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Are Food Stamps the Soup Lines of this Great Recession?

Washington’s Blog [1]
Friday, Dec 11th, 2009

Bloomberg notes [2] that, as of 2007:

In Missouri, about 100 percent who were eligible [for food stamps] that year took advantage of the program, the highest rate in the nation, followed by residents of Maine and Michigan, at 91 percent and 89 percent, respectively …

Things have gotten much worse since 2007:

As the New York Times notes [4], “one in eight Americans and one in four children” receive food stamps.

Many economists and financial experts have said that we are in a depression. See this [5], this [6] and this [7].

I hope they are wrong, or that – if we were in a depression – we’re out of it now.

But it is indisputable that the unemployment numbers are still grim. Specifically:

Given the above, Stacy Herbert’s question [12] of today is compelling:

The food stamps story seems to be one that keeps popping up; I guess food stamps are the soup lines of this Great Depression?


Note: At least some economists say [13] that food stamps give more bang for the buck in stimulating the economy than just about anything else. And see this [14]. But economic, political and moral questions surrounding food stamps are beyond the scope of this essay.