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Map showing percent of people on Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program in each state.
Woonsocket, Rhode Island, a town where one-third of the population receives Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits (SNAP, or food stamps), is on a "monthly boom-and-bust cycle," as an excellent Washington Post article by Eli Saslow describes it. On the first of every month, 13,752 people in town get their SNAP benefits—Rhode Island doesn't stagger benefits across multiple days as some states do—and the grocery stores stock up with food and fill up with customers, employing added part-time workers in the process. It's also a boom-and-bust cycle in the lives of the recipients, who face empty shelves by the end of the month.

Families who've scraped by until the last days of the month, eating a more and more restricted diet even if they're not starving, flood Woonsocket's stores on the first. At one grocery store:

Pichardo had placed a $10,000 product order to satisfy his diverse customers, half of them white, a quarter Hispanic, 15 percent African American, plus a dozen immigrant populations drawn to Woonsocket by the promise of cheap housing. He had ordered 150 pounds of the tenderloin steak favored by the newly poor, still clinging to old habits; and 200 cases of chicken gizzards for the inter-generationally poor, savvy enough to spot a deal at less than $2 a pound. He had bought pizza pockets for the working poor and plantains for the immigrant poor. He had stocked up on East African marinades, Spanish rice, Cuban snacks and Mexican fruit juice.
The town has added a bus route to the cheapest grocery store in town, but been forced to restrict the number of shopping bags people can carry on the bus due to overcrowding on the first of the month. Part-time grocery workers—many on SNAP themselves—get added hours preparing for and handling the rush. Then there's the boom-and-bust in the homes of recipient grocery store workers themselves:
Rebecka and Jourie Ortiz usually ran out of milk first, after about three weeks. Next went juice, fresh produce, cereal, meat and eggs. By the 27th or 28th, Rebecka, 21, was often making a dish she referred to in front of the kids as “rice-a-roni,” even though she and Jourie called it “rice-a-whatever.” It was boiled noodles with canned vegetables and beans. “Enough salt and hot sauce can make anything good,” she said.
But not good enough that when she goes shopping on the first of the month, bringing her young daughters, they don't desperately want all the snack foods the stores have laid out to entice impulse buys.

Republican legislators would say—do say, all the time—that the problem is the number of people on food stamps, not the fact that such a high number, many of them working, need the aid. They'd say that families on SNAP should budget better, because they don't know what it's like to reach the end of the month and be considering whether to eat that last piece of string cheese now or later, to have been feeding their kids noodles and canned vegetables and hot sauce for days, to have been going to food pantries for extra help, to have been making and remaking a grocery list for days, thinking through all the things they will feed their kids soon but can't now because it's the third-to-last day of the month, not the first or second. And they'd say all those things while asking us to ignore that it's not just a few families who need nutrition assistance, and not just a few of those who have trouble making the benefits last to the end of the month. When you have states where 20 percent of the residents need nutrition assistance and towns where more than 30 percent do, it's a structural problem, not an individual one. And that's not something that can be answered by blaming vulnerable families and making more cuts.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 09:52 AM PDT.

Also republished by Hunger in America, Invisible People, and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  And this is a perfect example of the power of (17+ / 0-)

    the middle class (and even lower) to drive the (macro) economy.  If the people had more to spend, they would not save it:  they HAVE to spend it.  Their increased spending would benefit the local stores and keep more people employed in their local stores (and those employees then have more to spend in their local stores, and so on and so on and so on).

    Somehow, repubs don't want anybody to know about the multiplier.  They act as if a known fact is a supposed liberal construct:  a figment of a liberal's imagination.

    Ayn is the bane! Take the Antidote To Ayn Rand and call your doctor in the morning: You have health insurance now! @floydbluealdus1

    by Floyd Blue on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 09:59:09 AM PDT

  •  'Enough salt and hot sauce' (8+ / 0-)

    can make any meal taste good.

    But a gallon of Tabasco can't make palatable the racial stereotyping and demonizing of food stamp recipients that Republicans engage in.

  •  Repugs wouldn't care if people starved to death (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueoregon, happymisanthropy

    The "Virtue of Selfishness" is at the core of their beliefs.

    I have never been on food stamps so I was curious about what it may be like to depend on food stamps and I found this;

    The Food Stamp Diet

    Several amazing benefits of my food-stamp diet have changed my life. I understand healthy eating in a whole new way. Eliminating processed foods has also freed me from the digestive pains, constipation, gas, and bloating that I lived with daily. Not binge-eating sugar gives me the space to feel my feelings and face challenges head-on. Not to mention that my brain is no longer constantly telling me I'm hungry. After eating a plate of seasonal vegetables, a small serving of meat, poultry or fish and a hearty salad, I'm satisfied. Just the other day I visited my doctor for my annual check-up. It was wonderful to hear him say I have a perfect bill of health -- my weight is exactly where it should be, and my blood work couldn't be better.
    So it is possible to live on food stamps.  Obviously the author is a very smart woman and most food stamp recipients would benefit from her knowledge.

    But if anyone disagrees with her, please let me know.

    When I drive around LA I see a lot of homeless people.  Can they receive food stamps?  I am so ignorant.  I'll start asking them.

    Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

    by Shockwave on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 10:07:19 AM PDT

    •  I live on food stamps and do okay (14+ / 0-)

      as long as I don't let my husband go to the store all the time for snacks.

      But I have to budget carefully to keep fresh vegetables in the house after about the first two weeks. I have food allergies of my own, so I largely cook from scratch; there is No Freaking Way I could do this if I had any less than a fully equipped home kitchen.

      When you come to find how essential the comfort of a well-kept home is to the bodily strength and good conditions, to a sound mind and spirit, and useful days, you will reverence the good housekeeper as I do above artist or poet, beauty or genius.

      by Alexandra Lynch on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 10:47:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I live on food stamps but, don't have kids (7+ / 0-)

      I get my bennies on the 4th of each month, by the last week, my meat is usually gone unless i cut down on meat and fish in the middle of the month. My produce is gone, unless i buy frozen veggies, which allows me to avoid canned veggies, which are not as nutritional as fresh or frozen. Every month, I eat a lot of pasta, peanut butter, rice .I try to allow myself some snacks so as not to be a raging resentful bitch during the month (I need my coffee and chocolate) I don't get a food box every month, i try to stagger it and yeah, i have cut down on my eating, mainly due to not having a microwave. I don't buy easy, quick frozen dinners anymore. I have to actually cook more meals. As a lazy, single person, not entirely happy about that.

