White House budget director Mick Mulvaney explained on Feb. 12 how the Trump administration hopes to save money on food aid after proposing to cut food stamp funding. (The Washington Post)

Some people have raised objections to the concept proposed by Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney of replacing SNAP with a “Blue Apron-style” shipment of nonperishables. They point out that this is really nothing like Blue Apron, which sends perishables to families that choose to eat them every week. They say that this untested, difficult-to-scale approach is an insult on par with forcing people to pedal for hours on a stationary bike in order to receive housing assistance and calling this a “Soul Cycle-style opportunity.”

But what do they know? Answer: not better than I, a corn baron, who has never known poverty or sadness except, once, the sadness of not having a bill small enough that a vending machine would accept it. I also once read a Dickens novel.

They should have been born with wealth, as I was (the spoon in my infant mouth was GOLD), and the dim sense that anyone struggling is doing so just to have a compelling narrative about adversity to put on their college application and take away poor Junior’s slot at Penn. Or that anyone who requires government assistance is doing this just for fun and recreation — they get a keen thrill from the judgment and the paperwork. Clearly, these people are insufficiently motivated to have been born to scions of wealth, and therefore we must replace their safety HAMMOCK with a fire.

Indeed, this program does not go far enough. Why stop at taking away people’s (already constricted) ability to choose food that suits their families? Why not mandate Stitch Fix-style deliveries of sackcloth and ashes so that we may know that these people are truly humbled? Why not insist that if you have smiled even once in your life, you should be ineligible for any assistance?


A Blue Apron Holdings Inc. meal-kit delivery package. (Dan Acker/Bloomberg News)

I know from close study of a series of cherry-picked anecdotes in columns and speeches that those on SNAP are using their EBT cards (not cash, of course; we could not trust such people with cash, as we can Louise Linton) to throw themselves garish military-style parades and fly around in private jets. Well, someone is doing that. Therefore, we must impose more restrictions on those receiving government assistance, to show that we know the value of a dollar. Which I do. It is an icky green kleenex you can use to buy one-fourth of a coffee!

They cannot buy wasteful nonsense like diapers, or toothpaste, or a rotisserie chicken. (How dare they buy a precooked meal when they spend their entire days relaxing lavishly at their two full-time jobs with their lush part-time salaries!) They should use their ample spare time (I am reliably assured that it is ample) to cook. Like Blue Apron. See, this is Blue-Apron-style after all.

I do not know what should go in these boxes, or how it will all work, but I imagine it will be quite simple and not require much thought.

What if, as Annie Lowrey asked on Twitter, recipients lack a fixed address? All I can say is that if they have no permanent abode, perhaps they ought to be denied these boxes altogether. Some of us can only afford to summer in one place and winter in another — imagine spending each day at a new address! The luxury: unthinkable! Surely we cannot reward such extravagance with food, as well.

To answer Lowrey’s further objections, briefly: No poor children are fussy eaters. Sometimes, they demand “more” — I learned this from real life, not that Dickens novel — and this plan will give them “more.” Of something. Not nutrients, perhaps, or choice, but certainly of shelf-stable nonperishables they did not request but that I thought were a good idea.

The boxes will never be stolen. Why would you steal something of so little value?

There are no poor vegetarians or vegans; they dine constantly on steak and lobster, I am informed.

Do not fear that one of these packages might be misplaced or dampened. I am reasonably confident it will never rain again.

If the food does not arrive on time, they can just order in from Uber Eats. It is a shame that this never occurs to them.

Do not ask whether anyone wanted this. Of course they wanted this. Their lives are too easy, and they should be made examples of. The reason that people are poor is that being poor is pleasant and they have chosen it. That is why. The reason I am not is because I am inherently good in some way they are not. Things are fair as they are, and we must make them more so.