Food Stamp Usage Across The U.S.

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It’s higher than you think. Smart of the NYTimes to run this major piece on Food Stamps on the weekend following Thanksgiving. The number of food stamp recipients has risen by nearly 10 million over the past two years; the program that now feeds 1 in 8 Americans and nearly 1 in 4 children. Click for an interactive graphic that gives a county by county numbers.

You will remember it was just two weeks ago that Kathy pointed to the The USDA’s 2008 report finding that hunger in U.S. at a 14-year high, “a third of these struggling households had what the researchers called ‘very low food security,’ meaning lack of money forced members to skip meals, cut portions or otherwise forgo food at some point in the year.”

  

33 Comments

  1. Don't it make your Red States… Blue. (apologies to Crystal Gayle)

    Was somebody hoping that no one would notice that the part of the country that purports to be for a smaller government and against “give away” programs are the people and places that use them the most?.. Well, it didn't work.

    Caveat: I wrote “give away” in quotes because I personally don't see the food stamp program that way.

  2. I really do wish that those republican welfare states would stop taking my tax dollars and do the right thing: secede.

  3. Did it ever occur to you that high usage leads to people being against the programs? The south already tried that “succession” thing: it didn't go well.

  4. I'm not making a political statement here…. just an observation with political consequences….

    Interesting that the states with the “highest usage” and greatest percentage increase are predominately red states. The point (not political) being that (just looking at these figures without regard to economic indicators) these states are feeling the economic downturn the greatest. The political consequence would be falling support for Obama, or whoever is perceived as being the “failure”.

    As a side note… the thing about economic indicators is that they don't always tell the whole story. For instance the stock market has been increasing, yet more people are filing for unemployment. Stock markets don't vote, people do. So these figures illustrate how people are actually fairing, not how the economy is doing.

  5. The south already tried that “succession” thing: it didn't go well.

    It's Secession, not succession…
    We have learned our lesson, this time we'll let you go. Good riddance to bad trash.

  6. Educate the children in those dark blue areas and watch the numbers change.

  7. Educate the children in those dark blue areas and watch the numbers change.

    No, they'll just move to the light blue areas, and the dark blue will stay on welfare and vote republican…

  8. It's Secession, not succession…

    Noted. Thanks for the correction.

    the dark blue will stay on welfare and vote republican…

    You know, DQ, that's the first time I've heard anyone say that welfare recipients tend to vote Republican (formal names should be capitalized). That certainly puts a spin on all the ACORN accusations.

  9. Actually, look at the counties with sizable white food stamp usage. Yes, it correlates quite well with the “McCain Belt” counties that went more heavily for the GOP in 2008 than in 2004. In other words: Appalachia, the Upper South, the Ozarks and Eastern Oklahoma.

    Here's a great stat for you: In Jackson County, Kentucky 32% of all whites are on food stamps. Jackson County gave 91% of its vote to John McCain.

    In Hancock County, Tennessee 38% of whites are on food stamps. It gave over 70% to McCain.

  10. “Food security” is an irritating term, but it isn't surprising, either — sadly.

    Reporting on the increase in hunger was done on Kathy's thread earlier. No doubt it's due to the recession. Reporting about hunger, “crises,” etc., happens all the time. Nothing new there. Nor is the institutionalization of the food stamp program.

    Zandi, in his bang-for-the-buck “stimulus” measure list, put food stamps at or near the top of effectiveness.

    * * *

    Secession or even expulsion? Bluezies and libbies are always late to the issue. They usually decry the subjects and use them as a handy excuse to abuse non-liberals; only after Bush was elected did they howl about seceding themselves. (None of them had even the basic smarts to describe the basics, such as seceding in parts of the nation adjacent to Canada, and joining Canada; they typically have no clue about things like territorial division and assumption of so much of the US federal debt if they leave, etc.).

    * * *

    On red and blue states, and recession:

    http://theelectoralmap.com/2009/08/13/red-state

  11. Its actually common practice in many of the big family tight nit church areas, in fact the quiver full sect uses food stamps often as do mormons. Some of the worst abuses have been reported in bigamist enclaves for obvious reasons. The first time I began hearing about it I was stunned as well but over time it made more sense, they seem to hate the programs for everyone but themselves.

  12. At first glance it looks like this could be a reflection of the continuing economic inequality based on race. Many of the highest counties are Native American reservations, border counties of Mexico, and African American pockets of long standing poverty.

  13. You know, DQ, that's the first time I've heard anyone say that welfare recipients tend to vote Republican (formal names should be capitalized).

    In this particular case most of the welfare recipients would rather eat shit than give a wooden nickel to a negro.

    Sell Elrod's comment.

  14. Looks like my midwest-only viewpoint bit me again. In the town that I work in, there's a large group of people that alternate between jobs and unemployment, do a lot of cash-only work, or sponge off of their parents. Marriage among the poor and lower middle class is mostly dead, so the concept of family has become a little fuzzier. Multi-generational poverty is becoming commonplace. When I was in Indianapolis, the Republicans had control with only a few Democrats, but quite a few of the poor were working poor. Around here, the Democrats seem pretty much entrenched here, but I don't think that the poor are the ones voting.

