Food Stamps

Not News: Food Stamp Participation Jumped by Over 600,000 in September; Last Pre-Election Number Revised Up
By Tom Blumer | December 07, 2012 | 23:57

The U.S. Department of Agriculture released its latest report on food stamp program participation through September today. I received the email alerting me to the release at 5:17 p.m., so it seems reasonable to believe that USDA and the Barack Obama administration wanted the new data to get as little attention as possible (as will be seen later, it’s currently getting none). If so, they have two probable reasons for wishing to minimize its impact.

The first and more obvious of the two is that the food stamp rolls increased by over 607,000 in September to 47.71 million, yet another all-time record. That’s awful enough, but here’s the real kicker: the participation figure for July, the last month of data available before Election Day, was revised up by over 150,000, changing that month’s reported increase from 11,600 to just under 166,000. As will be seen after the jump, no other month’s data was revised except August, where the changes were infinitesimal

Read more: http://newsbusters.org/blogs/tom-blumer/2012/12/07/not-news-food-stamp-participation-increases-over-600000-september-last-p#ixzz2GBYVzcIv

16 Comments

  1. Why exactly are you assuming food stamps are synonymous with unemployment?

    If you were able to deal with the real world, you’d realise that many Americans are paid so badly that they need food stamps to get by – Walmart is infamous for this. American taxpayers are subsidising large companies so they can pay their employees less than a living wage.

    Incidentally, the people who own Walmart – the capitalists – are among the richest people in America, and getting richer.

    So when you talk about “food stamps”, you should also be acknowledging that the pro-rich capitalism you advocate includes food stamps as a way to channel taxes towards lining the pockets of the capitalist elite.

    Well, you would do so if you were being honest. But wingnuts can’t deal with reality.

  2. And speaking of wingnuts not being able to face reality, I ran into this exchange from 2010 on this blog:

    Tom Beebe: “After the election, and regardless of the results, we of the Tea Party must find cohesion in opposition to corruption in washington”

    Piator: “Bwahahahahah. This is not going to happen. When the powers that be are corrupt in a way that benefits the people financing the Tea Party, their precious “grass roots unity” will disappear like the morning dew.”

    Eric: “As usual, Pho, you don’t know jack about American politics or the Tea Party. But rest comfortable in your delusions.”

    Well, guess what?

    —-
    FreedomWorks tea party group nearly falls apart in fight between old and new guard

    The day after Labor Day, just as campaign season was entering its final frenzy, FreedomWorks, the Washington-based tea party organization, went into free fall.

    Richard K. Armey, the group’s chairman and a former House majority leader, walked into the group’s Capitol Hill offices with his wife, Susan, and an aide holstering a handgun at his waist. The aim was to seize control of the group and expel Armey’s enemies: The gun-wielding assistant escorted FreedomWorks’ top two employees off the premises, while Armey suspended several others who broke down in sobs at the news.

    The coup lasted all of six days. By Sept. 10, Armey was gone — with a promise of $8 million — and the five ousted employees were back. The force behind their return was Richard J. Stephenson, a reclusive Illinois millionaire who has exerted increasing control over one of Washington’s most influential conservative grass-roots organizations.
    —-

    The wingnut inability to deal with reality just makes you dupes and marks for any political operator with a budget and an agenda, doesn’t it? Natural born rubes…

  3. Incidentally, the people who own Walmart – the capitalists – are among the richest people in America, and getting richer.

    So when you talk about “food stamps”, you should also be acknowledging that the pro-rich capitalism you advocate includes food stamps as a way to channel taxes towards lining the pockets of the capitalist elite.

    If your “Logic” made any sense, East Germany and North Korea would be the best places on Earth to live. No pesky “Rich” capitalists to worry about, and wealth distributed nearly equally.

  4. If your “Logic” made any sense, East Germany and North Korea would be the best places on Earth to live.

    Only if you’re a fool who is unable to grasp reality, Eric. Just because someone notes the simple fact that unrestricted laissez faire capitalism degenerates into crony capitalism doesn’t mean they’re stating that communism works – and only a cretin would assume they were.

