Just received this forward from a friend who's usually pretty sensible.
An oxymoron lesson.....Because she's smarter than the average bear and we've been friends forever, I took a minute to reply...
The Food Stamp Program, administered by the
U.S. Department of Agriculture, is proud to be distributing, this year, the
greatest amount of free meals and food stamps ever, to 46 million
Meanwhile, the National Park Service, administered by the U.S.
Department of the Interior, asks us "Please Do Not Feed the Animals." Their
stated reason for the policy is because "The animals will grow dependent on
handouts and will not learn to take care of themselves."
::sigh:: It's catchy and amusing and sounds good, but it's pretty simplistic and very misleading. The SNAP program is actually closer to feeding deer or elk during a really bad winter. The economy has been in the toilet and unemployment has been the highest since the Great Depression for more than six years now. It's not a matter of learning to be dependent, it's a matter of there isn't nearly enough work for everyone who wants a job to have one. Or one that can actually pay the bills. The Park Service is trying to keep the animals from using alternate methods of sustaining themselves, but if those are denied, there are still plenty of meadows and prey out there for the animals to eat. For Americans on SNAP and WIC, etc, the alternative is barren, snow-swept plains. And shame for not being lucky enough to live somewhere with enough work to go around.It isn't much, but hopefully it'll do some good. I have sent replies in the past and she's responded well, so here's hoping she passes this one along too.
Giant corporations, the stock market and Wall Street are doing better than ever, but the rest of America, the part where most people live and try to survive, is pretty damned bleak. SNAP, WIC and the other safety net programs are being used so much more now because they're NEEDED so much more now. The minute there are real jobs that pay enough to cover the bills, most people are all over them.
There's a huge difference between spending and investing. Those running things right now seem to have forgotten that. There's also a huge difference between investing and speculating. What we need is massive investment to prime the pump of American ingenuity and entrepreneurial drive. And to give average people an opportunity to work and pay their way. Our infrastructure is crumbling because we've been irresponsible and haven't maintained it for decades. It desperately needs to be upgraded so no more bridges fall down, etc. WPA put hundreds of thousands of people to work and did things that needed doing. So did the Interstate Highway system. And Rural Electrification. They also pumped tens of millions into the economy, which circulated and enriched all of us. We can't cut our way out of these problems, we have to prime the pump with massive and intelligent investment, and leash the speculators that stir things up so no one will notice that they're walking off with everything that's not nailed down.