Welcome to the recovery

Published 12:36pm Saturday, December 22, 2012

I thought last month’s delayed food stamp data was bad. However the just reported food stamp number for September was a doozy, with 607,544 new Americans becoming eligible for food stamps, as a record 47.7 million Americans are now living in poverty at least according to the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture). The monthly increase was the highest since May 2011, and with August’s 421K new impoverished America, over 1 million Americans made the EBT card their new best friend. It is unclear just which atmospheric phenomenon will get the blame for this unprecedented surge in poverty, which comes at a time when the pre-election economic data euphoria was adamant that the U.S. economy was on an escape velocity to utopia. Instead what we do know is that in August and September, over three times as many food stamp recipients were added to the economy as jobs (324,000). We also know that with the imminent impact of Sandy, which will send food stamp recipients soaring, it is now looking quite possible that the US may end 2012 with just over a mindboggling 50 million Americans living in absolute poverty and collecting the $134.29 average monthly benefit per person, instead of working. Welcome to the recovery indeed.

- Karl Kachadoorian, Tryon

Editor's Picks