    I'm sure that there are historical reasons for the differences, but darned if I know what they are.

  15. “Was somebody hoping that if they painted the Red States BLUE that no one would notice that the part of the country that purports to be for a smaller government and against “give away” programs are the people and places that use them the most?.. Well, it didn't work.”

    Steve…. You're looking at this with a fatal flaw.
    The south was overwhelmingly Democrat and “big government” prior to the Civil Rights Act years in the 60's. FDR mandated these programs and the south went lockstep for it, and became “entitlement minded”. Then they became Republicans in the 60's. Well, the entitlement-mindedness is still there, but the party changed.

    This is not a place for partisanship. If people need food, I've got no problem with my tax dollars going to feed them (even if it is unconstitutional).

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  17. The south was overwhelmingly Democrat and “big government” prior to the Civil Rights Act years in the 60's. FDR mandated these programs and the south went lockstep for it, and became “entitlement minded”. Then they became Republicans in the 60's. Well, the entitlement-mindedness is still there, but the party changed.

    As I have said in the past and will say again: They (the white majority) would rather eat shit than give a wooden nickel to a negro.

    If people need food, I've got no problem with my tax dollars going to feed them

    What happened to all that good tenther crap? If the state are south of the Mason-Dixon line and it voted republican for the last thirty years, f**k them they are getting exactly what they deserve…

    And please, feel free to secede…

  18. It also has an ethnic slant to it in ethnic areas the poor vote Dem but in poor white areas it trends the other direction. The other thing is largely much like you said they just dont vote at all but those not voting help to amplify those that do for some burning reason and often that burning reason is an ideology often formed from talk radio and little else. The other sect is actually much larger though, those that vote GOP because the other side are evil commies(see the reverse in major cities against the GOP). Meaning its just become part of their culture and that is true in much of the rural south in my experience and many of them do not think the GOP would dismantle SS or food stamps/welfare. Its as if they feel they have a right and will always have a right no matter what changes to food stamps and social programs but they want those “other people off.” The other people I leave undefined because the “other people” tend to vary though it often falls along racial lines and oddly usually only a single race(either Latinos or African Americans but rarely both which I find odd). Of course another complication is some of the best economic areas and highly educated vote Dem as well which makes trends a bit hard to understand. For instance in Bloomington which is not really a poor area but strongly Dem but its very different from Indianapolis where you have areas that almost always run Dem in poor neighborhoods and a handful of areas in a sea of GOP voters. Indiana is kind of instructive though if you think about it. In Gary they vote Dem because it is basically part of their culture and Bloomington due to high education but Indy votes GOP in many areas due to many rurally raised children moving to Indy when they grew up so the transplants keep the culture of their youth due to proximity to their home town. Just a guess but I do find it interesting.

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  20. It's not just the south, goofy. Look at the “redstate” areas with little or no food stamp usage. Other than the south, the rest of the nation looks identical to the Obama-vs-McCain map – with the high food-stamp use the same as the counties that voted for Obama. Interesting.

    If we were to secede, and the nation were to split in half… That wouldn't bode well for you.
    We'd have a huge military, we'd have huge piles of wealth, then we'd conquer your nation with ease. Liberals tend to not be the best fighters…. Just ask France.

    You guys would have an all-gay military with 80% taxes and a party chairman for Premier.

    LOL

  21. Just ask France.

    You are aware that on a continent in which prior to the 20th century borders have changed every couple of decades through force of arms, France is the largest country…

  22. Since I'm currently in a more rural area, I can't attribute it to rural vs. urban. Maybe blue collar vs. white collar would be more appropriate.

  23. Um with the coasts and a chunk of the northern midwest I think you are missing more than a few gun bunny liberals and I am one of them. You are also missing the biggest economic giants of the country that are invested in the tech of the coming era plus a large swath of the best educated areas of the country. As for invasion you can suck on our nukes much like we can suck on yours. For all of the trade offs the GOP gets Texas as its economic giant which is a good giant but nothing like what was left behind and with the tarrifs that would be imposed some nations may choose between which side they prefer to have ties with and that would likely not go so well for the area that likes to speak loudly and carry a big stick once its stick had been cut in half. The lefty area would be very European and the rightie area would be very columbia/mexico, if this sounds good to you than have a party but I think I will stick with the europe side.

  24. France helped us win our war for independence. We would probably not have won it if not for France. Have a little gratitude.

  25. Hey…. Wait a minute, MSF……

    I didn't say ANYTHING about being pro-GOP. I'd put a social conservative – fiscal moderate nation up against a liberal nation any day. Kinda hard to defend a nation when all liberals want to do is talk and reduce the military. Besides…. All we'd have to do is say one thing then do another, and the UN would just threaten us with sanctions. But if the liberal nation ticked us off they'd be invaded.

