With consumers pounded by dissapearing jobs, and rising gas and food prices, food stamp use is projected to reach record levels in 2008 and 2009. [NYT]

Comments

Edit Your Comment

  1. jefffromNY says:

    Or, possibility that a lethal combination of illegal immigration, and a sense of entitlement will cause almost 10% of us to think that the other 90% need to pay for our needs.

    I am a strong believer in the food stamps program when it is properly applied. There are people out there with true need, and should have an opportunity to get the bare essentials. However (and I work at the Food Bank of Western NY) there are some that refuse to work, but will say they are entitled to food stamps. Those types need to be cut off.

  2. Mr. Gunn says:

    The real story would be why it’s been growing since 2000.

  3. @jefffromNY: The idea that it’s just illegals and deadbeats using food stamps is a misnomer, considering that even grocery stores in Beverly Hills accept EBT cards.

  4. pineappletattoo says:

    My 73 year old father just had to get food stamps because despite working his whole life and being a veteran (Korea)he cannot afford to eat. Nice.

  5. consumerd says:

    @pineappletattoo:

    My 73 year old father just had to get food stamps because despite working his whole life and being a veteran (Korea)he cannot afford to eat. Nice.

    Yep, nice in-deed and if you ask everyone else you should be giving him food and shelter too. Even though he would have had more respect as a human had he died over there, than he would if he was alive.

    Gotta love this country don’t you? I am sure your dad probably does. Well, maybe not as much anymore.

  6. jefffromNY says:

    @ceejeemcbeegee (star deficient): Well that was how I prefaced it, read on and you will see that I actually support food stamps to some. Veterans for example are owed a lot by society.

  7. @pineappletattoo: My dad’s int he same position: he’s a veteran (Korea) and my mom makes too much for himn to qualify, but of course what she makes in not enough to support his mounting medical bills. The only way for him to get any veterans benefits is for them to get a divorce.

  8. @jefffromNY: Oh, I read what you wrote. However, my point was that there are many rich people who don’t need food stamps or welfare, but get it anyway. They exploit the system too.

  9. @ceejeemcbeegee (star deficient): forgive the typos… brain moving faster than fingers!

  10. katyggls says:

    @jefffromNY

    While I understand what you’re saying, many of the people who “refuse to work” are people who have disabilities, mostly psychiatric/psychological, that cause them serious problems with obtaining work and job retention. They’d be better off if they were on Social Security, but unfortunately, the government makes it extremely hard to get on SSDI or SSI, especially for people with mental as opposed to physical disabilities. So usually those people become a burden to the local welfare system.

    In actuality, I believe there are very few who are just lazy. It can be pretty disheartening to work 40 hours a week at minimum wage only to realize that if you stayed home and collected welfare checks and food stamps, you’d be making more money plus you wouldn’t have to pay for child care or gas.

  11. DanPVD says:

    @Mr. Gunn:

    Exactly right.

  12. Scuba Steve says:

    I only make 50k a year, I think I’ll apply and see if it works. No fraud, mind you, just a shot at the poor life.

  13. snowmentality says:

    Hint to other commenters: @katyggls‘s comment implies that working 40 hours a week at minimum wage should pay more, not that food stamps and welfare should pay less.

    Last week my local paper did a story on how much money an average family (two parents, two kids) would need to make to cover basic needs in this area. The figure came to $50,435. MInimum wage, before taxes, pays you $12,576 per year. Even if you assume both parents are working 40 hours a week, that’s still only half of what you really need. I’m sorry, people shouldn’t have to work two full-time jobs each just to survive.

  14. odoketa says:

    You know, it amazes me that the discourse on social benefits in the US is so shaped by such disturbing disregard for basic humanity. I have lived on those benefits (as a child with a mother mentally incapable of work) and I have researched those benefits (as a statistician with an international organization). The fact that there is an incompetent bureaucracy running the program is the fault of people we elected. And as for the people living off the system who shouldn’t be, I would ask you how many children you would have starve to punish the bad person who won’t work. Does his (or her) suffering make your life better in some way? Are you a better human being for having punished him or her, and several innocents along the way? For what? Tax dollars your government is going to waste anyway. Well done.

  15. odoketa says:

    Oh – and as a side note – many benefits in the US have 100 percent withdrawal rates (the EITC is a happy exception). Thus going out and getting a job leads to a lower, not higher income, because your earned income is taxable. So why do we tell people not to work, and then act surprised when they do not?

