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    Thursday, April 18, 2024

    Absurdity of ‘someone has to pay for it’

    The primary criticism of my recent op-ed in support of universal school meals can be summarized as, “but someone has to pay for it!” Yes, if we want to have a well-functioning society, then someone has to pay for fundamental infrastructure and services.

    According to recent reporting by the Hartford Courant, the way in which we in Connecticut are “paying for” school meals is through “soaring” debt on students. Mind you, this assessment is based on an examination of debt amassed by elementary through high school students! In fact, our own K-12 students in Waterford Public Schools are burdened with over $16,000 of lunch debt incurred in this school year alone!

    Hopefully I don’t have to illuminate the absurdity of encumbering elementary school children with debt, but allow me to do so anyway. Public libraries, do we really need them? Shouldn’t we limit people’s access to information to buying books on Amazon? Absurd! Public firefighting services, do we really need that? Shouldn’t we let people’s homes burn to the ground if they can’t afford fire insurance? Absurd! Feeding children in schools? Should we place a debt burden on them and their families individually or fund school meals universally as a public good for all? Which one is absurd to you?

    Nick Gauthier

    Waterford

    Editor’s note: Nick Gauthier is a member of the Waterford RTM and a candidate for state representative in the 38th District.

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