Food Stamps and Section 8 housing

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Magog's picture

Ok the road to hell paved with good intentions... However these programs are set up to help the rich and not the poor.  They actually hurt the working class.

For one, in a down turn in the economy prices have to fall to stimulate consumption.  However, we do not see price falling for food or rent as long as these companies have the government picking up all the slack.

Business has no incentive to lower prices as long as the government ensure they never face a loss...

This hurts us in two ways.  We are forced to pay huge taxes for this safety net for businesses, and as we suffer down turns our purchasing power has no more effect then an up swing in the economy.

The result is painful long drawn out stagnation.

We have to allow business to suffer, so they drop prices so we can purchase and keep the economy going.

Now all we have is falling wages, and artistically high prices because of section 8 housing and food stamps. Also you can say school meal programs are also used to keep food prices supper high for no reason. 


Cubey's picture
What do you suggest? Drop

What do you suggest? Drop food stamps and section 8? The poor would suffer worse than the rich. The rich will still be rich, albeit a bit less so. But the poor will be homeless and hungry. Plus the rich would want these programs killed. They probably consider it socialism. Their taxes are helping to pay for it after all.

Your logic is completely flawed.

Common_Man_Jason's picture
It's not only flawed logic,

It's not only flawed logic, it's completely a lie. If food stamps and section 8 housing created enough of a demand to keep prices from falling, then there would not be an economic downturn. There simply isn't that much of it to have an effect, and even if there was, it would only effect food and housing prices. And as we all know, both food and and housing prices have dropped.

I suppose the logic is...if

I suppose the logic is...if the middle class is going to be evicted from their homes and booted into the's only fair for the poor to suffer the same consequences.

It will raise the price of tents. and cardboard boxes utilized as bedrooms.

Open a shop for tents and recylced boxes..

.Probably the best way to eliminate Section 8 housing and food stamps would be to raise incomes.....including the $400 - $600 a month for  SSI Disability.. It has a cap of $600...with a few exceptions.

Not likely $400 bucks will rent a room in even a cheap slum. The disabled are simply more throw-a-ways. Hitler simply shot 'em. Maybe that was more humane. than a life of slow torture.

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease".


Cheesebone's picture
I know for a fact that it's

I know for a fact that it's not fair to bundle everyone into this category, but the problem of abuse still arises in various ways.

We all know that food stamps are only good for purchasing specific items, like you can't go out and buy a pack of smokes with food stamps. I did read a pretty disturbing article the other day about a growing problem though, with people who qualify for food stamps but obviously still are able to afford more than many others who are also recieving these benefits.

The basic idea was that, in some states, there is a deposit on plastic water bottles (and other containers), and basically, people take these food stamps, go and buy a few hundred bottles of water, dump them out, and then return the bottles for the deposit money. Obviously the exchange is a huge loss, as a few hundred bottles costs roughly $80-90 and the deposit refunds only account to maybe $30. But now it's $30 they can spend on whatever they want, that they didn't have before. Beer, Cigs, Porn, Heroin, whatever, it's cash now.

Probably a guaranteed annual

Probably a guaranteed annual income would address the problem...and eliminate the bureaucracy at the same time....along with nearly all social programs.....becoming a function of existing IRS structures..Negative income tax.

It was first proposed by Dem. Pres. candidate McGovern in the 70's and later resurrected by Friedman....probably one of the few things  that conservative Head of the Fed got right.

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

jimmy.h's picture
The beauty of a guaranteed

The beauty of a guaranteed minimum income plan is that it can be accomplished without having to rely on the Corporate State, which will never do it.  All we need to do is form an organization, or more likely a network of organizations, for this purpose.  Members would contribute their monthly incomes, which would then be pooled and distributed evenly to all members.

