Comments about ‘How food stamps keep families in a cycle of poverty’

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Published: Friday, Sept. 6 2013 6:00 a.m. MDT

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DN Subscriber 2

The "free cheese" often turns out to be bait in a trap.

First, ignore the advocacy and recommendations of the "progressive" outfit that is provided the narrative for this story. Their philosophy is basically unlimited welfare solves all problems, which is demonstrably untrue.

As pointed out by others, people need to stop making bad choices, and learn there are consequences for bad choices as well as rewards for good choices. About half these people would benefit immensely from listening to Dave Ramsey on the radio to hear the truth about choices and consequences and tough love advice that actually works when tried.

Also, welfare recipients need to learn how to cook from scratch, thereby cutting meal costs dramatically. And, they need to make smart family planning choices, and not demand that others pay for kids they cannot support. (And pay for their own birth control- don't do the deed if you cannot afford another mouth to feed!)

Those who are trying to save deserve support and respect, but those who merely live off the work of others because they are too lazy to work deserve nothing at all.

St Petersburg, FL

I am sure if someone paid for my families groceries for a year or so we could save a bunch of money, too. How is it fair for people with money in the bank to be on food stamps? However, if they wnt to cheat the system, have they never heard of an at home safe to put their 3000 in?

Kent C. DeForrest
Provo, UT

When I read the article, I wondered what kind of comments the conservatives would supply to place blame on the poor or on the president. Well, I could have predicted most of them.

marxist, regarding your question "Can capitalism ever return to a higher wage base?" I would suggest that what we have today is not capitalism as envisioned by Adam Smith and other early capitalist thinkers. We have corporate capitalism, a totally different animal that has somehow found a way to preserve the most advantageous (to the rich) aspects of the feudal economy and the aristocratic system capitalism once intended to overthrow. 200 words is insufficient to lay out the history of the modern corporation, but you can find it if you search a bit. It's rather enlightening.

Sunset, UT

@LDS Liberal

I admire the men and women of the armed forces, but you're not telling the whole story. In addition to SNAP (your words) they also receive BAH (Basic Allowance for Housing), free healthcare, and a food allowance. The military does have low pay for enlisted rank, but don't pretend $18,000 a year is all the compensation they receive.

Cambridge, MA

To "Kent C. DeForrest" there is a word for what you are trying to describe. That word is Fascism. Fascism is socialism with a capitalist veneer. Sure companies are privatly held, but they are controled by government entities.

Capitalism is the way out of poverty. Historically that is the best way to end poverty.

Happy Valley Heretic
Orem, UT

RedShirtMIT said: "Capitalism is the way out of poverty. Historically that is the best way to end poverty."

Can you provide some historical evidence any?

Herriman, UT


I feed my family of 7 (5 kids) for just over $200 a month. We eat cereal for breakfast(the cheapest we can find). My kids all take a lunch to school (sandwich and one or two other sides). We have a good dinner. My kids aren't fat from over-eating and we still have desserts and eat out once in a while. When I heard that food stamps pays $400 a month I almost died. Do you realize how good I can eat on $400 a month just for food?!? It can be done but it takes work (you know, like cooking and meal planning) but you can eat just fine. Bountiful Baskets is a great way to add fruits and veggies at a decent cost. Unfortunately I have assets in the tens of thousands so I don't qualify. But I got those by spending less when I could.

Say No to BO
Mapleton, UT

So, let's say they get to bank that $3K and in a couple of years have a down payment on a house. Then what?
They can't afford a home. Did we learn nothing from the last collapse?
Who are we kidding?
These two need to make some major changes in their lives. The provident living program has some keys:
Living within your means
Wise use of resources (groceries, energy)
Service to Others

This is not new.

Othello, WA

RE: Stalwart

Interesting statistics that leftists always like to throw around, while leaving out a lot of facts that tell more of the story. Going on as if MM is responsible for the whole state of Idaho. If you dig deeper into some of these statistics you will also see that since 1981, per capita, Idaho has only been in the top 25 of states receiving federal spending 2 years. Meanwhile, your precious california, in the same 30+ years, has been in the top 25 of states receiving federal dollars, per capita - 20 times. A few years California was in the top 10, so apparently, per capita, your state eats up a whole lot more federal dollars. Yeah Yeah, my statistics are just a half baked and meaningless as yours, but feel free to get back to us when you've finished a complete study. One that includes all the costs of federal mandates, that play more unfairly with a state like Idaho then yours. Factor in the difference between a land-locked state and one which has ports and thousands of acres of coastline. Get the idea? Then you can start factoring politics into it!

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

The main purpose of the food stamp program is to provide a market to the food industry. We know that because the people who created the food stamp program are tied to their business masters and only allow government programs that benefit business to be created.

Brigham City, UT

Re: "Easy welfare is just another attempt by the left to mitigate the consequences of poor personal choices."

So if somebody makes mistakes or poor personal choices, even if the mistakes were honest ones and the choices seemed right at the time, or even if he falls prey to illness or misfortune, he - and anybody dependent on him - should suffer for it and just starve? Or better yet, quickly die "and decrease the surplus population"?

Re: "Why are people poor in America?"

Because it's right to adjust profits and high salaries for inflation and beyond, but wrong to adjust low wages for inflation? Because those at the top can never earn too much, and those at the bottom can never earn too little? Because a modest profit isn't enough? Because profits must be maximized at all costs, regardless of the price in human terms?

"For one very rich man, there must be at least five hundred poor, and the affluence of the few supposes the indigence of the many" - Adam Smith, "The Wealth of Nations."

