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Comment count is 36
HarrietTubmanPI - 2012-11-21

Good look attempting to look 'great' on a diet of cheap food from McDonalds and Burger King because that's all you can afford on .43 dollars a day.

Five for idiocracy.

Old_Zircon - 2012-11-22

That .43 would buy about a week's worth of whole grain rice or lentils for one person.

cognitivedissonance - 2012-11-22

And then you could sell that week's worth of grain and/or lentils to a Doomsday Prepper and have enough to buy a cheeseburger!

But seriously, poverty is awful.

memedumpster - 2012-11-22

Rice isn't food, you will die trying to exist on it.

Rodents of Unusual Size - 2012-11-22

Is it bad that I want her to eat dead rats?

TheOtherCapnS - 2012-11-22


poorwill - 2012-11-22

Not only is that not bad, it is actually pretty hot.

Change - 2012-11-22

That's a good impression of a gross person, it's real natural-like.

TheOtherCapnS - 2012-11-22

Haha, whee, and let's not even address the fact that there are thousands upon thousands of people who aren't even able to take advantage of something as rudimentary and meager as EBT. Gotta get rid of that huge legion of damn welfare queens, kicking back on their couches while you get up to go to your second job (well you don't actually have second job, but you know someone who does!). Let's slash those (semi-functional) safety nets so we can ???

The Mothership - 2012-11-22

omg you guys, I soooo wish I wuz poor cuz then I'd be all slim and shit.

Binro the Heretic - 2012-11-22

The problem with these "live for a month on food stamps" challenges is that they are always done by people who have advantages people who truly need food stamps don't have.

For example, they often have their own transportation, fully-functional kitchens and lots of shopping options.

Let them try to make it for a while in an impoverished neighborhood with poorly-stocked overpriced grocery stores. Let them go shopping and get back home on a city bus. Let them try to store their food in a malfunctioning fridge and prepare family meals on a hot plate.

sjohnson301 - 2012-11-22

I think saying "THIS" is no longer allowed on the interwebs, so let me just say "I AGREE WITH YOU SIR" and throw you some stars. Chicago Mayor Jane Byrne lived in Cabrini Green for three weeks back in 1981...surrounded by police and security the entire time. While these type of stunts are sprung from good intentions, they always end up being just that - stunts. I think we need Anderson Cooper to go live under some bridge in NYC for a month, he seems like the type of journalist that would actually shed some light on the reality of being poor.

Old_Zircon - 2012-11-22


Bort - 2012-11-22

Towards the end of Reagan's presidency, one of his loathsome homunculi decided to "prove" how generous food stamp benefits were by living on food stamps for a month with his wife. They of course squirreled away some emergency rations just in case; and after the end of the month they didn't walk away any wiser, in fact the wife's friends had remarked on how slim and healthy she looked.

I'm trying to find info on this, apparently it wasn't the Meeses or the Watts.

Anyway, are we starting to round a coner, national-outlook-wise, on this sort of thing? Back then a president could have a staff member do shit like this and not take a hit in popularity; today it flies on Fox News but probably nowhere else.

Old_Zircon - 2012-11-22

I don't see how we couldn't round that corner soon if we aren't already. The more people there are who live in poverty, the more people there are who have concrete, firsthand evidence that stuff like this is complete bullshit.

And since, at least in my entirely uneducated opinion on the subject, the current economic crisis isn't an anomaly so much as a return to reality after a few anomalous decades where the economy was artificially grown through a combination of deregulation and selling people goods and services that serve no practical purpose at prices that do not reflect their actual value (cf. Frank Zappa's stock quote re: the Wacky Wall Walker) I don't expect opinion to shift away from that trajectory any time soon.

Hooker - 2012-11-22

That woman might be dumber than Gretchen Carlson. I've seen her in a few clips that have shown up here, and her comments always have that total pointlessness to them.

takewithfood - 2012-11-22

She's certainly seems more confident about what she says; the Gretchen Carlson character is a bit more hesitant in her idiocy.

EvilHomer - 2012-11-22

One of my friends from the VA has been trying to get on food stamps for the last six months. He has a monthly income of zero, and lives in a tiny efficiency apartment provided to him by the VA. (No furniture, sleeps on the floor of course) He's a former Green Beret. Sixteen years of service, awarded the Silver Star.

