The Meat Strike

In brief:

When housewives of the New York suburbs decided that the price of meat was too high, they did the only thing they could….boycott. Within weeks, the price suddenly dropped. Maybe it’s time for a meat strike of government.
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I can still remember how ‘foot stomping’ mad mom was… all the neighborhood housewives were mad! With hungry kids and husbands on the rush hour, the high cost of red meat made it harder and harder to stretch the family food budget. The word, vegetarian, never entered our rib eye culture: reserved, rather, for the hootenanny and hippy set in Greenwich Village and Woodstock. We wanted meat!

When the retail price of red meat hit an all time high of more than a dollar a pound– all heck broke loose at our house! Mom snapped into action– telephoning neighbors, asking them to go on strike: stop buying meat! She even telephoned the newspaper. She helped launch a meat boycott. About 3 days into the strike, we walked down to Joe’s butcher shop– at the time, the only place to buy a ‘decent cut of beef.’ Yes, we bought our favorite Kaiser rolls (served with mom’s exquisite meat-free lentil soup.) But when Joe, the butcher, asked: “what kin I get ya today?”–I took a step back and watched as a wave of General Patton washed over mom’s brow. Digging her heels in, she stood tall and said in her best commander tone: “no meat today, Joe– your prices are just too high—and we’re just plain tired of it!” He haltingly tried to explain about the cost of the middle man… but mums shook her head resolutely.

Pride swelled in my little girl heart– like Cinderella must have felt when the handsome prince stood up to that no-good step-mother and bratty half-sisters. But my stomach also flip-flopped at the idea of cheerios for dinner. Joe’s face flushed a ghostly white as mummy paid for the rolls and, head held high, she waltzed out of the shop. I puttered behind her, drooling over the counter packed with plump red cuts of beef. We ran into our neighbor outside and as I wiped the drool from my mouth, the women discussed the strike and exchanged recipes for meatless hash. We walked home as my stomach grumbled and mom lectured about the ‘power of protest’– let your voices be heard! Petition your leaders! Later, I picked my cereal and dreamed about hot lunch at school.

Within a few weeks, behold! Protest worked! The meat strike was over! The price dropped below a dollar a pound—and we all flocked back to Joe’s.

This day, as we speak, the United States Congress is involved in it’s own meat strike: the House has passed legislation that if Congress does not do its job– and pass a national budget—then, no red meat for Congress. No work, no pay. Bravo! It’s the Senate’s duty to present to Congress a budget—but hasn’t done that in over 1100 days. Where’s the consequence for not doing their job?

The national treasury is broke. America is broke. We are at war with ourselves. A house divided cannot stand. A meat strike may be the only way to communicate to government that OUR leaders must STOP leading us into debt, bankruptcy and despair. Government should LEAD us into sense and solvency.

After all, can WE THE PEOPLE afford a failed government? Why should government get paid for driving us into bankruptcy? (Note: actually, I’d prefer bankruptcy– then the fed would HAVE to re-organize with trustees: painful, but necessary.)

To the American Government– take a lesson from the New York housewives who refused to buy meat that was economically infeasible. Likewise, $16 trillion dollars of debt—and growing– is unfeasible. Do your job! Serve the American people!

Americans: don’t pay government when government fails.

Folks: WRITE your Congress–

Democracy can only work with voices of–

WE, THE PEOPLE.

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