Mark Wood: ‘Sweet and gentle’ 44-year-old man with mental health problems ‘starved to death after benefits cut’
So reads a headline in the Independent On-Line today Saturday, March 01, 2014. In way of background the UK government has cut their out-of-control (and it is out of control ) dole system modestly trying to get who they can into work. You can read the full article here. But the point that this sappy and probably lying piece is that Mr. Wood starved to death because these cuts meant he only had forty pounds a week to live on (above his shelter and medical costs it seems.) Well a Big Mac costs on average 2.89 Pounds in the UK so the forty pounds would have bought fourteen Big Macs each week, two a day, that could have staved off hunger.
So what happened? Well it appears his family didn’t check on him for months because he was a “proud man.” What bullshit. Hello – if you knew your brother was a mental case and might not feed himself, don’t you think you should check up every couple of months?
Well one reason why they didn’t might be that people die every day of malnourishment or call it starvation in industrialized countries and the cause is almost always drug dependency or alcoholism.
Now I don’t have anything against Mr. Wood or any personal knowledge but instead am only trying to illustrate what a “drumbeat” story is. That is, after Clinton signed the 1994 welfare reform bill the New York Times and other papers unleashed a drumbeat of personal interest stories above the fold which how various good people were going to starve, be thrown of the street, not get properly educated or be unable to work their way out of poverty because of the reforms. Going to die of starvation. . Then after a year or when nothing like that happened and it was obvious how popular Welfare Reform was they gave it up.
But for a solid year we had to listen to this crap.
Something similar is going on in the UK. And as a matter of fact re-occurred here on a smaller scale in the States recently when the ballooning Food Stamp program was cut one percent and people were “going to die” yada, yada, yada.
So don’t believe these stories. Learn to recognize them. Tell your neighbors.
Pray for Mr. Wood.