Do you know anyone using food stamps? Unless you live in alone in a bomb shelter and never go outside or receive guests, chances are you do. Food stamps now feed 1 out of 8 Americans and 25% of all children. With food stamp usage growing at a pace of about 20,000 daily, the New York Times claims the stigma of being a recipient of this particular government program has gone away.
Technology makes a difference. Rather than standing in line to rip paper coupons out of an easily recognizable book, food stamp benefits are transmitted via small plastic cards that swipe at grocery store counters like any other debit or credit card.
Some conservatives tried to greatly reduce the food stamp program in the 1990’s, but during this decade, President Bush charted a course reversal and made it easier to apply for benefits by classifying it as “nutritional aid” rather than a welfare program.
Traditional poverty stricken areas remain heavy users but previously affluent cities and towns hit by the recent housing bust are catching up fast, including Phoenix, Las Vegas, and a swath of southwestern Florida from Bradenton to the Everglades.
Look around. We are food stamp nation.
The Young Wealth Team