The Subsidy Addiction: Jobs Vs Foodstamps

Tyler Durden's picture


In the aftermath of Friday's mediocre jobs report, and while we wait for the USDA to release the latest November foodstamp update which will almost certainly print at a new record high, here is yet another representation of a relationship we have shown on several occasions previously, yet which is always entertaining, and shows just what kind of "recovery" the US is undergoing. Presenting the indexed change of payrolls (green line) and foodstamps recipients (red). No explanation is necessary.

Some thoughts from Bloomberg Brief:

An ongoing concern is that growth in jobs continues to be dwarfed by the surge in food stamps. During the first 10 months of 2012 there were 1.01 million new additions to the USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), a 2.2 percent increase. During the same period, the number of nonfarm payroll jobs increased by 1.5 million, a 1.1 percent gain.


The results from the end of the recession in June 2009 are even more staggering. The number of food stamp recipients has rocketed 30 percent since mid-2009, yet the number of nonfarm payroll jobs has inched up a mere 2 percent over that same period. Considering the composition of those jobs – in low wage industries – the household sector is clearly suffering.


In a conference call last Thursday, a day before the jobs report, Scott Beattie, CEO of Elizabeth Arden noted that the company’s customers remain challenged by the economy. “These are customers that are living paycheck-to-paycheck, many of them reliant on government subsidy in food stamps and unemployment insurance and other kinds of government subsidies, and you see it,” he said.


Dick Boer, CEO of Koninklijke Ahold Nv, the Dutch owner of Stop & Shop, mentioned his concerns with this issue in late November. “We know that 15 percent of the Americans are living on food stamps today, and we know that most of them, even after two or three weeks, are short of money.


And David Dillion, the CEO of grocery store giant Kroger recently said that while the economy has gently improved, value customers are still stretched. “We still are getting a lot of food stamps, a very high dollar amount and a very high percentage amount, and that is definitely problematic.”

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Mon, 02/04/2013 - 09:36 | 3212926 vamoose1
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Mon, 02/04/2013 - 10:18 | 3213068 economics9698
economics9698's picture

The workers paradise.

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 10:34 | 3213130 FL_Conservative
FL_Conservative's picture

The Obama recovery.

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 11:44 | 3213364 sbenard
sbenard's picture

The Obamalaise economy!

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 11:54 | 3213396 trav777
trav777's picture

why are these people calling this a negative???

It's a POSITIVE.  It means that the "rich" are paying their "fair share."  And the poor, who are ONLY poor because they were oppressed and their wealth was stolen from them, are ENTITLED to free stuff.

That's right, the rich STOLE the poor's wealth; that's how they became poor.  They were formerly rich, probably born that way, but then it all got STOLEN by the rich right out from under their hapless noses.  Maybe it was carried off in a bunch of big, silent trucks, but it was STOLEN.  That's what I hear on TV and from the left, so it must be true because the left loves science.

And that's why we need reparations.  Because YOU didn't build that.  Someone ELSE built it and you STOLE it from them.  Now, I can't answer as to whether THEY built it or simply stole it from you, but these aren't questions you should be asking.  They're seditious and evil questions.

The haves have because of stealing.  Except asians and jews; that's because of hard work and the culture fairy.  They would have even more except for all the oppression and hatred they suffer but not quite enough to warrant affirmative action.

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 15:18 | 3213997 aheady
aheady's picture


Mon, 02/04/2013 - 10:43 | 3213156 mightycluck
mightycluck's picture

While reading through my morning links, i found a similar story WHICH IS EVEN WORSE! Food stamp dependency grows as American wages and salaries continue to fall. JEEZ WHAT A MESS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 13:53 | 3213717 AGuy
AGuy's picture

Interesting investment strategy: Food Stamps. Its a growth industry!


Mon, 02/04/2013 - 15:55 | 3214118 Panafrican Funk...
Panafrican Funktron Robot's picture

JPM up a shitload since 2009, probably mostly due to it's food stamp program.  Oh, and release of loan loss reserves of course.

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 15:15 | 3213986 neutrinoman
neutrinoman's picture

The non-workers not-so-paradise.

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 15:52 | 3214111 Panafrican Funk...
Panafrican Funktron Robot's picture

This kind of paradise.  

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 09:37 | 3212930 100pcDredge
100pcDredge's picture

I think the subsidies are just... lame.

Ehm... too low, I meant.

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 09:40 | 3212944 Ratscam
Ratscam's picture

on the chart it appears that they are levelling out ....
waiting for the next increase.

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 10:10 | 3213041 Muppet Pimp
Muppet Pimp's picture

A great way to get food below wholesale is to purchase an actual EBT card from the food stamp recipient.  I bought my last EBT card for $500 cash and it doles out just over 200 bucks a month in food.  It gets replenished monthly, so i have now saved over $1000 on my grocery bills since the purchase.  The owner of the card has a job and didn't really need the food stamps anyway. He appreciated being able to get that $500 cash though.

Virtually all government 'free shit' initiatives can be used by working folks to secure goods below wholesale pricing.  Most of the recipients don't really need the stuff, it is basically vote buying by Obama.  So offer them cash and secure the road to goods below wholesale for yourself. 

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 10:14 | 3213055 duo
duo's picture

you can do that with Home Depot gift cards that are refunds for shoplifted merchandise that has been returned for store credit.  Stand around in front of a HD and you'll see the mules.

Of course, HD, at our leaders insistance, will not try to stop theft, just hire more people to stand around and say "Hi" to you.

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 11:50 | 3213380 brown_hornet
brown_hornet's picture

MP- You are part of the problem.

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 11:58 | 3213405 trav777
trav777's picture

nah, bitch, he part of da solution.

why u tryin to oppress all doze EBTzes and sheeit?  Dey don't want that cracka shit muffugga, all that food n sheeit and nutrishun and shit.  Dey beez gypshuns n sheeit.  They gots gold toofs ta buy and rocks and dat shit need papuh

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 16:18 | 3214208 tango
tango's picture

You're so old fashioned, brown hornet/ Didn't you know that principles are for other people and it's OK to bitch about government spending while working to use someone else's welfare? The intellectual dishonesty is astounding.

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 16:03 | 3214142 Panafrican Funk...
Panafrican Funktron Robot's picture

Food stamps have acted as cash equivs pretty much since their inception, you can use them to get booze/drugs/guns.  There's a reason that, despite food stamps, a lot of children still go hungry.  The better tactic would be to use the portion of the monthly remit to the parent that is for "child welfare" and disburse food/clothing/etc. to the kid at their school or Head Start program (including giving them 3 square meals a day).  I tend to agree with the idea that adults on welfare need a lot more restrictions, including menial labor requirements, in order to get their money.  For the kids (that didn't choose their birth), I'm completely good with helping them out and consider it a societal responsibility. 

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 09:37 | 3212931 suteibu
suteibu's picture

"...and that is definitely problematic"

Ya think?

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 09:40 | 3212939 Ralph Spoilsport
Ralph Spoilsport's picture

It will be more definitely problematic on the day the EBT cards stop working.

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 09:48 | 3212965 Water Is Wet
Water Is Wet's picture

Not for me.  Food prices might actually fall to a more reasonable level again.  It's unsurprising how expensive food has gotten when the government steals money so 50 million people can get free food.

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 16:21 | 3214217 tango
tango's picture

Very doubtful (food falling). Almost every reputable financial advisor has part of their client's holdings in food because many factors are contributing to the rise - more mouths, bad weather, central bank money printing, rising price of fuel, etc. Food and energy are on a long upward trajectory until technology finally steps in to change things.

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 16:02 | 3214137 Nick Jihad
Nick Jihad's picture

And that is JPMorgan's ace in the hole, isn't it?  They process all of the EBT transactions, so anything that endangers JPM puts us all in danger of nationwide rioting. Now that is "systemically important".

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 09:38 | 3212934 100pcDredge
100pcDredge's picture

Just like some wages...

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 09:39 | 3212936 insanelysane
insanelysane's picture

It would be nice to see a chart from these supermarket chains on their % of goods sold to food stamps over the years.

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 09:44 | 3212953 Ralph Spoilsport
Ralph Spoilsport's picture

At a minimum it would be 15 % according to TFA but probably higher. The local stores around here know exactly when the EBT cards are re-upped because they have to bring in more checkout people.

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 14:21 | 3213797 Umh
Umh's picture

FWIW those are bad days to go shopping.

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 10:06 | 3213029 Magnum
Magnum's picture

A friend of mine owns a longstanding Asian supermarket and the clientele there are not all poor by any stretch of the imagination.  A few weeks ago as I was there waiting I noticed customer after customer paying with the EBT cards, and I believe there is a local state food card.  I asked him what percentage of his business is food stamp he said SEVENTY PERCENT.

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 12:33 | 3213494 spooz
spooz's picture

The clientele may not be poor by any stretch of the imagination, but if they are using SNAP:

They have less than $2000 in the "countable resources" (non-retirement bank accounts).  In some states the value of your car is also included.

Their monthly net income is not above the poverty line ($931 for one person, $1261 for two, $1591 for three...), with some deductions.  

How do you judge the wealth of the clientele?  Are poor people supposed to look disheveled, dirty, wear rags?


Mon, 02/04/2013 - 14:24 | 3213808 Umh
Umh's picture

Their not being allowed to have much money in the bank explains the nice clothes and jewelry.

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 16:43 | 3214293 Col_Sanders
Col_Sanders's picture

I don't think they *have* to look disheveled or dirty and they don't have to wear rags.

However, I think wearing Gucci boots, Lucky jeans, a Victoria's Secret pullover, an Invicta watch, and a Cartier necklace; and pulling their EBT card out of a lizard-skin wallet they keep in a Coach bag and paying for their groceries while talking to someone on their iPhone 5 is a bit much.

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 11:04 | 3213223 fuu
fuu's picture

Kraft says at least 16% of their revenue is food stamps or snap.

Congress does not require data collection on SNAP product purchases, despite such data being critical to effective evaluation (PDF)


Mon, 02/04/2013 - 11:14 | 3213263 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

The actual % is irrelevant considering virtually all retailers (including walmart) couldn't keep the lights on if it wasn't for food stamps...

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 09:40 | 3212940 goldenbuddha454
goldenbuddha454's picture

Remember, NFP's down, food stamps up= good for  the market.  Whatelse really matters?

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 09:40 | 3212941 MFLTucson
MFLTucson's picture

Are they allowed to invest foodstamp money in the stock market?  Would be good idea because they could make a couple a thousand a month watching the Wall Street whores run this market to the moon on more false hope!  One way out of Goverment dependence.

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 09:52 | 3212961 CheapBastard
CheapBastard's picture

<< Are they allowed to invest foodstamp money in the stock market? >>


NO. They can only buy treasury bonds with them. Some SNAP up the T-bills instead.

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 15:18 | 3214000 neutrinoman
neutrinoman's picture

Wow ... a great way to fund people's retirements.

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 11:17 | 3213270 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

No...  wallstreet has its own foodstamps, albeit on a larger scale.

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 09:43 | 3212952 Being Free
Being Free's picture

If someone is eligibile for Food Stamps but could get by without them should they take the "benifits" anyway?

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 09:52 | 3212978 cossack55
cossack55's picture

If Corzine knows that he can steal client funds and not be prosecuted, should he steal the $3.2 billion anyway?

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 15:23 | 3214031 neutrinoman
neutrinoman's picture

If his clients can get on to food stamps afterwards, sure.

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 09:56 | 3212997 IridiumRebel
IridiumRebel's picture

absolutely....ride this bitch into the ground.

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 10:33 | 3213123 Dewey Cheatum Howe
Dewey Cheatum Howe's picture

None of the above fuck it cut the cord

Lights out guerilla Radio
Turn that shit up



Mon, 02/04/2013 - 11:19 | 3213283 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

If someone steals 30% of all of your labor and has done so for years, to the tune of tens of not hundreds of thousands of dollars (and will continue to do so in perpetuity), then aren't you just using self help to return some of your stolen money (given the person/entity that stole it is eternally conflicted)?

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 12:01 | 3213409 trav777
trav777's picture

let's see...I paid enough in fucking taxes last year and the previous few to cover entire fucking salaries of professional class people.  So where exactly in the fuck did I STEAL anything from fucking ANYONE?

Oh you meant *I* should go on EBT...gotcha, my bad.  Because all the other taxpayers are thieves except of course me.

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 15:56 | 3214120 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

You should do whatever you like...  however, it appears that if you are only receiving back what you paid through taxation (what was stolen from you by uncle sugar), then you wouldn't be stealing anything...  you would only be getting back what was stolen from you...  although, you might just have to bump elbows with some less fortunate souls in order to get your EBT card...

PS, there is no need to attempt to fellate yourself on the board...  we're sure you have a tiny weenus.

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 16:08 | 3214168 Nick Jihad
Nick Jihad's picture

So, for once in a blue moon, Trav makes a valid point. And we can tell his point is valid, because you resorted to a childish ad-hominem.

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 18:11 | 3214523 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

Actually, trav was so busy trying to give himself a blow job he failed to see that no one was even talking about him...  his comments were completely irrelevant at best... 

Further, on the topic of logical fallacies, might want to reference this page and contemplate which one(s) this statement falls into, And we can tell his point is valid, because you resorted to a childish ad-hominem.

[you can post back and let us know which ones you find].

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 16:30 | 3214255 tango
tango's picture

Machoman, what you are doing is otherwise known as rationalization. It's as daffy as those trying to figure out what percent of taxes they think is "fair" and only paying that. Childless couples won't pay taxes for school or the DOE, anti-war folks won't pay defense taxes, anti-welfare won't pay SS or Medicare, those against the FED would not pay the percent going to interest on the debt, etc. Your attitude is really no different than a welfare mom who assumes she should get money because she is "unable" to work.

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