Politics

Food Stamp Nation is now larger than the full-time private-sector workforce

Food Stamp Nation is now larger than the full-time private-sector workforce

The Obamanomics transformation of America is nearly complete.  The most recent unemployment report, which was supposed to be mildly optimistic, was actually a fresh milestone in the evolution of Waiter and Waitress America, as full-time career and manufacturing positions vanished, to replaced by a wave of part-time service industry jobs.  If the President was a Republican, the media would be having a seizure over this, but instead they prattle about how job creation was “better than expected.”

But the news gets even worse, as CNS News reports that our shriveled full-time private sector workforce is now smaller than the number of people who receive subsidized food assistance from the federal government:

The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that a total of 101,000,000 people currently participate in at least one of the 15 food programs offered by the agency, at a cost of $114 billion in fiscal year 2012.

That means the number of Americans receiving food assistance has surpassed the number of full-time private sector workers in the U.S.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there were 97,180,000 full-time private sector workers in 2012.

The population of the U.S. is 316.2 million people, meaning nearly a third of Americans receive food aid from the government.

Those programs range far beyond the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), but that program is also hitting record highs, claiming 47 million beneficiaries at a cost of $88.6 billion.  Other programs include school lunches, the WIC program for low-income pregnant women, and a program to subsidize the purchase of food at farmers’ markets for seniors, women, and children.  The Inspector General just released a report identifying considerable overlap between these programs, to the point where some individuals may be receiving “total benefits in excess of 100 percent of daily nutritional needs.”

It’s tempting to point at one alarming ratio and call it the tipping point, where takers outnumber makers, and the socialist death spiral becomes irreversible.  The far more dangerous problem lies with takers who are also makers – the point at which dependency on government programs has spread so far through society that the fabled “middle class” is no longer independent in any meaningful sense.  When a third of the country is receiving food assistance, we’ve gone far beyond emergency safety net programs designed to temporarily feed the starving poor until they can take care of themselves.

Food aid must be one of the most insidious dependencies ever conceived, because reform will be portrayed as quite literally taking food from peoples’ mouths.  The beneficiaries are likely to excuse many other failures of government, as long as it keeps feeding them.  And since people buy food on a frequent basis, they develop a constant level of appreciation for a tangible benefit.  So does the business community, which adjusts its plans in numerous ways to take advantage of those taxpayer billions.

Meanwhile, the full-time workforce continues its perilous collapse.  The number of people who carry the heavy burden of government is shrinking.  The private sector is growing accustomed to making do without the full-time jobs it has eliminated, because every business was hit with a systemic incentive to wipe them out simultaneously: ObamaCare.  Private industry can be compelled by government to take actions that would not make sense in the context of free-market competition and the drive for greater productivity.  And these forces came into play at the same time the Baby Boom retirement demographic was rumbling through the workforce.  Arguably, ObamaCare couldn’t have come at a worse time.

Now, let’s take this rickety system, make the people even more dependent upon government for subsidies to buy their overpriced health care, infuse a few million more dependents through comprehensive immigration reform, raise the cost of doing business with Obama’s deranged War On Energy, and see if we can’t get that death spiral churning at full speed.

 

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