The Covid Depression and “Food Insecurity”
Americans are going hungry because of coronavirus, and they are turning to theft to survive—at least that’s what we’re supposed to believe.
Nearly 26 million Americans did not have enough food through the month of November, according to survey data reported by the Washington Post. Covid-19 was solely to blame, until the article’s ending when government policies earned a mention. Under these conditions, many people were left with only one option: shoplift.
“Shoplifting is up markedly since the pandemic began in the spring and at higher levels than in past economic downturns, according to interviews with more than a dozen retailers, security experts and police departments across the country,” the report claimed.
Catch that? The newspaper essentially casts poor families in a bad light, as if they were only capable of stealing in order to overcome adversity.
The claim, which the Washington Post has discussed in at least two articles since November, isn’t new. During a virtual town hall in mid-July, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) blamed the increase of crime in New York City on “desperate” people “stealing bread to feed their children.” The claim was made even as NY police data showed that shootings went up 130 percent the previous month, not petty theft.
Does the data support what the Post implies? First, let’s look at how the Post got its own data.
According to the publication, “more Americans are going hungry now than at any point during the deadly coronavirus pandemic.” Also, “experts say it is likely that there’s more hunger in the United States today than at any point since 1998, when the Census Bureau began collecting comparable data.”
The data in question was collected through the so-called “food insecurity” survey. Created by the left-wing advocacy organization Food Research Action Center (FRAC), the survey became a widely used tool by the U.S. Department of Agriculture during the Bill Clinton administration. Activists and pundits use this survey to claim that taxpayer-funded food programs should be expanded.
Despite what investigative journalist Jim Bovard calls the “mushrooming” of the federal government’s subsidized feeding programs since the
Article from Mises Wire