Did you see this thing Mitt Romney said about the very poor? It was great, he said:

I’m not concerned about the very poor.

How very Gilded Age of him. He might have gotten along with Dr. Stephen Smith Burt, the house physician at the Hotel Astor in New York, who said in 1905:

[A] working man, one who is employed out of doors at hard manual labor, needs rugged food – something upon which his digestive organs can work for a protracted period. Give such a man a delicate tenderloin steak for luncheon and he would become faint before the day ended, simply because it is too easily digested – for him. But as it is an ill wind that blows nobody good, poverty is often a blessing in disguise, since people in very moderate circumstances are not heirs to the ailments which haunt and afflict the highly prosperous. On the same line of reasoning, high prices are frequently a means of deterring people from overeating. (Quoted in Andrew Haley, Turning the Tables, pp.41-42.)

“Poverty is often a blessing in disguise” sounds like a discarded campaign slogan for Romney.

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