The Wall Street Journal reports that food stamp-usage is on the rise and so are the number of people on the food stamp rolls. Compared to the previous May, food stamp-use jumped 2% this year, and the number of people in the food stamp program jumped 0.2%. As of now, over 15% of the American population (47.6 million) are receiving food stamps.
Although the government and media have been reassuring the American people for three years now that our economy is recovering, that is not reflected in the latest food stamp numbers. The number of people on social welfare programs normally decreases as the economy grows and jobs are created.
There are only two reasons that explain why one-in-six Americans remain on food stamps. Either the standards to qualify for the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) have been degraded past the point of the applicant or recipient being truly needy, or we are not really in a recovery.
On their face, the most recent economic numbers do point to recovery. Last quarter the economy grew by 1.7%, and last month 162,000 jobs were created. The unemployment rate also dipped.
These are the numbers our government and media play up, but almost always without the kind of context and analysis that might undermine the happy talk.
A relatively simple deep dive into these numbers, though, reveals something inconvenient to the “recovery” narrative. The number of jobs being created barely keeps up with population growth, and a disturbing percentage (77%) of those jobs are part-time. Throughout all of 2013, the American economy has only created 222,000 full-time jobs.
As far as economic growth, no media in modern times has ever championed 1.7% growth as good news. This is a new standard created specifically to prop up President Obama. Moreover, even under Obama, if you look back at the past few quarters, our economy is shrinking compared to this time last year — not growing.
We are currently living through the worst four years of GDP growth in history.
Finally, the dip in our unemployment rate is directly related to people giving up on their search for work. As people drop out of the job search (and likely go on food stamps), that lowers the unemployment rate because the unemployment rate is a number directly related to people actively looking for work.
Nothing, however, undermines the “recovery” narrative more than these stubborn food stamp numbers. You can’t spin or cheat numbers attached to something as vital to human survival as food, and these numbers stubbornly continue to prove that all this talk about “growth” and “recovery” is nothing more than government and media-generated propaganda.
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