The new face of food stamps: Working-age Americans

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  • worf Mcallen, TX
    Jan. 28, 2014 4:45 p.m.

    @A Quaker:

    Making it impossible to kill babies, and purchasing birth control?

    Than you control behavior! It's just that simple!

    "There aren't vacancies for any significant fraction of them at higher-paying jobs", because we purchase products from countries using slave labor. Remember the free trade agreements which were shoved down our throats?

    Higher pay will destroy our manufactures. Right now China exports apples to us cheaper than what we can pay someone to pick them. Pathetic.

    We the people elected our leaders,--so live with it. Now our nation is on its knees begging to be fed, and the people who caused this mess, aren't going to fix it.

  • A Guy With A Brain Enid, OK
    Jan. 28, 2014 4:29 p.m.

    @ 'A Quaker'.....

    The effects and plans and programs of the 'Great Society' are over?

    Are you kidding me?!?!

  • A Quaker Brooklyn, NY
    Jan. 28, 2014 2:21 p.m.

    @BrainyGuy: Someone who earns $7.25/hour can't afford to eat lunch out at all, but someone who makes $15 can eat out every single day. Sure, burger joints will also have to pay their workers $15, but they'll more than make that up from all the new people who can come in to eat. Think about it.

    That so-called Great Society lasted only a couple years and you are massively overestimating how much was spent on it. It was largely abandoned to support the Vietnam War and never got the funding it needed to do anything except limp along on life support after its initial gains. The 2008 economic collapse added more people into poverty. You can't blame 50 years of subsequent neglect for a failure of the original program.

    If you put only a thimbleful of chlorine in your pool, and your pool was still murky, would you be right in thinking chlorine doesn't do anything for pools?

    Meanwhile, productivity and corporate profits are through the roof, while real wages of working people have fallen. This can be easily fixed. Raise the minimum wage.

  • DVD Taylorsville, 00
    Jan. 28, 2014 11:17 a.m.

    I checked, and yes, some airline pilots get paid so little that they qualify for food stamps. One, it's more difficult to have enough pilots train when it isn't worth the cost vs the earnings. That should make flying a little more frightening when you've got a small group of exhausted pilots keeping your plane from crashing.

    Two, the skills required to fly a plane safely are very much worth paying well for. But the free market allows us to rob those people that trained and trained. This is where regulation and oversight come in. The free market doesn't address theft of time and structured undervaluation from those that don't have power equal to yours.

    This is where minimum wage comes in. A minimum wage that is worthwhile makes a difference between being the United States and being Bangladesh. They don't have a minimum wage that means anything.

  • A Quaker Brooklyn, NY
    Jan. 28, 2014 6:20 a.m.

    @worf: "Raising the minimum wage is a job-killer."

    This is a scare-tactic/fantasy. It's simply not true. Raising the minimum wage is highly stimulative of the economy. Some prices go up, but so does demand, so businesses need more workers to handle the extra business.

    "Oh, it's your own fault for earning minimum wage. Get more skills and get a better job."

    While only 3.6 million workers earn the minimum wage or less, a whopping 35 million Americans earn less than $10.55/hour. Those are most of your people eligible for food stamps. There aren't vacancies for any significant fraction of them at higher-paying jobs.

    "Why have kids if you can't feed them?"

    Texas is one of the states making it impossible for poor women to access abortions, or even birth control, which they can't afford on their own. Also, what happened to your perfect marriage model, a mother and a father making children to replenish the Earth?

    "It's stealing."

    The only stealing going on is from low-wage workers getting paid poverty wages for their hard work.

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    Jan. 27, 2014 9:23 p.m.

    @A Quaker-raising minimum wage is a job killer. Why can't people gain a skill for better pay.

    If you don't earn enough money, why have the kids, than expect others to pay for them? It's stealing.

    Doesn't make any sense.

  • A Guy With A Brain Enid, OK
    Jan. 27, 2014 5:15 p.m.

    Article title: "The new face of food stamps: Working-age Americans"

    Thank you, Barack Obama and the liberals in Congress.

    Just remember, my fellow Americans, this IS success.

    And, no, 'A Quaker', forcing companies to raise the minimum wage will not help this problem. All the businesses in America will do is simply raise their prices on their products to cover their increased costs. That Big Mac that cost $3.39 will simply be raised to $3.89.

    Happy now?

    It blows my mind that liberals refuse to see that ever since Johnson's "Great Society", in which the goal was to 'compassionately' help the poor out of poverty, that even with trillions and trillions of dollars thrown at the poor, the size of the poverty pool just keeps increasing and increasing.

    But, hey, why try to use simple common sense? Let's just keep throwing money at it until things improve. I mean, after all it is only a 50 year track record of success...

  • A Quaker Brooklyn, NY
    Jan. 27, 2014 2:20 p.m.

    There's an easy solution to reducing the Food Stamp program. Raise the minimum wage.

    So many of the people drawing aid now are working people who can't scrape by on the $7/hour they get paid, even working multiple jobs. Seattle has a push on to pass a $15 minimum wage. If the minimum wage had just been left alone, instead of being decoupled from inflation during Reagan's Presidency, it would have been over $15 already.

