Paul Revere by Cyrus Dallin, North End, Boston



Monday, September 23, 2013

Unhealthy, Hungry States

Why do the red states that are run by conservative governments fail their citizens?  These 10 conservative states have the hungriest in their population:

1.  Mississippi
2.  Arkansas
3.  Texas
4.  Alabama
5.  North Carolina
6.  Georgia
7.  Missouri
8.  Nevada
9.  Tennessee
10. Ohio

The recent vote by Republicans in the House to slash funds to SNAP will affect the poorest in the poorest states--those states run by Republican governors and/or legislatures.  Why would the GOP do that to their own constituents?

The states with the lowest food security, not surprisingly, are among the poorest in the country. In all 10 states, the median household income was less than the national median of $50,502. In Mississippi and Arkansas, the two worst states for food security, median income was less than $40,000. Of the 10 states with the lowest food security, eight had the highest poverty rates in the country. 

 Ross Fraser, spokesperson for hunger-relief charity Feeding America, explained that having low food security does not necessarily mean families are starving. While people may feel full after eating, nutritious food is expensive. “Often, people have to make unfortunate choices about what they put in their stomachs.” Fraser added. 

 Indeed, according to a 2012 Gallup-Healthways survey, people in nine of the 10 states were less likely to eat healthily on a daily basis than the nation as a whole. Missouri and Tennessee were third and second worst in the country by this measure. 

 It may surprise some that, in fact, the majority of the 10 states with food access problems have higher-than-average obesity rates. Mississippi and Arkansas had the second and third highest obesity rates in the country in 2012. 

“The lack of healthy food among families in these states,” explained Fraser, “is one of the reasons you have very poor people who are obese. It is because they’re not able to afford nutritious and high protein food.”

More here.

If conservatives believe conservatism is the better of the two political ideologies, why do the conservative red states come in as the poorest, the hungriest, and the least educated in studies?

Also, while we're looking at stats, the states that promote abstinence only programs to prevent out-of-wedlock pregnancies are failing as well:

Abstinence-only education does not lead to abstinent behavior, UGA researchers find

"...prescribed abstinence-only education in public schools does not lead to abstinent behavior," said David Hall, second author and assistant professor of genetics in the Franklin College. "It may even contribute to the high teen pregnancy rates in the U.S. compared to other industrialized countries." 

Along with teen pregnancy rates and sex education methods, Hall and Stanger-Hall looked at the influence of socioeconomic status, education level, access to Medicaid waivers and ethnicity of each state's teen population.

 Even when accounting for these factors, which could potentially impact teen pregnancy rates, the significant relationship between sex education methods and teen pregnancy remained: the more strongly abstinence education is emphasized in state laws and policies, the higher the average teenage pregnancy and birth rates.

 "Because correlation does not imply causation, our analysis cannot demonstrate that emphasizing abstinence causes increased teen pregnancy. However, if abstinence education reduced teen pregnancy as proponents claim, the correlation would be in the opposite direction," said Stanger-Hall.

 The paper indicates that states with the lowest teen pregnancy rates were those that prescribed comprehensive sex and/or HIV education, covering abstinence alongside proper contraception and condom use.

States whose laws stressed the teaching of abstinence until marriage were significantly less successful in preventing teen pregnancies."

States with ‘abstinence-only’ sex ed programs rank highest in teen pregnancies

"A study has shown that while the U.S. is currently enjoying a steady decline in the number of teen pregnancies, states with sex ed and health classes that stress “abstinence-only” education rank the highest in the numbers of underage pregnancies, according to a post at Think Progress.

 The current rate of teen pregnancies, about 35 per 1,000 girls between the ages of 15 and 19, is the lowest on record since the CDC began to track these statistics in 1940. The CDC attributes the improvement to pregnancy prevention efforts and education.

 However, 37 states currently mandate that all sex education include information on abstinence, 26 of whom insist that abstinence be taught as the main method of pregnancy prevention.

 Studies have indicated that abstinence-only programs may end up deterring contraceptive use among teens who do have sex, whereas teenagers who have been taught a comprehensive sex ed curriculum are “60 percent less likely” to become pregnant or get someone else pregnant.

Additionally, a 2007 federal study indicated that abstinence-only education ultimately had “no impacts ” at all on rates of sexual abstinence. 