      Sequestration? GOP=Family Values, my ass.

      by blueoregon on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 11:03:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Frozen usually better than fresh (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        hnichols, Larsstephens, blueoregon

        Fresh produce, if it has had to travel any significant distance, and/or is stored at the market or your house for awhile, is losing nutrients all that time. Frozen veggies don't have that problem.  Canned is also not bad, except for the extra sodium added to a lot of them.

        "No one life is more important than another. No one voice is more valid than another. Each life is a treasure. Each voice deserves to be heard." Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse & Onomastic

        by Catte Nappe on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 12:14:41 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Being able to give up meat is key (5+ / 0-)

        but not everyone can do that or wants to. Quitting meat 40 years ago has been the cornerstone of my food spending. Yeah, I need chocolate too! I get a bag of Ghirardelli bittersweet chocolate chips — the large ones that run about $8. That lasts me a month. I too am one of the 2% of Americans that don't have a microwave but it doesn't take long to make a salad or a veggie stirfry.

        Jon Husted is a dick.

        by anastasia p on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 08:06:54 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Chocolate covered peanuts! (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          aitchdee, Just Bob, FloridaSNMOM

          Or almonds.  Even some of us old farts need our chocolate, and the nuts fool me into thinking I'm snacking healthily.  I was very disappointed when Brach's stopped selling out of bulk bins recently, and started selling only in prepackaged baglets.  It was always kinda fun picking through the bins and making my own mix.  

          The wisdom of my forebears ... Two wise people will never agree. Man begins in dust and ends in dust — meanwhile it's good to drink some vodka. A man studies until he's seventy and dies a fool.

          by Not A Bot on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 10:24:54 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Homeless can receive FS/SNAP (5+ / 0-)
      Homeless persons have all the same rights under the SNAP/Food Stamp Program as persons who are housed.
      Homeless persons are eligible for SNAP/Food Stamps even if they live on the streets and do not have a mailing address. Homeless people cannot be denied SNAP/Food Stamps simply because they lack a permanent address.
      http://frac.org/...

      "No one life is more important than another. No one voice is more valid than another. Each life is a treasure. Each voice deserves to be heard." Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse & Onomastic

      by Catte Nappe on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 12:04:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  That is largely true (13+ / 0-)

      But - and I'm adding this observation because this thing *just * happened and my conscience won't let me slide - my very, very, very Republican neighbor, who knows I'm on food stamps, just brought me a ginormous pot of chicken soup (& I've had it before; she knows what she's doing) + a fat baguette to go with it. So I guess my very R. neighbor does care whether or not at least one person on the planet starves.

      She doesn't care about anybody else on assistance though. I'm okay because she knows me & my circumstances. But everybody else out there on stamps is a bum.

      God bless our tinfoil hearts.

      by aitchdee on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 07:48:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  "What if it were your neighbor?" (5+ / 0-)

        To tie back into some other posts, even good conservatives have trouble empathizing with someone other than the people they know.  It's hard to get them to see beyond that to people they don't know.  My mother, who voted for Obama (thanks Reagan), but is really conservative, is like this:  The blacks and Hispanics are lazy, except for the ones she knows.

        "But the problem with any ideology is that it gives the answer before you look at the evidence." - President Clinton

        by anonevent on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 08:06:21 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  But exactly (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          FloridaSNMOM

          What is that all about, anyway? Failure of the imagination?

          God bless our tinfoil hearts.

          by aitchdee on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 08:08:47 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Empathy is something you have or don't, (4+ / 0-)

            like a sense of direction.  It's a social skill, and could be taught in some sense, I suspect, but it would always take effort on the part of those who just don't feel it automatically.  Sort of like the flip side:  Think of how hard it is to turn it off, like say to kill someone if you were a soldier.  You can learn to do it, but it would not be automatic.  (No, this is not a discussion over which of these is more correct.)

            "But the problem with any ideology is that it gives the answer before you look at the evidence." - President Clinton

            by anonevent on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 08:15:41 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Failure of the imagination? (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            FloridaSNMOM, aitchdee
            What is that all about, anyway? Failure of the imagination?
            No m'dear, it's ADVERTISING! Back in the eighties St. Ronald deftly drew us a picture of the Cadillac-driving welfare queen, and people have had the image stuck in their minds every since. Mostly because rethug pols keep it there with their rhetoric.

            How many times do you see the Facebook polls about drug testing for food stamp recipients? 'Cause, ya know, they're all laying around their shanties puttin' a good buzz on all day every day. How many times do you hear the "git a job ya lazy bum" meme? Oh, and let's not forget the wimmins who keep pumping out babies to get more in benefits!

            People don't know most food stamp recipients work... some of them two or even three jobs.

            People don't even know that in most states there is a work requirement for assistance - unemployed, but able bodied, people under 60 have to put in a certain number of hours per month. They're either doing community service, getting additional education, or attending job training programs.

            People don't know that a lot of states are having trouble finding enough things for people to do to meet these requirements. You can only have so many people picking up litter (I've done that), or cleaning streets and parking garages (the ex did that), or getting training for jobs that don't exist.

            Hell, I spent an entire summer learning algebra in a Salvation Army basement at the end of the Reagan/Bush I era. It was the only thing they could find for me to do because this county had 17% unemployment at the time.

            People don't know any of that because their rethug puppetmasters don't WANT them to know. All they know is that image The Kindly Dutchman gave them lo those many years ago. The one that gets trotted out during any campaign or budget talk.

            Meddle not in the affairs of dragons... for thou art crunchy and good with ketchup.

            by Pariah Dog on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 06:58:53 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  You're absolutely right about all of that, P Dog (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Pariah Dog

              By 'failure of the imagination,' I guess I just meant low empathetic functioning - for I suspect one must have some measure of imagination in order to feel any empathy at all.

              Cheers ;^)

              God bless our tinfoil hearts.

              by aitchdee on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 11:52:53 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  This is a double edge sword and to my mind (5+ / 0-)

          the big problem.  If they know any one who gets this benefit that they feel is undeserving--even or especially in their own family it makes them worst.

          IE.  My friends's sister just got disability and got several thousand in back payments lump sum for which she bought furniture.  My friend is constantly telling this story as waste and why she does not feel sorry for her in any way.

