Look at these Boston-area lunch ladies.

There's nothing worse than a sad lunch lady. They're like posse of sad clowns.

Now read this opening paragraph of a Boston Globe story about their plight:

The Newton School Committee voted Monday to adopt a 2011 budget that cuts $500,000 from the school lunch program, despite protests by cafeteria workers that the savings would be achieved through privatization.

The passage doesn't make sense unless you assume that privatization is automatically a bad thing. Try this thought experiment: Would the passage would work if it read like this?

The Newton School Committee voted Monday to adopt a 2011 budget that cuts $500,000 from the school lunch program, despite protests by cafeteria workers that the savings would be achieved through killing puppies.

How about like this?

The Newton School Committee voted Monday to adopt a 2011 budget that cuts $500,000 from the school lunch program, despite protests by cafeteria workers that the savings would be achieved through hugs and rainbows.

The article goes on to quote one of the 100 protesting lunch ladies:

‘‘We feed the children well, provide them with good company, and treat them with respect. That’s important, because it teaches the children to respect as well.’’

Note that the kids will still have lunch served to them by humans. It's just that those humans will be employed by a private company rather than the state, sparing Massachusetts pension liabilities and other extra costs. Despite working for a private corporation, they will probably be aware of the concept of respect, should any kids want to have a chat about it in the hot lunch line.

The lunch ladies' counterproposal for cost savings includes this totally-for-the-kids policy suggestion:

providing lunch managers with more power to choose cost-effective food options.

In other words: Jobs for us! Mystery meat for the kids!

For more on school lunch, enjoy this Reason.tv video on U.K. celeb chef Jamie Oliver's plans to remake the diets of America's fat kids: