EBT Nation – Electronic Benefit Transfer. Since the recession ended in summer of 2009 we have added 14,000,000+ Americans to food stamp programs. Family Dollar Stores up 23 percent in 2011 while overall stock market flat.

They say a nation is not measured on how it treats its wealthiest, but on how it treats those that are struggling.  From this base the mission of the United States is becoming muddied by the large scale financial speculation that has fractured the core of our economic system.  Everywhere you look you are starting to see signs posted of “EBT accepted here” meaning those with food assistance can use their debit cards in the stated location.  Food stamps now labeled “SNAP” are typically the last rung on the economic ladder for millions of Americans.  With the latest round of information we see that we are in record territory for those receiving food assistance.  Over 46,220,000 Americans are receiving this assistance.  How is it that we officially exited the recession in the summer of 2009 yet continue to expand the number of Americans on food stamps?

The numbers continue to grow

There is little fudging in the food stamp figures because these are fellow Americans that largely have reached their final option economically.  Millions go to places like Wal-Mart or dollar stores to maximize their disbursement.  Stories of Americans waiting until midnight at the end of the month in Wal-Marts just so their debit cards are refilled are somewhat shocking yet true.  Some tend to think that there is no issue but just look at the latest food stamp data:


Source:  Zero Hedge

“The recession officially ended in the summer of 2009 and at that point, 32,000,000 Americans were receiving food assistance.  Today the figure is over 46,220,000 so in our recovery, we have added more than 14,000,000 Americans to the food stamp figures.”

What we are largely seeing is a split in our economic prospects that is extremely pronounced.  You have few high paying jobs still growing that require very specialized skills like engineering and healthcare but a large number of lower paying jobs entering the market.

Since many Americans are trying to stretch their dollars, all you need to do is look at the dollar store growth to realize where most of the money is going from food assistance:

family dollar store

Locations like Family Dollar (FDO) are up over 23 percent in the last year even though the overall stock market was flat for 2011.  This is why you are seeing EBT signs popping up everywhere.  These are locations that will accept the Electronic Benefit Transfer debit cards.  With over 46 million Americans on food stamps it is extremely likely that you have run across a fellow American on food assistance but simply did not realize it.  Is this really the recovery we had in mind?

Until we see the food assistance participation numbers dropping, it is hard to believe that there is any recovery for the working and middle class of this country.  With the average worker wage coming in at $25,000 many are just one paycheck away from being another statistic.

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5 Comments on this post


  1. Mr. Mojo said:

    Scary indeed, even considering 10-15% fraud (I’ve seen people loading their food stamp purchased groceries into their new Lexus) that’s still an awful lot of people just barely surviving.

    These good paying jobs in engineering and heath care are very hard to get even for qualified Americans. Corporations prefer to bring in foreigners on HB1 and L1 visas. Go to the IT department of any corporation, what do you see? Indians, Indians and more Indians. Go to the hospital and what do you see? Filipino nurses everywhere.

    January 12th, 2012 at 12:18 pm
  2. restitutiontouscitizensfirst said:

    Seniors, disabled & other poor have to exercise extreme discipline with their pittances in order to merely be able to afford to wipe their asses with toilet paper yet nobody is doing a damn thing about the ongoing banking criminality, redlining being done by utility companies, or making housing affordable – yea investors are having a field day – purchasing future rental properties = hello? If people can’t afford mortgages how on earth will they afford to rent – rent is always more than a mortgage. Huntsmen just killed his candidacy by talking smack about taxing Social Security benefits – shows how absolutely clueless he is.

    Our electric company creates late payors amongst the poor by refusing to adapt their bill cycle to when we get our checks. Since we are too poor to pay when they want their money, and we have to pay when we get our checks and not sooner because we literally live from check to check – that utility company has forced residents to pay a $690 “deposit” for people who have lived here for decades. Now if the only thing that has not been stolen from you (YET) is your $1,000 social security check – how on earth are you supposed to pay $690? Many homes in our neighborhood went dark as a result. Now we know that people who cannot afford their utilities will be forced to lose their homes – it was on the news.

    The electric company knows damn well when we get our checks. We are not delinquent payers except that our checks do not come when the electric company demands. This is redlining based on income. This is class warfare although I would say the greedy vultures are the ones with no class. They would call it just business just as the slumlords that all landlords are these days say it is just business while we are forced to live in moldy firetraps.

    Then the city water follows the electric company and shuts off everyone’s water for non-payment. We know our city is broke – they do this at least once per quarter just for turn-on fees. We borrow half and promise to pay the other half in 5 days when we get our check. City turns water off after 3 days just so they can levee the fine. This is redlining – making extra money off those easiest to corner – those of us with the least resource. They say they never made such agreement with us. They are effectively calling us liars.

    Meanwhile we have 2 people with heart conditions in this family but if we have heart attack we will not be able to call 911 because our phone is getting shut off. The bill is $900. Since we barely use it except for medical appointments we do not know how it is so much. They have no interest in helping us to understand how it is so much or working with us to keep the phone on or admitting fault on their behalf at all whatsoever. This is redlining.

    Don’t you know that all poor people are liars? All poor people are morally and mentally deficient? This is the mindset going on in this nation today and demonstrated repeatedly by the majority of GOP candidates as well as current POTUS. If you are “white” and poor it is double jeopardy for you because it is considered that you had every opportunity to do better so now the PTB would be happiest if you roll over and die and if you doubt me, look at the decisions that have been made by our governments and corporations the last few years. They are telling US citizens, especially the “white” variety, that they want us dead with every move they make. At least some minorities still have chances at some jobs. Regardless we need to join as one and insist on change and shout down the people who are pleading that their “community” has been hit the hardest – we are all hit way too hard. . . .ALL OF US.

    January 12th, 2012 at 7:04 pm
  3. torabora said:

    With this many people on foodstamps we might as well let everybody have them. What difference will it make? It’s all borrowed money anyway.

    Just fly over cities and bomb them with food stamps. It’s a war on poverty right?

    January 13th, 2012 at 5:48 pm
  4. expatriot said:

    I don’t know what you were getting at with a nation is judged by how it treats their poor. America treats it’s poor like scoundrels and the neo-cons cheer this. If a knuckledragging neo-con had his way every person on food stamps would be in jail. It’s this mentality that has led to the 1% getting richer, having more influence and calling the shots. The poorer the poor get the richer the rich get. It’s time to call the mitt romney’s of the world out for what they are, say anything know nothings.

    January 15th, 2012 at 11:14 pm
  5. brave said:

    There is a lot of difference between 14 million and 330 million. What we need to do is create an economy of jobs and prosperity. It can be done, have faith. The first step is to remove the democrats in the senate and Obama. I am not trying to be political just seeing things from another prospective. I lost most of our retirement 2007-08, however I learned a good lesson and will make it back. Let us free America to be great again, no one should want to live like third world socialists that never works, look at Europe.

    January 17th, 2012 at 12:53 pm


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