          In Texas stirring up jealousy is a big way of life in rural areas.

      •  I never got that logic either (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        aitchdee, FloridaSNMOM

        Your neighbor might be more socially malleable than you think. Try inviting her to a soup kitchen or homeless shelter, see if she still feels the same way about the poor. You may not need to create a pretext for this, but remember that it's about helping the poor first, neighbor second. Just sharing.

    •  People traveling 4 hours a day by bus to get (17+ / 0-)

      to both of their five hour shifts don't have fucking time and energy to steam a "plate of seasonal vegtables".

      The problem is not that poor people are too fucking stupid to know how to fucking be fucking poor.

      I'm going to go stand in the park and scream now.

      income gains to the top 1% from 2009 to 2011 were 121% of all income increases. How did that happen? Incomes to the bottom 99% fell by 0.4%

      by JesseCW on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 08:01:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Fuck those smug assholes in Congress (6+ / 0-)

      Sadly, most of the congresspeople taking the food stamp challenge are the ones who need to do it the least like my congresswoman Marcia Fudge (also chair of the Congressional Black Caucus) and my senator, Sherrod Brown.

      I went to the event when Marcia kicked off her challenge. She went to a local grocery to buy a week's worth of groceries for $31. There was a woman there on food stamps who read about the event in the paper and showed up with a shopping list and some recipes for her. The two of them had a great time cruising around the store, while Marcia got advice from this woman.

      I am not going to try to downplay the plight of these people but your mention of the "food stamp diet" is interesting because I rarely spend $31 a week unless I run out of several staples at once, and I have lived on as little as $20 a week recently (like last year).

      When I was in grad school in the early ’70s, I was on a tight budget and had about $7 a week for food. My first step was to give up meat — totally. That halved my food budget. I eliminated all snack foods and soft drinks, which I never really cared for anyway.

      None of those things have been part of my diet since. (it's been odd to go from being the only vegetarian in town to knowing dozens of them). And in recent years, I've become an avid gardener so in July, August and September, there are weeks when i can go spending $10 or less on food.

      So I don't disagree. I do it, in good times and in bad. But why should people with families be forced to scrimp? And if you have growing kids, it's a different ballgame.

      Jon Husted is a dick.

      by anastasia p on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 08:04:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Well now try it without a car which means you (17+ / 0-)

      only get one or two bags worth of groceries per trip to the store and have to pick a store within walking distance (which could very easily mean a convenience store).  That's what most people who try the "food stamp diet" don't get, if you are on food stamps there is a very good chance you don't have a car and may not have anything more than a mini-kitchen assuming your fridge/oven works right at all.  Oh, and no cheating by using anything (except basic cookware) that you had before trying it, that means all your spices and other staples have to come from that budget.

      You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

      by Throw The Bums Out on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 08:11:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thinking the "food stamp diet" teaches someone (24+ / 0-)

        about being poor is like thinking a camping trip can teach them about being homeless.

        They're not walking home from that store in fear they're going to get friggin' ganked for their groceries.  They haven't just spent six hours scrubbing toilets, fending off the advances of their fucking manager.  They're not desperate to get the rent on time so they don't lose 50 bucks (the money for their bus pass).

        They're not trying to figure out how the hell they're ever going to pay a damned jaywalking ticket they got rushing across a perfectly clear street at 4 am to hit the time clock.  

        They're not barely able to stand at the end of the day because the 22 year old shift manager at their second job at Walgreens took away the padded mat they used to put down at their check station for no reason other than pure dickish control freakery.

        They're not dealing with a spoiled asshole middle-class jerk of a teacher guilt tripping them about how they "didn't come to the open house"...when they we were working the one motherfucking chance they had all year to rack up a few hours their kids could have a hundred  dollar fucking Xmas.

        So, maybe they didn't splurge of the 4 dollar and 50 cent half gallon of Dryers.  Maybe they "wisely" passed up the fucking hot pockets.  Maybe they got up three hours after a real poor person headed to a Saturday opening shift, and took a nice bike ride to the farmers market for some cheap yummy organic carrots to steam instead.

        It's not just time on a clock.  It's working far, far harder for far, far less reward than the well off freaks who want to play-act a month of poverty.  

        It's fucking soul crushing, and people take what small luxuries they can find.  They can't take their kid to DisneyWorld for getting three A's, but they can buy her some fishsticks.

        Even if lentils and red beans are cheaper.

        (this is just my addendum to your comment, because I realized on the way out the door that screaming in the park might not end well)

        income gains to the top 1% from 2009 to 2011 were 121% of all income increases. How did that happen? Incomes to the bottom 99% fell by 0.4%

        by JesseCW on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 08:47:10 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  This. Poverty is not just about food insecurity, (13+ / 0-)

        it's about the context of the food insecurity that makes it worse.

        No car, or a car that only works sometimes, the cost of gas and trips to a store that actually carries good foods, the size of a fridge/freezer if there's one at all, the cost of gas/electricity to cook (if the gas/electricity is on at all), the cost of things to cook with (spices, utensils, pots, pans), the frequency of trips required for fresh, non-processed food, the time required to regularly cook and shop while working double-shifts at minimum wage, and so on.

        It burns me up to see middle class holier-than-thou folks parroting on about how on $X per week they could easily get by. Sure you could, with your eight-hour work shift, your perfectly functioning car and gasoline budget, your kitchen stocked with appliances and spices and cooking tools, and your large fridge and freezer.

        Now try to get by with $X per week living in an SRO with no car, a limited energy budget, no household appliances, and a work/life balance that nets you only 4 hours of sleep per night BEFORE you take the time to shop, cook, clean dishes (if you have them and can afford the soap and sponges), and so on—if you want to continue to make ends meet at the shitty standard of living you've already descended to.

        -9.63, 0.00
        "Liberty" is deaf, dumb, and useless without life itself.

        by nobody at all on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 09:28:23 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes, let's talk about (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          FloridaSNMOM

          those things that food stamps DON'T cover.

          Toilet paper

          Paper napkins

          Tissues (am I allowed to say Kleenex?)

          Dish soap

          Laundry soap

          Fabric softener

          Body soap

          Shampoo

          Conditioner

          Scouring pads

          Scrubbies (I make my own from onion sacks)

          Cleanser

          Sponges

          Dish cloths

          Dish towels

          OTC cold and flu meds (that cost an average to $8-$10 for a box of twelve tabs, half of which you'll actually use and the other half of which you'll toss out because they've expired before you need them again)

          Dietary suppliments (vitamins)

          Pain supressants to relieve your aching head, back, legs

          Vac bags (because you can't buy a vacuum any more that doesn't use them)

          Feel free to add your own

          Meddle not in the affairs of dragons... for thou art crunchy and good with ketchup.

          by Pariah Dog on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 07:28:50 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  If you're female.. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Pariah Dog

            monthly supplies...

            If you have little kids, diapers, wipes, bottle brush, bottles, sippie cups, binkies...

            If you have older kids: school supplies, shoes, coats, clothes (yes you need clothes, shoes and coats as an adult but kids go through them so much more quickly), money for school field trips, daycare...

            "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

            by FloridaSNMOM on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 10:02:28 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  I would guess that Alexandra is correct (0+ / 0-)

      and that cooking from scratch is the answer for stretching a food stamp budget to month's end.  I've never been on food stamps, and never will be, but in younger years there were times when my family was very poor, and we ate accordingly.  To this day, as a widower with sufficient money to eat however I like, I still eat no processed, prepared foods, and am more likely to eat cabbage or beans with a small amount of chicken on any given night than I am steaks.  Breakfast is unfailingly oatmeal with an egg.  Very inexpensive.  I don't get fat, and I'm not starving.  

      I know it's an often unfair and too-often repeated stereotype, but when shopping I do see people buying Pepsi and frozen meals and pizzas with their food cards, and I can't help wonder why they don't use the money to eat healthier and less expensively?  I would, if in their shoes.  I'd like to think these folks are buying those premade meals because they're too busy working to cook, or something of the sort.  I hope that's true.  However, back in the day, when all of us walked 30 miles through the snow, uphill both directions, to school or work, nobody was too busy to cook a meal -- a meal was made from scratch, or there was no meal.  I dunno.  The world, and values, have changed, and in some cases maybe not for the better.

      All that said, I have bowed to the demands of age and technology, and cook in the nuker in paper bowls as often as possible to avoid the hassle of washing pans.  The throwaway bowls are bad for the environment, I know.  And they add a few cents to the budget.  But I've earned the right to a bit of laziness.  Maybe the younger folks have earned the right to an insipid  one-minute frozen meal of noodles and cheese with a brownie and corn, washed down with a liter of fizzy colored corn syrup.  Personally, I think they're better off with beans and Tabasco, anyway, and a pound of meat can go a long way in a pinch (I make a rooster last a week sometimes, and not because I'm needy), and vegetables are not that expensive unless you're buying all organic (and there are such things as seeds, which anyone living outside the concrete zones can make good use of -- forgive the dangler).  I've read the ingredient lists on some of those prepackaged meals, and wouldn't feed that stuff to my dog, or to the hens that are kind enough to share their eggs with me.

      Most disturbing to me is the 20%-plus of people who require assistance to eat.  What has happened that in so many states, a fifth of our citizens are unable to feed themselves?  That's frightening.  There's enough farmland in this country to feed several continents.  And on top of that, anyone with a bit of gumption and a computer and internet connection and the ability to treat customers right can earn a decent living on ePay.  

      Maybe it's my generation, as well as being part of a peculiar culture, that make me look at things differently.  Back to your regularly scheduled discussion...  

      The wisdom of my forebears ... Two wise people will never agree. Man begins in dust and ends in dust — meanwhile it's good to drink some vodka. A man studies until he's seventy and dies a fool.

      by Not A Bot on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 10:19:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Would you teach me how to make a living (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        FloridaSNMOM, Not A Bot

        on eBay? I just had four auctions close, sold two items (secondhand hair appliances, one of them extremely expensive and never used, purchased in better days to be sure), and made less than $5.

        You probably missed it, but on Sunday I held a fundraiser for myself right here on the blog. It went pretty well; I got a little bit of help.

        See, I'm out of work and on food stamps myself. Maybe you could have a look at my diary from Sunday and tell me what my next moves ought to be, because obviously I'm doing something terribly wrong. Perhaps even morally wrong. Perhaps even--heaven forefend--ungrammatical.

        I'm serious, I'd love your input.

        God bless our tinfoil hearts.

        by aitchdee on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 02:08:32 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes, I missed the fundraiser, Aitchdee (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          aitchdee

          I'm old and slow, and miss a lot that goes on.  I'm glad you met your goal.

          About ePay?  You mention in a diary having experience in a bookstore?  If you watch your local thrift shops (assuming you have any nearby) and also watch libraries for used book sales, you can often find books for a quarter or 50 cents that will sell well on eBay.  Some won't.  Here are some that do:  ANY auto repair manual (Chiltons, etc. -- it doesn't matter if they cover a 1970 or a 2012 car, those books will sell for $15 or $20 each), small engine repair books, motorcycle repair manuals, specialty books aimed at upper income people (think pilot manuals, coffee-table fly-tying books, and so on), workshop manuals for woodworkers.  A lot of the books of the varieties I mentioned will go for an easy $15 or better online (okay, $14.95, because people are used to off numbers).  I have two cousins in NY who make small fortunes selling Judaica, mostly used books, online.  I sell estate pipes and other tobacciana mainly, but also some books, and some Judaica, and some jewelry.

          I'm short on space in my shack, so kick myself every time I buy something for resale and get stuck with it -- clutter is my enemy -- usually those items end up being donated.  But there are a lot of items available at yard sales and thrift shops that will sell at a profit online.  It's really hard to tell someone what will or won't work for them.  A couple years ago I bought a box of weird old medical items from a chiropractor's estate, and was shocked when a couple of the doohickeys sold for wayyy more than I'd expected -- now, I keep an eye out for antique med items.  You just never know.  Anyway, you can hardly go wrong on the book types I listed up yonder, and I'm sure you'll find more if you try.

          Some niches, you really have to know your stuff.  I would never try to sell antique bottles or the like, because I haven't a clue about their value.  Estate tobacco pipes, I started buying and selling to supplement retirement income, but then, I've been smoking pipes since I was 14 or so, more years ago than you'd believe if I told you, and so I know which makes are worth money and which aren't.

          I wish you the best possible future.

