Government Cheese

EMILY: But after twenty years, where is the woman’s sense of loyalty?

LORELAI: Oh, gee, I don’t know . . . maybe with the company that’s keeping her from having to stand in line for government cheese.

Government cheese is a processed commodity cheese controlled by the US federal government from World War II until the early 1980s, provided to welfare recipients and the elderly on Social Security, to maintain the price of dairy products. It was particularly associated with the Reagan administration. The cheese itself had a noticeable orange colour and melted easily.

Government cheese was removed in the 1990s when the dairy industry stabilised, so Margie wouldn’t be lining up for it in 2002, even if she lost her job completely. Either Lorelai or the writer doesn’t seem to be aware of that.

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