Thursday, May 19, 2011

Food Stamps, Newt Gingrich, and Street Chairs

Food stamps. Recession. Job loss.

In 2008 alone, 2.6 million Americans lost their jobs (see here) – the highest level in more than six decades -  because big business made a series of very bad business decisions, fundamentally including lending decisions, then lied about it, tried to hide it, sold those loans to others, who, in turn, tried to push them off onto unsuspecting others as soon as they discovered how bad they were. It’s so unethical, so insane, that it’s almost funny, really, when you think about it.

Well, it’s funny until you remember how many people lost their jobs, which means, of course, that they also lost their health insurance, and many then went on to lose their cars, and some lost their homes.  

And um – this isn't small time. Millions lost their jobs.

In fact, this has been the worst financial period in US history since the great Depression of the 1920s. (See this and this.)

Big business has made great strides to recover, and many made record profits over the last year or so.

Oh – wait. “Recover” is probably the wrong word here. “Recover” implies a rising from a lower place. A pulling onself up by the proverbial bootstraps. But that – um – isn’t where big business was. Not ever. No; instead, when it perched atop a precipice, when it had no more toys to throw over the edge, it squalled like a little behbeh. And Mama – er – the US government – came running, picked it up, and held it tight to her teat until the crisis was over. (Translation: paid all its debts.)

But still they cried. They cried because their portfolios shrunk and their credit ratings slipped. They squalled as the words "oversight" and "regulation" were spoken. I don't know if they cried when they laid off hundreds of thousands, then millions, who undoubtedly cried -- cried when they lost their health insurance, their cars, their homes. Oh – and their ability to buy food.

In case I’ve moved too fast here, or jumped ahead too quickly, let me slow down and lay it out a tad more simply:

Food is that stuff you get at the store. That stuff you eat. 

It costs money.

Money comes from that plastic card (and if you don’t use it, they won’t put your chips and beer in the bag and let you leave), but you have to recharge that card (think batteries here) or else it stops working. Instead of plugging it in, the way to recharge it is to have your employer deposit your paycheck into your bank account.

Whoops! No job? Well, Houston, we do have a problem.

What one in seven people (see this) -- the ones without jobs -- have had to go ask for government assistance for food. That's the "food stamps" thing. (They call them "food stamps" because they used to be sort of like giant coupons, but I digress.) It’s like – go get food stamps or go without. Get government assistance or starve. Make sense? And food is like – um – not like, I mean – the Wii. You really :do: have to have it, or you get sick and stuff. And die.

Right. Okay.

So I’ve digressed again. Sorry. Let me get back to big business and their record profits. Let me add to that that they have not spent any of that money on the US – not on workers, not on taxes to help those they put out of work – nor have they hired workers back.

They’re pocketing that money.

And millions are still out of work.

Okay. So we’ve got like all these people not working, and needing food, and so the government is helping them, because that’s what civilized countries do. They bail out big companies, and that costs like kazillions, and then it helps the victims – er – unemployed – eat, and that costs like millions. (Which, like, helps explain the big debt right now.)

And so the food is going to to the people big business fired. So - it's like a lot of food stamps because there's like a lot of unemployed people.

And the businesses still don't pay taxes, and no one forces (or evens ASKS!) them to rehire the people they fired, and they don't do jack diddly shit to repair any part of the big mess they've made. Nada. [And if you think raising taxes drives business out, that's propaganda I hope you'll explore the truth of on your own. Or hit me up if you're non-net savvy.]

And so I have to say this. I mean – I HAVE to.

Have you heard what Newt Gingrich said? That President Obama is like the Food Stamp President? Um – yeah, sure. It may well be racist.
But let's put that part aside for now.

HELLO! Is Newt Gingrich really that stupid!?! Is what I have said here really that deep, or difficult to ascertain, or understand? How can anyone cast disparaging remarks about food stamps at a time like this?

I am shaking my head. Sure – half of this is sarcastic, and half is sort of a horrified amusement. But really – really! REALLY?!?

Hey – some of my best friends are Republicans. But you know what? I would be ashamed –appalled – if a spokesperson for my party made comments like this at a time like this.

Someone – please – get that man a chair. And then push it outside.

Chairs. Streets. Screeching brakes.

Or not. 

1 comment:

  1. LMAO! I love it, love it! What a fantastic tone, and wonderful information. I really would, mostly for the sake of my students next semester, enjoy it if you went into even greater depth with this.