    This is the reason why people are getting poorer, and also why middle class wages have been bleeding. Propping up the bottom of the wage scale is good for everyone, even business. People with more money to spend, spend it. That is, if they're the people who need things. Across the board "stimulus" like we got a couple years ago isn't as good. People at my income level just banked it.

    There is no better stimulus for economic growth than rising wages.

    Why should McDonalds, Walmart and other low-wage employers get a free ride on the taxpayers? Pay your employees enough so they can afford to feed their kids themselves!

  • What in Tucket? Provo, UT
    Jan. 27, 2014 10:14 a.m.

    There is no doubt in this economy food stamps come in handy. It is unfortunate so many cheat on them. Airline pilots making often a 6 figure salary need food stamps? Too many food stamps are sold for alcohol, tobacco, etc.

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 27, 2014 10:14 a.m.

    "It suggests that government spending on the $80 billion-a-year food stamp program — twice what it cost five years ago — may not subside significantly anytime soon."

    No barack, this is not a success

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    Jan. 27, 2014 9:31 a.m.

    As long as Corporate American business plans include having the government pay health care, food, housing, utilities so that they can profit into the billions (looking at you walmart) then we will continue in this direction... the conservative dream of socializing costs and privatizing profits on the backs of working Americans, and this article is about working Americans, not the elusive welfare queen.

    "It's survival of the fittest" Awe yes the conservative answer to unfair business practices.

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    Jan. 27, 2014 9:09 a.m.

    Do we have an endless supply of food stamps?

    Soon our whole population will be dependent on government.

    Why should working families be on its knees for food?

    We have allowed, and voted in corrupt people to rule over us. Until we fix this, we'll increase in becoming a nation of beggars.

    This should scare us all.

  • A_Chinese_American Cedar Hills, UT
    Jan. 27, 2014 8:25 a.m.

    I would like to say CONGRATULATIONS TO THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY in the United States of Food Stamps. After years and years of persuade the “Income Equity” instead of “Opportunity Equity”, plus getting more and more EPA and Tax regulations to drive out manufacturing industry, American finally see the fruits. More people relay on their life on government’s food stamps, more chance the great Democratic Party will grab the power. Congratulations!

  • freedomingood provo, Utah
    Jan. 27, 2014 3:33 a.m.

    It seems to me that conservative political theology assumes that God created the largest grand Monopoly game of all time, not a planet where all of his children could learn, grow and partake in his creation with equal efforts.

    I don't believe god loves the banker more than a carpenter or would pay them differently if they worked directly for him.

    I just saw the documentary, "Mitt". At least he admitted he started on third base but I still can't agree with his policies that create more disparity. Communism as was practiced may not be the answer, but this form of capitalism isn't either.

  • Dr. Thom Long Beach, CA
    Jan. 26, 2014 10:37 p.m.

    A slow economic recovery with high unemployment, stagnant wages and an increasing gulf between low-wage and high-skill jobs also plays a big role.

    That pretty much sums it all,up. No one to blame, all are at fault, it's just the new established economic indicators. Watch the series Addicted to Money on HuLu.

  • JayTee Sandy, UT
    Jan. 26, 2014 10:19 p.m.

    Ah yes, the Obama regime and all the socialists are seeing their plans come to fruition. If you can sufficiently stifle the economy with taxation and regulation, then who do people have to turn to for their very perceived survival? Oh yes, the good old government . . . and you've just bought yourself a loyal constituency! Now they'll always vote for you, because as we all know, most people are indeed reluctant to bite the hand that feeds them. Then you can run elections by scaring people that those nasty conservatives want to starve them to death! Works like a charm, and it's working right before your very eyes.

  • JSB Sugar City, ID
    Jan. 26, 2014 10:04 p.m.

    When I was a student I bagged groceries and I was surprised that people who paid with food stamps could afford kinds of food that my parents couldn't afford for us. Then, when I'd take the groceries out to the person's car, they drove a nicer and newer car than we did. I thought, if they are so poor that they need food stamps, how can they afford to buy stuff that my tax paying parents couldn't afford?

    Jan. 26, 2014 9:13 p.m.

    Numerous airline pilots also get food stamps. Many regional airports and airlines have programs that walk pilots through the process. The VA also has programs that help returning vets get into the SNAP (food stamp) and TANF (welfare) programs.

    Jan. 26, 2014 7:53 p.m.

    We had food stamps and WIC when I was in the army. Lots of soldiers were in the same situation. Today many teachers rely on food stamps, WIC and other programs to feed their families. Wal-Mart and McDonalds both have programs that teach their employees how to sign up for government assistance, since their pay is as low as what's legally allowed. It amazes me that we as a country can ok over $100 million a year, every year to maintain a nuclear arsenal. We can spend $21 billion on three new ships for the Navy and more than that on a fighter jet that has never seen combat, although we've been at war for 13 years.
    But we can't afford to feed poor working families.

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    Jan. 26, 2014 7:06 p.m.

    Income inequality is not a reason for increased food stamps.

    It's survival of the fittest.

  • NorCalCougarFan&Alum Elk Grove, CA
    Jan. 26, 2014 4:42 p.m.

    I wonder how much of the increase has to do with our federal government making food stamps accessible to more people who traditionally wouldn't ask for it. Furthermore, I wonder how much of the problem is attributable to our public schools failing to prepare people for the workforce.