    (I hope you know this is all for fun)

  26. “France helped us win our war for independence.”

    Yes they did. But they helped the Americans, not because they believed in our cause, but because is was financially viable for them to do so to further trade in America and cement their foothold in Canada. Had Britain not been at war with France, we'd have lost the war then as well. But like all revolutions, it would have taken place later regardless.

    Sorry if I don't share your gratitude or respect for France. They've screwed us over through history enough for them to earn nothing from us.

  27. But they helped the Americans, not because they believed in our cause, but because is was financially viable for them to do so to further trade in America and cement their foothold in Canada. Had Britain not been at war with France, we'd have lost the war then as well

    Your grasp on History leaves quite a bit to desire…

    France lost it's most important North American Colony in 1759 following the Battle of Quebec in which the British took the city of Quebec from the French following a long siege. Does the sentence French and Indian war ring a bell?

    By the time of the French had no substantial holdings in North America, the french involvement in our war of independence was a combination of ideological affinity and payback for the Brits.

  28. I think this is an area thing, where I was raised and grew up rural=GOP support but I also have to keep in mind that the area though it called itself rural was actually a white flight suburb of Indy mixed with a smaller number of actual farming families. The more I think about it the more I think you are right and that my view of rural voters has been greatly shaded in IN by growing up in Martinsville as opposed to actual rural IN.

  29. ???

    Louisiana Purchase – Historical Perspectives, 1682-1815

    Defeated in the French and Indian War of 1754-1763 (known in Europe as the Seven Years' War), France ceded western Louisiana and New Orleans to Spain and lost Canada and eastern Louisiana to the British at the first Peace of Paris. Thus Baton Rouge became the strategically important southwestern corner of British North America. The English established their own fort in Baton Rouge, named Navy captain George Johnstone first governor of the West Florida colony and gave him the power to grant lands.

    n October, 1802, the Spanish intendant at new Orleans arbitrarily suspended the right of deposit. This action and the retrocession of Louisiana to France caused immediate consternation among the people of the West and led President Jefferson to instruct Robert R. Livingston, the American minister at Paris, to seek the purchase of a tract of land on the lower Mississippi to be used as a port. Early in 1803, James Monroe was sent as a minister plenipotentiary to France to participate in these negotiations. He was authorized to offer as much as ten million dollars for New Orleans and West Florida. But even before Monroe arrived in Paris, Napoleon, unable to suppress a slave rebellion in Santo Domingo, had abandoned his plan

    By 1803, Louisiana had 50,000 inhabitants, approximately 28,000 of them slaves, with 10,000 of the total population living in New Orleans. Numbers had increased because of Spain's liberal land policies, the inclusion in the count of the residents of British West Florida ceded to Spain at the end of the American Revolution and the arrival of the Acadians.

    So in 1776 Louisiana was under Spanish Rule, and in 1803 when the US bought Louisiana from France there was approximately 22,000 Europeans living in it, not what I would call a substantial holding.

  30. “in 1803 when the US bought Louisiana from France”

    a) How much new land area, absolutely and relatively (compared to the original thirteen colonies and the associated western claims)?

    b) How many new people, absolutely and relatively?

    The answer to both is, a lot.  And more to the point, France had control of the land and people at the time of the purchase.  (It's no secret that its dream of an inland empire encompassing both the St. Lawrence and the Mississippi river systems was shattered.)

  31. Defeated in the French and Indian War of 1754-1763 (known in Europe as the Seven Years' War), France ceded western Louisiana and New Orleans to Spain and lost Canada and eastern Louisiana to the British at the first Peace of Paris.

    As I have said and will say again: BY 1776 THE FRENCH HAD NO SUBSTANTIAL HOLDINGS IN NORTH AMERICA

    Louisiana passed from Spanish to French Control in 1802 and was sold to the US in 1803…

    b) How many new people, absolutely and relatively?

    By 1803, Louisiana had 50,000 inhabitants, approximately 28,000 of them slaves, with 10,000 of the total population living in New Orleans.

    Once you look at the numbers, you understand why Napoleon sold Louisiana…

  32. “Louisiana passed from Spanish to French Control in 1802 and was sold to the US in 1803…”

    It was in French hands when we bought it.  Moreover, the French never quite went away.  Perhaps I'm making too big a deal of this, but my life and travels throughout the continent include the heart of Canada and the two-nations tension that exists even today, albeit mainly subdued.  As a Quebecoise put it when describing her community, and (the point here), the continued French presence, small as it is, still on this continent: “We refuse to die.”  There wasn't an absence of French presence (and even control, at least on a level that met that of Mexico over California prior to the late 1840s, weak as that was) on this continent by the Revolutionary War.  If I made too big a deal about it, then I admit I was wrong to do so, as obviously their (French) role diminished more than that of the Spanish, eventually.  You made a point  yourself.

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