Almost every welfare-oriented agency of the government has been brought to their figurative knees by the flood of those hit hard by the recession. There is, however, one social aid agency that manages to slog along and keep Americans fed: the food stamp program1
It is honestly surprising how the food stamp program has stepped up to keep 46.3 million Americans around the country fed. It’s not perfect, yes, as three out of ten eligible people fail to avail of the program and 14.5 percent of our country’s population experienced food insecurity in 2010. Compare the post-recession stats to other entitlement programs like welfare and unemployment, though, and you will find that food stamps have weathered the storm and come out strong.
For starters, the program itself is one that stimulates the economy. Even conservative Republicans admit that every dollar spent on the food stamp program boosts the country’s GDP by a dollar and seventy-three cents. The problem, however, is that conservatives are taking aim at this “sustenance” program; gathering what support they can from their camps since elections are just around the corner.
And yes, I’m talking about the political grandstanding of certain Republican candidates gunning for presidency.
To be honest, the food stamp system is one of those programs that must be kept up and running if we want to maintain order in this country. People can still manage to survive even when they have no house or car. Take away food, though, and that’s when you’ll see widespread crime and rioting.
And this isn’t just some random flight of fancy. The vehicle for mass action already exists in the form of the Occupy movement. If we let the unemployed and underemployed go hungry, that is the time we will see the Occupy movement become something nastier and more violent.
That’s something no Democrat or Republican wants to see happen.