According to a new National Public Radio (NPR) report, the U.S. poverty numbers are skewed because the government’s formula does not include food stamp benefits and Medicaid as income:
Consider the case of Ann Valdez. She’s a 47-year-old single mom who lives in an apartment in Brooklyn with her teenage son. She doesn’t have a job. She gets a cash payment of about $130 every two weeks from the government. That’s all that’s counted for her income in the government’s poverty measure.
But Valdez also gets $367 a month in food stamps. The government pays $283 a month for her apartment, which she says would rent for $1,100 or so on the open market. And the government pays for her health care, through Medicaid.
Valdez still has a tough time making ends meet. “We are not living the life of Riley,” she says. “Poverty is like being trapped in a room you can’t get out of, with straps restraining you, tight enough that you feel sometimes you can’t breathe.”
Still, if you include the value of her benefits, Valdez’s income is far higher than the official poverty numbers suggest. This raises a question: If you count all her benefits, is Valdez still living in poverty?
Yes, NPR. She is. Do you want to know why?
Being on the federal dole is poverty. Even if the government decides to play a numbers game here to make itself look like a knight in shining armor saving the day with EBT cards, at the end of the day, Ms. Valdez is still completely dependent on the government for her income and survival.
Moreover, NPR appears to be suggesting that a mere redistribution of wealth can somehow actually alleviate poverty. This whole situation requires continually increasing taxes on those who are more financially productive and more and more wealth redistribution to be sustainable. Considering this nation’s manufacturing base has been shipped overseas (on the taxpayer dime, no less) while giving people more incentives to get on the dole, there is no way a system like this can continue indefinitely. It is doomed to fail and only works as long as someone else foots the food stamp bill.
A NASDAQ article entitled, “How to Profit From ‘Food-Stamp Nation’,” (which noted a 70% increase in the number of college graduates, some with advanced degrees, working for minimum wage in this country), explained:
Wherever there’s a societal or business trend in the making — however troubling — chances are someone stands to benefit.
The megabanks and megacorporations have totally incentivized the food stamp program in this country, as Breitbart has reported:
…companies that administer EBT cards like J.P. Morgan and Xerox are incentivized to get as many people on the program as possible.
Schweizer noted J.P. Morgan has contracted with 26 states and has taken advantage of the “loosened requirements concerning food stamps” after the stimulus program.
“As food stamp rolls expand, so do corporate profits,” Schweizer said, noting that is why corporations like J.P. Morgan lobby the Senate Banking and Agriculture Committees, which have oversight over the food stamp program.
Food stamps are actively being promoted all over the country, not discouraged. The government is spending millions on food stamp outreach programs instead of actual food, to get more and more people enrolled. California is in the process of passing a bill that would simplify the food stamp application to expand the rate of participation in the program. The government is even giving EBT cards to kids now.
The employment gap between America’s richest and poorest is the widest since data tracking on it began, with unemployment for the lowest-income families above 21%. For all the Obama Administration’s attempt to make it seem like unemployment is dropping, the actual evidence suggests the figures our government releases are fudged. For the first time in American history, the number of full-time private sector workers in this country has been overtaken by the number of food stamp recipients. July’s jobs report showed that only 47% of U.S. adults even have a full-time job anymore. Many people are being forced to work multiple part-time jobs just to make ends meet. So many people have fallen out of the workforce, the number has dropped to its lowest level since 1978. The main reason? A lack of decent-paying jobs:
“We know there’s a lot of hardworking people that want to be productive, we just don’t have work for them to do,” said Heidi Shierholz, an economist at the Economic Policy Institute.
Worse, once people are on the American dole, they feel stuck there with no way out of their situation and there are more incentives to stay there than to leave it. Obviously the economy isn’t providing many avenues out of poverty. The middle class is becoming less a class a more a small group all the time. Nothing about this downward spiral of a situation says ‘freedom’ or ‘prosperity’. As George Carlin said, “It’s called ‘The American Dream ‘cuz you have to be asleep to believe it.”
Inflating the poverty numbers just so it looks like the war on poverty was won may solve a government public relations issue, but it does not solve the actual problem, which is still poverty.
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Contributed by Melissa Dykes of The Daily Sheeple.
Melissa Dykes is a writer, researcher, and analyst for The Daily Sheeple and a co-creator of Truthstream Media with Aaron Dykes, a site that offers teleprompter-free, unscripted analysis of The Matrix we find ourselves living in. Melissa and Aaron also recently launched Revolution of the Method and Informed Dissent. Wake the flock up!