America is a food stamp nation
by Bob Livingston
The gospel according to Wall Street, the White House and propaganda media is that the U.S. economy is recovering just fine.
Last week, happy-faced talking heads told us that unemployment was down to 5.4 percent — the lowest rate since May 2008 — even while the number of Americans not in the labor force climbed to a record 93,194,000. The Labor Force Participation Rate (the percent of people 16 years old and older eligible to work) stands at 62.8 percent. Still, government men dutifully claim all is well, that the stock market is bullish. Now the Fed is talking about raising interest rates.
Yet as of January 2015, the number of Americans receiving food stamps, officially known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP, had topped 46 million for 41 straight months, according to data released by the Department of Agriculture (USDA). Every month now for more than three years, going back to September 2011, 14.5 percent of the American population received food stamps.
In the Great Depression, long bread lines of hungry people waiting hours to get a meager bite to eat were visible reminders to everyone of the country’s economic pain. This went on while, thanks to FDR’s Agriculture Adjustment Act; farmers were paid to slaughter livestock, burn crops and leave their land fallow in order to prop up farm prices.
Today’s digital bread lines are invisible and easy to ignore. Food stamps are today’s soup kitchens. Most Americans are totally unaware of their magnitude. But they are real.
So in an economy that is supposedly percolating along nicely, the government still spends $6 billion a month to keep U.S. citizens from starving? It doesn’t make sense that in a prosperous country, participation in the food stamp program has ballooned 1,517 percent since 1969. When something doesn’t make sense, usually government is involved.
Even though jobless claims and the unemployment rate reported by the government are down, the Labor Department’s figures are based only on people receiving unemployment benefits. When those benefits run out, a person is no longer counted as unemployed by Uncle Scam, even though he or she still doesn’t have a job. Jim Clifton, chairman and CEO of Gallup, has called the official unemployment reports “a Big Lie.”
A truer picture of actual unemployment counts not only the short-term unemployed, but also the short-term and long-term “discouraged” workers — those who have given up looking for work. That unemployment rate is 23 percent, according Shadowstats.com. That number rivals the heights of the Great Depression.
Children and the elderly once were the main beneficiaries of the food stamp program, but now working-age adults make up the majority. High school graduates are the largest group at 37 percent. But since 1980, workers with some college training have been the fastest-growing component of the recipient base, now with 28 percent of them having some college, compared to only 8 percent 35 years ago.
In fact, the majority of American families on public assistance — including food stamps, Medicaid, Temporary Aid to Needy Families and the earned income tax credit — have at least one full-time worker. More than half (56 percent) are working families. And 60 percent of food stamp recipients who are of working age and not disabled were employed while receiving the benefits, according to the Census Bureau.
A recent study by the University of California, Berkeley, Center for Labor Research and Education reports that persistent low wages costs the taxpayers $153 million in public assistance every year to make up the slack. Some think tankers blame it on robots and overseas sweatshops, as automation and outsourcing to other countries with cheaper labor removes available jobs for the people at home.
But the real culprit is government tax policy and faux “free trade” deals that give multinational corporations breaks and incentives to take their manufacturing jobs to other countries, while burdensome regulation, high taxes and Obamacare destroy jobs that would be created by U.S. small businesses.
There is collusion between the globalists in government and the large multinational corporations to destroy the middle class and turn America into a Third World backwater of government dependents. This policy is endorsed by the leaders of both political parties.
Everything done in the District of Criminals is to the benefit of the large corporations and to grow government. Just look at the pending Trans-Pacific Partnership deal — at least what you can see of it, as it’s shrouded in secrecy — which Rep. Sandy Levin (D-Mich.) claims would let foreign firms challenge U.S. laws, potentially overruling those laws and costing U.S. taxpayers billions of dollars in fines. And which Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) claims will undermine U.S. sovereignty. And which Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) claims contains a “living agreement,” which is language allowing the treaty to be changed by the president after Congress approves it.
When you have such diametrically opposed politicians agreeing that a treaty is bad because it gives such breaks to large corporations and benefits to government, the deal has to be suspect.
Washington prints large sums of money to hand to corporations in the form of corporate welfare. And it jiggers the tax code and passes so-called “free trade” laws to make it more profitable for them to outsource American manufacturing jobs. All the while, it imports millions of aliens — legally and illegally — to flood the market with workers content with slave wages. Obamacare is causing small businesses to close or to cut employees and hours in order to avoid complying with its mandates.
These policies drive up unemployment and drive down wages. Meanwhile, government food stamp recruiters have quotas of 150 signups per month. The program has an advertising budget of $41 million per year; and advertising extends across the border into Mexico, explaining how illegals can sign up for the system. And eligibility requirements are constantly being eased in order to grow the rolls of dependents.
And ever since the New Deal, the government has manipulated prices and production of farm products. This has created artificially inflated food prices and cost consumers trillions of dollars by forcing them to pay higher-than-market prices for food and surrender ever increasing sums of their wealth to taxes and inflation.
And then there is the rapid rise of acceptance by the American people of government dominance in our lives. The people no longer shrink from a handout from Uncle Scam, and the stigma once attached to doing so is fading. In fact, we have reached a time in America where most people consider handouts from government as something that they deserve as a right rather than a privilege because of their financial hardship or unemployment.
This attitude will be very bad when the food stamp system fails, as it surely will when the worthless paper money system collapses.
There are now several generations of people who have only known government handouts for their income. They depend upon government for their food, housing, transportation, entertainment and healthcare. This is part of the national collectivism designed and perpetrated by politicians on both sides of the aisle … the “creeping fascism” move from a benevolent to full totalitarianism. Only it’s not just creeping anymore, it’s up to at least a fast walk and getting quicker by the day.
The elected class and the bureaucratic enablers hold themselves up as paragons of virtue whose chief aim is to serve the public interest. History has shown that when governments act to “protect the people,” as often as not, death, destruction and dependency result.