Wednesday, October 21, 2009

More on obesity and economic class

Ezra almost becomes self-aware,

The so-called "food movement" has been stereotyped as a bunch of yuppies trying to impose their preference for heirloom tomatoes on the rest of America. At times, it does veer into that territory, though it's often because the spokespeople tend to be well-intentioned chefs who are used to talking about food rather than well-intentioned policy people who are used to talking to the political media.

But at its base, obesity is one of the most important social justice issues in America today. Just as the wage gap matters, and the disparities in health-care coverage matter, so too does the disparity in health matter, particularly when the primary culprits are diseases like obesity and diabetes that we know -- know -- are related to the environments we live in and the choices we have.

When you self-reference yourself as a "foodie" I don't think it's unfair to call you a yuppie who, though well intentioned, comes across as trying to impose your "preference for heirloom tomatoes on the rest of America."

Anyway, on to the more substantive part of this discussion. Do you notice anything about the list of social justice issues that Ezra enumerates? They all are either explicitly economic social justice issues or are symptoms of our grossly injustice economic stratification. So once again we have a well intentioned progressive who comes from the economic and social elite of the country and fails to see what is right in front of his face; that the social justice issue of our time is the growing gap in income and wages, the growing distance between the have's and the have not's. That this Second Guilded Age that has been brought about by decades worth of government policy is what is causing the rot in our social system - from the schools, to obesity, to the uninsured.

Ezra links to a very well written piece of from Ta-Nehisi Coates on why he (Ta-Nehisi) has been blogging so much on poverty, race and obesity. It's well worth a read, Ta-Nehisi is a powerful writer and observer of American social class.

No comments: