1 in 8 americans on food stamps

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kiryan
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1 in 8 americans on food stamps

Postby kiryan » Wed Apr 14, 2010 6:54 pm

Simply disgusting. 1 in 8 people on food stamps. Unemployment extensions are what up to around 100 weeks? In Oregon 4 years ago there was an article in the oregonian stating 4 in 10 Oregonians was receiving some sort of social service from the government (healthcare, foodstamps, whatever).

Why are we so incapable of taking care of ourselves? How can we as citizens exercise any kind of power when we are reliant on the government for everything?

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100414/ap_ ... ood_stamps

"At the end of last year, roughly 1 in 8 Americans received food stamps, the highest rate ever, according to Lisa Pino, the program's deputy administrator. During the past two years alone, another nearly 12 million people enrolled in the program.
...
The national average for a family of four at the end of 2009 was $275.53 a month, or about $68.88 a week."
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Re: 1 in 8 americans on food stamps

Postby Sarvis » Wed Apr 14, 2010 7:04 pm

kiryan wrote:Why are we so incapable of taking care of ourselves?


Because Bush destroyed our economy so no one can find jobs?
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Re: 1 in 8 americans on food stamps

Postby Ragorn » Wed Apr 14, 2010 7:52 pm

When the Republicans destroy our economy so badly that we're sent spiraling into double-digit unemployment, you can take your outrage over the number of people on food stamps and cram it up your ass.

You don't get to cut taxes for the rich, spike oil prices, and drive the middle class into unemployment and then wonder why there are so many fucking poor people.
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Re: 1 in 8 americans on food stamps

Postby Corth » Wed Apr 14, 2010 8:45 pm

Spike oil prices huh?
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Re: 1 in 8 americans on food stamps

Postby teflor the ranger » Wed Apr 14, 2010 9:09 pm

Republicans, huh? Who are you going to blame when it's not so great after the Obama years?
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Re: 1 in 8 americans on food stamps

Postby kiryan » Wed Apr 14, 2010 9:28 pm

You know I figured you'd just blame GWB. fine blame him ignore that 12.5% of Americans need government money to eat.

Quite frankly your attitude is exactly why we haev so much of this. Its not my fault for not having food or a job, it is someone else's fault and therefore someone else has to provide for me.

2 years of unemployment... you can find some sort of a job in 2 years, whether its working fast food or as a bank teller or picking strawberries. Last time I checked, every nursing home everywhere I have lived has open CNA positions that pay $10-13 bucks an hour. Cleaning out colostomy bags ain't pretty, but you've been unemployed for 100 weeks and apparently can't feed your family without government money. its time to get off your ass.
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Re: 1 in 8 americans on food stamps

Postby Sarvis » Wed Apr 14, 2010 9:50 pm

kiryan wrote:You know I figured you'd just blame GWB. fine blame him ignore that 12.5% of Americans need government money to eat.



OW, my sanity!
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Re: 1 in 8 americans on food stamps

Postby Todrael » Wed Apr 14, 2010 10:43 pm

My brother's on food stamps. He has a job. I wonder what the income requirements are.
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Re: 1 in 8 americans on food stamps

Postby Sarvis » Wed Apr 14, 2010 10:59 pm

I was on food stamps a few times as a kid. I guess Kiryan's got a point... without those I might not be here to argue with you guys all the time!
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Re: 1 in 8 americans on food stamps

Postby teflor the ranger » Wed Apr 14, 2010 11:15 pm

A partial reason that Americans need government help to eat is that the market encourages higher prices for food. Unless you've put some thought into it (yes, it is possible to eat more cheaply in the United States than it is in most other nations), generally, if you just go to the store and try to buy some food, it ends up costing you more than it would elsewhere. Part of the reason is that premium food is the norm in the US. Poor people that might otherwise have been able to feed themselves just fine on non-premium food can't find any. They are stuck in a market of much more well to do Americans. Could they find food for cheap? Yes. Is it easy? No. Is it easy enough for people who don't make any money and get food subsidies? Probably not.
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Re: 1 in 8 americans on food stamps

Postby teflor the ranger » Thu Apr 15, 2010 4:08 am

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/36507576/

A couple of chefs show how it is possible to eat well on a tight budget (at food stamp level).

With more forward planning/thinking, it could be even cheaper. And if you don't want to eat well, it's even more affordable.
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Re: 1 in 8 americans on food stamps

Postby teflor the ranger » Thu Apr 15, 2010 4:17 am

Todrael wrote:My brother's on food stamps. He has a job. I wonder what the income requirements are.

The requirements of "food stamps" (now called SNAP, or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) are based on a couple of factors, including your current resources and income level. Search for SNAP eligibility to get the details.

Another program called WIC (Women, Infants, Children) have looser restrictions for pregnant women and mothers.

Also, many states maintain their own assistance programs which may have less stringent requirements. School lunches are federally and state reimbursed in most circumstances, not just the assisted meals, but any meal a public school serves that meets certain nutritional guidelines. The Federal government also subsidizes a number of food crops.

Aside from Federal and state programs, many, many private charities and organizations provide food.
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Re: 1 in 8 americans on food stamps

Postby Corth » Thu Apr 15, 2010 4:21 am

Anyone else notice that food prices have seemingly skyrocketed in the past 3 or 4 years? I'm sure as Teflor's article concludes, it's possible for a family with kids to eat well on $70 per week. But damn it's not an easy thing to do. Realistically my family spends around $200 per week on groceries. It's absurd. Produce is actually the bulk of it.
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Re: 1 in 8 americans on food stamps

Postby teflor the ranger » Thu Apr 15, 2010 4:33 am

Corth, yes, prices are up for several reasons: the return of minimally processed food (cha-ching), the rising popularity of organics and sort-of-organics (cha-ching), the increasing pressure to pretend not to be industrialized food (cha-ching), and the increasing adeptness with which food processors are reselling you crap like gold (cha-ching).

Go Cargill!
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Re: 1 in 8 americans on food stamps

Postby teflor the ranger » Thu Apr 15, 2010 4:36 am

Corth wrote:Anyone else notice that food prices have seemingly skyrocketed in the past 3 or 4 years? I'm sure as Teflor's article concludes, it's possible for a family with kids to eat well on $70 per week. But damn it's not an easy thing to do. Realistically my family spends around $200 per week on groceries. It's absurd. Produce is actually the bulk of it.

A 25 lbs bag of rice can provide over 1/3 of your calories for months for less than $15. Produce is hard. Buy only what's in season and relatively inexpensive. People will do stupid things like buy tomatoes when they don't grow (read as: pay twice the normal price).
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Re: 1 in 8 americans on food stamps

Postby kiryan » Thu Apr 15, 2010 6:35 pm

I attribute the food price increase to price of gas and inflation mixed in with a little bit of we had a good excuse to raise it.

I shop almost exclusively at costco and buy pretty much the same things each month. Cheese has gone from 2.00 a pound to 2.45. Milk went from $2.00 a gallon to $2.50. Diapers went from $35 to $40. Meat stayed relatively the same (I buy pork and beef in the $2.50 to $3.50 range) although ground beef is harder to find for $2.00 these days (one of the things I don't buy at costco). Butter went up $1.00 per 4 pounds. Most of the prepared foods I used to buy went up $1.00 to $2.00 per bag. white and wheat bread went up 50 cents. Pickles went up $.50 a jar. Rice went up $3.00 a 50# bag.

At one point most of these items had jumped even higher, but settled back down. It takes a lot of gas to grow and transport food.

--

Teflor I don't understand your comments about food premiums. If anything our food supply is subsidized by the feds through farmaid and generous food purchases by the US government to give away in other countries. We may pay more through higher taxes, but not at the register. Grocery prices in Japan are much higher as they seemed in Europe as well (when I was there for 2 weeks 10 years ago). There are some exceptions of course, but by in large I think we pay less than market price for food.
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Re: 1 in 8 americans on food stamps

Postby teflor the ranger » Fri Apr 16, 2010 3:48 pm

It's not about food premiums, it's about premium food.

All second rate food doesn't make it to the retailers in the United States. The rent on the floor space is too high, so we only retail top shelf food.
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Re: 1 in 8 americans on food stamps

Postby kiryan » Fri Apr 16, 2010 10:03 pm

i see so we pay too much for food because we aren't allowed to buy the stuff they send to the canneries or 3rd world.
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Re: 1 in 8 americans on food stamps

Postby teflor the ranger » Fri Apr 16, 2010 10:44 pm

We're allowed, you just have to go and find it. It's not easy. Check out any local 'international' groceries (read as: asian or latin).

