Sunday, 3 January 2010

The Great American Nightmare.

It's the subsistence level conditions of millions of US citizens who are unemployed and cannot find jobs, surviving on food stamps.

About six million Americans receiving food stamps report they have no other income, according to an analysis of state data collected by The New York Times. In declarations that states verify and the federal government audits, they described themselves as unemployed and receiving no cash aid — no welfare, no unemployment insurance, and no pensions, child support or disability pay. [...]

Members of this straitened group range from displaced strivers to weathered men who sleep in shelters and barter cigarettes. Some draw on savings or sporadic under-the-table jobs. Some move in with relatives. Some get noncash help, like subsidized apartments. While some go without cash incomes only briefly before securing jobs or aid, others rely on food stamps alone for many months.

The surge in this precarious way of life has been so swift that few policy makers have noticed. But it attests to the growing role of food stamps within the safety net. One in eight Americans now receives food stamps, including one in four children.


The "Great American Nightmare" is found in the pig-headed ignorance and vile malevolence of rightwing politicians like Congressman John Linder, a Republican and member of the House panel on welfare policy.
“We’re at risk of creating an entire class of people, a subset of people, just comfortable getting by living off the government.” Mr. Linder added: “You don’t improve the economy by paying people to sit around and not work. You improve the economy by lowering taxes” so small businesses will create more jobs.

What small businesses? Those left struggling in the current US economy aren't the ones who would benefit from lowered taxes. The beneficiaries might be Big Businesses who have registered lobbyists living in Washington DC, ensuring that donations to current elected officials' P.A.C.s get them what they want. Meanwhile, the companies that once provided the US working class with employment opportunities have moved their jobs off-shore to places like China and south-east Asia so they can maintain their profit margins.

9 comments:

fern hill said...

Wow. One in eight Merkins, one in four children. What an insane society.

Of course, if our Reformatory bullies get their way, we'll be on the same path.

West End Bob said...

Back in the late '80's I did a stint selling Lincoln-Mercurys in Atlanta, GA between a corporate gig and opening my own business. john linder - then a Georgia congressman - bought a Lincoln Continental from me. He was getting ready to run for US Congress and "couldn't very well be seen driving a 'foreign' car, could he?" (He was driving a Jag.) I knew then the man would do anything to advance politically and my opinion of him was very negative.

In his 9 - count 'em - nine terms in the US Congress, he has done nothing to alter my opinion . . . .

Pseudz said...

Was it not a meme during the, so-called, Cold War that the worst depredations of Capitalism needed to be restrained during the contest of appearances between the USA and the Soviet Union.

As the last super-power standing (for the time being) there's no percentage in looking 'better than the commies' to the non-allied states. Naked projection of military might is all ya need now. Deadbeats be damned!

Yikes!

Beijing York said...

That makes sense Pseudz but I think that the growing shift to the right since the Reagan area, including the rise of influence from evangelicals, has certainly exacerbated the current climate. It feels like the US has regressed to the Robber Barons era.

By the way, best wishes for the new year fern and dBO!

fern hill said...

Hmm. Beijing York, Beijing York. That name seems familiar. . .

Just joshing, BY. Best wishes backatcha.

deBeauxOs said...

Egads. Bina also alludes to food stamps in her most recent blogpost, here.

Bina said...

Ghah. Another wanker for next week's list. John Fucking Linder, come on down!

Beijing York said...

Back at you fern :-)

Luna said...

I double dog dare him to try to live on food stamps and nothing more for 2 weeks. Hell, I dare him to live on welfare and food stamps and nothing more for two weeks. Asshole.

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