SNAP Conversation with my WIfe

Sunday, which happened to be the first of the month, my wife Nancy and I went to the store to pick up some groceries, and look around at the toys for Michael, We weren’t going to be long, just a quick trip. We don’t grocery shop often, because we live within our means. We get what we need, and make it last as long as we can. We have other things going on. We don’t starve, but we don’t eat steak very often either.

So, as we were walking through the store, Nancy coming up behind us, and Michael on the front of the cart, we stop to look at a treat that was set up in the center of the isle. Around the corner comes 4 adults, and 2 children, pushing 4 carts. Two adults were about 45-50, and the other 2 were early 20’s. The children were about 3 and 5 who were in the carts,. Initially, my thought was, wow, thats a whole lot of bagels. Perhaps those children like bagel pizzas. Birthday party maybe.

As the fourth cart rounded the corner, it occurred to me. Maybe it was the cart full of steak and sausage, or maybe the one that was loaded to the top with cheese, or maybe even the one that had 3 cases of soda and 10 bags of chips that pushed my mind into gear. Nancy, Michael and I don’t eat that much in month, and would be pushing it for two months.

As I lamented the fact that there are so many takers in this society, I began think about the statistics that I’ve see over the last year. In the last 5 years, food stamps have increased by 67.5%. A ridiculous rate, and by people who no doubt are abusing the system.

Before I go any further, I’d like to mention that I do know that there are plenty of people who need help. However, before food stamps came along, we as a country were able to take care of them. Churches, The Salvation Army, and other community organizations took care of them. Never was it a thought that the government should be the one to do that. When I give money to The Salvation Army, its because I want to help. When the government takes from me to give to people, its against my will. I have the money to do good, and I think I should be able to put it where I want. Not to people who take advantage of the system. I digress.

I got home from work last night, and Nancy and I talked about our days. She, at some point during the conversation, brought up that she talked about it with her dad Kenneth. I’ve always known Mr Robbins to be a pretty conservative guy, however, the next words I heard took me by surprise. He said “They are professional consumers. They add 20% to the economy by feeding the entire line of the production and distribution.” Add to that I’ve seen the numbers the government puts out is ‘For every $5, $9 is added to the economy.

What?! Again. What?! How is this possible? Taking five dollars from me, and spending MY money of things for you, somehow makes 4 dollars appear? The math doesn’t add up. These people on the food stamps aren’t spending their own money. They’re spending mine. So, we’re taking that $5, and moving it to people who don’t, and magically! turn it into $9?

The theory might go like this. Because we now are letting more people buy food, we are keeping people employed all the way down the chain. However, this can’t hold up either. If I had the extra $5 in my pocket, chances are, I’m going to spend it on Michael or Nancy. Therefore, keeping all those jobs solvent. In fact, because I wouldn’t buy anymore food with it, I would spread that $5 around, and keep more people in business, by doing business with more companies.

Growing up in the country, I’ve had my share of experiences with leaches. Once they attach, they begin sucking blood from you for food. They are difficult to get off, and have no other function. How can a leach continue to prosper if it is no longer on the host? There is only one of the two that benefits from the leach being attached to the host, and its the leach.

Translate this to the common leach on food stamps. They cannot benefit the people who are actually producing, because they’re not the ones earning the the money to pay the producers. If I’m paying them to eat (have a house, stay warm, be treated at hospitals) how does that create more growth? I can spend my own hard earned dollars better than they can, as I’ll buy what I want, and support the business’ that I think have earned my money.

The reason, by the way, that the leach is better  than the average food stamp recipient, is that at least the leach will work to eat.

I refuse to believe the garbage that comes out of the government. I will not be forced to think that giving up ANY of my money for the betterment of others by force is a good idea. As I always ask to people around me, when the government runs out of other peoples money, what happens then?