inane post about something she doesn't understand and gets called out for it. Then she writes two or three more follow-up posts claiming that anyone who disagreed with her merely misunderstood her point, with a few quickly Googled statistics thrown in to make it appear as though she actually researched a subject before writing about it. On some of them she'll back track, contradict earlier assertions, or just pull shit from nutella's "Ecyclopedia Out-of-my-assica," all the while dripping with a tone of absurdly elitist pretention. Her writing is so below professional standards, I'm beginning to wonder if she isn't earning her job in other ways. I know that's cruel, but fuck it. So is she.

pseudonymous in nc said...

On some of them she'll back track, contradict earlier assertions, or just pull shit from nutella's "Ecyclopedia Out-of-my-assica," all the while dripping with a tone of absurdly elitist pretention.

Don't forget the McArdle Hallmark: the argument ad anecdotum whereby an incident from a cousin's barber's mother's friend proves she was right.