Editorial:

Should state government finance private grocery stores?

The answer is no.

And municipal and county governments should stay away from funding private companies, too.

Sen. Stephanie Bice, R-Oklahoma City, is at it again. A huge proponent of increased liquor sales in Oklahoma, Bice now has authored Senate Bill 506 which would essentially spend taxpayer dollars to fund some private groceries.

Bice thinks that it is a shame that some poor areas don’t have an access to a full-line supermarket. SB506 would offer low-cost government loans to nonprofits and private groups to subsidize groceries in poor areas, like North Tulsa.

With a projected shortfall of around $800,000,000.00, why would state government want to underwrite grocery stores?

Has Bice ever read the Republican platform? It’s apparent that she caters to powerful retailers who savor government subsidies and favorable legislation.

Why do poor areas not have groceries?

Many stores have tried to operate in parts of North Tulsa and failed. Part of the problem is the poverty of the areas. Groceries are in the business of making a profit and it is difficult when your customers have no money. Shoplifting and robbery are problems everywhere but those have been cited in the failure of some low-income area groceries.

Ending hunger is a noble cause. But Americans don’t have a right to three square meals a day and easy access to a full-line supermarket.

Church-supported nonprofits and others do great work in supplying food in poor areas, especially when it comes to children.

Public schools spend millions on providing breakfast, lunch and even after-hour meals to low-income students.

The answer to the hunger problem is not more state government and higher taxation.