    Take a bow, cretin.

  5. The wingnut inability to deal with reality

    In my experience, the only people who yammer about “Dealing with reality” are hardcore stoners who listen to too much heavy metal. They think the pot and the lyrics give them some special “Insights” that the rest of us don’t have access to.

    So, are you a stoner, Pho? Listen to too much heavy metal? I mean, really. If you were so good at “Dealing with reality” you wouldn’t be a low level government flunky. No, you’d have the stock market beat and retired on your yacht sailing the Caribbean.

  6. Only if you’re a fool who is unable to grasp reality, Eric.

    And you are, of course, so good at “Dealing with reality”. Which is why you are a billionaire who has made his fortune knowing how to make brilliant investments that the rest of us mortals missed. Ooops, no, I guess you’re not. You’re just a low level government flunky whose opinions on what “Reality” is will, along with a dollar, buy him a cup of coffee at McDonalds.

  7. Just because someone notes the simple fact that unrestricted laissez faire capitalism degenerates into crony capitalism doesn’t mean they’re stating that communism works

    Problem is, this “Opinion” of yours is pure Marxism, which is why it is only logical to assume that your ideal society would resemble, well, East Germany and North Korea.

  8. Just because someone notes the simple fact that unrestricted laissez faire capitalism degenerates into crony capitalism doesn’t mean they’re stating that communism works

    Actually, you’ve got it quite backwards. For crony capitalism to thrive requires a large and activist government that takes an active role in picking “Winners and losers” in the marketplace. A classic example, of course, is the sweetheart deal of $500 million taxpayer money that Obama offered to his pals at Solyndra. Or the auto bailouts. GM and Chrysler got $billions whereas Ford got nothing. In a true laissez faire system, GM and Chrysler would have gone broke and successful automakers like Ford, Honda, and BMW would have picked up the pieces. Without the government interfering in the marketplace, there would be no “Cronyism”, defined as government politicians and bureaucrats rewarding their friends (at the taxpayers’ expense) and punishing their enemies.

  9. More of Eric’s ignorance here:

    Without the government interfering in the marketplace, there would be no “Cronyism”, defined as government politicians and bureaucrats rewarding their friends (at the taxpayers’ expense) and punishing their enemies.

    So says the person who is the recipient of the US Government military-industrial complex largess, otherwise he would probably be on food stamps himself.

    And worse, he lauds a company, Walmart, whose owners, the Walton family, are the wealthiest on the globe, while simultaneously paying their “associates” so little that many need food stamps to survive. Moreover, their business model works against our balance of payments by selling cheap, foreign made goods manufactured by extremely low paid foreign workers. The Waltons are vulture capitalists.

    That which is good for the Waltons and stock owners, is not so good for American workers and consumers, not to mention the large numbers of local small businesses which Walmart has put out of business over recent years.

    Thus, the Walmart business model has been a success, but for whom? Our current capitalist system seems to destroy more than it creates for the American economy, while it succeeds in transferring far too much wealth to the trillionaire Walton family, at the expense of their millions of employee associates. I think this is the ultimate fatal flaw in our system, as pioneered, illustrated and practiced by Walmart.

    If they paid their employees a decent wage, I would think more highly of their enterprise. But they don’t, therefore there are these serious concerns:

    The Poverty of Nations: Wal-Mart Efficiency and The Destitution of America:

    * There is a carrying cost to holding excess inventory, which Wal-Mart minimized and externalized onto their smaller suppliers – not contributing to global efficiency but actually extracting value in a zero-sum game.

    * This is known as the “Wal-Mart Squeeze Cycle,” where it is awful to be a Wal-Mart supplier but also awful not to be one. It all began with lean production and “just-in-time” inventory management, ….