          The wisdom of my forebears ... Two wise people will never agree. Man begins in dust and ends in dust — meanwhile it's good to drink some vodka. A man studies until he's seventy and dies a fool.

          by Not A Bot on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 08:34:30 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  have you been in my shoes? (6+ / 0-)

        The grinding poverty? How about the reality of walking 3 miles each way to the only grocery store in town in inclement weather? Do you have a full sized fridge and kitchen and spiced and pots and pans to work with? I didn't.  

        Do you know how much salad making and fresh veg can cost in that one grocery store in town and how much it sucks to have a freezer that only works when it wants to the size of a shoe box?  I have $200 a month to work with and 6 miles for every trip to the store.  You have any idea what that does to my body?

        Have you ever been so sick of rice and beans month after month that you can't choke down another mouthful?

        Yeah, I didn't think so.

        I'm not poor because I'm stupid.  I'm not poor because I don't know how to cook or manage a food budget, I'm a fucking CHEF.  

        I worked my ass off as long and as hard as I could - and when I get well my nose will be right back on the grindstone.  I got sick. I got laid off.  And I got poorer than you clearly can imagine - with no land to garden on, no friends with cars, nothing but a SNAP card and feet and a will to live to keep me going.

        So you can shove it.

        And we sail and we sail and we never see land, just the rum in the bottle and a pipe in my hand...

        by Mortifyd on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 03:11:28 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You don't mince words, Mortifyd (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Mortifyd

          I like it. ;)

          God bless our tinfoil hearts.

          by aitchdee on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 10:15:58 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Mortifyd, you're right (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Mortifyd

          I haven't been in your shoes, and I'm not judging you.  My comments weren't meant as a jab at folks who are in a jam, but rather frustration at a society and an economy in which one fifth of people are unable to earn enough to buy their own food -- that's a sign that something is wrong with the larger society, and not with the individuals in need.  And I'm not the food police, just an old geezer with opinions.  If I came across as judgmental, I apologize.

          As for some of your assumptions, no, I don't have a full-size kitchen.  My home is a 12x16 cabin with a loft.  The kitchen is my living room is my dining room is my office is my bed room when I don't feel up to climbing into the loft.  I downsized a few years ago, on purpose -- no need to leave the heirs any more mess to clean up than necessary, and I like the small space.  And yes, I've been poor.  It's no fun, but it's also no shame.  No, I've never grown sick of rice and beans, but gefilte fish grew old a few times in the past.

          Before writing this answer, I read through a few of your diaries, and man, I admire you for your persistence and your attitude.  You've taken some hard knocks and are still on your feet.  Hang in there.  I also admire your writing style, your voice.  You have talent outside the kitchen.  

          I hope you're able to sail around the world some day, maybe a few times.  Geez, that's a wonderful dream, and we all need dreams.

          Kol tuv ...  

          The wisdom of my forebears ... Two wise people will never agree. Man begins in dust and ends in dust — meanwhile it's good to drink some vodka. A man studies until he's seventy and dies a fool.

          by Not A Bot on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 08:04:10 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  this reminds me of the "welfare towns" in the 80s (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bronx59

    There were whole towns doing the boom-bust on the 1st and the 15th.

    With the caveat that I'm all for SNAP foodstamps WIC etc ... and feel they are, besides being an obvious moral necessity in a culture of plenty such as ours, an economically sound very astute safety net Keynsianism --

    I think, and ramble away about this all the time in the threads around these parts, that the task for medium to long term progressivism is to make these, and other programs such as Head Start, more efficient. That is, besides defending the social safety net we should be improving it from within and from above (govt). One of the things keeping conservatism alive after so many obvious disasters (Alan Greenspan anyone? ... anyone?) is the image of self reliance. There is a kernel of truth to that. Class solidarity (so to speak though that phrase needs rebranding in the 21st century) has to mean more than union label - though we should get back to that ASAP of course.

    There was an obvious social disfunction in the vast welfare areas of the 70s / 80s being covered with trash. If we're all in this together, and it's way to crowded on earth for anything else (sorry Rand / Ron-ites), then there's an element of community that has to be reinforced from the inside. From the ground up. The revolution begins when you stop littering and start composting everything. Us poor people (and believe me I include me ouch) have to lead the way on that.

    Here in the bowls (okay wrong phrase) of the orange machines' corner of the blogosphere this is preaching to the converted (if anyone's read this far which I'm cautiously pessimistic about). But besides REGISTERING AND GOTV which is the primary task period the idea of contributing and taking up the slack and building a better f*()*ng society should be spread as well. And that includes not flicking your cig butts on the roadside or making a mess because the city salaried worker will clean it up.

    If you didn't like the news today, go out and make some of your own.

    by jgnyc on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 10:51:03 AM PDT

  •  What a great country we are... (9+ / 0-)

    $1.5 trillion for a fighter jet that won't do the job, and will be obsolete before it is fully operational....

    but not enough money to even see that our kids are fed.

    Bravo!

    Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain. Friedrich Schiller

    by databob on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 11:03:45 AM PDT

  •  There was an article (7+ / 0-)

    in the local rag recently about people on SNAP running out of food and going hungry. The vitriol was shocking even to me. Commenter after commenter angrily stated there were no hungry people in the U.S. and if there were it was their own fault for not managing their money. I am not kidding. They were extremely angry that anyone would dare make this assertion.

    Saying there are hungry people in the U.S. is apparently a real trigger for a certain segment of the population. I'm guessing it is a segment that relies heavily on Fox News and Rush Limbaugh for all of their information.

    Oh, and one commenter suggested they could get a baked chicken from their local Whole Foods store that would make several inexpensive meals. I sh*t you not.

  •  Part of the problem does come in budgeting (4+ / 0-)

    because by the time the food stamps come around you are so hungry it is that much harder to stick to a budget to stretch the food stamps another month. You know how your spending goes up if you shop hungry? Now imaging having been mostly hungry for a week or more and go shopping when you suddenly have $200 or $300 on your card. AND take your kids with you who are at least almost as hungry as you are and whining after everything they see.

