Forbes columnist John Tamny has a message for the world, which he delivered in an interview with Jessica Williams of the Daily Show: “food stamps are cruel.”
Yes, those were his exact words. Why, you ask, are food stamps cruel?
“I don’t think anyone is happy if they’re reliant on someone else, if they’re taking a handout,” Tamny explained.
So, in Tamny’s world, what should be done about the poor who don’t have enough money to feed themselves or their families? Of course! Let the market decide!
“I think if people were really starving, you’d see a massive outpouring of charity to make up for [the loss of government food stamps].”
The way the rich see the world really can be cartoonishly distorted, and Forbes has become the mouthpiece that reinforces the rich’s “everyone for themselves, too bad the rest of you aren’t rich,” point of view.
The fact that Tamny thinks of poor, starving people in the United States as a hypothetical, not a reality is, sadly, ridiculous. The fact that he thinks that if people “were really starving,” charity would solve everything, is plainly not borne out by the facts. And also, that destroys his entire premise, which is that no one can be truly happy if they are reliant on someone else. What’s the difference between relying on the government and relying on charity from the rich? The difference is that the government can generally be counted on, and the rich come and go as they please.
And, John Tamny, we are all reliant on each other. Do you grow your own food? Harvest your own power, perhaps from the sun? You are self-sufficient in the context of a government that protects you and an economy that supports you, but if you want to be self-sufficient in the way that you think the poor should be forced to be self-sufficient, you have to get off the grid and start from square one.
I hear that Forbes’ straight news pieces are just fine, but their op-ed section is mostly there to reinforce the fantasies of the rich that they know what’s going on, and everything would be fine if everyone just thought like they did.