I heard a radio spot the other day, trying to sell folks on what a great deal Food Stamps are. There were two women talking about how great one of their friends was looking and hinted that she was eating right and it was (somehow) because she’s on Food Stamps.
Some times I think I have just lived too long. When I was a kid, you didn’t want anyone to know that you were on Food Stamps. Rightly or wrongly, there was a stigma attached to you if you couldn’t fend for yourself. If you were on Food Stamps, it was temporary and you got off them as soon as possible.
I’m sure I will hear back from someone that the reason for the radio spot is to make sure the poor know it is available. I don’t buy that argument at all. Rich folks talk, middle class folks talk, and poor folks talk. All people talk – everyone tells their friends about good deals that they know about. Food Stamps have been around a very long time and if someone doesn’t know about them, it’s by choice.
Some have turned it into a racket. One of my wife’s friends related a story from the local supermarket. A woman purchased a bag of groceries with Food Stamps. She went directly from the cashier to the service desk, where she returned all the groceries and received her refund in cash and left. I know you all have heard similar stories.
I admit I’m somewhat of a novice where Food Stamps are concerned. But I thought the purpose of them was to help someone get enough food to live on so they didn’t starve. I’m hearing now that you can buy quite a few things with them that some consider to be…well…non-essential.
I think Food Stamps exist because there is a legitimate need. I’m fine with that – the poor in America, especially the children, should not be permitted to go hungry. But why in the world are we promoting it on the radio like it’s the new cool thing to do? I don’t buy that they’re just trying to get the word out. Trust me, Uncle Sam – THE WORD IS OUT!
With all the budget problems we have: owning so much to China, too much deficit spending, employment trending down, etc – Why in the world would we actively be spending money to drum up more demand for a program everyone already knows about? Why is our government actively selling this program so they can increase participation in the program?
There’s only one reason I can think of for this – a concerted and deliberate effort to make more people dependent on the government. Now, why would we want to do that?