Food Lines (Virtual and Real) and Economic Comparisons

One of my webzines, from the good folks at LaissezFaire.com, had this to say yesterday.  I applaud their observation skills – the SNAP (food stamp program) really IS a “virtual bread line” which is one reason we don’t SEE those iconic images today that are so common from the 1930s and other eras in depression.

…[W]e learned this morning the virtual bread line continues to grow like a weed. Food stamp users reach record high of 46,670,373 as of June 2012. As the United States’ economic freedom goes down, its government dependency accelerates. Compare this to only four years ago, when there were 30,841,790 food stampers in October 2008, the dawning of the crash.

47 million people is right at 15 of the total population of these formerly united States; but they are FAR from the only people on welfare and dependent on the government.

“Last year,” our Daily Reckoner Eric Fry writes, ironically, from Nicaragua, “the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) — i.e., food stamp program — in the United States spent $7.4 billion more than it did the year before. $7.4 billion happens to be almost identical to the entire GDP of Nicaragua, a nation of 5.9 million inhabitants.

Notice that this is just the INCREASE.  According to a release from the Senate Appropriations Committee, SNAP was funded at $68 BILLION [Hey, that isn't bad, that's only $226.67 per man, woman, and child in the nation!]  But SNAP is just a tiny fraction of the “nutritional programs” in which the FedGov pays for Americans to eat:  $94 billion in WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) Nutrition, another $7 billion in “Special Nutrition” for WIC, and $18 billion in school lunch and breakfast programs – and this was BEFORE Michelle’s ramp-up of that program (and yet another reason that school lunch prices for those NOT on this kind of welfare are going up).

But here is the webzine’s further analysis, which should cause you to wonder just what is going on.

“SNAP used its additional $7.4 billion to feed 4.4 million of America’s poorest citizens. Meanwhile, all 5.9 million Nicaraguans — rich and poor alike — managed to ‘live on’ $7.4 billion.

In other words, we Americans supposedly give our “new poor” (those just now getting on the food stamp bandwagon) MORE per year just for food than the average Nicaraguan lives on and pays for everything, because there ARE no food stamps or other government welfare food programs in Nicaragua, because the country and the government are too poor.

Face it, folks, we are the spoiled brats of the world (together with the Europeans and the Commonwealth).  What is “poor” in American terms (Norte-Americano)  is wealth beyond dreams in Latin America, Africa, and Asia.  But we are living (literally) on borrowed money.

About TPOL-Nathan

Nathan Barton is a christian, self-governor (free-market anarchist), husband, father, professional engineer, Engineer army officer, private businessman, and writer, teacher, and preacher. He works and lives mostly in four western states, and is Southern by heritage and Westerner by birth, upbringing, and choice.
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One Response to Food Lines (Virtual and Real) and Economic Comparisons

  1. just waiting says:

    A few years back, I audited a division of FSNEP, the predecessor of SNAP. Back then. it was a program designed to teach proper nutrition in schools where more than 50% of the kids are eligible for the federal free lunch program. For the state in which I did this, the grant had grown from less than $500k the first year to $4.7 million eight years later. And not a single one of those $4.7 mill went toward feeding the kids, instead it was to “teach” kids “how” to buy the “right” food.
    Rather than just looking at financials, I looked at the whole program. I spoke to county agents, school staff, administrators, parents and kids. My opinion was that the program fairly accomplished its prescribed objectives. But…
    One of the things I did recognize when I was auditing FSNEP is that food stamps and welfare have become multi-generational. Whereas rich kids walk in their parents’ footsteps and maybe inherit a fortune or their family business, poor kids inherit too, the same life of living on the dole their parents knew.
    SNAP isn’t going to do anything to change that

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