US To Materially Expand Food Stamp Program As America Prepares For Surge In "Poverty Effect"

Tyler Durden's picture

One of the sad side effects of the recent record in food stamp participation is that apparently the 44.2 million Americans who now subsist below the poverty line and rely on the government for basic food needs, have become quite a drag on otherwise insolvent state and local governments. And with monthly increases projected to keep rising in line with the Russell 2000 as the Wealth Effect is constrained to Wall Street, and no end in sight to the Poverty Effect, states are getting nervous. Never fear: the US taxpayer is here. In a press release, the USDA has just announced that it "will award grants to improve access to and increase participation in the
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The grants are for
state and local governments and private non-profit organizations to
develop projects that simplify SNAP application and eligibility systems
and find efficiencies in the administration of the program with the goal
of providing critical nutrition assistance to those in need." Translation: the Fed is about to add the bailout if the Food Stamp program to the infinite list of subsidies that rely exclusively on the generosity of Vassarionovich-Packard. 

And the funniest thing about the release, if one can call the progressive conversion of America to an improverished country funny, is the math provided by the USDA to justify the expansion of SNAP.

SNAP benefits, which are provided to recipients electronically, also provide an economic stimulus that strengthens communities. Research shows that every $5 in new SNAP benefits generates as much as $9.00 in economic activity. SNAP benefits move quickly into local economies, with 97 percent of SNAP benefits redeemed within a month. It is estimated that at least 8,900 full-time equivalent jobs are created from $1 billion of SNAP benefits.

So according to this Keynesian version of a perpetual engine, if only all of America's 330 million were to start collecting foodstamps, the benefit to the economy would essentially be 80%. As for the efficiency of the SNAP program, dividing $1 billion by 8,900 jobs, means that each job ends up costing a modest $112,360. That's government efficiency for you.

And the platitudes from the release continue:

These grants are part of a larger effort to end domestic hunger and improve the nutrition of all Americans in need," said Kevin Concannon, USDA Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services. "The funding leverages our state and local partnerships to better reach individuals at risk of hunger and to increase SNAP participation among eligible households."

In 2009, more than 50 million individuals in the United States lived in food insecure households--over 17 million of them children. These households had difficulty providing enough food for all their members due to a lack of resources at some time during the year. SNAP provides crucial support to low income households by enhancing food purchasing power. Increasing access to this important nutrition program will help struggling individuals and families purchase more healthy food.

In other words, just like the Libyan invasion, this is a humanitarian intervention. Perhaps the government can just start shooting silver-tipped rockets at its population thereby creating an infinite economic growth curve once everyone is homeless, jobless and hungry. We can only hope that just like in Libya, Obama will use silver-tipped rockets which can subsequently be recycled into currency, which will immediately result in several million charges of domestic terrorism.... Assuming of course there is enough physical for that modest "wealth effect" detour.

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tek77blu's picture

Bob Chapman's most recent interview on the gold & silver market, coming comex default:

idea_hamster's picture

I'm going to repo my food stamps to the Fed -- they're at least D-rated, right?

Creed's picture

I watched that Chapman 2 part 20 min video and found it to be disjointed & uninformative, a rehash of many things already stated many times.

The moderator kept trying to bring him back to pm's but he kept straying from the subject.

aVian's picture

the people will never and netflix...keeps em happy

I am Jobe's picture

I thought it was Jersy Shore and IPHONE which will make people upset . Not sure if thsi si still the case

AhhhItBurns's picture

If remote wipe is simultaneously started on every i(whatever), the revolution will begin. Far too many will be shocked back to face their realities, and it ain't glamourous.

Alienated Serf's picture





Dr. Porkchop's picture

The Cubans reacted to the loss of Soviet support by turning to growing food sustainably. They tell you that we could never feed the world without industrial fertilizer and techniques. This is true if you tried to do it on that scale. What will have to happen is what was done in the past, most people had their own gardens. That's also how the Russians survived collapse, they had already been dealing in underground economy to provide what the central planners couldn't.

flattrader's picture

The Cubans have about three growing seasons.  A bit harder here in the Continental US.