The problem is, even that stuff is still considered top shelf elsewhere in the world.
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Re: 1 in 8 americans on food stamps

Postby muma » Tue May 11, 2010 8:26 pm

I'm on food stamps, and I really love it. Food is really expensive. Oh yeah, you can have a job and get food stamps, as long as it is a low paying job. But being without a job you get more money. By the way, $200 a month for a family of 4 means they are also paying out of their pocket. I barely get by with $200 a month for just one person on groceries. But the cheaper grocery store is out of my reach since I don't have a car. Altho I'll be getting one soon :D
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Re: 1 in 8 americans on food stamps

Postby kiryan » Fri May 14, 2010 9:09 pm

If you have money for a car, gas and insurance, why are you on food stamps? If you are so poor that we need to feed you, don't you think you should ride the bus or bike? I'm not really being serious, because I know how hard it is without a car (however I took the bus and biked), but the prevailing attitude is that there are all these necessities that people can spend their money on and its ok even if they are on social welfare. Do you smoke, eat out, drink soda / energy drinks / capuccino / buy bottled water? Do you see movies or have cable TV, Internet? its amazing to me that people on foodstamps have $100 a month cable TV bills and think nothing of it.

--

I feed 8 on about $500 a month exclusivey at Costco and we eat meat every night with rare exception (mostly tri tip steak but pork and chicken too). We also couple times a week eat brococli and asparagus, baked potatos and macaroni cheese. We usually drink a gallon of milk a day and a couple three dozen eggs a week. btw, i personally eat a ton of meat probably twice the as big as your palm metric.

We don't eat any hot dogs, salami, sausage or any of that cheap mystery meat processed crap (ok we have kielbasa about 1x a month cuz i love it). We use deli meat for sandwiches and by whole wheat or multigrain bread, kids eat a couple pb&j and corn dogs a week which I don't really care for (ok so they eat some mystery meat). The only canned food we really eat is green beans, refried beans, black beans, olives and a variety of soups including campbells chicken noodle (not really that good for you but i love it) beefaroni and various thick and chunky type soups. The beans are for 7 layer dip and burritos; beans are not a meal if you ask me.
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Re: 1 in 8 americans on food stamps

Postby teflor the ranger » Sun May 16, 2010 5:42 pm

It's $505. You forgot the Costco membership ;)
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Re: 1 in 8 americans on food stamps

Postby kiryan » Sun May 16, 2010 9:00 pm

I get 2% back so shall we make it $495?
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Re: 1 in 8 americans on food stamps

Postby kwirl » Mon May 17, 2010 7:16 pm

at the root of this thread you asked why Americans can not take care of themselves, so, not to be a Costco Thread Buster, but I figured i'd chime in. I don't have a source handy, but I seem to recall a reliable source of information reporting that the cost of living has increased about 10-15% faster than the median income during the last 40 years. Combine that with the fact that more and more of our wealth is moving upwards (higher percentage of wealth held by a smaller percentage of Americans) and you have less currency available to the average family.

You mention how easy it is for someone to get a job just because you see crappy jobs always listed near you, which is flawed reasoning. Many times people who had a good job are unable to get these 'crappy' jobs because of the fact that they had better jobs before. The cost of hiring and training someone who is likely to leave as soon as a position he is better qualified for comes along does not usually allow for that hiring behavior. Instead those jobs with little upward mobility go towards people who are not likely to have better opportunities in the near future.

Saying 'Why can't Americans take care of themselves' is a question that is easy enough to ask when you have a stable job, an obvious contingency plan and most likely you probably have your savings and retirement plans in a notebook by your bed. I am a financial idiot, so using me as a comparison to your position is silly, but there are plenty of hardworking Americans who can't find jobs because companies are afraid to hire and grow because Obama could always end up raising their taxes and hurting their shareholders.

And yet American companies bend over backwards to move earnings offshore, manipulate their accounting, and find every potential loophole in our disgusting IRC to avoid paying their share of taxes so that the rich get richer and the government taxes the middle and upper class to compensate. With that growing discrepancy between earnings and cost of living, the middle class slowly slips into the lower class, kicking and screaming as their claws dig into the stability they once believed they had.

If more of the richest corporations in our country had moral accountability, there would be less burden on our government to 'fix' the debt, and these same companies would feel comfortable hiring, growing and exanding.

PS - I do not excuse the government for its history of irresponsible spending, and I do not just 'blame GWB' - I blame a long line of politicians dating back to the date when corporate influence superseded a politicians obligations to his voters. Along with the horrible buy now-pay tomorrow economy that the banks and credit card companies have lobbied into our culture as a way of life, remember - for many decades now the banks, credit card industries and the political parties they support have been growing rich by over-inflating prices and letting people spend money they do not have to get it for the purpose of going after money they might have otherwise saved or spent keeping our economy solvent.

