Yesterday’s (August 18) episode of Forbes On Fox started off interestingly when the subject of a baker in Massachusetts, Andrea Taber, was discussed, and Forbes Opinions Editor John Tammy supported her actions. Andrea Taber earned a certain degree of infamy when she, while selling whoopie pies, pies, cakes, and cookies, refused service to people paying with EBT benefits. On the Fox And Friends morning show (August 16), she explained her stance, saying, “This program is designed for people who could not afford to put nutritious food on their table, and they can find plenty of that at the Farmers Market,” Taber said. “With regards to my product, my position was that the American taxpayers should not be footing the bill for peoples’ desert purchases.”
She is entitled to her opinion, of course, but that decision simply isn’t up to her. There are already legal limits surrounding what can and can not be purchased with EBT benefits, and if she isn’t happy with what is already in place, she can start a movement to have it reformed. Taking things into her own hands can be viewed as a discriminatory step too far. In addition, it is a common mis-perception that EBT is limited only to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, commonly called Food Stamps. In fact, EBT is utilized by several programs, from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, various state sponsored programs, and even refugee benefits.
Tammy was outspoken and happy about her actions, giving a grin and saying, “Well, first off, the right to free association is a basic American right and I like that this baker is refusing to do business with those she doesn’t want to. And as for the economy, this is a good thing. Maybe she will shame some of those on the dole to get back in the working world and in doing so contribute to something for the economy.”
Yes, you read that right. You do, in fact, have the right to personally associate with whom you please. However, when it comes to providing goods or services, that right mysteriously evaporates. A major cause of that strange evaporation is the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the general American attitude that discrimination based on class, religion, political affiliation, race, gender, etc., is wrong. Not only that, but 46.5 million people in the United States are on SNAP benefits, as per the USDA. Census.gov estimates the current United States population at 314.2 million people, meaning that 14.8% of Americans are on EBT. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate for July was 8.3%. That means that, even assuming 100% of unemployed people are on food stamps (very unlikely), he is directly insulting 6.5% of Americans at the least. That’s about 20.4 million Americans. And that is not counting the estimated 4.3 million TANF recipients nor those refugees currently living within the US.
For all the single mothers out there working a full-time job, sometimes more than one, and getting EBT benefits just to make sure you can feed your children, I salute you. You are contributing. You are the queens of the next generation, and are to be revered for your efforts. Men like John Tammy truly have no sense of class disparity, or what it means to struggle.
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