Of course there will always be loners who don't want a guaranteed minimum income, but we don't want or need those people anyway.  Those are the 1% of the super rich.  The rest of us would be happy to pool and average our incomes.  In fact, what would eventually happen is that every time one of the super-rich purchased food, clothing, yachts, solar panel, etc, their money would go to one of us, who would then send that income in to the pool.  Since the pool is distributed evenly every month, the super rich would eventually be sucked dry and we will have redistributed their money among ourselves.

I definitely think that some kind of a income sharing club/organization/lodge/network is the way for us to pull each other out of poverty.  It also cannot be stopped by the Corporate-controlled government.  Let the tea baggers (1%) protest all they want, but we can do it.  Let them have the government to themselves.  We will make our own shadow organization to provide each of us with a guaranteed minimum income, and leave the "official" government to wither on the vine.

What if we had a government and nobody cared??????

MarkRoger's picture
The government could have a

The government could have a program which offers part-time jobs in exchange for housing and food.  It could be offered not just to the poor, but to anybody who wanted to participate.  It would cut money out as the middleman, hampering their ability to put a value or non-value on everyone.  The labor could be used to improve the nations infrastructure. It could also be used to build the houses and grow the food offered by the program.  Labor is our nations most valuable asset.

Jimmy R. wrote: "What if we

Jimmy R. wrote: "What if we had a government and nobody cared??????

poly replies; What if the Corporate Government was simply ignored?

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

Cynthia Wilson
Cynthia Wilson's picture
I'm wondering if someone else

I'm wondering if someone else has noticed this pattern.  I work with the disabled, mostly the newly disabled, so there is still a significant element of shock and readjustment going on.  The way some conservatives react dramatically demonstrates how deep their misconception of the welfare-state truly goes.

These people honestly believe in the disability gravy-train.  That somehow now that they are disabled they've got it made.  Usually these people call looking for additional financial support when they realize how small their Social Security and/or Workers' Compensation payments are. Often they ask "How is anyone expected to live off this?"  And they want to know where they apply for the additional money they're going to need to live comfortably.

Most don't believe me when I give them the facts of disability life, and the lack of resources both public and private.  Many think they just have to relocate to a more liberal state such as California or Massachusetts. Many of the conservatives become angry and incredibly abusive, they know the gravy-train is out there and they're just being denied access to it.


I think perhaps "The Gravy

I think perhaps "The Gravy Train" is a mini-series on Fox News.

 I think perhaps conservatives who become disabled and suddenly poor have brought their ideological outlook to the table of crumbs expecting to find a banquet. They forgot that they set the table.

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"


Choco's picture
polycarp2 wrote: Probably a

polycarp2 wrote:

Probably a guaranteed annual income would address the problem...and eliminate the bureaucracy at the same time....along with nearly all social programs.....becoming a function of existing IRS structures..Negative income tax.

It was first proposed by Dem. Pres. candidate McGovern in the 70's and later resurrected by Friedman....probably one of the few things  that conservative Head of the Fed got right.

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

Years ago, far away in BC, we were talking about the economic consequences of having the timber cut go up at the same time employment went way down. It was due to rapid mechanization and automation, both in the bush and at the mills. In the north, sawmills, mines and especially pulp and paper mills anchor their towns and regions economically. Consider large mills to be "primary industries" that is, large enough to spin of secondary and tertiary industries and grow and even anchor the local economies. But a minimun annual income would be something I'd like to discuss here a lot more. Imagine if the unemployment insurance wasn't being paid out, you would have seen a cascade of small business failures by now, not that there haven't been plenty go under already, on top of even great bankruptcies than we have now.


meljomur's picture
polycarp2 wrote: I think

polycarp2 wrote:

I think perhaps "The Gravy Train" is a mini-series on Fox News.

 I think perhaps conservatives who become disabled and suddenly poor have brought their ideological outlook to the table of crumbs expecting to find a banquet. They forgot that they set the table.

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

You make a great point here poly.  I have been thinking about these Tea Partiers, and how they are actively promoting and electing candidates who want to disband and privatize all social programs.  I can't help but think how "surprised" these supporters will be when they find out they no longer receive medicare/caid, social security.  Schools are no longer free, and you have to pay to drive on most roads.  But at least it will line the pockets of some corporation, who will make a profit from programs which were once the right of all Americans. 