He's lost a lot of weight, but he doesn't look all that good.

dairyqueenlatifah - 2012-11-22

Wow, what state does he live in? I work with three people who do have a monthly income (obviously, since I work with them) but decided they want free food money from the government anyway. It only took them like two weeks to apply and get their EBT cards, which gives them 0 a month.

That being said, your friend's story pisses me off even more than Fox News does.

EvilHomer - 2012-11-22

CT, and he's not the only one- EBT is backed up for months across the board, and the DSS had been finding creative ways to cut benefits off from folks already on it. The cost of living is pretty high here, too, so it's not like he's getting any breaks. There used to be a way to fast track benefits for people in emergency situations (PTSD addled war hero should fit the bill), but the state workers I talked to claim to have discontinued that option. He's not gonna DIE any time soon- the VA gets him hospital meals on a semi-regular basis- but it's pretty shitty all the same.

What's even more fucked up is that a lot of people I know (mostly parolled cons and crazy homeless dudes) who do get EBT and don't get it cut off, blow most of their money on cigarettes and dip. Bodegas tend to give 50-75% "under the table" exchange rates, so basically, two hundred dollars of food stamps turns into a hundred dollars of smokes- which can used, or traded for even more valuable commodities, like booze. America!

dairyqueenlatifah - 2012-11-22

That really sucks, I hope he gets better help than that sometime soon.

I guess you only get easy foodstamps with a shitty record then, because I know for a fact all the three people I mentioned previously have been in jail at least once, and I know they pull the same kind of shit (finding ways to blow it on cigarettes, booze, and just about anything else they can get away with, mainly because the little hole in the wall quick stops you find scattered through the ghettos around here don't give a fuck what you're actually buying with it). Keep in mind these are able bodied, working people, who are younger than me and have no dependents.

memedumpster - 2012-11-22

These people ARE food, why do we listen to them talk? Will this be the time in history of "food talking" where sane society humored food as people before the Great Conservative BBQ culled half the nation and fed the world blue ribbon style?

The future will no doubt find us charming, if not a bit weird with our meals.

Rodents of Unusual Size - 2012-11-22

Eat the Rich! was unnervingly prescient.

Old_Zircon - 2012-11-22

I don't know, as long as you stay clear of Shaws, Stop & Shop and Whole Foods 5/month seems like a pretty comfortable, if modest, amount of money to spend on food for a single person. If you're raising a family it's a whole different story, of course.

The people in this video are horrible regardless.

Old_Zircon - 2012-11-22

And that obviously doesn't do you any good if you live someplace outside of a major city.

Bort - 2012-11-22

5 / month can be made to stretch pretty far, if you're prepared to eat an awful lot of lentil chili. But it's nothing I would consider generous.

Then there's the small matter of food deserts; even if Hostess goes under, their products will still be on the shelves for years in neighborhoods where fresh foods are scarce.

Compounding the matter is, the folks I know on public assistance don't seem to know how to stretch a budget, much less make a budget or even make non-crazy decisions with their SNAP funds. When you buy a bag of cheap chicken nuggets, cook them, leave the leftovers on the counter and then throw them out in the morning, you're not making a smart food decision. Or when you shop at the gas station when there's a grocery store just five minutes away, that's not going to help you stretch your budget. Or when you blow your limited funds on candy and Red Bull, then spend the last week of the month trying to scrape together money for Kraft macaroni and cheese, you're really not using your funds very well.

I'm in favor of increasing food benefits, but I don't think just increasing SNAP benefits will exactly solve the problem. I lean towards vouchers for a range of foods that meet nutritional guidelines. This would be on top of general SNAP funds that could be used for a wider variety of foods -- get your god damn Red Bull if you must, but you might as well pick up some lentils and canned tomatoes because you've got vouchers.

Old_Zircon - 2012-11-22

It's not generous at all but it can be comfortable. I've got three roommates, a piano technician and two farmers. The farmers live on unemployment insurance and food stamps during the winter, and they most definitely eat healthier and larger meals than I do. I know last year one of them only got /month from SNAP and she still didn't spend it all.