    Heck, I had to tell my daughter NO to apples this past week. APPLES because they were almost $3 a pound. Strawberries are a good price right now but don't keep very long even in the fridge. She tried to stretch those out to a week and a half and half of them went bad. But we have dinners for another 7 days, we have lunch meat and peanut butter and jelly, we have enough left to buy bread as we need it before Wednesday when Caedy gets paid. We have a full 5 lb container of rice, several other options for sides, lettuce, tomato, carrots, some cheese (though we'll need more on Wednesday), eggs and milk.  But if we had to make that all last until food stamps came in next month on the 10th we'd be really hard pressed to do so and I'd have to be a lot more stingy with what we get.  

    We're not going hungry thanks to food stamps and Caedy having a job, and Dad's SSI paying the bulk of the bills. I've had to budget much tighter than I am right now for groceries in the past. But I can well understand how people suffer in between and have a very hard time making that food stamps budget stretch.

    "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

    by FloridaSNMOM on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 04:50:32 PM PDT

    •  I don't know how you do it with kids (7+ / 0-)

      It's nothing short of heroic.

      God bless our tinfoil hearts.

      by aitchdee on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 07:52:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You prioritize (10+ / 0-)

        You shop around for the best deals, and you learn how to make lots of meals with very cheap ingredients.. otherwise the kids get very very bored. And every once in a while you find a way to splurge on something, even if it's something small that seems insignificant to someone else (like showing up with one apple a piece).

        "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

        by FloridaSNMOM on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 08:01:18 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  In other words you have to spend all your time (6+ / 0-)

          --virtually all your energy & intellectual capital--thinking about sums of money under $5.

          I meant what I said about the heroism of feeding kids on FS and keeping them well-nourished (and non-bored!). It's a commendable thing, FloridaSNMOM. I'll bet you're a crackerjack budget-maker (and budget adherent); you could teach us all a thing or two!

          I'm really struggling. Turns out I hate snacky, junky food--who knew? I crave fruit and veggies more than anything else. I dream of big salads with avocado and ... just the works, you know? Gah, I'd better not dwell on it, lol.

          God bless our tinfoil hearts.

          by aitchdee on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 08:22:53 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Salads (4+ / 0-)

            are do-able if you don't over do it. We get a bunch (?) of Romaine or red lettuce ($1.99), two tomatoes ($2), a .69 bag of carrots and a $2 bag of shredded cheese and that will last Dad and I all week for lunches for ourselves, leaving the leftovers mostly for the kids. That's under $7 for lunch for 2 for 7 days. Plus the cost of olive oil and infused vinegar, but we only have to buy the oil once every couple of months (and I try to catch it as a buy one get one deal) and the infused vinegar (right now pomegranate infused) I found on sale about 4 months ago. I use about a table spoon of oil for each of us and add about 4 or 5 drops of the vinegar, whisk it with a fork and pour it on. Sometimes I can find croutons or taco strips on sale for buy one get one and add those in, or we'll have some chicken left over that I'll add.

            "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

            by FloridaSNMOM on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 08:31:30 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I'm in Sacramento, CA (5+ / 0-)

              After reading your description of the salads you folks eat, I bet you can hear my tummy growling all the way across the country, lol. Sounds so good - and as you say, doable. I have a little problem in that my trusty, three-year-old refrigerator bit the dust last October when the power co. flipped the OFF switch on my house (we had had a bit of a miscommunication; I thought I had several more days to pay). The fridge grew mold almost immediately - even though I'd cleaned it entirely out - at least, everything visible. This very light, wintergreen-colored mold actually got into the ventilating system and choked off its functioning; hence, bye-bye fridge. It's not clear why this happened. We'd been experiencing a truly insane heat wave here in Sac, and the AC wasn't running (no power), so maybe that was it. Dunno. Long and short of it, I can't buy a lot of vegetables (or milk or eggs etc.) 'cause stuff goes bad so fast.

              I appreciate the advice though very much; thank you! It cheers me to know that a friend of mine has offered to give me a fridge that's been given to her that she can't use fairly--I'll just have to wait another month or so, whenever she can get time off work and drive up here with it.

              Meantime, FS without refrigeration is really hard! ;^)  (((whine)))

              God bless our tinfoil hearts.

              by aitchdee on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 09:01:50 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  OUCH (4+ / 0-)

                Yes, definitely much much much harder without refrigeration! I'll be hoping for you to get that fridge, or find a refurb you can afford! something! I've had to go a couple of weeks without in Florida, always an interesting prospect and much more expensive!

                "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

                by FloridaSNMOM on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 09:28:36 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  don't know if still applies since (4+ / 0-)

                the sequester cuts to this program but FYI 2010 article - free refrigerator from fed gov program:

                free appliances from the Federal government under the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).

                http://yesiamcheap.com/...

                Martha Raddatz: Two-third of Americans say it’s not worth fighting. Cheney: So? Martha Raddatz: So? You don’t care what the American people think? Cheney: No.

                by anyname on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 02:41:48 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  freecycle.org (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                FloridaSNMOM

                http://www.freecycle.org/

                Welcome! The Freecycle Network™ is made up of 5,087 groups with 9,299,340 members around the world. It's a grassroots and entirely nonprofit movement of people who are giving (and getting) stuff for free in their own towns.

                It's all about reuse and keeping good stuff out of landfills. Each local group is moderated by local volunteers (them's good people). Membership is free.

                To sign up, find your community by entering it into the search box above or by clicking on 'Browse Groups' above the search box.

                Martha Raddatz: Two-third of Americans say it’s not worth fighting. Cheney: So? Martha Raddatz: So? You don’t care what the American people think? Cheney: No.

                by anyname on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 07:55:13 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

  •  What's up with Oregon? Is the economy that bad (5+ / 0-)

    there?

    And it feels like I'm livin'in the wasteland of the free ~ Iris DeMent, 1996

    by MrJersey on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 07:33:51 PM PDT

    •  Lots of California retirees there (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      aitchdee, FloridaSNMOM

      and a dearth of jobs in many areas.  At least that is what I have been told here in Northern California.

      "I watch Fox News for my comedy, and Comedy Central for my news." - Facebook Group

      by Sychotic1 on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 07:44:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yes. In much of Oregon, the economy is just flat (6+ / 0-)

      out that bad.

      The logging industry employs a quarter of the people it did 20 years ago and very little has been done to replace the employment it once provided.

      income gains to the top 1% from 2009 to 2011 were 121% of all income increases. How did that happen? Incomes to the bottom 99% fell by 0.4%

      by JesseCW on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 08:04:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  A lot of things wrong here (4+ / 0-)

      As JesseCW wrote, when the timber industry shrank nothing came around to replace it. There are a lot of small towns struggling to hold on.

