One in Seven Americans on Food Stamps

There is an incredible statistic out this month showing that in February 14.3% of the population relies on food stamps.

That translates to 44.2 million Americans receiving benefits.

Mississippi and Oregon were among the states with the largest share of the population utilizing food stamps in February: Wyoming had the lowest rate of recipients with just 6.6% of the state’s residents using food stamps.

I wonder what we could have done with the $600 million we just burned away in Libya.

Source: WSJ

14 thoughts on “One in Seven Americans on Food Stamps”

  1. tomdarch, Supply and demand in the skilled labor market is a dicy subject, guest workers are brought into the country to do skilled construction work at low wages while skilled American workers remain unemployed. I recall reading about this happening in NOLA after the flood. Also, non-union labor from the south (including guest workers from Mexico) are brought north to work construction jobs rather than hire locally. My last job contracted for extensive building work with an American firm and they shipped in green card workers from Eastern Europe! I kid you not!

    The guest labor is abused. Once they get here their promised wages are reduced and often the live in housing secured by the employer. Stories surface occasionally, like in the wake of Katrina, but the magnitude of the problem is not known.

  2. On the “what the hell are we doing with our economy” topic:

    “Dirty Jobs creator on the need for skilled tradespeople in America

    Cory Doctorow at 6:25 AM Friday, May 13, 2011

    Mike Rowe, creator of the TV show “Dirty Jobs,” testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation on the de-skilling of America, and the way in which skilled manual labor has been undervalued and derided in the USA to its detriment.”

    How much are we sabotaging our own economy when the market is demanding solid blue collar jobs like skilled construction welders, and we can’t meet that demand. An experienced welder with a specialized certification (or similar) probably makes more than the Architect who’s blueprints he’s working from. In our current system of undervaluing education and squeezing all the money in the economy into one end of the balloon, we’re shooting ourselves in the foot.

  3. I don’t think we can blame war on this. We are spending money on both war and food stamps simultaneously.

    (Our annual GDP is about $14.6 Trillion. The $600 million spent so far on Lybia is about 0.004% of GDP. We shouldn’t waste that (and I personally think that our current involvement in Lybia is a reasonable response to the situation), but we can’t blame this Food Stamp situation on that spending.)

    The problem is how we choose to run own own domestic economy. The current per capita GDP (which includes every human being in the country, less than half of whom are currently employed) is about $47,000 per year. We clearly have enough money moving around our economy for everyone to be able to afford basic food. I doubt that we would ever be able to totally do away with a program like food stamps, but we can do better if we choose to.

    This is a democracy. Currently we are all agreeing to shift a huge part of the nation’s wealth to a very small slice of the population, and leave a very large part of the population destitute. We can choose to run our country differently.

  4. That statistic is a national tragedy. How many people have to go without food before we stop spending Billions on war?

  5. The proverb warns that “You should not bite the hand that feeds you.” But maybe you should if it prevents you from feeding yourself.

    – Thomas Szasz

  6. The Wartocracy is responsible for our financial demise.

    Unfortunately, this ideology is like a trance, so it will get worse, because “the people” think the economy can recover under these conditions.

  7. And the republicans want to cut these programs. Many of them are children and elderly who also rely on Medicaid.

  8. You are just missing the point…. Its not about the ones in need…I think we should have a real showing of Billionaires and give them all sorts of honors and tax breaks and funding when the company’s that they run poorly give them additional funds and more tax breaks…..allow them the opportunity to keep the company in the US and take the work outside…..

    Oh…yeah…we’re doing that….sorry…

  9. That’s why we do not have “Tahrir Squares” in big cities.

    Shhhh, just keep quiet; Let the poor wrap themselves with this debilitating ‘American Dream’ – o to to, with God’s willing, I’m goin’ to be a Billionaire myself, so why should I join this madden’ crowd of hungry people and wreck the boat?!

  10. “I wonder what we could have done with the $600 million we just burned
    away in Libya.”

    Not much in comparison to the trillions we gave to wall street, you know the guys who caused this mess.

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