A cabbage, an onion, some beans or sausage depending on whether you eat meat, and spices is a reasonable meal for 3-5 people and costs about total.

I definitely agree with you about the need food nutritionally based vouchers, and I wouldn't have any problem with a junk food tax on things like soda, candy and chips if the money went back into funding socialized healthcare and/or welfare system. I'd go so far as to say all US citizens whose earnings are below a specific level should be eligible for something like -k a year (a voucher system to ensure that it was bein used to cover housing, food or transportation expenses would probably be a good idea) regardless of their employment status.

But I still think most people have a cartoonishly unrealistic view of what a reasonably comfortable lifestyle looks like.

EvilHomer - 2012-11-22

I've been on food stamps before, and for one person, it was pretty comfortable. No steaks or lobster, but if you don't drink booze and you avoid "convenience" meals, you can make it work on 0-200 a month. Families? Probably not, and AFAIK SNAP payouts don't scale all that well if you've got kids to feed.

I know my latest "thing" is to argue from the whole libertarian/ promarket douchebag angle, but honestly, food benefits are one of those things that I think the government should be doing; or at least, that I don't mind them doing. I would like to say, however, that I'd much rather see EBT treated like a semi-independent charity, at least for funding purposes. Allow taxpayers- individuals and corporations- to pay into government food stamp programs directly, in exchange for a 1-1 tax break. That way, we can be certain our "tax" money is being used to feed starving children, and not to pay for this week's airstrike on Yemen.

memedumpster - 2012-11-22

You'd still be paying the same for the air strike and you'd be the only person in America paying for EBT. You might inspire the government to offer you tax breaks IF you donate more to killing brown people in dirtholistan though!

Personally, I think the fact that feelings of hunger don't IMMEDIATELY result in violence against the state is proof that no god formed the instincts of humans.

cognitivedissonance - 2012-11-22

No they won't. I work at a neighborhood grocery. Hostess has been gone for a week.

EvilHomer - 2012-11-22

I'd still be "paying" for the airstrike, but not as much, as a smaller portion of my aggregate tax burden would be going towards the states "basic package". And surely I wouldn't be the only person paying for EBT, right? I mean, everyone here agrees that EBT is just and good, don't they? Wouldn't _we_ be willing to see a chunk of our taxes go towards food stamps? Especially if this imposes no extra financial burden upon us?

I'd actually be OK with it if ALL of our taxes worked like that- on a "pay for what you want" basis. It'd ensure that programs people care about got funding. It'd be good for the Fox pricks, too, since they would no longer have to foot the bill for programs they find objectionable. (Both sides win!) And, it'd make government programs more accountable to the public, as they'd have to compete for a large chunk of their funding.

Basically, why not allow each of us to specify where we want part of our taxes to go- say, 50%? I could decide I like NASA, EBT, Obamacare, and the Coast Guard. Half of "my" money would then be earmarked for these services. The other half could go down the porkbarrel crap chute as usual, to be disposed of in whatever manner the state sees fit.

In fact, I'd probably be willing to voluntarily pay MORE taxes, IF I could guarantee that my cash would go towards sending kitties into space, instead of bailing out failed automobile companies.

cognitivedissonance - 2012-11-22

They don't want EVERYBODY to have the choice of where their tax dollars go. They want THEIR tax dollars to go where they want, and YOUR tax dollars to go where they want.

memedumpster - 2012-11-22

The government would insist on making you pay the same for military spending, and then raise your taxes (on you, not the rich, not ever) so you can have more taxes to pay that you can then decide the destiny of. You'd be voluntarily paying more taxes whether you liked it or not, is all I'm saying.

If everyone could decide where tax money went, we'd be all powerful, and this is impossible under any form of government.

sosage - 2012-11-22

You guys put a lot of stock in the American public putting the majority of their tax dollars into anything that was not "lottery tickets for everybody" or "build a wall along the Mexican border" or "fuck poor people who are not me or my race".

Bort - 2012-11-22

EvilHomer: you can already make tax-deductible contributions to your local food bank. That's pretty close to what you were talking about, and lots of people do that (a part of the Bort family Christmas is we save up money and make a big contribution to the local food bank).

Jet Bin Fever - 2012-11-23

So much dumb.

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