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Food Stamps Vs Public Mess Halls


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Dekan's claim is fallacious on so many levels that it's almost not even worth responding to.   First, he suggests things were just dandy in the 19th century. That's false. Second, he suggests there

Without thinking too deeply on this, one immediate problem would be the fact that you are introducing the need for transportation... which costs money. If people are poor enough to not be able to feed

As someone who actually does volunteer work with the needy, I find some of these post are barbaric. I am fairly libertain (not tea party), and I still support food stamps. A few distinctions are mi

Vertical farm everything. Fully automate it, no human labour necessary. Control the interior environment, ie no bugs in so no need for pesticides, control temps and co2 levels, control light necessary for each plant, minimal if any use of fertilisers. Must be government run, fully automate so no human labour input means you can give it away for free. Ship it to each persons home in an automated vehicle, no human input so can remain free. We should do that with everything in society/it is happening with everything in society, no human labour required anymore. He'll let's get rid of money, fully automate everything, and make everything free and easy to access. smile.png

Until that time we could have a guaranteed basic income.....

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-25415501

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Vertical farm everything. Fully automate it, no human labour necessary. Control the interior environment, ie no bugs in so no need for pesticides, control temps and co2 levels, control light necessary for each plant, minimal if any use of fertilisers. Must be government run, fully automate so no human labour input means you can give it away for free. Ship it to each persons home in an automated vehicle, no human input so can remain free. We should do that with everything in society/it is happening with everything in society, no human labour required anymore. He'll let's get rid of money, fully automate everything, and make everything free and easy to access. smile.png

"Must be government run" is probably not possible in the US, because the government typically does not compete with businesses, and when it does, it is usually poor competition.

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the government typically does not compete with businesses, and when it does, it is usually poor competition.

I'd prefer not to take this thread off-topic, but I have to point out that this conclusion quoted above is flawed on several levels and is false for numerous reasons... Unless maybe you mean those businesses really have no chance at successfully competing with government and it was just worded oddly?
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I'd prefer not to take this thread off-topic, but I have to point out that this conclusion quoted above is flawed on several levels and is false for numerous reasons... Unless maybe you mean those businesses really have no chance at successfully competing with government and it was just worded oddly?

OMG maybe I can explain my thoughts in one post and avoid this side topic starting a new thread. If not, the moderators can step in.

 

Several governmental organizations already support agribusiness, which is a huge industry, and private agribusinesses are likely to protect their business from government intervention using political contributions and lobbyists.

 

When the government runs an organization that does things that businesses also do, whatever competition occurs is "poor" because the two entities operate with different rules. Businesses are economically oriented to optimize profit. Government organizations are not typically motivated by profit. One of the main motivators in government is to avoid controversy that may cause a civil servant to loose their job, and such motivators vary but are not usually economic; often they are political.

 

The mail industry is serviced by both USPS and private carriers. Currently, USPS is suffering from budget shortfalls and plans the following:

 

From: Wikipedia

In February 2013, the service announced plans to eliminate Saturday delivery, beginning in August 2013. According to an official report on November 15, 2012, the U.S. Postal Service lost $15.9 billion its 2012 fiscal year. The U.S. Postal Service projects that cutting Saturday delivery will save them $1.9 billion annually.

 

Critics of the budget cuts say readjustments and closing "will be a mess", may not obtain projected savings, will cause severe dislocations, will run afoul of obligations under various collective bargaining agreements, and will disproportionately affect employees who are veterans and minorities.

FEDEX and UPS posted profits in 2012.

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21st Century America issues food-stamps, we all know why, but who dares speak?

Many people "dare to speak," specifically the economists who have studied the issue of food stamps in depth and absent political motivation. The "why" is quite clear, really. They are of tremendous economic benefit and have a significantly higher return than essentially any other investment.

 

http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2012/07/the-economic-case-for-food-stamps/260015/

Those who believe in cutting SNAP funding as a cost-saving measure should know that food stamps boost the economy -- not put a strain on it. Supporters of federal food benefits programs including President George W. Bush understood this, and proved the economic value of SNAP by sanctioning a USDA study that found that $1 in SNAP benefits generates $1.84 in gross domestic product (GDP). Mark Zandi, of Moody's Economy.com, confirmed the economic boost in an independent study that found that every SNAP dollar spent generates $1.73 in real GDP increase. "Expanding food stamps," the study read, "is the most effective way to prime the economy's pump."

http://www.economist.com/node/18958475

Food stamps also help stimulate the economy more than other forms of government spending, points out Jim Weill of Food Research and Action Centre, a charity, since their recipients are so poor that they tend to spend them immediately. When Moody's Analytics assessed different forms of stimulus, it found that food stamps were the most effective, increasing economic activity by $1.73 for every dollar spent. Unemployment insurance came in second, at $1.62, whereas most tax cuts yielded a dollar or less. All the talk in Washington these days, however, is of cutbacks—even for the hungry.

http://www.cbpp.org/cms/index.cfm?fa=view&id=4036

In addition, the November benefit cut will reduce, by millions of dollars in every state, the flow of money that not only would help families afford to eat, but also would inject money into the economy. Studies show that in a distressed economy, every dollar of SNAP benefits creates at least about $1.70 in economic activity, as SNAP recipients spend their benefits on food quickly. For example, California and Texas will each lose over $400 million in SNAP benefits that would have helped their residents eat in 2014; the potential economic impact is even greater.

