In light of today’s employment data, which has now been spun as the second-coming, I thought it appropriate to show you how the other 1/4 of America’s working age population just man
ages to squeak by. These are the some odd 45 MILLION Americans that are currently living on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or more commonly referred to as Food Stamps. So, while we get all happy about employing roughly 130,000 part-time, pimple faced, high school kids at the local shopping mall for the summer it is important to remember that there are millions of families out there that are really struggling to make ends meet. Well, that is, the majority of them.
One of the areas that needs to cleaned up during these debt/spending talks is the clean up of government assistance programs, welfare and medicaid which are rife with fraud. Such as this clown that used food stamps to buy lobster and steak to feed his family. There are literally billions of tax payer dollars that are wasted each and every year through fraud such as this.
However, there is more to the food stamp story than this. While this story flies in the face of decency it is also a reminder of the real plight of the average American. As of the end of April, as stated previously, there are 45 million Americans on food stamps. This is the highest level in history and speaks to the weakness of the economy and the real unemployment rate in America.
This is not about 9.1% of Americans on the unemployment line collecting benefit checks. Nor is it about the 16% of Americans that are under-employed or working “part time” for economic reasons. This is really about the roughly 25% of working age Americans that can’t meet basic living needs to feed their family.
So, while the current Administration jumps through hoops to spin the latest employment data to appease the financial markets – the real issue is with the inability of the consumer to make ends meet as food and energy continue to chip away at the slowing declining levels of discretionary income.