Monday, June 2, 2008

Nancy Nadel's Solution For West Oakland: Subsistence Farming

Oakland City Councilwoman Nancy Nadel never fails to amaze me with her crackpot ideas. But she's outdone herself today.In a comment posted in response to Sean Sullivan's "food security" writeup, Ms. Nadel suggested that West Oakland's best hope is to "... [work] with .... neighbors to consider a commmunity food garden in a small park."

She also posted a completely inadequate explanation of her ongoing support for the failed Mandela Foods Cooperative experiment. "It is taking longer than we'd hoped as happens when you are learning," she says.

Nancy, I'm not sure you know this, but that learning you describe lies at the heart of capitalism. It's called comparative advantage.

Let's say a group of people decide they're pretty good at setting up stores where people come and buy groceries. For sake of argument, let's say those people organize into a group calling themselves "Fresh N' Easy."

Now, let's say that group of people offer to transfer their collective knowledge to West Oakland in the form of a grocery store. Now, do you:

  • Set up rules to encourage this decision, as it will benefit your constituents, or

  • Reject them, opting instead to find people totally unfamiliar with this line of business and start from scratch

Those who've paid any attention know which one Nadel chose. Basically, she screwed her constituents out of a grocery store, and now she's telling them to go buy some coveralls and grow their own food.

Nadel's response to Sullivan's article only gets more preposterous. She talks about food security. This in a city with simultaneous obesity and murder epidemics. Does she even live in Oakland?

This sort of stuff actually makes me feel sorry for Nadel's constituents in West Oakland. It's not the standard sort of white liberal guilt Nadel has mastered. No, it's true sadness borne out of suffering inflicted by uncaring powers-that-be. All Nadel would have to do for West Oakland to improve is get out of the way of progress. But she won't, and people die.

How does she sleep at night?

1 comment:

  1. Tom Mc Coy of BBI Construction sent out emails protesting the cities proposed council cuts of Public Works, He is upset because his city funded tree program is on the chopping blocks. How many more millions of the cities budget is Nancy going to spend on funding developers?