What about political leaders?
I ask that after reading Wealthy counties see jump in need for food aid in this morning's Washington Post. It focuses on Hunterdon County Nj,
whose 2010 median household income of $97,874 was the highest in New Jersey and fourth-highest in the country, saw food-stamp usage surge 513 percent between 2007 and 2010.
The pattern was repeated across the nation:
The percentage of U.S. households using food stamps more than doubled in six of the nation’s 10 wealthiest counties as more residents find themselves out of work and unable to sell their homes.
In Hunterdon the number of families went from 232 to 1,407 during the three years from 2007 to 2010.
ationwide, requests for food assistance increased over the past year in 25 of 29 cities surveyed by the U.S. Conference of Mayors. Unemployment was the main reason for requesting aid, followed by poverty, low-wage jobs and high housing costs, according to the survey released Thursday. Likewise, the vast majority of the survey cities reported an increase in the number of people requesting food assistance for the first time.
The nation's two wealthiest counties are near me in Northern Virginia: Loudoun and Fairfax. Some Congressmen and Senators have local homes there. I wonder if they know foodstamp use in those counties more than doubled.
Morris County NJ is 10th in average household income, saw its recipients rise 4,076 cases from 1,680. It is the home of Gov. Chris Christie, who acknowledges knowing from the statistics, even if it is not visible.
It will be those who used to be wealthy. It will be even more who used to be upper middle class. Will that be enough to extend benefits? Or will the need to extend benefits be used as a cudgel to impose unrelated social and other programs, as we are seeing with unemployment insurance and the payroll tax cut in the Congress?
Will poverty hitting close to home make a difference?
Unfortunately, I doubt it.
What do you think?