In any case, the Great Pink Slime War of 2012 has me wondering why on earth school lunches are a federal matter. Surely this is something states, cities and towns or even local schools (perhaps in association with the PTA) can work out? My guess is that the closer to the local level decisions are made, the more common sense will prevail.
Though blue model advocates will defend this system on various high-minded grounds, confident that only life-tenured civil service bureaucrats with Advanced Degrees have the necessary knowledge and independence to decide what the nation’s children eat every day, I am not impressed. The time honored process of regulatory capture ensures as often as not that federal food guidance and regulations significantly lag scientific conclusions (changeable as these are) on nutrition and relatively consistently favor the interests of Big Ag. The reality is probably that it’s more convenient for big agricultural groups to tweak national school purchases by shaping the guidelines through regulatory capture and that, politically, is why this is a national matter.
Let’s be clear: if school lunches shouldn’t be settled at the local level, democracy is doomed. If we actually need federal bureaucrats to tell us what to feed our children, the republic is finished and it is time to close up shop. We are so clueless and careless as a nation that the first determined group of barbarians to come along can push us over.
Local control is not going to give the “best” answer 100 percent of the time — but neither is any other system of administration and control. At least when these things are controlled at the local level, mistakes only affect a small number of people — and the people affected can make changes more easily than if a national bureaucracy is responsible for the dumb move.