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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

Hard times

For the "silver lining in the dark recession cloud" file:

VALPARAISO, Ind. - Tough economic times are keeping more families home for home-cooked meals that save money and also bring the family together for the dinner hour, experts say.

[. . .]

As the recession compels consumers to more carefully monitor how much they spend on food, for many it has prompted a return to the traditional family dinner hour. That means fewer fast-food meals and few processed, prepackaged foods that can be high in calories.

Ot maybe it should be for the "well, duh" file. People stop being frivolous and look for all kinds of ways to save when times get tough. I guess I was way ahead of the curve on this one. In my restaurant phase, I went out for dinner three or four times a week and for almost all my lunches. Now, I have breakfast out every Saturday and go to dinner with my sister in Indianapolis once every other week. That's about it, except for an occasional birthday lunch. I remember (WARNING: "Old Fart whines about how things have changed" Alert!) when I was a kid, going out to eat was a rare happening, to be planned for and savored. When it becomes the ordinary way of doing things, it's just another chore.

Meanwhile on the food front, it is reported that demand for food stamps in Indiana is up 10 percent, but the number of people receiving TANF (or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) is down, a situation that parallels other states' experiences. Critics say it's because the federal government's conribution to TANF is fixed no matter how many participate, while it picks up almost the whole tab for food stamp costs. Nonsense, say state officials. It's because TANF, more popularly known as welfare, increased the work/looking for work/job training requirement from 20 hours a week to 30, and a lot of people didn't want to commit to that.

Not to worry. That nasty old welfare reform is going away anyway, one of the wonderful side benefits of the $790 billion stimulus package.

How can you tell someone who has lost his income to look for another job if there aren't any more jobs?” asked one Obama backer.

I won't even get into all that's wrong with


Bob G.
Mon, 02/16/2009 - 12:01pm

Funny thing about all that "restaurant" stuff...

When my folks mentioned RESTAURANT, that was "parentspeak" for: "Dad had some extra O/T last week, and we're lucky enough to give MOM a day off from the kitchen".

And I still treat it that way.
It's not my god-given right to dine out, but it IS a pleasant diversion from the standard menu at home, when the budget allows.

Welfare reform?
Going AWAY?

Yeah, I'll believe THAT when I see it.
Still, it would be nice if some of "my" locals knew what an HONEST DAY OF WORK was....at least ONCE in their welfare-laden lives.
(we could always tap the jails for that roadwork we need too, right?)