Would you ever accept government welfare? Would you look down on someone who does? Well, if you would look down on a fellow American who receives food stamps then get ready to look down on a massive sea of people. The truth is that over 37 million Americans now receive food stamps, and the program is expanding at a pace of about 20,000 people a day. As hordes of Americans have been forced out of their jobs and their homes, millions are finding that the only way they can make it is to accept food stamps. For many it is a tremendously humbling moment to turn to the government for help, and for so many millions to be dependent on the food stamps program is yet another indication of how deep the economic despair in America has gotten.
Most of the time you won't even notice them being used at the checkout counters. Today food stamps take the form of inconspicuous plastic cards and they can be used to purchase a wide variety of food items. A record 37.2 million people, which is approximately one out of every eight Americans, received food stamps in September, and that number is growing rapidly.
In particular, children are being enrolled in this program in staggering numbers.
One out of every four children in America now gets assistance from food stamps each month. In fact, it is projected that half of all U.S. kids will be on food stamps at some point in their lives.
So if nobody in your family has ever had to go on food stamps consider yourself to be very fortunate.
Things are particularly bad in rural areas such as Tennessee. Nearly 1,186,000 people who live in Tennessee, or more than one in six residents, currently receive some kind of food stamp assistance and that number is rapidly increasing.
But there are places where things are even worse. In fact, there are 239 counties in the United States where at least a quarter of the population now receives food stamps.
Not only that, but it has now come out that about one in 50 Americans lives in a household with a reported income that consists of nothing but food stamps.
Can you imagine trying to live on nothing but food stamp assistance?
That is the case for 2 percent of all Americans.
Can you imagine the despair they must feel?
So is there economic hope on the horizon?
The number of Americans filing for personal bankruptcy rose by nearly a third in 2009.
In addition, the number of people preparing to buy a home in November fell sharply in the latest sign that the housing market may be headed for another downturn.
So more Americans are going to go broke.
And more Americans are going to lose their homes.
And a whole more Americans are going to end up on food stamps.
Can you feel the despair in the air?