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Post no.80 (The corned beef poverty index)

March 20, 2012

Caritas has recently published some research it had carried out about poverty. It has provided some recommendations, among which is the increase of the minimum wage. This has got the lion’s share of the headlines for obvious reasons.

Caritas is not in a position to enforce anything, so one would suppose that it has published this report to highlight the plight and statistical realities on a national level and, God willing, spark a nationwide debate in the hope of something being done by the people who matter.

Enter Daphne Caruana Galizia. In the wake of the report she published a piece entitled Higher wages can make bad habits worse. I made myself a mug of coffee and sat down at my computer to read all about it.

It is a 28-paragraph piece that, one would have hoped, comments on the findings and recommendations of the research. The first two paragraphs are promising enough – in that they are connected to the report. Then she slips. She drags in nurses, designers and IT guys to explain *ahem* why and how *cough* market forces establish salary levels. In four paragraphs. This tells me that either she doesn’t know the reasons or, if she does, she thinks that most of her readers can’t grasp certain intricacies of the free market.

But this is not the place to explain such things, you may counter. Accepted.

Then why does she take up the next 16 paragraphs banging on about corned beef, baked macaroni, baked rice and minced meat?  Did you know, for example, that poor people are so stupid that they buy corned beef instead of minced meat for the above mentioned dishes?

Ludicrous doesn’t even begin to describe the piece. You have to read it to believe the amount drivel it contains. It should have come with a warning from the health department or something.

Then, in the last 4 paragraphs, she mentions smoking and gambling as an afterthought, you know,  to be exhaustive. So nobody tells her that she didn’t  mention the key players.

Drugs don’t even get a mention. Don’t take my word for it. Search the text.

And you know the really bad part of all this?  One reader said her post was brilliant.

The NSO should take note of this groundbreaking analysis of the eating habits of the poor. Perhaps they could send a few agents as undercover cashiers at supermarkets and take note of those who buy corned beef – which, incidentally, Caruana Galizia fails to tell us, is also known as bully beef. That would have taken up the better part of a seventeenth paragraph.

Looking for a wall against which to bang my head with a vengeance.


From → The Gripevine

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