      High tech was supposed to fill in the hole, but those jobs rarely went to the locals: according to the executives there weren't enough qualified people for the new jobs, so they hired people from outside the state. Sometimes from outside the US. (I have no problem with increasing Oregon's diversity, but I think an American company ought to favor hiring Americans.)

      Then there's a side-effect of the "Portlandia" syndrome: creative types moving here don't always make the big bucks. No one's going to pay you $25.-- an hour to put a bird on stuff, & running a food cart won't provide a family-scale wage, no matter how hard or long one works. Then there's the matter that the vast majority of traditional creatives -- writers, artists, actors -- never make enough to live from & are forced to hold down a day-time job. So having a lot of creatives means the average income will be depressed.

      Of course, the PTB see it another way: last night one of the tv shows interviewed an expert on the "Portlandia" syndrome, who said colleges need to graduate more people with "practical degrees" -- specifically engineers & finance types. I just rolled my eyes at that.

  •  The real problem... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FloridaSNMOM, cap76

    ...is that the state of RI doesn't have enough industry to support the population it has.

    RI needs a few more industries or corporations to locate there. They probably need to position themselves as the lower cost alternative to MA and NY and try to get more jobs in town.

    (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
    Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

    by Sparhawk on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 07:36:10 PM PDT

  •  Hmmm, call me a cynic (0+ / 0-)

    But what is the problem with rice and canned vegetables?  Sounds pretty good to me.

  •  rarely reported (6+ / 0-)

    Many local stores raise prices at the beginning of the month when government checks and food stamps are distributed.  Capitalism is not charitable.

    Apres Bush, le deluge.

    by melvynny on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 07:39:12 PM PDT

  •  why on earth isn't SNAP distributed weekly? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    aitchdee, MeToo

    Of course the dollar amount should also be tripled, at the very least, but making it weekly shouldn't be that difficult, and would solve some of these problems.

    •  Making it weekly (9+ / 0-)

      They wouldn't give you enough to take advantage of any bulk deals. Plus with making it monthly we can schedule our bills to be due when the food stamps come in. So that week food stamps covers all of groceries and we can pay the electric with the cash, or the phone, or whatever. We can also plan for buying birthday gifts, christmas gifts, etc because we know that we will have groceries covered those two weeks. It would be harder to budget that cash for the bills if we got $51.25 a week instead of $205 all at once.

      "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

      by FloridaSNMOM on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 08:04:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Buying in bulk is cheaper (6+ / 0-)

      If you're going to buy 5 pounds of rice, it's cheaper to buy 1 bag than 4 boxes.

      "But the problem with any ideology is that it gives the answer before you look at the evidence." - President Clinton

      by anonevent on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 08:10:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  There are benefits to bulk buying. (9+ / 0-)

      When I worked at a supermarket that served many people on food stamps, people would buy bulk whenever possible because it is cheaper.  Several people might carpool, with one buying an insanely large pack of paper towels (township relief and welfare came the same day) while others bought bulk items.  My guess is that they split and swapped their purchases when they went home.  

       

      "Politics should be the part-time profession of every citizen who would protect the rights and privileges of free people and who would preserve what is good and fruitful in our national heritage." -- Lucille Ball

      by Yamaneko2 on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 08:10:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Plus.. if it were weekly... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      aitchdee, Mortifyd, cordgrass

      You'd still have weeks, probably 2 a month at least, where something would come up and that just wouldn't stretch all week. You'd buy all your groceries and a storm would come through and knock out your power for a day or two, there goes the week's worth of groceries.  Or someone would get sick and need a particular diet (jello anyone), Or you'd run out of something because the kid came home from school with a couple of friends and they cleaned out the fridge. If you're smart you can still budget so that you have enough to last you the month IF you have cash coming in from somewhere else. When it gets really hard is when you don't.
      When we got our food stamps 10 days ago for example, we bought a total of 17 dinners, plus breakfasts, eggs, bread, milk, salad stuff for one week and then the following week again, etc.

      Some you keep out for things you know you have to replace, but the things we can freeze or dry goods we buy in bulk, then I know what I have to budget for the rest of the month. Right now, from the food stamps, we still have meals through next Wednesday when Caedy gets paid. She'll still have to buy some things this week and I have bread store money still on the child support card. But the main meal is handled through the 27. Caedy gets paid on the 27, then Dad gets his SSI on the 3 (and Caedy gets paid again). I may or may not get another child support check in there as well.

      If it were weekly we could do it, but it would be a lot harder, and we'd be a lot more stressed at the end of every week.

      "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

      by FloridaSNMOM on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 08:49:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Utah? Idaho? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rich in PA

    Florida and Nevada's use went up because most of the construction workers there lost their jobs.

    But the only place in Utah where that happened was St. George.  (Lots of 2nd homes and retirement communities)

    Our population is growing (that's not a good thing, we don't have much water and we almost elected nitwit Republican convention speaker Mia Love to our new congressional seat).  Our unemployment is lower than average.

    What's up with increased food stamp usage here & in Idaho?  I thought I had single-handedly boosted Idaho's economy with all the booze I bought up there and smuggled back?

    •  I think it's conservative "patriots"... (0+ / 0-)

      ...in their stupid "compounds" who have withdrawn from the everyday economy and want government to support them in that position.

      You know, I sometimes think if I could see, I'd be kicking a lot of ass. -Stevie Wonder at the Glastonbury Festival, 2010

      by Rich in PA on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 04:00:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This is just another form of corporate welfare. (6+ / 0-)

    If employers do not pay enough for people to make a living, the government subsidizes those paychecks by feeding the people.  If most of the people are not making enough to pay taxes, they are being fed with debt.
    Insane.

  •  in college and grad school, I lived on dried beans (11+ / 0-)

    made into soup, but felt myself lucky to have a refrigerator in the room in a boarding house I rented, so I could make a big pot of beans and freeze/refrigerate them.  

    Peanutbutter, bread, jelly and eggs I would ration myself.  

    Vegetables were simply a luxury, canned, frozen and fresh?  Are you kidding?  I took a vitamin, they came in my Christmas stocking.  It was the only thing I asked "Santa" for.  

    In college, my weekly food budget was $17.00 -- my hourly pay was $1.75, and I was limited to 20 hours per week by the "wonderful government benefit" of the Work-Study Program.  

