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The Strange “Economics” of Breast Milk

OnTheCommons.org
December 1, 2006
By Jonathan Rowe

You probably heard about the woman who was kicked off a Delta flight recently for breast feeding her daughter.  She was in a window seat, next to her husband.  She was being discreet; nothing was showing. A flight attendant asked her to cover up with a blanket anyway.  The woman declined; and so off the plane they went.

The episode prompted nurse-ins at airports throughout the U.S.  The airline apologized; and I’m willing to believe that the flight attendant thought she was just doing her job. Still, there’s an issue here that goes beyond the lingering residues of prudery – namely, the pervasive bias in favor of commodities, and against anything people can do for themselves for free.  Has anyone ever been thrown off a plane for giving infant formula to a baby, which is inferior to breast milk?  I doubt it.

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About

Headshot of Jonathan Rowe

Jonathan Rowe was a writer who wrote about the commons, diseconomy, economics, economic indicators, corporations, and many other subjects.
Jonathan was an editor at the Washington Monthly magazine and a staff writer at the Christian Science Monitor. He contributed to Harper’s, the Atlantic Monthly, Reader’s Digest, Washington Post, Columbia Journalism Review, American Prospect, Adbusters, and a host of other publications.

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