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@ Ed - My primary point was that the government makes the rules and prints the money. One will always lose the game if their opponent has the power to set the rules at will and change them mid-stream. It's just not feasible IMO to assume business can in any meaningful way compete with the government since they must play within the rules the government itself sets. This issue is only magnified when you recognize the government can print its own money. As a matter of fact, the post office isn't even a counter example here and actually reinforces my point. They are operating at HUGE losses and have been for a while, but still operate and at no risk. Any business like FedEx or UPS, however, would have gone under long ago in this scenario. It's an interesting conversation, though, and I think there was a thread here a few years ago discussing the post office specifically. If you have any interest in continuing the exchange, though, I will open a new thread to explore. Cheers! smile.png

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@ Ed - My primary point was that the government makes the rules and prints the money. One will always lose the game if their opponent has the power to set the rules at will and change them mid-stream. It's just not feasible IMO to assume business can in any meaningful way compete with the government since they must play within the rules the government itself sets. This issue is only magnified when you recognize the government can print its own money. As a matter of fact, the post office isn't even a counter example here and actually reinforces my point. They are operating at HUGE losses and have been for a while, but still operate and at no risk. Any business like FedEx or UPS, however, would have gone under long ago in this scenario. It's an interesting conversation, though, and I think there was a thread here a few years ago discussing the post office specifically. If you have any interest in continuing the exchange, though, I will open a new thread to explore. Cheers! smile.png

I think we agree.

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"Those who believe in cutting SNAP funding as a cost-saving measure should know that food stamps boost the economy -- not put a strain on it. Supporters of federal food benefits programs including President George W. Bush understood this, and proved the economic value of SNAP by sanctioning a USDA study that found that $1 in SNAP benefits generates $1.84 in gross domestic product (GDP). Mark Zandi, of Moody's Economy.com, confirmed the economic boost in an independent study that found that every SNAP dollar spent generates $1.73 in real GDP increase. "Expanding food stamps," the study read, "is the most effective way to prime the economy's pump."

 

Yes it kicks the economy in 2 ways: people can fill up on plenty of junk food, a great boost to the junk food and drink industries, and then they NEED to go to a doctor, we pay for with our taxes, so they can have the liberty to choose the wrong foods. If the SNAP benefit was limited to plain staple foods, like brown rice (not white rice), healthy fruit and veges, cerials, plain fish, chicken, powdered milk, maybe canned foods, and dairy. Not a WIDE assortment of treats, but when food is free, well heck, I'm glad to have it, and it should be healthy.

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If the SNAP benefit was limited to plain staple foods, like brown rice (not white rice), healthy fruit and veges, cerials, plain fish, chicken, powdered milk, maybe canned foods, and dairy. Not a WIDE assortment of treats, but when food is free, well heck, I'm glad to have it, and it should be healthy.

You paint a very negative picture, but it's hardly as bad as you suggest. Here's what is and is not covered: http://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/eligible-food-items
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If the SNAP benefit was limited to plain staple foods, like brown rice (not white rice), healthy fruit and veges, cerials, plain fish, chicken, powdered milk, maybe canned foods, and dairy. Not a WIDE assortment of treats, but when food is free, well heck, I'm glad to have it, and it should be healthy.

The whole grains, fruit and vegetables are healthful food. The remainder of your list may not be, for example the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant explosion is irradiating sea food, countries with the highest dairy consumption also have the highest osteoporosis rates, and cholesterol in meat, fish and foul cause heart attacks and strokes, and canned foods tend to have too much salt.

 

IMO a better plan, when possible, would be to provide gardening facilities for people, who could exercise by gardening and eat the food they grow. Neither food stamps or free cafeterias are a great solution, but they do service some needs.

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"...Soft drinks, candy, cookies, snack crackers, and ice cream are food items and are therefore eligible items....

 

"... Congress had considered placing limits on the types of food that could be purchased with program benefits. However, they concluded that designating foods as luxury or non-nutritious would be administratively costly and burdensome."

 

Then all junk foods are eligible. "Administratively costly and burdensome" is nonsense. But when Congress decides something like that, they cannot be wrong. Congress really knows what they are doing, right?

 

Or are junk food & drink, and pharmaceutical industry lobbyists in their pockets?

Edited by Airbrush
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Let me ask you this way... Which is better? Allowing people to make their own choices and decisions about what foods to buy/eat or allowing people to starve? Assume those are our only two options currently available. Which is better?

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Anyone stupid enough to eat junk food deserves to be eliminated from the gene-pool.

It's Natural Selection in action - the weak go to the Wal(mart)

Yes, but we pay for their doctors and pharmaceuticals for the rest of their life.