 The two states with the highest rates of teen pregnancies are Mississippi and New Mexico. 

 Neither state requires that sex ed be taught in schools. 

 Mississippi law stipulates that when sexual education is taught, that abstinence be the main method of contraception proscribed by educators, whereas New Mexico has no rules about reproductive health criteria at all. 

 The state with the lowest rate of teen pregnancies is New Hampshire, which requires comprehensive sex ed in schools that includes information about condoms and other forms of birth control in addition to abstinence."


Willful ignorance is not a remedy for out-of-wedlock pregnancies; and cutting back on needed funds for feeding needy Americans is not a way to get people out of what the GOOPers call a comfortable hammock to find work. It's difficult to do anything when you and your family are hungry.

One wonders what sort of values the so-called "American Values Party" really promotes when it turns a blind eye to our most vulnerable citizens and when it pretends that abstinence only programs will prevent more hungry babies from being born into more poor families.

The Shrill One weighs in on this subject.


Anonymous said...

This is Republican leadership. This is what Republicans see as a thriving society.
Minnesota is a good example. Once led by the DFL, the fad of electing Republicans brought Palenty to the Governors office.
Jesse Ventura was Governor, which kinda made people laugh. But when Ventura left office he left a $600 million dollar budget surplus, low unemployment, and a State working well.
After 8 years of Republican Palenty leadership, Minnesota was 5 billion in debt, unemployment was the highest since the great depression, State medical aid was slashed along with food stamps and other programs.
Palenty was one of those who signed "the no new tax pledge." and went on to run for president.
Minnesota had enjoyed a national reputation as one of the best States to live in, and national magazines wrote front page stories about how great Minnesota was.
Now Minnesota is another broke State about equal to the States you have listed.

BB-Idaho said...

Ditto for Wisconsin.

okjimm said...

question is...what is a good state anymore? What I want to know is who is Governor of t5yhe State of Confu7sion....and why does he/sje still listen to Karl Rove?

Anonymous said...

In this highly-mobile society, why are there any people left in these horrible red states?

Why don't the starving masses move to blue states that offer generous assistance?

Ducky's here said...

From Krugman's article --- Hence the war on food stamps, which House Republicans have just voted to cut sharply even while voting to increase farm subsidies.
This confuses me.

Food stamps originally was meant as an agricultural subsidy program. Crops were wasted, prices depressed and the government decided the wasted crops could go toward feeding people instead of going to waste.

So we have extensive subsidies now but the benefits of feeding people and getting a direct monetary multiplier to benefit growth are lost. I sense a grift.

Anonymous said...

Ducky = I sense a grift.

Wise man. Government and business colluding against the public.

Leo T. Lyon said...

FYI shaw. Found this over at that creepy woman's blog:

"wright-winger said...
Free Thinke said:
"f you ACT like a slut, then you must expect to be treated like a slut. PERIOD!"

Damn it FT will you STOP talking about Ms. Shaw already!

September 23, 2013 at 12:20 PM"

Infidel753 said...

Judging by the list of states, I would guess that a lot of those "poorest" of "their own constituents" are black -- not people the average Republican politician looks upon as his constituents.

Shaw Kenawe said...


I don't know what your comment has to do with this post.

I really don't care what the commenters on conservative blogs call me. If they need to degrade themselves by going into the gutter, that's their problem, not mine.

Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.

That blog attracts small minds.

End of discussion.

Shaw Kenawe said...


I think you've figured it out.

Les Carpenter said...

I just wonder why the constituency, the voting public you know, keeps then in control. Perhaps to give progressive a cause and purpose?

tmk said...

Anonymous said...

In this highly-mobile society, why are there any people left in these horrible red states?

Why don't the starving masses move to blue states that offer generous assistance?'ve never been jobless and broke, have you? The =only= way anyone can move without money in the bank is to cast away all you own and walk.

Luke 6:20-21 said...

It's good to see real religious groups speaking out on the rotten Republican law makers who voted to hurt our veterans and poor people:

"210 Republicans who make $175,000 per year say poor people ought to starve to death, stripping food stamps from 3.8 million Americans, including 170,000 veterans. It included Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) reaching an all-time Republican low (right up there next to putting children back to work in factories) when he said, “If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat.”