Though not impossible.

This guy's low cap/low cost model in Wisconsin is brilliant.

He won a Mac Arthur Genius Award.

Solves all kinds of problems.

flattrader's picture

There are some You Tube videos of his operation worth watching. Do a search.  The quality of some are not that great.

He's able to raise a boat load of fish and grow greens throughout the winter using a small circulating pump.  He heats his greenhouses with compost.

It is a simple, elegant system.

A guy in my medium size SMSA tried to get a conventional bank loan on behalf of a farmer's cooperative that sells directly to the public for this kind of operation.  Bank after bank turned him down explaining that if wasn't corn or soybeans, they didn't understant it and wouldn't fund it.

This kind of moronic thinking has to stop.

EvlTheCat's picture

Totally and utterly agreed on my part.  I will check them out.

Not at all the same but, I used to live in an upscale neighborhood before I removed myself from "civilization" to a larger plot of land.  I remember the fights with the HOA, when I originally started gardening.  Calling my raised beds eyesores to the community.  All because I raised vegetables instead of tulips.  Fought over solar panels, fought over raising rabbits. Got on the board and tried to change the rules.  Tried to start a community garden project on some never to be developed land. Lost at every turn.

I finally looked out one day at all the well manicured grass open areas around the "community" and realized all the land wasted by "civilized" people and their "civilized" ideals.

Oh well, he who laughs last, laughs best.


Dr. Porkchop's picture

Don't worry, all those fine manicured lawns will become gardens one day again, once hunger sets in.

Milestones's picture

I've truck farmed before, and I see all the farm land turned into 5-7 acre ranchettes with 3500 sq ft homes. Neat they have put in sprinkler systems. Small tractor, a little know how and a house big nuff to house 3-4 workers/family and bingo a worthless piece of crap is turned into a 500 family food store. It's coming. Lots of vacant office buildings turned into condo's by out of work construction workers. And the beat goes on.       Milestones

nkktwotwozero's picture

>I finally looked out one day at all the well manicured grass open areas around the "community" and realized all the land wasted by "civilized" people and their "civilized" ideals.

For me it was Fukushima. But the culture of "civilization" is utterly fucked.

Read Derrick Jensen for an intro.

I read it, didnt think about it for two years; then bam, Fukushima happens.

And all the pro-nuclear propaganda started. And I realized that humans are just too damn stupid.

We're just smart enough to get ourselves into deep trouble.


Dr. Porkchop's picture

That's the kind of ingenuity that is going to benefit us in the future.

Another guy doing interesting things is Eliot Coleman

He's been doing very interesting things with growing year round greens in low cost moveable greenhouses.

The argument put forth is that these techniques can't be scaled industrially. The response is; so what? Things are going to happen locally, and they'll have to.. because the threat of interruptions to the supply of petro chemicals will make it necessary. It will lead to better diversity and strength in the nations food security in the long run. Now, when there is a salmonella scare with spinach or something, it affects half the country because it all comes from the same place. That's a weak system in my view.

LawsofPhysics's picture

Unfortunately, you are overlooking the massive starvation and mafia hits that wiped out many people in both cases.  Having spent time in Russia in the mid 90's (to restore some poultry stocks) I heard some horrific stories from folks around St. Petersburg (they were no longer referring to the city as "Leningrad" (In fact, that might have gotten you killed at the time).   Think of the 20 million people in the L.A. basin alone and how they might "react" to the onset of starvation and not enough arable land, access to seed stocks, fertilizer or water.  This is but one city.

I say we do this "experiment", but you better understand and be prepared for the massive "correction" that will accompany it.

WestVillageIdiot's picture

We should start making bets on when that city is renamed to Petrograd.  I will take the square for June 18, 2013.  The Red Brigades will be wiping out the white armies and hunting down enemies of the people. 

Now we just have to figure out if we use the Julian calendar for the pool. 

