Friday, May 06, 2011

The Food Stamp Recovery

Newt pegged it before the midterms, the party of foodstamps vs. the party of paychecks. Jay Cost joins other skeptics on Obama's reelection this morning:
The start date of this heartbreaking graph is important – June, 2009 is the point at which, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), the economy hit bottom and began to recover.

What we see in this graph is one example of a persistent feature of the recovery to date. On the top-line of the economic data, it often appears as though we have filled in the hole that was dug by the Great Recession. Check out this graph of personal income per capita to appreciate that. However, it is largely an illusion, a product of deficit-financed government spending – in the form of things like food stamps, extraordinary unemployment benefits, and the relatively stable federal employment situation.

Granted, when I'm out an about in my near Chicago suburb it's during the day, so most of the gainfully employed are elsewhere, but even so I know people who are unemployed or underemployed. In my upscale village and the one just up the road there are empty storefronts and one merchant, after touting a move to a more ambitious location, has moved a few doors down to a more modest one.

Wal-Mart is a bit of a haul in the exurbs, shoppers there a leading indicator, but everyone notices the price of gas---and the price of bacon.
The gas is bad enough but when at the local is over $6 -- we need to start impeachment.
Then there's the price of your house. A lot of people don't even want to acknowledge that.

Some morning mixed signals here, with this comment:
As Drudge is linking this morning, reportedly a full 25% of new April hires came from McDonald's (62k McD jobs out of 244k total April hires)
No, not everyone is on food stamps. But most everyone is worse off than they were when President Obama was elected promising change.

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