    * Multinational corporate bureaucracies are inflexible and suffer diseconomies of scale, but they are more agile than states. Therefore, even if politicians were willing to enforce the aggregate interest of the people, states are disadvantaged in outmaneuvering corporations. States are quite adept in buttressing corporate power, however. Fortunately the motives of politicians are not always in line with corporations. Thus, to manage and predict potential state interference, bribery becomes an operational expense.

    * Wal-Mart did not pull itself up by its bootstraps; the company enjoys considerable state advantage. Wal-Mart relies upon publicly funded highways to truck its goods. The company uses these roads intensively but does not pay for them. In effect, the taxpayer subsidizes Wal-Mart’s transport costs. [8] The subsidization of petroleum has a similar effect. Wal-Mart also benefits from low-cost labor thanks to Chinese state repression, which lowers manufacturing costs.

    * Finally, Wal-Mart employs “illegal” immigrants that can’t bargain for higher wages. If state immigration policy were not so punitive, these workers would have more bargaining power. “In a widely publicized story that appeared in 2005, Wal-Mart paid $11 million to settle a federal investigation into the use of undocumented workers who were employed ‘off-clock’ to clean stores.” [9] [10] This humiliation of labor relates to Wal-Mart’s next innovation.

    * Wal-Mart has commoditized labor and split it into smaller denominations (part time, on-demand work without benefits, at peak hours). Wal-Mart’s monopolistic leverage gives it the power to demand these conditions.

    * Wal-Mart expropriates small business owners and makes the community dependent upon the company. Although Wal-Mart claims that it creates 100,000 new jobs a year, wages actually fall in counties where new Wal-Marts open up.

    * Wal-Mart is the de novo company store, imposing predation not by price-gouging but by enticing with low prices and subsequently destroying competition (and bargaining power). The goods do cost less, but worker paychecks are reduced more than the margin of cost savings.

    * The movement of capital is not bad in and of itself, but the relative immobility of labor is. Even if states ever intend to manage the conduct of businesspeople on behalf of their subjects, large corporations and their trade networks span borders and contract out the unsavory sweatshop work, activities outside any one state’s jurisdiction.

    * Quicksilver capital results in a race to the bottom vis-à-vis wages. Labor cannot move freely due to social constructs called “borders” and “citizenship.” Wal-Mart benefits from the existence of “illegal” people, or undocumented laborers. If they attempt to unionize, the Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency will be called in—the Pinkertons of the early 20th century.

    * To this day, the oil sector is still monolithic enough to drive the nation to war, restrict high-speed rail development, [16] and suppress higher efficiency vehicles. Evidently, the Sherman act did not suffice. Similarly, Wal-Mart has leveraged its political power as the largest private company in the world to reshape the interstices of the global economy, a level of central planning akin to the U.S.S.R. (albeit more effective).

    * To this day, the oil sector is still monolithic enough to drive the nation to war, restrict high-speed rail development, [16] and suppress higher efficiency vehicles. Evidently, the Sherman act did not suffice. Similarly, Wal-Mart has leveraged its political power as the largest private company in the world to reshape the interstices of the global economy, a level of central planning akin to the U.S.S.R. (albeit more effective).

    If Walmart is the wave of the future for American capitalism, unrestrained, we have long range problems that need to be addressed now, otherwise wealth, and power, will continue to concentrate at the top, and the rest of us will suffer and struggle all the more!

  10. Hmm, I see the anti-Walmart Manifesto here along with the anti-Capitalism Manifesto. I’ve been in a lot of Wal-marts over the years and the one thing I never observed were workers in chains and guards watching over them so they get 100% efficiency per hour. When I see those things happening, we’re under Communism for sure. It seems like all the Left Leaners would like that. The good thing our system fosters is if you hate your job, quit.

  11. Perry, as usual, resorts to personal attacks rather than make a rational argument:

    So says the person who is the recipient of the US Government military-industrial complex largess, otherwise he would probably be on food stamps himself.

