Friday, September 08, 2006

Five Years

An interesting chart appeared in the NYT a few days ago, tracking an unusual assortment of items over the past 5 years. Most of it doesn't relate to money (such as each year's Woody Allen film and the SI Sportsman of the Year), but some of the stats that do relate to money surprised me. Did you know that the number of people receiving Food Stamps has increased 48% since 2001? That seemed like a pretty dramatic increase. The average monthly benefit per person has also increased, by 24%. It's been a steady upward trend over the past 5 years, no relation to any particular event as far as I can see.
I found this article with some more background info on the food stamp program. Basically, strong economy= fewer people on food stamps, weak economy= more people on food stamps. Just another sign that all is not rosy these days.


Anonymous said...

Food stamp increase could be due to the fact that the economy recessed in the year or two after 9/11/01.

thc said...

I don't agree with your assessment that things are not so "rosey". Well, things could be better, of course, but that's a big topic. Anyway, the article explains that more folks are on food stamps now due to expanded eligibility and the fact that participation dropped dramatically to an artifical low in the late 90s caused by sweeping welfare reform.

It's interesting also that the article asserts that our economic recovery has not extended to the poorest Americans. But isn't that contrary to what critics have been saying, that new job creation has been limited mostly to low-wage positions?

Anonymous said...


How is Woody's latest film, Scoop, doing. I thought it was delightful.