In no way am I disparaging anyone that receives Food Stamps who needs the assistance.
I personally know folks that do, and almost all of them do so because their financial situation is pretty bleak.
I also know (indirectly) at least one person that gets them simply because she can, and she sells them for extra cash.
If this doesn't reveal a fundamental truth about the US economy, I don't know what does.
The government is set to release the April unemployment data this Friday. In truth, no matter what the percentage of unemployed, those numbers are going to have been spun and skewed by the government to give the rosiest picture possible.
This article does much more to reveal the real truth about the actual magnitude of a fundamental problem in this country;
the citizens are hurting financially, whether they're employed, "underemployed", or jobless.
While the price of food, gasoline, and almost everything else is skyrocketing, one thing remains stable;
the wages being earned are NOT rising to meet the level of inflation, in fact, they typically aren't rising at all.
This results in average citizens' money not buying what it did even a month ago.
I know that my own household is feeling the financial pinch dramatically.
Gas has gone up enormously, and so have our grocery bills.
Of course, our income hasn't went up a bit, so there's no such thing as 'disposable income' in my humble home.
No extra money.
No vacation this summer. (again)
I'm sure this is a trend for most other Americans. My wife and I both earn well above the US average, have no credit card debt, and both vehicles are paid for. All we have is our mortgage payment and monthly utilities. ( Thank you, Dave Ramsey.... )
If my family is feeling this crunch, I can only imagine what it must be like for a family of four that literally makes half of what we do, yet has a mortgage, car payments, credit card bills, and still has to buy groceries and gas for the car.
I promise you, this week's unemployment numbers, however rosy the government tries to paint them, will not show the real truth of what's happening in this nation.
The truth is, the actual number of unemployed is at least double whatever adjusted number the Bureau of Labor Statistics releases to the public on Friday.
Too many ways to skew the data-they don't take into account the amount of people who have been out of work long-term, and those that are no longer eligible for unemployment benefits, for example.
Couple this with the fact that 1 in 7 ( that's 14.3%, folks ) of all US citizens are on Food Stamps, and you begin to get a much truer feel of what this country is facing right now.
And it's sure not the butterflies and lollipops the Obama Administration is pushing.
Growth in the food stamp program appeared to reach a plateau in February — with 14.3% of the population relying on the safety net program.
The number of food stamp recipients was essentially flat in February, the most recent month available, with 44.2 million Americans receiving benefits, according a new report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The food stamp program ballooned during the recession as workers lost their jobs or saw their hours and income reduced. The rise in recipients has begun to flatten in recent months, which may mean that as the economy is improving fewer Americans are seeking to join the program. Enrollment in the program is still high though, with 11.6% more people tapping benefits in February than the same month a year earlier.
Food stamp numbers aren’t seasonally adjusted though, meaning a variety of factors could influence the monthly tallies and the program could grow again in coming months.
Mississippi and Oregon were among the states with the largest share of the population utilizing food stamps in February: At least one in five residents in each state were receiving benefits.
Wyoming had the lowest rate of recipients with just 6.6% of the state’s residents using food stamps.