Forbes editor: Shaming the poor ‘makes us great’

By Arturo Garcia
Saturday, August 18, 2012 21:56 EDT
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On Saturday’s episode of Forbes on Fox, Forbes Opinions editor John Tamny backed up a recent network guest by bemoaning the fact that she can’t pick and choose who she sells her pies to.

“What a shame that we’ve erased shame from society,” Tamny said. “Why can’t we make someone feel embarrassed for living off of others? Why can’t business people do that in the United States? I think it’s moving away from what makes us great.”

The business owner, Massachusetts baker Andrea Taber, had garnered national attention after she decided not to accept tokens paid for with EBT cards as payment while taking part in a local farmers market. Two days before Tamny’s remarks, she had appeared on the Fox & Friends morning show to explain her stance.

“This program is designed for people who could not afford to put nutritious food on their table, and they can find plenty of that at the Farmers Market,” Taber said. “With regards to my product – whoopie pies, pies, cakes, cookies, my position was that the American taxpayers should not be footing the bill for peoples’ desert purchases.”

The magazine’s publisher, Rich Karlgaard, called Taber’s stance “brave,” but said it was the wrong battle to pick, considering civil rights laws prohibit vendors from practicing discrimination in their sales policies, and that people below the poverty line might make them “one of those protected classes.”

Meanwhile, contributor Rich Ungar, usually the lone progressive voice on the show, was cast in that role again.

“You don’t get to pick a class of people – in this case, the class being people on welfare – and discriminate against them,” Ungar said, as some of his other panelists seemingly smirked. “You can’t do it. She can’t do it. I don’t know where she’s coming from on this, but she ought to back to her pies.”

The video, posted by Media Matters on Aug. 18, can be seen below.

Arturo Garcia
Arturo Garcia
Arturo R. García is the managing editor at Racialicious.com. He is based in San Diego, California and has written for both print and broadcast media, including contributions to GlobalComment.com, The Root and Comment Is Free. Follow him on Twitter at @ABoyNamedArt
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