Sioux City, IA

I have been in a similar situation. Right after my bone marrow transplant I couldn't work. But I owned my house and a 3 year old car. Couldn't get any Gov't assistance because I had $200 more assets than was allowed. Ended up taking out a new mortgage on the house to get enough to feed my kids and pay what Ins. didn't cover in medical and non-medical expenses for the next 9 months. We just needed a hand-up, not a hand-out, but couldn't get either from the Gov't.

Pleasant Grove, UT

I do have to say 5 children is a bit excessive with an income at that level especially with a child who needs special attention. My husband and I were in their shoes at one point, but we knew we could not keep having kids and we only still have the one, my husband worked two jobs and I worked part time. We never required nor applied for any government assistance because we felt we didn't need to, we stayed within our means, budgeted, had a small, but clean apartment and were happy. Raising the minimum wage is not a solution, the cost of living will just increase with it. Unfortunately also going back to school and getting a degree is not what it used to be several years ago, unless you are willing to relocate to where there are jobs available and most people in Utah are not willing to do so for some odd reason. I do have to agree that buying fresh produce and basic ingredients in bulk like rice and beans is actually the cheaper way to go.

S. Jordan, UT

Re:Happy Valley Heretic

Please review the history of the United States of America. That country has provided a marvelous case study on capitalism, the creation of wealth, and its subsequent distribution across all social strata. In order to fully appreciate what that country has accomplished, keep in mind what the definition of poverty is today in that amazing country in contrast to a more historical or even a worldwide current definition of poverty.

A careful review of that country's history may instill a desire to move there and participate in its many wondrous achievements. In fact, what we find is that there are millions of people crossing borders illegally just to be a part of its incredible ability to impart wealth across all economic spectrum.

Someday you and I will be able to live there.

Oh...we already do. Lucky us!

clearfield, UT

Liberalism in all forms, food stamps, welfare, free anything, ect. exploits the worst part of human nature. Laziness. Give people something for free, and ask nothing in return, you get laziness, lack of ambition, and ultimately ingratitude. Obama took away all the workfare type programs, which was one of the most destructive things a President could do to to a society. He hates this country. What a horrible President and person he is.

Stiching Together
Bountiful, UT

I found this story very interesting. Parts of it could have been our story. We also received a tax return from the Federal government. Money that they say we qualified for. Yet when we put it into our savings we almost lost our foods stamps. How is it that money that the Federal government gives you counts against you with food stamps? It makes no sense. We struggled and struggled to earn enough to we could get off food stamps. In the end we choose to get off all our assistance and then went and lived with my in-laws for over a year. Instead of just cutting a family off of assistance the program needs to change with the family so the can actually get off of assistance. Keeping the asset limit low does not keep out fraud. It will just make people more desperate. Losing all your assistance over $25 more income or because you chose to save instead of spend has red flags all over it.

Hyrum, UT

@ LDS Liberal:

Got any statistics or proof that "those complaining about large families don't support birth control or abortions" or is that, like much of what you contend, just your opinion?
Other than that, why in the world should people who feel we should be responsible for our own family size need to pay for other people's birth control... or especially for anyone's abortions?? That seems ludicrous. There is nothing wrong with having a limited number of kids and also being repsonsible for your own birth control. Apparently, you've been spending way too much time reading your "Socialist Today" magazine.

@ Maudine:

Same with you. There is no reason for society to have to pay for every woman's birth control, and especially not for morally reprehensible abortions. What is wrong with people paying for their own specific personal needs in life? It seems that Obama has got you caught hook, line and sinker... or is that stinker! We're obviously developing the bad habit of turning to the government much too often and for far too many things in life. The government dependency trap is getting too far out of hand.

Stalwart Sentinel
San Jose, CA

Hahahaha - Uhm... per capita received is only telling part of the story. You failed to include the half I already factored in: monies paid. California is a net creditor of federal dollars received vs paid to the tune of over $500 billion. To put it bluntly, the weak, dependent conservative states like Idaho, Utah, etc... owe us over $500 billion. When will they take some personal responsibility and pay up?

Re: land-locked vs coast: Wonderful theory, let's test it using the same timeline. Coastal conservative states: LA: owes over $120B. MS: owes over $141B. AL: owes over $165B. VA: owes over $375B. SC: owes over $88B. NC: owed $9B. GA: owed $4B. TX: owed over $133B. Excepting TX, every coastal conservative state is either essentially net neutral or completely self-reliant on federal government aid. You can almost guarantee that if a state follows conservative economic principles they will not be self-sufficient and the liberal economic powerhouses will be paying their bills. Your theory fails.

Add in my earlier stats re: SNAP participation and conservatives are almost uniformly reliant on welfare from liberal individuals and states. Sorry.

Salt Lake City, UT

One change that is needed is taking the word 'entitlement' out of the rules for food stamp, Medicaid, welfare payments, and many other government programs. The way they are set up now they do create and encourage poverty. How did this couple anticipate supporting 7 people on $21,000 a year? With 7 people to support how can he find time, opportunity, money to pursue an education or technical training that could help him get in a better situation to support them? It all becomes a vicious cycle.

Many things can happen to any family from death, job layoffs, catastrophic medical conditions, and other life changing events. That is all the more reason these programs should be 'temporary safety nets' to help families. No one is ever 100% prepared for everything that can happen. But, at the same time everything is not just by accident, happenstance, or just 'have enough faith and it will all work out'. There will never be enough government or church programs to help everyone that wants and needs them. You can only tax or tax and tithe people so much to pay for all of them.

Freeland, WA

I don't believe that families on food stamps should be stereo-typed. Everyone's situation is different and there are a lot of people who need assistance. I suggest that before people give their two cents, think about walking in their shoes and what you would do in their situation.

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