ColonelCooper's picture

Dr. Chops - You're comment is essentially correct.  BUT, how are we going to feed the millions upon MILLIONS who live in concrete jungles and have no means to purchase/barter?  Seems to me that no matter how many extra pounds of spuds you and I grow, it isn't going to replace SNAP.

If I lived in a big city, whether I was poor or wealthy, I would be a nervous SOB. 

Mossy's picture

Feeding some does not prevent the rest from finding their own solutions. I really recommend FerFAL's web site, "Surviving in Argentina":

ColonelCooper's picture

I'll look into it. I think I have read a couple of his pieces.  I don't disagree with what you say.  I fear however, that the "solution" the rest is going to find involves bulldozers, really rank smelling fires, and a big hole.


Dr. Porkchop's picture

There will have to be a lot more people involved in the production of food, and that is fine, because a lot of people need work.

There will have to be a tradeoff made where people come to terms with the fact that they can't eat large amounts of meat every meal.

A small plot of land can be very productive, a small plot here, a small plot there, it all adds up. It's going to take place at the neighborhood level. People getting together and organizing, specializing in various things so that there is a variety of things available. This will create trade. This is how markets evolve 'organically', the local market will work out what needs to get done.

Shit will become an extremely valuable resource, animal and human. It can all be safely composted. There was once an entire industry surrounding the collection of shit, becuase it is a valuable commodity. The future is shit!

I agree with James Howard Kunstler that over a period of time, decades, that the demarcation between urban and rural will become more definite, as it once was. Suburbia as a living concept has no future. It's a poor allocation of land and a form of malinvestment that has been particularly bad since the last asset bubble, but has been steadily taking place since the end of WWII

I don't agree with the concept of running away to a mountain hideaway to ride out the storm. People in cities need to band together at the local level and organize themselves. That's the key to security in both food and in person. The city or state government will absolutely fail at this when hell breaks loose, because they'll be too busy trying to keep up appearances.

Every scrap of wasted space currently being taken up by big box suburbia will revert back to a more productive purpose. Collapse doesn't have to be all zombies and cannibals.

ColonelCooper's picture

You don't have to explain to me the possibilities, I understand, accept, and practice many of them.  What I'm saying, is that long before any of this evolves, SNAP will fail, people will burn shit down, get shot, hauled to camps, ETC.....

"Every scrap of wasted space currently being taken up by big box suburbia will revert back to a more productive purpose. Collapse doesn't have to be all zombies and cannibals."

This is probably true, but a whollotta people are gonna are gonna starve to death before you can peel the asphalt up from the strip mall parking lot and restore the class 5 gravel base to productive soil.

I agree with you in principle, but believe it will be AFTER the SHTF that this takes place.  The average American has the foresight of a lemming.


Mossy's picture

@Porkchop, I'm sure the Cubans, who have been starving, will be suprised to learn they were not really starving.

Fidel Castro was at the top of a personality cult. Everyone had to say he was the best at everything, no matter how trivial. A bit less butkiss than that idiot in North Korea, but still. He is also the "formost expert" on farming in Cuba, and he is not a farmer. Result? Famine.

Example: The farmers cannot switch from a wet season crop to a dry season crop without his permission, and he does not get told that the plans are now wrong because the weather is not cooperating.

BORT's picture

Watch what comes next:  Gas Stamps, or the Fuel Universal Car Keeper Program

Sokhmate's picture

Fuck. This could actually happen.

tmosley's picture

Also known as "fuel rationing".

Let's hope not.  I'm sure the lessons from the 70's have been forgotten by those in charge, but maybe they won't make the same dumbassed mistake again.

trav7777's picture

technology will just save us right on cue...or are you becoming a nonbeliever?

tmosley's picture

I study economics.  Price suppression creates shortages, and are short term, POLITICAL phenomena.  Technology can not save us from politicians.  It CAN save us from the gradual decline in oil production that may or may not happen at some point in the future.  The gradual decline forces more and more resources into research until some alternative becomes economical.  That level of price in and of itself will be high, and may force a reduction in quality of life.  But the price at which the first prototypes become profitable is not the same price as the 100,000,000x scaled up version, which is likely to be far cheaper.

But hey, don't let me ruin your Mad Max jerk off fantasies where humans are no more than dumb beasts.  If you want that, you can move to Detroit anytime.  Oh, but you hate darkies.  Ok, maybe you can move to the Kirin Brewery and be torn apart by Japanese looters who you claim don't exist.


Mossy's picture

Obama promised to increase fuel costs in order to encourage alternative fuel development. That means that "fuel assistance" would be necessary for the "lower income". This was obvious from the beginning, but his supporters were not paying attention.

DonnieD's picture

I don't even know where to begin. I guess I better go buy some Whole Foods calls.

WestVillageIdiot's picture

I'm going to cash out my 401k and IRA to buy Lululemon stock for the long haul.  I think that buying a powerhouse economic machine like LULU is the best bet for my future.  Or should I just start betting on transvestite pudding wrestling on Christopher Street?  Mmmmmm, pudding. 

nufio's picture

sigh. i m getting burned on my lulu puts. Its something I am totally unable to understand. No one in asia has even heard of lululemon. at least nike, reebok etc has a good brand value in the rest of the world.


Cdad's picture

Didn't we all know it would include this kind of move?  Make the citizen dependent upon the government, and the citizen then becomes perfectly compliant.

The new American Marxist/Banker party welcomes all sheep to the food stamp line.

Holodomor2012's picture

Yep.  First the food stamp line.  Then the Kalashnikov line.  Then they're hustled out into the real world to do some good collectivisation for the state.


The birth of the dekulakization brigade.

WestVillageIdiot's picture

A few million dead Kulaks is always good for the morale of the lazy and stupid. 

dark pools of soros's picture

the horror of the AmeriKulaks will be ignored like the slaughter of the farmers in South Africa 

WestVillageIdiot's picture

Did you see any video of the Wisconsin apparatchiks and their behavior when their government gravy train was threatened?  Cogs depending on the government will love the government. 


2 + 2 = 5

Love the Leader.  "Na na na na na na na, Leader, Leader." 

LawsofPhysics's picture

Classic, love it.  Everyone needs to send this to their congressmen.

Remember the mantra of the central planners - "Our survival is mandatory, yours is illegal."

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

We can all look forward to melting down into our own share of food stamp heaven as wages remain stagnant but food inflation roars. At some point they will need to either raise the income limit for food stamps of prepare for civil unrest.

Remember that this is the 'bread' portion of the bread and circuses formula. If I can no longer afford to buy a $15 loaf of bread, the government's gonna need to buy it for me. Which brings up another question. When I finally qualify for food stamps, do I need to settle for colon clogging white bread or will the government contribute to my 'regular' bowel movement by offering whole wheat?

tmosley's picture

Don't worry, Comrade, the mighty, intelligent, and handsome folks at the Bureau of Nutritional Embetterment foresaw your problem, and fixed it by adding cellulose fiber material to the bread.  "Sawdust"?  Pshaw, that's an archaic name.  Sort of like "money printing".  We aren't printing money, we are embiggering the economy!

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Well........if that's the case I'd like to request cedar so my shit will stink good.

Or how about knotty pine so when they come around for my daily buggering they'll feel the pain as much as I do? What's a few knots between master and slave? :>)

Snidley Whipsnae's picture

Remember a couple of years back when 'time dated money' to get people to spend was run up the flagpole? Now they won't have to time date the money. Instead we will be given 'food stamps' that will not be legal for use in anything but food purchases...and, if one's food stamps for current month are not used then they expire worthless.

Time dated food.

Mossy's picture

I'm glad I missed that. "Time stamped money" Sheesh.

Fortunately, food can usually be held for a couple of years.

As I recall, people can use the food stamp card to withdraw money, making the food stamp program more of a "general assistance card". How would that fit in?

Dr. Porkchop's picture

The state seems do everything in their power to prevent people from taking action to be independent and fend for themselves.