From the Washington Post, found via BoingBoing: Lawmakers Find $21 a Week Doesn’t Buy a Lot of Groceries
[Ohio Representative Tim] Ryan and three other members of Congress have pledged to live for one week on $21 worth of food, the amount the average food stamp recipient receives in federal assistance. That’s $3 a day or $1 a meal. They started yesterday. […]
According to the rules of the challenge, the four House members cannot eat anything beside their $21 worth of groceries. That means no food at the many receptions, dinners and fundraisers that fill a lawmaker’s week. […]
“No organic foods, no fresh vegetables, we were looking for the cheapest of everything,” [Massachusetts Representative Jim] McGovern said. “We got spaghetti and hamburger meat that was high in fat — the fattiest meat on the shelf. I have high cholesterol and always try to get the leanest, but it’s expensive. It’s almost impossible to make healthy choices on a food stamp diet.”
I think it would be interesting if lawmakers could participate in a similar challenge, but this one relating to transportation. They’d be deprived of the privilege of driving a car for a week; instead, they would be forced to use public transportation, on a limited budget, to take care of all the tasks they needed to accomplish. And not on Washington’s Metro, either, but instead using their respective hometowns’ transportation systems and their own two feet.
Perhaps this would help shed some light on how horrifically underfunded many public transportation systems are and how they vastly underserve the very communities that would otherwise make more extensive use of them, as well as how pedestrian-unfriendly so many modern roads are by design.