Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Conservative Crazy Bill Cunningham Worries Poor People Have Too Much. They Should Be So Lucky!

In conversations with my good friend and typical conservative, "nameless," he often angrily tells me how great the poor have it, with their food stamps and stuff. It's part of the pattern conservatives have of keeping track of what everyone else has, and judging whether they deserved these small benefits in life or not.

For example, Media Matters documented this give and take of radio talk host Bill Cunningham and one of his Republican listeners. The Media Matters transcript follows:

Radio host Bill Cunningham resumed his attacks on the poor during the December 4 broadcast of his Cincinnati-based show. After declaring that "[w]e're about the only country in the world with fat poor people," Cunningham stated that:
"the poor community, so to speak ... have cell phones, they have pagers, they have telephones, they have cars, they have HDTV, and they have those things because they spend no money on food, because it's all given to them for nothing." He added: "Why would a grocery store open in the poor community when everyone gets fed free and they eat too much?"

Contrary to Cunningham's suggestion that "poor people" are "fat" simply because "they eat too much," studies have shown a correlation between low-cost foods -- which tend to be less healthy -- and obesity. For instance, a study published in the January 2004 edition of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that "[m]any health disparities in the United States are linked to inequalities in education and income." The report further stated:
First, the highest rates of obesity occur among population groups with the highest poverty rates and the least education

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