We live in interesting times, to say the least.

Well, Michael Hudson,

Well, Michael Hudson, speaking to the President of Brazil's economic advisors had this to say about "austerity" programs.:

It is an object lesson for Brazil to avoid. Your nation today is receiving balance-of-payments inflows as foreign banks and investors create credit to lend against your real estate, natural resources and industry. Their aim is to obtain your economic surplus in the form of interest payments and remitted earnings, turning you into a rentier tollbooth economy.

In the 19th century the American System of political economy was based on the perception that highly paid labor is more productive labor, such that well-educated, well-fed and well-clothed labor undersells “pauper” labor. The key to international competitiveness is thus to raise wages and living standards, not lower them. This is especially the case for Brazil, given its need to raise labor productivity by better education, health and social systems if it is to thrive in the 21st century. And if it is to raise capital investment and living standards free of debt service and higher housing prices, it needs to prevent the economy’s surplus from being turned into a “free lunch” in the form of land rent, resource rent and monopoly rent – and to save this economic surplus from bankers seeking to capitalize it into debt payments. This is best achieved by taxing away the potential rentier charges that turn the surplus into unnecessary overhead.

(1) above, we need to ask, “austerity for whom?” Will mortgages and other debts be written down to the ability to pay? If they are, banks and the wealthiest 10 per cent of the population will have to lose some of the financial advantage that enable them to reduce the bottom 90 per cent to a state of debt peonage. But if debts are not written down, the result will be debt deflation that can destroy entire economies. Homeowners and businesses have to use their income to pay their bankers, not spend on goods and services. So employment and national output will continue to shrink. The corrosive role of debt is the major choice facing countries today, and hence the focus of rival plans for global governance.

Fortunately, Brazil and its fellow BRIC members have an opportunity to create the classical 19th-century version of free markets, checks and balances that has failed in the North. 

Full talk is  here:

What passes under the banner of "free markets" today....isn't. The U.S. and Europe have been turned into toll-booth economies. Even the crumbs on the table are being turned into economic extractions by finance.

Retired Monk - Ideology is a disease"


Choco's picture
Mel, I think what all this

Mel, I think what all this make clear is that a mind clouded by fear is not a fertile ground for rational thought. If there is one common theme apparent among the Tea Bagger crowed it's fear. There's confusion as to what to fear the most and the corporate-paid psychologists exploit every avenue of their fear, but fear is the predominate emotion. It's hard to reason with primal fear.

Well Choco, as Hudson notes

Well Choco, as Hudson notes in his speech, the financial sector sees any economic  surplus that can be spent on social programs and the like as potentially being sucked into their own coffers. A whole new ideology ,"neo-liberalism" ,along with a new economic language and a fear factor to support it is firmly entrenched. They've been sucking those surpluses for years and bankrupting the nation and the economy in the process. I'd recommend reading Hudon's entire speech to get a full grasp on how it's done.

What is referred to as "global capitalism" is imploding upon itself. Just how much engineered poverty people are willng to accept and how far the power  of the state is willng to go to repress rising dissent are the  only limiting factors.

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

Choco's picture
I agree that global

I agree that global capitalism is imploding all around the world. I suspect the root cause of this is the ponzie scheme structure of fiat money in the first place. You and others here have said it well. Money represents value, money has no intrinsic value of itself. This fact has been lost as people have pursued money for money's sake and this hoarding of worthless digits actually contributes to the devaluation of the very money they covet.

Choco's picture
Hudson quote from your

Hudson quote from your link:

The fact that bankers can create interest-bearing debt on computer keyboards with little cost of production poses the question of whether to leave this free lunch (economic rent) in private hands or treat money creation as a public “institutional” good.

So this suggests that the Fed should really be Federal, owned and operated by the public for the good of the public.