I'm going to keep things quick and simple with this week's Quote of the Week, because I think it largely speaks for itself. Let's get right to it, with blogger Karl Denninger's response to the recent revelation that over 47 million Americans (about 15% of the total population) are now receiving food stamps. That's an increase of nearly 50% just since 2009, which is costing our government an additional $25 billion annually. Yuck.
This week's QUOTE OF THE WEEK
"The last month for which data is available, September, shows over 600,000 people [began collecting food stamps] in that month alone, comprised of 290,000 households. In one month! The average handout is $278.89 per household, or $134.29 per person monthly. Note that there are only 143,549,000 people in the workforce -- that is, people earning a wage... To put this in perspective for every three people working one is collecting food stamps."
- Karl Denninger, The Market Ticker
That is awful. Setting political issues of the "fiscal cliff" or the "welfare state" or whatever else aside, the simple fact is that this is a completely untenable economic situation. Far too many people are currently receiving food stamps, and this alone is a huge indication that our policy responses to the financial crisis of 2008-09 (deficit spending, Fed money-printing) have been an utter failure.
The debt-based financial games that we've played for the last several decades have gutted our nation's middle class (death by several trillion paper cuts), and yet many would suggest that more of the same is what we need to solve our problems. Believe me, they're wrong.
It is imperative that we stop lying to ourselves and pretending that these policies work. They don't. We need to clean up our fiscal house (starting with defense and Medicare), take the power away from the banks who continue to steal from the rest of society, and most importantly stop printing money. It won't be fun, and it won't be easy, but it really is the only option—things will only be worse in the future if we fail to act today. America is a country that has always strived for greatness, and 15% of the population on food stamps falls far short of "great".