The Associated Baptist Press reported last week that “Roy Medley, general secretary of American Baptist Churches USA, wrote House members Sept. 5. ‘Instead, this type of bill will punish those struggling to get by.’

And on September 9, Sojourners’ Jim Wallis wrote, “These immoral cuts are incongruent with the shared values of our nation They demonstrate the triumph of political ideology and self-interest over sound public policy and concern for the general welfare.”

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Jewish Federations of North America, and dozens of religious and secular organizations signed a letter to Congress last week urging members to oppose food stamp cuts. “If SNAP is weakened, our nation will see more hunger and food insecurity, worse health and educational outcomes, and higher health costs,” it said."

Conservatives are the first to tell you how godly they are and that we are "One Nation Under God," they try to own God and then they go about doing the exact opposite of what their Savior preached. How pious and holy they are every Sunday, then they stab their Jesus in the back every chance they get. They are religious charlatans, and the worst of what Jesus warned against, people who show off their religion in public and do nothing to help their fellow man.

The Conservative anti-women, anti-science, anti-health care, anti-poor will pay for this outrage at the ballot box. We won't forget what they've done to America's poor and needy.

ThatDeborahgirl said...

If you really want to know, they're collectively punishing their constituents for not electing Romney. Especially the women who turned against him because of the idiots like Todd Akin.

Can't you hear the threats and can have your damned abortions and how are you gonna feed your families. Mwahahahaha.

It's sour grapes just like everything the hell else they do. Based on hatred, racism and retribution for daring not to believe their evil hype even when they're outright telling you it's all spin and lies. But it's their spin and lies. Support them or else.

JoeBama "Truth 101" Kelly said...

All part of our republican plan to make America wholesome again Shaw. If we starve the poor they'll be too weak and hungry to make babies. Plus go get id's so they can vote.

I need to visit the righties that hate on you so much and teach them true republicanism.

Anonymous said...

TMK: You obviously have no idea how many people pick up and move. Many do leave behind what little they have left.

Anonymous said...

This US Government link provides information germane to this discussion:

Why has the pathetic Alabama experienced more population growth than the progressive and enlightened Connecticut?

Mississippi's growth beats New York's, Georgia's beats Maryland's...

FreeThinke said...

Believe only what you see with your own two eyes, and only half of that at best.

As for the rest, believe nothing of what you hear, and nothing generated by the Red Propaganda Mills better known known as The New York Times, The Washington Post, The L.A. Times, The Chicago Tribune, ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, The New Yorker, The Nation, The Atlantic -- or any statistics compiled and published by the UN.

Don't believe the tendentious nonsense generated by the so-called Christian Right either, because that faction is neither right nor Christian.

CheeeeeZ! said...

Well we certainly don't believe anything a frightwing stooge tells us!

If a frightwing stooge tell us not to believe, then whatever it is, it must be the truth.

The frightwingers have never had a relationship with facts or truth.

Evolution? "Just a theory!" Climate change? "A hoax!" Rape? "A woman's body shuts that whole thing down!" Violence? "More guns means more peace!" Barack Obama? "A Commie, Kenyan, Marxist, Fascist, Socialist!" Poor people and veterans? "Takers!"

They have no association with reality. None. Just look at the newest kook they swoon over, Ted Cruz, to see how full of manure they are.

Doctor Tomato said...

Conservative states are the poorest in the nation and yet we always hear that conservatism is a better ideiology, that liberalism is bad. Well look at the states with the lowest rates of poverty and the states with the highest.

You like living in poverty? Live in a conservative state.

Facts have a liberal bias!

Les Carpenter said...

"Facts have a liberal bias!"

Facts by definition gave NO bias!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Americans are likely unaware how much of their hard-earned tax dollars Republicans give to institutions and businesses that are reporting record profits, and all the while Republicans claim America cannot afford to assist hungry Americans, repair crumbling roads and bridges, or fund education. According to the Cato Institute, American families are paying an average of $6,000 per year to corporations that have doubled their profits while cutting 2.9 million American jobs. It works out to approximately $100 billion a year in corporate welfare, and that does not include some of the biggest and most wasteful subsidies in the nation. It is no small coincidence that the industries receiving the most taxpayer-funded welfare are also Republicans’ favorite donors in the oil, banking, pharmaceutical, and agricultural industries, which are why they bristle at the suggestion the subsidies must end.

