Saturday, December 11, 2010

42.9 Million Americans (14 Percent) On Food Stamps

Via peterr at FDL, from the WSJ, according to USDA figures, 42,911,042 Americans... about one in seven... depended on food stamps for survival in September. But in some states (surprisingly, not including Texas, which is close to the median), the situation is much, much worse: e.g., one in five Mississippians and D.C. residents collects food stamps. Remember: this is in the allegedly wealthiest nation on Earth... but approximately one seventh of our people cannot feed themselves on their income.

Yet the WSJ still calls this a "recession and lackluster recovery." When will the major news outlets start calling a depression a depression? Yeah, that's what I think, too... never.

Please help your local food bank if you are able.


  1. In California you get treated like a criminal when applying, including an FBI fingerprint check, mug photo, multiple reams of paper work and an 'interview.' For a single disabled senior living on less than 20 grand a year that means a whopping $16.00 a month. I figure that about covers 8 cans of really tasty gourmet cat food. I prefer the lamb/brown rice myself.

  2. Most people are not aware, but during the Great Depression the newspapers concealed the extent of the problem for years, causing many people to believe that it was a local condition, which led to large migrations.

    The other thing that was suppressed was the number of deaths due to starvation, as coroners listed those as "natural causes", rather than admitting people couldn't get enough to eat.

    This is a major reason for John Steinbeck to begin writing novels, because he couldn't get his factual accounts of what was happening in the newspapers or magazines that he had been employed by over the years.

    In The Grapes of Wrath he alternates between factual accounts of the conditions and the story of the Joad family, although he doesn't explicitly say that he is doing it.

    Even if you have seen the movie, it only covers half of Steinbeck's novel.

  3. mandt, Bryan...

    mandt, your description makes me reluctant to apply. I do not suffer fools or foolishness gladly, and I'm sure if it's bad in CA, it's worse in TX.

    Bryan, I haven't read The Grapes of Wrath; I'll have to get it from the library now that I can get to the library.

  4. For some reason I've never understood, the average American is perfectly willing to spend $10.00 to make sure no poor person gets away with scamming $1.00 (obviously this principle does not apply to the wealthy). Plus, it would be immoral to allow anyone receiving public assistance to retain their dignity (again excepting those who are middle class or better).

  5. paintedjaguar, I don't understand those things, either... but in this season of traditional generosity, Americans who aren't broke treat Americans who are broke with an attitude that would make Ebenezer Scrooge appear magnanimous.



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