Thursday, August 04, 2011

A dearth of resources, or of character?

SayAnythingBlog linked to USDA figures regarding food stamp usage and benefits; evidently the average recipient gets $133.79 per month, which is disturbingly close to my family's weekly grocery budget.  If one adds in free school breakfast and lunches (worth about $20/week per child where I live) and WIC (about $20/week per eligible child), I find that government food assistance significantly exceeds my family's weekly food budget--by about 20-30%, really.

Beyond the obvious wisecrack "well, I guess that's why Dinesh D'Souza came here to see fat poor people," it also should remind us that the poor in the United States do not, by and large, have a crisis born of a lack of resources.  Quite frankly, my family could cut our food costs quite a bit by eating more beans instead of meats, switching from butter to margarine, from olive oil to canola, and so on.  It would not surprise me if we could get well below $200/week and still eat quite well.

Or, in other terms, about $120/week less than what our government decides is appropriate for those who are "poor".  So my question is simple; do our poor have a crisis of resources, or do they have a crisis of character, creativity, and such? 

Personally, I'm thinking that teaching poor people how to cook might do far more for them than WIC, SNAP, and all those programs combined!


W.B. Picklesworth said...

Clearly it is a crisis of character. And this crisis has been created by arrogant utopians who know next to nothing about human nature and less about economics. Blah on the whole lot of them. Cut the benefits and set the poor free!

Gino said...

(says the man who lives among feilds of corn.) lol

i made reference at mark's place about how those who do not labor live nearly as well as those that do. this is part of it.
factor in, at least in CA, rent subsidy and its been reported that the average family of 4 on welfare in The OC recieves about 30K per year in handouts. plus medical care.

tell me again why i work for a living. i seem to forget.

lol: verifictaion word: ponzii. aint that right... lol

W.B. Picklesworth said...

Feed corn ain't all it's cracked up to be!

Gino said...

why do they call it 'feed corn' when nobody wants to eat it? ever think of that?

Bike Bubba said...

For that matter, you're not supposed to eat it. It's genetically modified, supposedly safe, but it's fed only to livestock and ethanol plants. And I've got friends who can not eat beef when it's cornfed, but can when it's grassfed. So there is probably something going on with GM corn, to put it mildly.

Or, to paraphrase Ben and the song, it's not all it's cracked up to be, and I don't care, Jimmy.

But that said, when I see the resources poured into those who are supposedly poor, often I do wonder why I work.