Shaw Kenawe said...


I think you meant to quote this:

Stephen Colbert at W.H. Correspondence Dinner in 2006:

"I know there are some polls out there saying this man [President Bush] has a 32% approval rating. But guys like us, we don't pay attention to the polls. We know that polls are just a collection of statistics that reflect what people are thinking in "reality." And reality has a well-known liberal bias.

Anonymous said...

Whatever happened to FREE cheese? The reason Farm subsidies were increased is to grow more corn for bio-fuels. That's where the money is, not in feeding the poor. It's all about the Benjamin's and the poor just don't provide substantial ROI so disinvestment is necessary and disenfranchisement the end result. It is said that the worst way to die is by starvation. It is an excruciatingly painful way to go.

As a Yankee I have lived in and traveled throughout the South and believe me there are places here where opulence butts up against 3rd World poverty. Small towns are family owned and operated and each is loaded with 'dirty little secrets'. In hindsight the best outcome of the Civil War is if, the South had won. Then we'd be shed of these incestuous knuckle draggers and their racist societies.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

Conservatives have learned the lesson of Katrina.

The end goal of oppressing the poor is ethnic cleansing.

They cannot use straight terrorism like they did in the 1960's, causing the 3rd great migration of african americans out of the south.

Les Carpenter said...

Another wacko from the looney lands of the progressive wasteland.

What was it that the late pathetic Lyndon Baines Johnson the Democratic architect of the Great Society said? Something to the effect 'we'll have those niggers (voting for us) for the next 50 years.

LBJ, a progressive, was a bigot interested only in solidifying democratic party power and nothing more.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"LBJ, a progressive, was a bigot interested only in solidifying democratic party power and nothing more."

Solidifying Democratic party power? Are you f**king serious? By passing the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Right Act LBJ knew the Democrats would lose the south as a voting bloc because the south always voted Democratic until the federal government gave equal rights to black folks.

Most intelligent people look at what he DID not what he SAID. And what he passed was more important than what he said.

Now we have the racists in the Republican Party in the south trying to use their state governments to undo what LBJ accomplished.

Carlo Fortunato said...

You can’t have a post about Republicans attempting to gut food stamps without including race in the conversation. To the Tea Party base, “food stamps” is code for “handouts to lazy black people,” and nothing gets the base more riled up than their hatred of any social program that helps “those people.” I think you’d agree that right now the right-wing GOP is much more motivated by placating and energizing its base than by any other factor. That’s what the votes to repeal Obamacare are about, and that’s what the food stamp votes are about. The simple fact is that the members of Congress who voted for the massive cut in food stamps did it so they could go back to their districts and tell the old, white, angry voters who elected them: “See, I’m in Washington, fighting the good fight to keep lazy, undeserving (*wink wink*) people from taking your hard-earned tax dollars.”

I really think that people outside the South have trouble understanding these sorts of things. It isn’t callous at all. It is entirely about race. It really is a long-standing race issue for many Southern whites, especially as you get closer and closer to the lower end of the middle class, but it can be found at most every strata. An example of the poisonous logic goes like this: “Food stamps are a handout to blacks who don’t want to work.” Now, you could point out the obvious, and say, “But needy white people get food stamps too,” but the response would be: “But that is different, and in any case, white people want to work so they aren’t the problem.” It is basically the same meme about welfare in general that has persisted for a generation.

Les Carpenter said...

Conjecture on your part and you willfully choose to ignore history and the factors that motivated the bigot LBJ. What is really amusing Anon is your glossing over the bigots own words.

Les Carpenter said...

Not to mention democrats made up the majority of KKK membership.

Les Carpenter said...

But that is A okay because they were democrats, right?

Les Carpenter said...

You want to broad brush stroke it and spew bullshit? Many can play that game.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Stop withl the KKK and Democrats. Anyone who knows anything about politics knows that the Democrats in the south were CONSERVATIVE Democrats, and the Republicans in the Northeast--like the Rockefellers and even Romney and by today's standards, Reagan, were moderate to liberal Republicans, who were hated by the far right conservative Republicans. It's a foolish argument.

The KKKers left the Democratic Party IMMEDIATELY after the Civil Rights Act was passed. Why? Because the Democrats in the south were all CONSERVATIVES. Ever hear of the Dixiecrats? And do you know why they split from the Democratic Party?

"The States' Rights Democratic Party (usually called the Dixiecrats) was a short-lived segregationist political party in the United States in 1948. It originated as a breakaway faction of the Democratic Party in 1948, determined to protect what they portrayed as the southern way of life beset by an oppressive federal government, and supporters assumed control of the state Democratic parties in part or in full in several Southern states. The States' Rights Democratic Party opposed racial integration and wanted to retain Jim Crow laws and white supremacy in the face of possible federal intervention. Members were called Dixiecrats. (The term Dixiecrat is a portmanteau of Dixie, referring to the Southern United States, and Democrat.)

The Dixiecrats had little short-run impact on politics. However, they did have a long-term impact. The Dixiecrats began the weakening of the "Solid South" (the Democratic Party's total control of presidential elections in the South)."

Anonymous said...

Is it words, or deeds we judge?

Regardless of their great words in the founding documents, the founders were racist slave holders, and did not make law to change that.

Regardless of LBJ's racist words, his actions and resulting laws did improve the plight of blacks, by a large step.

The majority on welfare rolls are white, and whites have benefited more than blacks from those welfare programs, by far.

As for saying we should not have those kind of programs at all, is a matter of what kind of society we want to live in.

For almost 100 years Americans have voted for, paid taxes for, and supported these programs. Even today, there is not majority support to kill these programs.

There has been a movement to pay less taxes, but that only supports a "starve the beast" strategy; Americans are still not ready to kill SS and other programs, they seem to be under the mistaken illusion they don't have to pay for these programs.

Starve the beast has worked. We can no longer afford these programs, even if we still want them. Debts are so great now, it's impossible to have these programs.

That is the fault of Republican irresponsible leadership of cutting taxes before we cut the programs. Leaving us bankrupt instead of changing the priorities of government through majority approval. The people are to blame for allowing this political hypocrisy.

Those who are against these programs lack historical reference to what led generations of Americans to support such programs.

We will have to see people starving and dying in the streets again, before we have to make the same decisions our parents and grandparents did; do we want to live in a society with that kind of human suffering?

BB-Idaho said...

"Believe nothing from:
The New York Times, The Washington Post, The L.A. Times, The Chicago Tribune, ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, The New Yorker, The Nation, The Atlantic -- or any statistics compiled and published by the UN." ...guess that leaves
FoxNews, Rush and World Net Daily.
Holy Crap!

Carol G. with no blog said...


No one pays attention to F.T. That comment from him demonstrates why.

(O)CT(O)PUS said...

"If conservatives believe conservatism is the better of the two political ideologies, why do the conservative red states come in as the poorest, the hungriest, and the least educated in studies?"

Not just because they want America poor, hungry, uneducated and uninformed, and oppressed ... they troll our blogs, offend us, defame us, harass us, hijack our posts and comment threads with off-topic doggerel and non sequiturs, pee on the bushes and crap on lawn like an old dog marking the territory; then - OMG! - hold the Lady of the Manor in thrall while forcing unnatural acts upon her. The horror!

Ducky's here said...

FT, you forgot The New York Review of Books

Les Carpenter said...

Truth must be too much to handle. As I knew. Manipulation, BS, hyperbole, control and power defines American politics and culture. It is what it is, even if one wishes to deny it. Perhaps it is time to join the underground.

(O)CT(O)PUS said...

Kind of reminds me of battered victims who enable and continue to worship their abusers. Captain Fogg seems to concur, his comment under the same post at the Zone:

Captain Fogg: "You beat me to the punch on that one. Extensive study at the college of Jerry Springer confirms that men who beat and punch and otherwise abuse women have no problem finding women to abuse. Perhaps the poor, hungry and ignorant of those states have such low self esteem they think they deserve Republican governors ..."

These comments by the cephalopod and the good Captain are not necessarily partisan; I consider these a form of intervention.

Anonymous said...

okjimm said...

RN.."LBJ was a bigot' and Ike was a racist who believed in segregation. yet...when the Supreme Court ruled...Ike also believed in the law of the land....and sent the troops to Little Rock.

Les Carpenter said...

Ike was a good man.