Let me ask you this way... Which is better? Allowing people to make their own choices and decisions about what foods to buy/eat or allowing people to starve? Assume those are our only two options currently available. Which is better?

Why would people starve if there is powdered milk and brown rice available? They don't need the Twinkies and Coca Cola.

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My point was to illustrate that it's better people have access to bad food than none at all.

Usually you have good arguments, but this one is weak. Your illustration is unrealistic. Either people get to choose ANYTHING THEY WANT that falls under the Congress-defined, allowed foods, or they starve to death.

Edited by Airbrush
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But that's not my argument. My post was more of a question to you so I could better understand YOUR position. I'm reminding you first that we do limit which foods are available via food stamps already, but even with those limits some candies and other such goods can be obtained. Alcohol and cigarettes and other similar goods cannot (unless you trade someone for their alcohol using your food stamps to them as payment, a situation itself mitigated somewhat with the SNAP debit cards now in use instead of actual stamps).

 

So, I wonder... would you rather have no food stamps at all and thus not be able to eat, or leave it as is and accept that not all people will make the same food choices you would?

 

Part of the reason this is important is because very frequently those people who need food stamps the most don't have access to the same high quality nutritious food that you and I do, so (while rooted in good intentions) I find it a bit short-sighted to try further restricting what foods stamps will cover. Check out the concept of a food desert if you're not already familiar with it.

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But that's not my argument. My post was more of a question to you so I could better understand YOUR position.....

So, I wonder... would you rather have no food stamps at all and thus not be able to eat, or leave it as is and accept that not all people will make the same food choices you would?

 

....Check out the concept of a food desert if you're not already familiar with it.

Good question. Now I propose (many and local) food dispensaries in the "food deserts" (like marijuana dispensaries) where you can get filtered water, all kinds of dried beans, rice, wheat, barley, bread, cereals, legumes, milk powder, and at least canned veges and a few animal proteins. Food stamps can only be used at those dispensaries, OR the produce section of any market (where you can get a reasonable supply of free fruit and veges.) That way you cannot go to the market and fill up your cart with Twinkies, Potato Chips, and Coca Cola, once every month.

 

But like the poster above pointed out, centralized food prep will reduce some problems.

 

Endy0816: "Food preparation can be an issue. Energy needed, time, water for dish sanitation, and a location to do all this at."

Edited by Airbrush
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Why do some people in America need "food stamps". Surely they could get a job, earn some money, and buy their own food

 

I mean, can anyone in 21st century America really be hungry, except through personal incompetence?

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Why do some people in America need "food stamps". Surely they could get a job, earn some money, and buy their own food

 

I mean, can anyone in 21st century America really be hungry, except through personal incompetence?

 

And why should the government not be there to provide a safety net for those who for some reason fail to provide for themselves and importantly for their children and dependants. It's called society - some might say it is what makes us human

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Surely they could get a job, earn some money, and buy their own food

Can you expand on why you think this is true? It seems contrary to certain basic facts, like the fact that there are currently 3-4 unemployed people for every one job vacancy available.

http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/12/31/rand-slaps-down-rand/

the whole notion that the way to cure unemployment is to slash aid to the unemployed is an astonishing case of sloppy thinking allied to cruelty. <snip> It’s fallacious at two levels.

 

First, the notion that unemployment benefits have a major negative impact on job search is no longer supported by most labor economists. The papers right-wingers love to cite are, in general, two or more decades old; it’s now generally believed that much of the apparent effect of benefit expiration came from the way firms handled temporary layoffs, which are much less common than they used to be. Evidence from recent data shows much smaller effects.

 

Second, and at a deeper level: The level of unemployment in America today has nothing to do with job search or the lack thereof. Think about it. It’s possible (though dubious) that an individual worker who is currently unemployed may increase his or her chances of getting a new job by engaging in heroic efforts — making hundreds of phone calls per week, expressing a willingness to accept minimum wage or less, whatever. But none of this gives employers any incentive to create a new job. All this worker can do is move closer to the head of the line, getting a job that would otherwise have gone to someone else.

 

And the reason for this condition is that we have a depressed economy, where the number of jobs is limited by inadequate demand.

 

You can argue that in an economy nearing full employment, generous unemployment benefits can limit employment, because they may cause the economy to start experiencing inflation sooner than it otherwise would. Or, if you like, you can say that UI may raise the natural rate of unemployment. But none of that is relevant now.

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There weren't any food stamps in 19th century America. Everyone had to fend for themselves, without government handouts. No safety net. That's how the strong USA was created.

 

Now the USA is being weakened by food stamps, which reward incompetence. And that will lead to the end of your country.

 

Isn't that Darwinian reality?

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Why do some people in America need "food stamps". Surely they could get a job, earn some money, and buy their own food

 

I mean, can anyone in 21st century America really be hungry, except through personal incompetence?

One example of a person who might need food stamps is a quadriplegic, another is an elderly person. Not everyone can work, for example my father-in-law who is 99 years old.

Edited by EdEarl
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