Tuesday, July 7, 2009

It's a Strange Depression

The WSJ has published a piece extolling the benefits to the economy of the increased food stamp allotment the Administration recently enacted, in Boost in Food-Stamp Funding Percolates Through Economy.

What's strange is that there was not even a comment in the article about two of the facts accepted as routine:

Angie Minix rushes to her local Save-a-Lot grocery store on Chicago's South Side at the start of every month, when her new food-stamp allocation appears on her card. So do many of her neighbors. "You can't even get in the parking lot," she says. . .

Employed by the state as a home aide, she has seen her hours cut and her mortgage payments rise. Still, the food-stamp boost has increased her purchasing power.

"I can't buy a new car, but I can feed my family," she says.

So, what the WSJ is saying is that a whole lot of people who own a car - but perhaps cannot afford a new car- cram the parking lots to spend the charity money bestowed upon them. Many of these people, such as Ms. Minix, are home-owners with mortgages.

When Americans think of grinding poverty and another Depression, we think of soup kitchens and dingy apartments or shacks in Appalachia. They don't think of poor people competing for automobile parking spots and mortgage payments.

If you have to be "poor", be "poor" in America. In most of the rest of the world, Ms. Minix is solidly middle-class, or better.

Copyright (C) Long Lake LLC 2009

No comments:

Post a Comment