Friday, September 18, 2009

What does this mean?

Oh, no. I have the same white ruffled blouse as Michelle Obama.

What does this mean?

She's shopping the clearance rack of Kohl's in an effort to "get in touch" with the people?

If only we were so easily taken it.

But we remember the $540 sneakers at the homeless dinner. This current pretense is merely a distraction from the current takeover of the economy, health care, the WORLD.

Don't fall for it.

And just don't have a garage sale, no matter what.

And finally more shopping advice from the First Lady. A friend sent me this:

Let's say you're preparing dinner and you realize with dismay that you don't have any certified organic Tuscan kale. What to do?

Here's how Michelle Obama handled this very predicament Thursday afternoon:

The Secret Service and the D.C. police brought in three dozen vehicles and shut down H Street, Vermont Avenue, two lanes of I Street and an entrance to the McPherson Square Metro station. They swept the area, in front of the Department of Veterans Affairs, with bomb-sniffing dogs and installed magnetometers in the middle of the street, put up barricades to keep pedestrians out, and took positions with binoculars atop trucks. Though the produce stand was only a block or so from the White House, the first lady hopped into her armored limousine and pulled into the market amid the wail of sirens.

Then, and only then, could Obama purchase her leafy greens. "Now it's time to buy some food," she told several hundred people who came to watch. "Let's shop!"

Cowbells were rung. Somebody put a lei of marigolds around Obama's neck. The first lady picked up a straw basket and headed for the "Farm at Sunnyside" tent, where she loaded up with organic Asian pears, cherry tomatoes, multicolored potatoes, free-range eggs and, yes, two bunches of Tuscan kale. She left the produce with an aide, who paid the cashier as Obama made her way back to the limousine.

Dana Milbank even does some comparison shopping for her:

Obama, in her brief speech to the vendors and patrons, handled the affordability issue by pointing out that people who pay with food stamps would get double the coupon value at the market. Even then, though, it's hard to imagine somebody using food stamps to buy what the market offered: $19 bison steak from Gunpowder Bison, organic dandelion greens for $12 per pound from Blueberry Hill Vegetables, the Piedmont Reserve cheese from Everson Dairy at $29 a pound. Rounding out the potential shopping cart: $4 for a piece of "walnut dacquoise" from the Praline Bakery, $9 for a jumbo crab cake at Chris's Marketplace, $8 for a loaf of cranberry-walnut bread and $32 for a bolt of yarn.

The first lady said the market would particularly appeal to federal employees in nearby buildings to "pick up some good stuff for dinner." Yet even they might think twice about spending $3 for a pint of potatoes when potatoes are on sale for 40 cents a pound at Giant. They could get nearly five dozen eggs at Giant for the $5 Obama spent for her dozen.


Anne R Triolo said...

It's funny that she has the same blouse as you. What I want to know is why she's wearing that scary looking belt! It is more militaristic looking even than Hilary Clinton's space age pant suits!

In terms of her expensive footwear, I really don't have a problem with that. They are millionaires, no skin off my nose if they want to by (ugly) expensive shoes. And I'm pretty sure that the people at the homeless shelter didn't expect her to take a vow of poverty before she came to visit.

M. Alexander said...

Yes, they are millionaires but only because the taxpayers have made them millionaires. Self made wealth and inherited wealth doesn't bother me, but this is an outrage while she and her husband are picking our pockets and lecturing us for being selfish.

Jess said...

What is she wearing around her waist? Its either an ammo belt or something like a corset. This look doesn't nothing for her.

Pilgrim said...

I will be critical of your commentary on the food prices. Unlike $540 sneakers, food is subsidized and that means we're paying for it one way or another. The only reason you can have potatoes for $0.40/lb is because we're paying the rest in taxes. I pay anywhere from $0.80 to $2.00 per pound of potatoes, depending on what kind of potato and what size. I often buy a 5lb bag of organic red potatoes for $4 ($0.80/lb). If want fingerlings or blue potatoes or some other fancier potato, I will spend up to $1.50-2.00/lb but then I'm only buying a couple pounds. You can buy cheap, non-organic, russet baking potatoes for dirt cheap but you're using tax money to do so and you are getting a different, inferior product.

The US federal government spent $13.4 billion on farm subsidies in 2008. These are primarily for the big factory farms because they have the most political weight. Very little of these subsidies go to small or organic farms, who rely on the actual food purchase price at farmer's markets and local food co-ops whereas the major corporations actually make their money off of taxes. Think about it: take $0.40/lb potatoes, subtract the supermarket's markup to pay for their profit and operations, subtract the freight cost of driving those potatoes across the country to get to you, subtract the cost of the workers hired to pick and process those potatoes. These companies aren't surviving on $0.40/lb potatoes, they're surviving on taxes. So there's a reason why small farms have to charge more than a dollar a pound for potatoes to stay alive, because the government isn't footing the bill with taxes.

Many times poor people are pressured to make purchasing decisions in favor of inferior goods. We know sometimes poor people end up shopping at a mainstream supermarket, buying ridiculously cheap produce because they have to feed their kids something. Sometimes poor people shop at Walmart and buy cheap Chinese garbage because they feel it's better than not having that product.

Say we are talking about jeans, since you discussed Obama's shoes. I can buy a pair of jeans from Walmart or K-Mart for $20 which are made in China. I can also buy a pair of jeans such as Carhart's, for $50 which are made in America. I could also choose to buy a pair of $200+ designer jeans which are also made in America. The first may be more practical immediately because it has a lower end cost. But you are getting a lower-quality product and your money is going to some Chinese corporation, supporting their economy. The second is a moderate choice, you get a better product, workers are paid reasonable wages, and the money stays in the American economy. The third is a luxury choice, it is a better product (though there are diminishing returns) and the money is in the American economy but you are spending an inordinate amount of money to the designer that could probably have been better spent elsewhere.

So if we are being educated, ethical, conscientious consumers who watch where our money goes, we will make the decisions that support working people like us. Ask yourself, "Would I rather give my paycheck to China, to Walmart, to ConAgra, etc. or would I rather give it to family and small farmers in my hometown?" It may be cheap to buy a dozen eggs for $1 but is it the right thing to do? I would suggest that it is better, more moral, to buy the mentioned dozen eggs for $5 (or often much less) to get free-range, organic, healthier, better-tasting, local eggs. I would go so far as to suggest also that it is even better to build a chicken coop.

Jen said...

Well, everyone in my family would certainly be much slimmer if we ate only locally grown produce and other foods. Feeding a family of six on one income at farmer's market prices is next to impossible.