Why scrap WIC instead of reforming it?

Well, if you've got a magic secret bullet for derailing the farm lobby, please get down to the Republican Congressional leadership's offices pronto and help them stop the vile travesty of a farm bill that's about to be passed.

Short of that, it's really hard--nearly impossible--to alter programs in such a way as to take away benefits from a key constituency.

So I propose a two step program for reforming WIC:

1) Build a new program that actually does something useful. Let it accumulate bureaucratic power, hopefully under another agency than the USDA.

2) Have it assimilate WIC. It's well known that a bureaucracy can only be killed by another, more powerful bureaucracy.

But I doubt WIC itself will ever be any good. It's been thoroughly captured by the farm lobby.

Presented by

Megan McArdle is a columnist at Bloomberg View and a former senior editor at The Atlantic. Her new book is The Up Side of Down.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

A Stop-Motion Tour of New York City

A filmmaker animated hundreds of still photographs to create this Big Apple flip book

Video

The Absurd Psychology of Restaurant Menus

Would people eat healthier if celery was called "cool celery?"

Video

This Japanese Inn Has Been Open for 1,300 Years

It's one of the oldest family businesses in the world.

Video

What Happens Inside a Dying Mind?

Science cannot fully explain near-death experiences.

More in Business

Just In