Daily Archives: April 27, 2008

The Stupidly Obvious Phrase of the Day

“The Poor Suffer the Most”

Used, for example, in this news header today in a story about food shortages: “As a brutal convergence of events hits an unprepared global market, and grain prices go sky high, the world’s poor suffer most.”

Really? The poor suffering the most? It’s hard to imagine. Because, you know, usually when there’s a major global crisis of any sort, it’s the poor sitting there on the sidelines, going whew, dodged that bullet. How strange that the people the least economically, socially and educationally able to deal with wrenching change should suffer the most. How odd that the rich should so often be able to shield themselves from the ravages of events. It’s almost as if they have some advantage over poor people, although off the top of my head what it might be escapes me.

Which is not to say that the rich always get off scot free: who among us can forget The Great Davos Lobster Bisque Inconvenience of ’04, in which the victims, none with a net worth of less than $15 million, suffered a small amount of gastric distress due to too much heavy cream in the soup? The poor escaped that with hardly a cramp. Good for them. The poor did have that tsunami that year, though. Killed a couple hundred thousand of them. But in terms of aggregate worth, it all evens out, you see. Intestinal discomfort for the rich, death by wall of water for the poor. Seems fair.

A tip for news writers: it’ll be news when the poor don’t suffer the most. “As the mysterious Billionaire’s Virus decimates Aspen, the world’s stinkin’ rich suffer the most.” That’s a news head worth writing.