After reading this thread it got up my ire again. If you cannot work for your money, which I do understand under limited conditions, how can you go to the store and buy lobster and steak and then just junk food up the ass?
I have seen this time and time again and yes it pisses me off, how can they afford those items using food stamps? I can understand once in a while having an expensive home cooked meal but by the people in front of me through-out the years buying junk and/or expensive food frequently at the grocery store it just seems like they are giving to much money away.
Now that they use a card couldn’t there purchases be better used like a WIC check sort of thing? Or you can only buy 5% junk food or something. I lived off spagetti for 2 months! They can live off store brand foods some of the time.
I shit you not, last time I was in the store the other morning a lady was in front of me with a cart full of hoho’s, twinkies, little debbies, and Dorito brands her bill came up too 87 odd dollars purely on JUNK. Out comes the welfare card and gets it. As I got my stuff I remarked off hand to the register lady, “Wow thats a lot of junk food laugh” And she said “She comes in and buys like that all the time”
Thats right your hard earned money is being used to pay for JUNK and expensive meals all the time!
The money should be used wisely or not be given at all. It happens to frequently for it to be a splurge (Which once in a while is fine) When a lot people who work there asses off cannot afford to buy real Kraft Mac an Cheese they have to buy the store brands but state supported can afford it, its a problem.
They have the means to split the money on the card up and they should. When the kids teeth fall out because all welfare funds bought was junk there is another bill the state (US) have to pick up.
I am not about getting rid of state help, many many people need it to recover from lifes twists and turns, what I am against is giving it and allowing them to purchase nothing but expensive and/or junk foods. When it would seem it would be easy to only allow 5% to be used for junk food and the rest has to be store brands or something.
You can judge all you want, but ultimately you have let people make their own decisions about what is best for them. And I hate it when people say “but it’s my money they’re spending.” Relax. You contributed perhaps $0.00000001 towards that Twinkie, ya big spender, ya.
If you want to micromanage the diets of every single welfare person in the country, then I say go for it. But then I’d expect you to contribute 100% of all welfare funds from your personal paycheck as well. Until you can do that, butt out. You’re not their mommy.
Junk food is cheaper per calorie than virtually any other choice. Buying junk food is the cheapest way to get the calories you need to get through the day.
Steak is still often the cheapest meat (although it’s been more expensive since the mad cow thing), and requires less to cook than a chicken or a turkey. If you don’t have a good oven (and a lot of people on foodstamps only have a cooktop), steak is probably your best choice. Cheap steak, for example, is a lot cheaper (around $3.50 a pound) than boneless chicken breast (around $5.50 a pound, typically). Soda is cheaper than bottled water, so if you don’t have a clean water source available it’s the best choice for beverage, too. Fresh fruit and vegetables are just plain out; they’re far too expensive to be wasting food stamp money on. And junk food doesn’t spoil; fresh and frozen foods do. Important if your refrigerator doesn’t work, for example, or if you don’t have access to a fridge at work and can’t afford to buy a lunch at the canteen.
Also, please note that a substantial fraction of those on foodstamps have jobs; your comment about not working for your money is misplaced. There are American soldiers fighting in Iraq whose families back home have to use food stamps to make ends meet.
Keep also in mind that some of the people using foodstamps to buy luxury items were drug dealers who had received the foodstamps in (illegal) trade. The use of electronic benefit cards has, fortunately, reduced this, but it hasn’t eliminated it.
I have wrote my congressman but not to cancel it to bring it under control.
Corporate welfare saves us money by allowing floundering businesses to keep people on the payroll and not on public assistance.
And it is my fucking business what people choose to buy when they our using public funds in doing so. Just like you have a right to bitch and moan about the war in Iraq, corporate welfare and whatever else you choose to bitch about thats paid for out of public monies.
I agree and personally know soldiers who had second jobs stateside who after being deployed families got aid. So yes that comment of mine was off and I apologize. But it doesn’t change that there are to many that waste the money buying things I myself wouldn’t buy because they are to expensive. But then again I have to use cash they don’t.
When I was on the government tiff a few years ago, you would have been appalled at some of the crap I ate. Barely a fresh veggie passed my lips. But here’s the thing – it was my responsibility, and mine alone, to see to it that I stretch my food dollar the best way I knew how. I was fully aware of what I was doing, and if I had to do it all over again, I’d probably do it in much the same way. And if some self-righteous bastard came along and told me I was doing it “wrong”, he probably would have ended up with a mouthful of fist. It was no one’s business but my own.
I do understand the frustration expressed by the OP, and I can see how it angers. But the thing is, the system is just fine the way it is. In the land of the free and the home of depraved, you have to let people live their lives. And you have to suck it up and pay your taxes.