Anyway, I'm gonna go back to looking for a job or a place to live where I can find a job long enough to save money to finish college after I recover from donating one of these damned kidneys. (If only I could get paid for donating the damn thing!)
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Re: 1 in 8 americans on food stamps

Postby amena wolfsnarl » Tue May 18, 2010 4:04 am

i can really relate to the statement about companies not wanting to hire employees cause they are over qualified. I use to work in restaurants doing everything from management to washing the dishes, last summer when things got tight i went looking for a job back in restaurants. I got flat out turned down everywhere, and the statement i got everytime was 'once the oilfield picks back up you'll be outta here' even some of my former employers told me the same thing even though i left on very good terms and still talk to them to this day.

What i would like to know though is how the income of the people on food stamps was previously? were these middle class people who lost thier jobs or were these low income families that found it almost impossible providing for themselves while working as janitors or at taco bell.

Personally i think with the division of wealth being the way it is, i think we will see the poor require even more help in the years to come. If not create entire mini 3rd world cities were poverty is the norm not the exception.
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Re: 1 in 8 americans on food stamps

Postby kwirl » Tue May 18, 2010 4:11 am

amena wolfsnarl wrote:Personally i think with the division of wealth being the way it is, i think we will see the poor require even more help in the years to come. If not create entire mini 3rd world cities were poverty is the norm not the exception.



cip - detroit? :P
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Re: 1 in 8 americans on food stamps

Postby teflor the ranger » Tue May 18, 2010 12:51 pm

I was going to say, we already have those. One major problem with the program is that we have an entire class of citizenry simply bilking the tax payer when they could afford to buy their own food using intelligent decisions. Of course, intelligence is not something easy to come by, but if they were hungrier, they might stop making so many poor decisions.

Six out of the ten households I know that are receiving SNAP money have one of the following: Xbox 360, Wii, or PS3.

And let me just say that they're not light on games.
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Re: 1 in 8 americans on food stamps

Postby teflor the ranger » Tue May 18, 2010 12:55 pm

kiryan wrote:I get 2% back so shall we make it $495?

lol. executive member!
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Re: 1 in 8 americans on food stamps

Postby kiryan » Fri May 21, 2010 2:43 pm

kwirl, who causes the problem of americans not having jobs? corporations or government?

where does the current trend towards big government lead us? to more and more money necessary to operate the big government... to pay outrageous pensions to government workers. to fund ridiculous give aways domestic and foreign. to more laws and more regulation. i'd draw some parallels to old world concepts of kings and feudal systems with confiscatory taxes, but I'm too busy. Was the only thing that made feudal systems wrong is that the lords were living it up on the backs of the tax payers? Have you read about congressional perks, do you see hte way they pick winners and losers economically legislatively or earmark wise? why do companies spend hundreds of millions on lobbying? cuz there are billons at stake.

the framers limited government for a reason. government is the enemy to freedom pure and simple. sugar coat it all you want, talk about all the good that it seems to do, but don't forget its basic nature.
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Re: 1 in 8 americans on food stamps

Postby Sarvis » Fri May 21, 2010 3:22 pm

kiryan wrote:Was the only thing that made feudal systems wrong is that the lords were living it up on the backs of the tax payers?


What made it wrong is:
1) Populace having no say in government
2) Your position in life was essentially hereditary, there wasn't much for upward mobility

Lords "living it up" on the backs of the taxpayers is wrong too, but that's just them not doing their job properly.
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Re: 1 in 8 americans on food stamps

Postby kwirl » Fri May 21, 2010 3:27 pm

i dont feel that the problem is as simply defined as that, but basically its some of one, some of the other. no i don't want the government running everything, but i do not want corporations running everything either. right now the problem is not wholly that our government is running everything, but rather that they are inefficient in what they do run and I feel that corporate influence, aka lobbying, is at least partially responsible.

do i have a solution, no. but there are people who make millions of dollars to supposedly find solutions and they apparently are either not very good at their job, or very very good depending on your point of view.
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Re: 1 in 8 americans on food stamps

Postby teflor the ranger » Sat May 22, 2010 6:31 am

That government is the enemy of freedom works, perhaps, on the individual level, it is not so in the context of a society. There, it is only the enemy of freedom most of the time.

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