    Everything else went to rent and tuition.  

    I still cannot bear to throw food out, and I never did have children.

    Who can afford to feed them?  

    To go to hospital to have them?  10 grand, are you KIDDING me?  I didn't make that in a YEAR!

    After several similarly impoverished postdocs,  I landed a tenure track position at a research university in my early thirties, and was promptly fired the minute I dared asked for maternity leave.  The stress caused me to miscarry at 6 in the morning, St. Valentines Day, 1993.  

    This is what "Majoring in STEM fields" will do for a working-class girl with top SAT scores and an Ivy-league education.  

    I cannot, cannot.  Imagine what women who did NOT get the best education in the highest-paying fields (for a man, anyway) would have to go through.

    Because I barely survived.  And I spit -- SPIT! -- on any SOB who dare suggest that the only reason for the pay gap is that we don't "lean in" (and show yer cleavage, dearie?).   I took a HUGE setback to change fields from Science-With-A-Capitol-S to programming-with-a-lowercase-p.  

    I still support my mom, and keep the reserve because after SHE worked for 35 years for the same hospital, in medical technology, you know what HER pension comes to?  $300.00/month.  Because the hospital changed hands and was privatised, thus stealing the bulk of her pension.  

    That's what you'll get with a FULL EDUMACATION IN SCIENCE, Y'ALL.  

    Oh, YOUR hospital's different, YOUR company is different, YOUR government lab is different, YOUR startup is different, YOUR pension is secure....in what universe, exactly?  

    There are whole towns full of people: men, women, children and old people dependent on government cheese.  Like my mom is, after a whole life of working.  Like my sister was.  

    But we hear it's because they "Have No Education."  And, yet, I have observed that Education and Hard Work make No Fucking Difference.  And wait a minute.  They "Have No Education" and...therefore they deserve to DIE?  EXCUSE ME?  

    Shit.  More taxes would just go to subsidizing  fricking Hallibutron. And Monsnanto.  (names of corprorations deliberately misspelled on behalf of our gargle and fecesbork overlowereds).

    While the government tells us "Educated People" that the poor people in these towns "just need more education."

    HOW MUCH EDUCATION DOES IT TAKE?  What do they need, an MBA?  A PhD?  A FUCKING BAZOOKA?  

    I call BS.  And I call for RELIEF for the HUMAN BEINGS in these towns.  BECAUSE THEY ARE HUMAN BEINGS, GODDAMNIT.  

    And I call for telling the FICTIONAL human beings of Monsnato and Hallibutron to EFF OFF.  

    "We must close union offices, confiscate their money and put their leaders in prison. We must reduce workers salaries and take away their right to strike.” -Adolf Hitler, May 2, 1933

    by bekosiluvu on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 10:08:28 PM PDT

    •  1/8 The magnitude of need is amazing to me (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bekosiluvu, FloridaSNMOM

      According to that graphic, at least 12-15% of the overall population must be receiving food stamps. This is something that really needs a comprehensive thoughtful look.

      The day is coming when a single carrot, freshly observed, will set off a revolution. Paul Cezanne

      by MeToo on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 10:46:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I say we should do as the Romans did* (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FloridaSNMOM

    and provide a universal basic nutritional subsidy. Food cards - and healthcare - for all. As the self-styled modern heir to the Roman empire, surely the provision of food and health security for all of our citizens would be a measure of our strength and a demonstration of true power.

    * ie, the grain subsidy it provided for all citizens

  •  Eye opener! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FloridaSNMOM

    I am amazed at how functional most of the comments are on this post. The sheer number of people having to get by on food stamps is staggering. It is also angering because of the number of people who have no sympathy for those who are less fortunate. This picture should be highlighted on MSNBC programming for the next couple of days. Hopefully, this would open some eyes to the plight of many more people than most people think are in this situation. The poor and working poor are almost invisible--and it's a shame. Unfortunately we are overly influenced by the handful of people who game the system and under-appreciate the overwhelming majority who rely on the program to get by.

  •  I can't blame RI for not staggering benefits (0+ / 0-)

    If people have to take the bus to buy food, it's a pain to do it multiple times.  But it does put people in an unreasonable position with regard to rationing their consumption, no to mention what it does to the consumption of perishables over the course of the month.  Overall I suspect the state ought to consider doing what other states do.

    You know, I sometimes think if I could see, I'd be kicking a lot of ass. -Stevie Wonder at the Glastonbury Festival, 2010

    by Rich in PA on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 04:02:39 AM PDT

  •  What is going wrong with Oregon's economy? (0+ / 0-)

    I would never have expected them on a list like this.

    •  my town used to have canneries (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FloridaSNMOM

      and fish processing for those canneries. We canned most of the fish America ate in the early part of last century.  Now there are fewer fish, one cannery and no jobs.   The fishing industry took most of the wild fish.  Those that are left are processed at sea, not on land.  Hatcheries have changed the whole system. No new industry came in - the canneries just closed down and rotted, fell down or burned to the ground. The pylons are still there with nothing on them - and people own them - but they won't build any new industry on them - it's too expensive.

      Bumblebee moved their headquarters to California and closed their last cannery in our town.  Now sealions live under - it a protected species that chase away the fish and make a horrendous mess and noise you can hear throughout town.  They took over one of the marina mooring basins so only large fishing vessels - the kind that process their fish or deliver it to processing ships - they are the only ones safe to dock there, so the basin is unrentable.

      The federal government limits commercial fishing licenses heavily and paid people to stop fishing - and they can't sell the boats they used to fish on - so they rot at what is left of the docks.

      The only new businesses in Astoria are restaurants that close within a year - I've worked at three of them - and art galleries for summer tourists to browse through.  All the bog box stores are opening in Warrenton, the next town over across the bay.  The bus runs twice a day across it on weekdays, and not at all on weekends - if you don't have a car, you're taking a taxi - or you're not working. The bridge is not crossable by foot or bike - there wind and the lack of sidewalks or paths make it extremely dangerous - and it's a lifting bridge to boot. There is one grocery store at the far end of town, 5 museums and a lot of people looking for work.

      That's what's going wrong with Oregon's economy.  Or at least a good part of it.

      And we sail and we sail and we never see land, just the rum in the bottle and a pipe in my hand...

      by Mortifyd on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 05:51:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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