But if you have children, isn’t the purpose of welfare more for the children? You are committing them to a possible obesity problem as well as future medical costs caused by it. Its a snowball effect, cause and effect whatever.
As for an adult who is strictly buying for themselves, well I would waver a bit and say who gives a fuck because the adults are limited by the reform’s Clinton put in place for receiving them anyway. Anyway I ranted and thats my belief and its not going to change. I am petty sometimes I suppose but if my siblings wanted to borrow money I ask what its for, if the state gives you money I think they should ask what its for.
Well, cheap steak may be $3.50/lb, but I can get a whole package of 10 chicken thighs for $2.50. Sure, they’re not boneless breasts, but I happen to like chicken thighs. And for $2.50 I get 3 main courses for 3 different meals (and not to sound uppity, but I can afford the not cheap steak. I like thighs and am still amazed at what I consider a real value in dining pleasure).
And I say let people on food stamps buy whatever they want, it’s their stamps. For crying out loud, what do you want, a bin of rice cakes and a sign, “Food Stamps Only Here”??
While the people on food stamps may make decisions about their purchases that you don’t agree with, and with some constructive shopping might be able to stretch their foodstamp value, I’m not in any more of a place to tell them what to buy than if they were paying cash.
I am amazed when people want to take away the freedom of others to choose their own food or manage to begrudge others that freedom.
The system is in place for those who cannot pay for their own food. It is partly to offset the rise in price caused by farm subsidies and artificial price supports. The benefits cannot legally be used for any purpose other than buying ones own family food. The benefit levels are set so that people can buy a reasonable amount of food, even where food is more expensive than other places, and even if you do not have the facilities or faculties to make most meals from scratch. This means that it also provides enough that some can eat quite well, and afford junk food. Restraints on prepared foods, junk foods, and even luxury items would be difficult to set up, costly to enforce and open the system to even more abuse. We already see the abuse in WIC. WIC says that you can only use it for certain sizes of the products it covers. In some stores the cost for the WIC sizes is higher than non covered sizes.
Those who have their own money to buy food have the freedom to use that for other purposes. Those on food stamps don’t have that freedom.
Goddamn right. Foodstamps shouldn’t be good for anything except beans, rice, powdered milk, and water. How DARE those people make their own purchasing decisions? Ignorant fucking paupers. I say we appoint LookingAround to be Food Stamp Czar, personally vetting each and every purchase made by food-stamp-using scum.
When I was on food stamps, cheap steak was $1.69 a pound; the best price I could get in chicken that wasn’t a whole bird (which I didn’t have time to cook, since I was trying to work, go to school, and raise children all at the same time) was about $2.79 a pound. Prices have changed some since then.
One of the problems with placing restrictions on what can be bought with food stamps is the stores will raise the price of “approved” foods relative to “unapproved” foods in order to more effectively exploit the captive market. Non-subsidy customers (who are not captive) will move to lower-cost nonapproved alternatives; the captive consumers will have no choice but to spend more of somebody else’s money, and as a result often go short. The only winner here is the store.
Healthy food is expensive. When you issue a welfare benefit valued in dollars, you can reasonably expect the recipients to spend those dollars in a manner that gets the greatest value to them. And most of them will choose cheap, filling junk food over healthier, less filling, expensive fresh food and produce. Yeah, this is probably bad for them in the long term, but in the short term the choice is between eating enough junk food to get to the end of the month or not enough healthy food to avoid starvation. Which choice would you make, LookingAround? Until you’ve walked a furlong in those shoes, I don’t think you have a right to complain.
Store bought brands are a far cry from beans, rice and powdered milk and usually a good store brand is just as tasty as the more expensive branded brand.
You can program the cards using UPC codes to only accept so much in a category. I don’t see how that would be a huge problem, they already program them not to allow dish liquid, dog food, cigarettes right.
I’m a bit skeptical about this claim. Twinkies aren’t all that cheap. But even if it is true, there’s more to food than calories, and unless the people in question are emaciated, getting enough calories is not their biggest concern. It’s called junk food because it’s empty calories; it doesn’t give you the nutrition you need from food.
The OP’s complaint is not without merit. When people are using welfare/food stamps just to buy all junk food, all the time, something’s wrong. When people receiving government assistance are regularly enjoying luxuries that people who don’t get, or are even subsidizing, such assistance, can’t afford, that doesn’t seem fair. And what if there are other, worse ways the government wastes money—that doesn’t negate the OP’s complaint.
Freedom? Sure, I have the freedom to spend my own money the way I see fit. But if somebody else (whether a private individual, a charitable organization, or the government) is giving me money to help me meet a need that I have, I don’t think it’s unreasonable that they should have some say in how that money should be spent, so that it actually goes toward meeting that need.