October 7, 2010

Food Stamps For Everyone!

Food Stamps.  Tasty.
You know what these things in the picture are?  They're food stamps. You know how many people in the United States are currently using food stamps?  41.8 million people.  That's more than the entire population of Argentina.  At last check, Argentina was NOT a super-power.  Argentina has a GDP per capita of $14,525 according to the IMF (2009).  The United States by comparison has a GDP per capita of  $45,934.  Three times that of Argentina.

According to Bloomberg,
The number of Americans receiving food stamps rose to a record 41.8 million in July as the jobless rate hovered near a 27-year high, the government said.

Recipients of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program subsidies for food purchases jumped 18 percent from a year earlier and increased 1.4 percent from June, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said today in a statement on its website. Participation has set records for 20 straight months.
Yet the United States, the one that's the superpower, has more people on food stamps than the entire country of Argentina.  For a family of 3 (roughly the average family size in the U.S.), in order to qualify for food stamps, the family's Gross Income must be under $23,808 to qualify for food stamps.  That's not that far from Argentina's GDP per capita.

In Argentina roughly 20% of the population is below the poverty line. In the United States, the number varies but is typically in the teens. Based on the recent numbers, 13.6% of the United States is currently on food stamps. So things aren't all that rosy.  Curiously, 20 straight months of growing food stamp use happens to coincide with the number of months President Obama has been in power.  Hmmmmm.  Maybe the President should kick off some sort of War on Poverty.  It could be a green movement too!  I don't like the direction of that line of thinking.  But I bet a lot of Democrats do.

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