    Perry, you have NO IDEA what I do for a living, and I’m sure as hell not about to tell you. You have become a toxic poison on this blog, with your threats, lies, and whiny self-justifications. The best thing for everyone here would be for you to LEAVE, so at last we could restore some civility and courtesy to this place.

  12. Perry, the charges you lob against Walmart could just as easily be made against Target, McDonalds, Burger King, K Mart, and thousands of other retailers whose pay scale for low skilled positions is about the same. So, what, are you going to put them all out of business? And then who’s going to hire those millions of unemployed people? You?

    The point is that you are a destructive person with a destructive ideology. Envy and resentment are your stocks in trade. Down your road leads to Cuba, North Korea, and the former USSR. They successfully got rid of all the rich, all enterprise, all trade and commerce, things that you clearly hate. Everyone in those countries was equal in material wealth, or as equal as was humanly possible to achieve, which seems to be your goal in life. The USSR is gone, but Cuba and North Korea are still open for business. I suggest you buy a plane ticket and move there. Permanently.

  13. The company uses these roads intensively but does not pay for them. In effect, the taxpayer subsidizes Wal-Mart’s transport costs.

    This is a flat out LIE. Every vehicle on the road pays tax on fuel, the tax which then goes to building and maintaining roads. Thus every Walmart truck pays for the roads every time it stops to buy fuel.

    If the author of that piece would lie so blatantly about such a simple fact, what else is he lying about?

  14. Wagonwheel, your entire anti-capitalist and anti-Liberty screed is so off balance it is rediculous. However, rather than rip each piece apart (which would be easy as pie) I want to comment on just one stupid line: “That which is good for the Waltons and stock owners, is not so good for American workers and consumers, not to mention the large numbers of local small businesses which Walmart has put out of business over recent years.”

    Spoken like a person who has never been in, never understood and never has been educated in business. Anything in any business which is good for the owners and stockholders must be good for the workers and consumers or they’d be out of fuckin’ business! The consumers spend their money at Walmart because they percieve more value from the products they buy than they do from the dollar they hold. Nobody, but nobody makes a consumer buy anything from Walmart or any oither company. Nor does anybody compell any person to work for Walmart or any other company.

    Furthermore, Walmart has never put even ONE small business out of business. The market did, the consumers did but Walmart did not. Failure to rise to the demands of competition is what weeds out the inefficient in life and especially in business. Any business that fails to compete, that is, deliver the goods and services the BUYER demands will fail. You, like every other socialist fail to understand that the market responds to the demands of the consumer. Walmart hears them and therefore Walmart is successful. If you believe that higher priced less efficient business models are better then you need a doctor. And if you believe that those same failed enterprises should somehow be saved then you know zero about business, consumption or economics.

    The rest of your screed is just as short sighted and narrow minded as the anarchist site you cited. What a bunch of nit-wits. Where on earth did you find that site? A site BTW, which uses the internet and computers, both products of mans imagination, ingenuity and enterprise, to spout anti-enterprise nonsense. The hypocracy is overwhelming!

    Just so you know Wagonwheel, I’m both a stockholder and a consumer at Walmart. And Walmart has been good to me in both. And one of my best friend’s daughter is an assistant manager at Walmart…for the last 8 years….she loves it! She hopes some day to be a regional manager. Or would you rather her on food stamps? ( like the way I tied it in to the topic?)

    Now I’m going to the Club, have a good meal and get shit-faced.

  15. Your comments about Wal-Mart, Perry, are irrational in the extreme. People go to Wal-Mart because their prices can’t be beat. There’s no evil overlord forcing them to. They choose to do so on their own. There is no conspiracy here. It helps if you know a bit more about business and capitalism, which neither you and the Phoenician do not.

  16. Take a bow, cretin.

    Why don’t you take a bow, Phoenician? You and Perry both If you guys don’t like what people other than yourselves have to say, go somewhere else. It’s really that simple. Go espouse your moonbat talking points elsewhere.

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