  16. jefffromNY says:

    @katyggls: You are right. Many people refuse to work $8 /hour, but when the option is either working for a low wage or going on welfare many choose welfare. It is a sad fact that those who are lazy (therefore don’t want to work, therefore get gov’t assistance) do not graduate from high school for that reason. They use their low wage as an excuse. Trust me, I have seen it. I was talking to a guy just this Saturday morning at the food bank who wouldn’t take a job for less than $15 /hour. He has no education, and the going rate for uneducated work in our area is only about $10 /hour.

    In the end he will be a social leech because he refuses to work.

    I think that as a society we need to help those that can’t help themselves, but we also need to watch out for abuse (such as those who refuse to work at minimum wage, or refuse to work in general for no good reason) so that those who need good help can receive it.

  17. jefffromNY says:

    @snowmentality: But less than 2% of working parents make minimum wage. 65% of minimum wage earners are white suburban people between 13-21. That statistic is grim, but the truth is it applies to almost no one.

  18. jefffromNY says:

    “So why do we tell people not to work, and then act surprised when they do not?”

    Who said something about telling people not to work. A lot of people say “we get the government we deserve.” I believe that you get the employment you deserve, such is a characteristic of capitalism. There is a certain supply of hard workers in America, if you are a hard worker (and a bit smart) you get ahead, and make more money.

    Absolutely no excuse for laziness in this country, and I am frankly surprise that so many here are out of touch with average America. Most believe that we need to be benevolent and help the needy, but not to support those who refuse to do a thing for themselves.

  19. HooFoot says:

    I work for my state’s welfare department and we have been flooded with applications since January. People who have worked there for 20-30 years claim that they have never seen it this bad.

    To the inevitable posters who will whine about people being lazy or not getting jobs: based purely on what I’ve noticed, most new applications are coming from baby boomers who have been laid off and are/were close to retirement. Not quite old enough to retire, but old enough to be at a disadvantage when trying to find a new job in a tight market.

  20. VotaIdiota says:

    @snowmentality: Notice the glaring problem in your paper’s article? An average family is two children? Guess what children are…. That’s right, EXPENSIVE. And yet not one, but TWO huge drains on income is considered the average. You wanna talk about entitlement? That’s the biggest one I see.

  21. taka2k7 says:

    @Mr. Gunn: nailed that one on the head.

    @odoketa: Any yet we claim to be a “Christian Nation”… I wonder who Jesus would be giving aid to? Those greedy “Prosperity Gospel” folks are going straight to hell in a hand basket.

    @jefffromNY: 35% is “almost no one”??!?!

    In some places the minimum wage is age dependent. If you’re young, it’s lower. Probably not a bad way to go, especially if you’re under 18 or someone else claims you as a dependent.

    @VotaIdiota: So kids are the problem then? I’m not disputing they’re expensive (I’ve a few), but you can’t dispute the facts that the average family does indeed have 2 kids. The paper was dealing with the average family, not the others. I don’t see any “glaring problem”.

    I would be interested in the figures for single/married no kids, however. DINKYs drive me nuts on their consumer spending, especially the one’s with huge debts. Anyway….

  22. katyggls says:

    @jefffromNY:

    I love that you inflated minimum wage to $8/hr. That’s not even close to what it actually is. Let me assure you that for most people who work at McDonald’s or as a cashier in a Wal-Mart, $8/hr is far from the starting wage at least outside of major metropolitan areas.

    You must be a singular type of person, that chooses against his own self-interest in all situations. Who would work for minimum wage (currently $5.85, some states have slightly higher requirements), incur taxes, the costs of transportation, and the costs of childcare, when they can receive a welfare check and food stamps, and subsidized housing none of which are taxable, not have to pay $4 a gallon for gas to get them to work, or pay a stranger to look after their child?

    As for your assertion that most people that fail to graduate from high school fail to do so because they are “lazy”, well, I haven’t the time to argue with someone who obviously doesn’t know what they’re talking about. There are a plethora of reasons that people don’t graduate from high school and I’m certain that “lazy” is one of the least common. If you had ever set foot in some of the schools that the poor are obliged to go to, you might understand that. Not to mention the fact that your point is neither here nor there, since many people on public assistance are in fact high school graduates.

    You’re horrible, “most poor people are lazy” is frankly disgusting and I think you are the last person who should be working at a food bank. What exactly are you getting out of it? An inflated sense of superiority seems to me the only benefit you are obtaining from such work.