Tuesday, November 3, 2009

A Kinder, Gentler Depression… Food, Glorious Food!

Not seeing soup lines at the local church like the pictures of the Depression in the early ‘30s? Perhaps it's because we now have a bigger/better, kinder/gentler safety net…

-- HALF of all kids will be fed via food stamps at some point in their childhood, 90% of black children!

Shocking! As that safety net gets bigger and is used more, the more that the government thinks it is justified to “come to the rescue” and “do” even more.

This, of course, is the vicious cycle that occurs when people just don’t understand math or economics. It’s difficult to see that when you give something to somebody, you must first take that something from someone else. Eventually that circle kills the work ethic as those who are productive retain less for their efforts while seeing those who exert no effort get more and more. This exacerbates the negative math circle as more government spending and indebtedness lead to a weaker real economy; that in turn means the government thinks they have to spend more; which, of course, leads to a weaker real economy, etc. The bad math grows and grows until it simply can no longer be supported. That’s where we are.

That makes the following study a SYMPTOM of the underlying problem, and it’s shocking when you see the statistics of this latest study based upon data that runs over the past 30 years (ht Joe)!
Half of US kids will get food stamps, study says

AP Medical Writer

CHICAGO (AP) -- Nearly half of all U.S. children and 90 percent of black youngsters will be on food stamps at some point during childhood, and fallout from the current recession could push those numbers even higher, researchers say.

The estimate comes from an analysis of 30 years of national data, and it bolsters other recent evidence on the pervasiveness of youngsters at economic risk. It suggests that almost everyone knows a family who has received food stamps, or will in the future, said lead author Mark Rank, a sociologist at Washington University in St. Louis.

"Your neighbor may be using some of these programs but it's not the kind of thing people want to talk about," Rank said.

The analysis was released Monday in the November issue of Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine. The authors say it's a medical issue pediatricians need to be aware of because children on food stamps are at risk for malnutrition and other ills linked with poverty.

"This is a real danger sign that we as a society need to do a lot more to protect children," Rank said.
Food stamps are a Department of Agriculture program for low-income individuals and families, covering most foods although not prepared hot foods or alcohol. For a family of four to be eligible, their annual take-home pay can't exceed about $22,000.

According to a USDA report released last month, 28.4 million Americans received food stamps in an average month in 2008, and about half were younger than age 18. The average monthly benefit per household totaled $222.

Rank and Cornell University sociologist Thomas Hirschl studied data from a nationally representative survey of 4,800 American households interviewed annually from 1968 through 1997 by the University of Michigan. About 18,000 adults and children were involved.

Overall, about 49 percent of all children were on food stamps at some point by the age of 20, the analysis found. That includes 90 percent of black children and 37 percent of whites. The analysis didn't include other ethnic groups.

The time span included typical economic ups and downs, including the early 1980s recession. That means similar portions of children now and in the future will live in families receiving food stamps, although ongoing economic turmoil may increase the numbers, Rank said.

An editorial in the medical journal agreed.

"The current recession is likely to generate for children in the United States the greatest level of material deprivation that we will see in our professional lifetimes," Stanford pediatrician Dr. Paul Wise wrote.
Wise said the Archives study estimate is believable.

"I find it terribly sad, but not surprising," Wise said.

James Weill, president of Food Research and Action Center, a Washington-based advocacy group, said the analysis underscores that "there are just very large numbers of people who rely on this program for a month, six months, a year."

"What I hope comes out of this study is an understanding that food stamp beneficiaries aren't them - they're us," Weill said.

The analysis is in line with other recent research suggesting that more than 40 percent of U.S. children will live in poverty or near-poverty by age 17; and that half will live at some point in a single-parent family. Also, other researchers have estimated that slightly more than half of adults will use food stamps at some point by age 65.

There are now more than 36 MILLION people in the U.S. on food stamps, that’s 11.7% of the entire population! Can you imagine the lines you would see without this program?

YEAY! "Your Food Stamp Benefits Are Going Up!" The following State of California flyer from earlier this year brags while highlightlighting the typical government reaction:

FoodStampStimulusPackageFactSheet[1] -

More and more companies are accepting food stamps for payment as not all do. Target, 7-11, and now even Costco are accepting food stamps at more and more stores to cash in on the potential revenue.

Now, let’s logically follow the money… the money for these programs would come from the taxpayer except that the government spends far, far more than they take in, meaning that they are either taking on future debt or printing the money to pay for this and other welfare programs.

Politicians vote on creating, extending, or expanding these programs. Politicians on the national level need big money to get elected over and over again. Much of that money comes from the central banks who run the world’s largest and most expensive lobby and are the largest contributors to both Democrats AND Republicans, Goldman Sachs being the largest single contributor to the Obama Campaign, and President Obama having more central bankers in his administration than any president in the history of the U.S..

Knowing, as I do, that history shows a lack of affordable food is one of the root causes that get finally tips a population into revolt (food’s role in the French Revolution is famous), I have to ask myself, “Is the U.S. population being placated with food purchased with central banker fiat?

You decide for yourself.

Amazing, isn’t it how many people are on food stamps and yet I don’t personally know any? Or do I, and I just can’t see the soup lines?

Oliver! - Food, Glorious Food: