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US Households On Foodstamps Hit Record High

Tyler Durden's picture


Record Dow, record S&P, record debt, record plunge in gold, and now: record US households on foodstamps. What's not to like. While today's gold selloff may be confusing to everyone, one can scratch off some 23,087,886 US households, or the number that according to the USDA were on foodstamps in January and just happen to be a fresh all time high, as the likely sellers, especially when one considers that the average monthly benefit to each household dropped to a record low of $274.04. This number probably ignores, for good reason, the once every four years fringe benefits of Obamaphones and other such made in China trinkets.


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Mon, 04/15/2013 - 12:23 | 3450626 Vashta Nerada
Vashta Nerada's picture

"The economy is moving at a record-setting pace."

This is how the news will be reported.

Mon, 04/15/2013 - 12:26 | 3450662 Banksters
Banksters's picture

Food stamps have replaced soup kitchens.  


The cause is the same:  Economic depression.

Mon, 04/15/2013 - 12:35 | 3450705 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture



Speaking of food records...

...our broccoli is going gang-busters.

And our pea, carrot, and rabbit production are all off the charts!

Mon, 04/15/2013 - 12:36 | 3450743 otto skorzeny
otto skorzeny's picture

That makes me hungry for a Five Guys hamburger and fries. Fruits and vegetables suck.

Mon, 04/15/2013 - 12:44 | 3450796 nope-1004
nope-1004's picture

"Foodstamp Barry".  Nice legacy.


Mon, 04/15/2013 - 12:50 | 3450820 Taffy Lewis
Taffy Lewis's picture

Exactly. Currently at 47,772,108 with a rate of more than one million per year (easy), Barry will smash the 50 million mark. Quite a legacy!

Mon, 04/15/2013 - 13:06 | 3450902 gold-is-not-dead
gold-is-not-dead's picture

This article is obviously false, dow and sp are at high levels, gold is smacked, bitcoin "bubble" has burst. Economy is lovely and peachy.

SARCASM par excellence.

Sun, 04/28/2013 - 15:04 | 3507931 Jack Napier
Jack Napier's picture

Fruit is better than most candy, chocolate not included

Mon, 04/15/2013 - 12:57 | 3450857 foodstampbarry
foodstampbarry's picture

I called it.

Mon, 04/15/2013 - 14:34 | 3451501 nope-1004
nope-1004's picture

I stole it from you.  lol


Mon, 04/15/2013 - 13:02 | 3450807 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture



I was just in a Five Guys and noticed that they had a 2009 GQ magazine clipping on the wall saying, "Best $5 Burger a Man Can Eat."

Unfortunately, the hamburgers are now $6.25.

Fuck you, Bernanke!

In regards to hamburger, our family milk cow's steer from last year returns from freezer camp this week.

Mon, 04/15/2013 - 14:11 | 3451364 madcows
madcows's picture

Right!  I never go out to eat, but I was out the other day and needed food.  Stopped at a 5 guys.  A regular burger, extra small fry and small drink was $11.  To me, that's a lot of money for some pretty average food, at best.

Mon, 04/15/2013 - 14:21 | 3451424 Sandmann
Sandmann's picture

In Europe the 20% Sales Tax makes anything inedible when you factor the restaurant makes less than the taxman and the food is the bit that gets downsized and adulterated

Mon, 04/15/2013 - 12:32 | 3450715 Skateboarder
Skateboarder's picture

Doritos and iPhones is the new Bread and Circuses.

Mon, 04/15/2013 - 14:13 | 3451381 NeoLuddite
NeoLuddite's picture

Let me fix that for you - Bread and circuits

Mon, 04/15/2013 - 12:26 | 3450664 WayBehind
WayBehind's picture

Soon enough, we will all be on foodstamps. Well, if you lucky to find any food.

Mon, 04/15/2013 - 12:37 | 3450754 CheapBastard
CheapBastard's picture

..and soon we'll all have "health insurance coverage" that no doctor will accept.

Mon, 04/15/2013 - 13:23 | 3450920 gold-is-not-dead
gold-is-not-dead's picture

Today's situation in the USA is so similar to YUGOSLAVIA in the 90's.

this building is a prime example of a failed health care funding mechanism... vacant for more than 20 years…

Mon, 04/15/2013 - 13:38 | 3451110 Midas
Midas's picture

Lean forward.


As in, Bend Over Here It Comes Again.

Mon, 04/15/2013 - 14:31 | 3451481 A Nanny Moose
A Nanny Moose's picture

"If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in five years there'd be a shortage of sand." - Milton Friedman.

Mon, 04/15/2013 - 12:20 | 3450630's picture

Well they sure as shit shouldn't sell their gold now to buy food

Mon, 04/15/2013 - 12:20 | 3450632 idea_hamster
idea_hamster's picture

Lazy ZH recycling old posts ... wait -- wut?

Mon, 04/15/2013 - 12:55 | 3450847 Aegelis
Aegelis's picture

"What has been will be again,
    what has been done will be done again;
    there is nothing new under the sun.
Is there anything of which one can say,
    “Look! This is something new”?
It was here already, long ago;
    it was here before our time." Ecclesiastes 1:9-10

Mon, 04/15/2013 - 12:20 | 3450633 ZeroPoint
ZeroPoint's picture

"Change has come to America"

Mon, 04/15/2013 - 12:49 | 3450812 1100-TACTICAL-12
1100-TACTICAL-12's picture

Cloward & Piven.. The only plan functioning properly in the USSA,

Mon, 04/15/2013 - 12:23 | 3450640 firstdivision
Mon, 04/15/2013 - 12:27 | 3450666 madcows
madcows's picture

Can we have hyper inflation while salaries continue to stagnate and record #'s of people go on the government dole?  It's a real question.  They're printing like there is no tomorrow.  We should have massive inflation.  But, nobody can get a raise, so, they aren't buying anything unless they have to.  So, we should have deflation.  What's it going to be?

Mon, 04/15/2013 - 12:28 | 3450697 firstdivision
firstdivision's picture

Think late 70's early 80's.  I wasn't around then myself, but looking at the historical data, mirror mirror on the wall...

Mon, 04/15/2013 - 12:44 | 3450784 Bobportlandor
Bobportlandor's picture

I was and that was not the same as now. Were a dying economy, with nothing to do. Who needs people any more we've got robots. Problem is robots don't buy anything, except s&p 500.


Mon, 04/15/2013 - 13:05 | 3450896 Mr. Saxby
Mr. Saxby's picture

You still need people to buy the robot porn.

Mon, 04/15/2013 - 13:15 | 3450947 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Correct.  Scarcity is going to be the real problem.  Water, food, fuel.  Barring a whole bunch of fusion reactors coming online soon, the standard of living for the 7+ billion or so is about to change.  In particular, in the 70's/80's they were able to increase the oil available to the world.  Total world oil production has been flat since 2007.  Adapt or die bitchez.  Humanity isn't just another ponzi, it's the ponzi.  Hunger games for all.

Mon, 04/15/2013 - 12:46 | 3450799 Mr. Regression
Mr. Regression's picture

I was around then.  This is different.  A lot of the inflation then was energy based.  There wasn't nearly the levels of debt that we see today.  Volcker was able to raise rates and not bankrupt everyone (just some).  Sometimes I like to listen to that old song "Ball of Confusion" by the Temptations.

But what the hell do I know.....

Mon, 04/15/2013 - 13:16 | 3450964 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Correct.  No way rates can go up now.  Moreover, the world's energy output has actually climbed since then.  Unfortunately, it has now been flat since 2007.  Yet, there are still 7+ billion people competing for a higher standard of living.  Hunger games for everyone...

Mon, 04/15/2013 - 12:57 | 3450853 insanelysane
insanelysane's picture

I was around.  We had 2 choices for Prez.  Someone that couldn't create jobs and one that possibly could and having a job was pretty much the only way to survive.  Last year we had 2 choices.  A guy that doesn't require anyone to work to eat and someone that might get you a job but you would need to work.

Mon, 04/15/2013 - 13:30 | 3451060 AlaricBalth
AlaricBalth's picture

Between 1974 and 1980 M2 velocity was exploding and labor costs were rising at unprecedented rates. Velocity has now been in a steady decline since 1997 and is currently at its lowest level since it was first recorded in 1957-1958. Labor no longer has pricing power and unions are just trying to preserve jobs, forget about wage increases.

Mon, 04/15/2013 - 13:40 | 3451142 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

Yeah, the unions did so well with Hostess...

Mon, 04/15/2013 - 13:31 | 3451065 akarc
akarc's picture

Think late 70's early 80's.  I wasn't around then myself, but looking at the historical data, mirror mirror on the wall...

I was also around then. It was where I leaned to keep the grove boss happy by tipping him 3 boxes of oranges and not asking him where my SS deduction was going since he never asked for my number

Mon, 04/15/2013 - 13:41 | 3451140 GeezerGeek
GeezerGeek's picture

Except that wages rose rather quickly then. I worked for a second tier computer company then (IBM was the first tier, all by itself) and my salary increased nearly four-fold from late 1973 to 1981. One year the company even gave an across-the-board increase to everyong to keep up with inflation. I think that mid-year raise was, percentagewise, more than I got from 2008-2010.

Mon, 04/15/2013 - 13:12 | 3450925 akarc
akarc's picture

"Can we have hyper inflation while salaries continue to stagnate and record #'s of people go on the government dole? "

Fed gives money to the Banks. Banks destroy, hide or warehouse the money. No inflation!

Money has to actually get into the hands of the people who will spend it to have inflation and holy shit if the amount of money printed in the last 4 years ever does. 

Mon, 04/15/2013 - 14:15 | 3451362 tarsubil
tarsubil's picture

Some day the dam will break. It will probably start with a trickle.

Mon, 04/15/2013 - 13:23 | 3450998 kridkrid
kridkrid's picture

Inflation and deflation are two sides of the same coin. For some period of time which has already started we will "see" inflation in the thing we need and deflation in the things we own (including the return on our labor). The pace on this will accelerate until the wheels fall off. Only we won't see that part as clearly as it will look like WWIII. It will be WWIII.

Mon, 04/15/2013 - 13:43 | 3451167 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

A simultaneous increase and decrease in the money supply is patently impossible.  However, you can have bifurcated prices for different goods...

What we have is simply cost push inflation...  costs can only be pushed up on things we need...  simple as that.

Mon, 04/15/2013 - 14:00 | 3451301 kridkrid
kridkrid's picture

This is why I put "see" in parenthesis. Didn't feel like writing the disclaimer about the real definition of inflation.

Mon, 04/15/2013 - 12:30 | 3450704 CrashisOptimistic
CrashisOptimistic's picture

The latest GDP number was 0.35%.  How can you have inflation when no one will buy anything but food and rents are not rising?

Mon, 04/15/2013 - 13:11 | 3450924 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

How, easy.  Scarcity.  Tell me, what would you be willing to pay for something you need to survive, but that is in short supply?

Mon, 04/15/2013 - 13:23 | 3451015 akarc
akarc's picture

 Tell me, what would you be willing to pay for something you need to survive, but that is in short supply?

How much can you pay? I know people driving further to work for less while paying more for gas to get there. Budgets reduced to food, rent and gas.

Considering recent ZH post re tunnel people and hill people, and other posts about car camps etc, your then down to gas and food. your transportation breaks down your fucked.

It is damn easy to get trapped in the nether land never to return. So many  of them you never see because they are not where you go. YET, i.e. your eligble too


Mon, 04/15/2013 - 14:13 | 3451380 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

None of that is sustainable, that's the fucking point.

Mon, 04/15/2013 - 13:14 | 3450941 CrimsonAvenger
CrimsonAvenger's picture

You know those old superhero cartoons, where both guys had laser eyebeams and they hit an impasse when fighting each other? That's what we have here - massive deflationary forces meet massive inflationary forces causing a standoff. At some point one will overwhelm the other and win; the problem is, there's no good guy to root for, either one is going to crush us.

Mon, 04/15/2013 - 13:46 | 3451191 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

Not at all.  It's more like some medieval knight holding up a shield (deflation) to a dragon's breath (inflation) and a bit of the fire singes his hair every now and again.  There is an inflationary bias in pricing because some of the printed money inevitably leaks through the primary dealers, et al., and is passed down the line.  While it is largely contained, it is absolutely not fully contained.

Mon, 04/15/2013 - 13:17 | 3450948 akarc
akarc's picture

How can you have inflation when no one will buy anything but food and rents are not rising?

Exactly. Proof of just how bad it really is out there. "Out there" being the people that no longer statistically exist. The Banks will just swap what they have around until they own everything. The only need for government will be to protect the banks.   

Mon, 04/15/2013 - 12:24 | 3450645 madcows
madcows's picture

Awesome.  And just wait until the full ObamaCare taxes take effect.  The damned gov already upped our SS taxes 2% this year.  What happens when healther insurance goes up on average 33%.  For me, that's more than $2,000.  Hmmm... should I pay my mortgage, electric bill, or car payment this month?

Mon, 04/15/2013 - 12:29 | 3450683 Jayda1850
Jayda1850's picture

I know the feeling, my premium just went up 20%. sitting here pissed off thinking about all the silver I could buy with that fiat.

Mon, 04/15/2013 - 12:38 | 3450760 Alcoholic Nativ...
Alcoholic Native American's picture

Well at least you get health care, after Obamacare my employer just cut our hours so we are all part time now.

Mon, 04/15/2013 - 13:56 | 3451226 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

In 1099/self employed nation, I encourage you to become familiar with line 29 of your 1040.  It is to healthcare what the mortgage interest deduction is to housing...  I know I keep harping on it, but as more and more people become independent contractors (performing the same jobs they did as an employee the day before), the amount of deductions opens up tremendously...  tax revenue is going to get crushed as everyone moves to part time work and independent contracting...  this is just the tip of the iceberg.  [in this case, you'd be moving a deduction from 1040 schedule A (subject to 7.5% agi limitation) to line 29 of your 1040 (an above-the-line deduction); huge difference].

Mon, 04/15/2013 - 19:35 | 3453727 StychoKiller
StychoKiller's picture

Schedule C FTW!

Mon, 04/15/2013 - 12:24 | 3450647 dobermangang
dobermangang's picture

You have to be really, really poor to get food stamps.  How's that Hopey-Changey thing working out?

Mon, 04/15/2013 - 13:07 | 3450908 jekyll island
jekyll island's picture

The cut off for food stamps in Hawaii is $69,000 for a family of four. 

Mon, 04/15/2013 - 13:31 | 3451073 youngman
youngman's picture

or you can just LIE..that is what 80% of the applicants do I least the ones in front of me at the grocery do..they are not POOR...nicer clothes than I have..

Mon, 04/15/2013 - 12:27 | 3450675 otto skorzeny
otto skorzeny's picture

funny that- I never see this kind of thing mentioned on CNBC. BUY STAWKS!

Mon, 04/15/2013 - 12:58 | 3450677 Mercury
Mercury's picture

...the average monthly benefit to each household dropped to a record low of $274.04.


Well, this probably means  that there are more single-person "households" on food stamps now than ever before which are dragging the average household size/benefit down even as benefit totals are skyrocketing.

I bet the chart of single, able-bodied, 18-54 yr. old males on food stamps over the last seven years looks like a hockey stick.

Remember: 1) EBT cards are cash handouts for all intents and purposes. 2) JPM makes more $ for each new recipient.

Mon, 04/15/2013 - 12:28 | 3450696 resurger
resurger's picture

We need to break more windows to boost the economy.

Mon, 04/15/2013 - 13:41 | 3451139 Midas
Midas's picture

Is that a plug for Linux?

Mon, 04/15/2013 - 13:47 | 3451201 GeezerGeek
GeezerGeek's picture

Windows has a history of breaking itself.

Mon, 04/15/2013 - 12:32 | 3450729 Walt D.
Walt D.'s picture

To paraphrase the late Margaret Thatcher:

The problem with food stamps is that sooner or later you run out of other people's food !

Mon, 04/15/2013 - 12:52 | 3450822 Graph
Graph's picture

Let the piece of rusty iron rest...Mickey Mouse.

Mon, 04/15/2013 - 12:45 | 3450791 Offthebeach
Offthebeach's picture

Breaking Windows is so quaint.
We need a modern, 100's of millions of steeple size breaking of windows, roofs, highways, factories.... to get the boom restarted. Civil war would work.
Otherwise we are stuck with cripple curb cuts, New theatre wings on high skools, wind farms, farms,lesbian violence shelters, and too small as Krudman says projects.
Nope, war is the answer. Cry fiat and release the hounds of rehypothecation!

Mon, 04/15/2013 - 13:12 | 3450933 Ignatius
Ignatius's picture

How 'bout, leaving your snow tires on all summer... 'for the economy, officer'.

Mon, 04/15/2013 - 12:49 | 3450811 Kina
Kina's picture

I would like to offer personal thanks to Ben Bernanke whose policies focussing on unemployment have been a wonderful success.


Just think where we would all be if he hadn't printed many trillions of dollars. Also Mr Kruggman should be nominated for another Nobel prize, just because such a fabulous smart guy.

They have saved many a banker from  having to sell a mansion or two, and kept them from the low grade caviar queues.

Mon, 04/15/2013 - 12:54 | 3450832 Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill's picture

Ben is going to need bigger duct tape to keep this hollow 'economy'  from disappearing

up its own a hole.

Krugman would let forth the Kraken if he could, why bother with windows.

Mon, 04/15/2013 - 13:00 | 3450867 ThisIsBob
ThisIsBob's picture

You're doing a heck of a job, Benny.

Mon, 04/15/2013 - 13:14 | 3450938 Mad Mohel
Mad Mohel's picture

Further proof, you can't eat gold, but those EBT cards are FUCKIN DELICIOUS!

Mon, 04/15/2013 - 13:23 | 3451001 syntaxterror
syntaxterror's picture

As soon as Food Stamp W-2 forms can be used to verify income for home loans, the housing market will reach escape velocity!

Mon, 04/15/2013 - 14:00 | 3451295 GoldRetriever
GoldRetriever's picture

Bernanke = Quantitative Eating

QEBT to infinity!

Mon, 04/15/2013 - 14:20 | 3451412 swamp
swamp's picture


Persons residing in America including millions of illegal aliens collecting food stamps. Many, even most, are NOT AMERICAN.


Mon, 04/15/2013 - 14:19 | 3451415 Sandmann
Sandmann's picture

The more you make at Chinese wages the less Americans have to pay for the imports unless welfare gets very generous. The only way to reverse this process is import controls - but it might not get reversed - too many people are doing very nicely under the current game plan

Mon, 04/15/2013 - 14:20 | 3451416 Sandmann
Sandmann's picture

The more you make at Chinese wages the less Americans have to pay for the imports unless welfare gets very generous. The only way to reverse this process is import controls - but it might not get reversed - too many people are doing very nicely under the current game plan

Tue, 04/16/2013 - 11:03 | 3456258 zipit
zipit's picture

+1 for the status quo; -99 for everyone else.

Mon, 04/15/2013 - 18:24 | 3451522 Radical Marijuana
Radical Marijuana's picture

I believe that the USA as a whole has recently changed from being a net food exporter, to a net food importer, which is another symbolic sign of the times, as the American tragedy accelerates. Of course, the ways that the government subsidizes the agribusiness (profit from junk food produced in unsustainable) systems, makes the whole food stamp thing look relatively trivial in comparison.

The distortions start at the top, and then work their way down to the people at the bottom of the social pyramid. Toroidal vortices of force backed frauds drive BIGGER DISTORTIONS. The government applies an inverted pyramid system of subsidizing all the worst things, in the worst ways, which then spreads out through the food stamp programs, at the bottom of that social pyramid system.

It fits inside of that insane system of triumphant frauds that the single best plant source for food is hemp, BUT, cultivating that has been criminalized for decades, due to the success of propaganda campaigns to demonize that plant. Hemp is the single best plant source of protein and oil. Hemp is better than soybeans or corn in several different ways, BUT, American farmers are not allowed to grow hemp for food, while they are massively subsidized to grown certain kinds of corn and soybeans, and so forth, which are then primarily fed to animals, in ever increasing spirals of inefficiency and sickness. Poor people are being subsidized to purchase unhealthy junk food, pretty well along every different dimension of analysis one looks at this ...

The growth of the food stamp dependent population is symbolic of all the other ways that Americans are more and more completely controlled by legalized lies, backed by legalized violence, everywhere, in everything, in a proportionately backwards Bizarro Mirror World: a social experiment regarding what happens when dishonesty, backed by violence, becomes too successful.

In that context, it is just about impossible to rationally estimate how collectively insane we are! The sequence of short-term "successes" driving the triumph of force backed frauds is distorting everything further and further, towards a finally psychotic degree of distance from relatively more objective realities.

Ever increasing dependence on food stamps manifests inside the context where America as a whole has become a runaway system of legalized lies, backed by legalized violence, which has gotten so bad that it now continues to get automatically worse at an exponential rate. Thus, we can also expect America to allow millions and millions more poor immigrants to come, so that the collective problems are even more guaranteed to be impossible to resolve in any good ways.

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