Nutrition and Inequality
January 09, 2012, 01:20 PM
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Over the last year or two I've noticed a growing conventional wisdom consensus that inequality in America has something to do with nutrition. For example, Paul Krugman uses the word "nutrition" three times in today's column:
The failure starts early: in America, the holes in the social safety net mean that both low-income mothers and their children are all too likely to suffer from poor nutrition ...
Think about it: someone who really wanted equal opportunity would be very concerned about the inequality of our current system. He would support more nutritional aid for low-income mothers-to-be and young children. ...
And the Congressional wing of his party seems determined to make upward mobility even harder. For example, Republicans have tried to slash funds for the Women, Infants and Children program, which helps provide adequate nutrition to low-income mothers and their children ...

I don't watch as much sports on TV as I used to, so maybe I'm missing out on a trend that's obvious to Krugman in which we see NFL and NBA players increasingly suffering from rickets and stunted growth. I don't know, though. For example, linebacker James Harrison of the Steelers is one of 14 children, but he seems full grown to me.

Seriously, is there something substantive I'm missing in the growing handwaving about "poor nutrition" causing inequality?