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Thread: USA 2008: The Great Depression

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    Elite Member Cali's Avatar
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    Default USA 2008: The Great Depression

    This article is alarming. What do you all think? Are you seeing these things in your cities in the US? I live in CA and I suppose that I am isolated from it, more or less. People here seem to always be either barely getting by or rolling in money.

    USA 2008: The Great Depression
    By David Usborne in New York
    Tuesday, 1 April 2008

    We knew things were bad on Wall Street, but on Main Street it may be worse. Startling official statistics show that as a new economic recession stalks the United States, a record number of Americans will shortly be depending on food stamps just to feed themselves and their families.

    Dismal projections by the Congressional Budget Office in Washington suggest that in the fiscal year starting in October, 28 million people in the US will be using government food stamps to buy essential groceries, the highest level since the food assistance programme was introduced in the 1960s.

    The increase – from 26.5 million in 2007 – is due partly to recent efforts to increase public awareness of the programme and also a switch from paper coupons to electronic debit cards. But above all it is the pressures being exerted on ordinary Americans by an economy that is suddenly beset by troubles. Housing foreclosures, accelerating jobs losses and fast-rising prices all add to the squeeze.

    Emblematic of the downturn until now has been the parades of houses seized in foreclosure all across the country, and myriad families separated from their homes. But now the crisis is starting to hit the country in its gut. Getting food on the table is a challenge many Americans are finding harder to meet. As a barometer of the country's economic health, food stamp usage may not be perfect, but can certainly tell a story.

    Michigan has been in its own mini-recession for years as its collapsing industrial base, particularly in the car industry, has cast more and more out of work. Now, one in eight residents of the state is on food stamps, double the level in 2000. "We have seen a dramatic increase in recent years, but we have also seen it climbing more in recent months," Maureen Sorbet, a spokeswoman for Michigan's programme, said. "It's been increasing steadily. Without the programme, some families and kids would be going without."

    But the trend is not restricted to the rust-belt regions. Forty states are reporting increases in applications for the stamps, actually electronic cards that are filled automatically once a month by the government and are swiped by shoppers at the till, in the 12 months from December 2006. At least six states, including Florida, Arizona and Maryland, have had a 10 per cent increase in the past year.

    In Rhode Island, the segment of the population on food stamps has risen by 18 per cent in two years. The food programme started 40 years ago when hunger was still a daily fact of life for many Americans. The recent switch from paper coupons to the plastic card system has helped remove some of the stigma associated with the food stamp programme. The card can be swiped as easily as a bank debit card. To qualify for the cards, Americans do not have to be exactly on the breadline. The programme is available to people whose earnings are just above the official poverty line. For Hubert Liepnieks, the card is a lifeline he could never afford to lose. Just out of prison, he sleeps in overnight shelters in Manhattan and uses the card at a Morgan Williams supermarket on East 23rd Street. Yesterday, he and his fiancÚe, Christine Schultz, who is in a wheelchair, shared one banana and a cup of coffee bought with the 82 cents left on it.

    "They should be refilling it in the next three or four days," Liepnieks says. At times, he admits, he and friends bargain with owners of the smaller grocery shops to trade the value of their cards for cash, although it is illegal. "It can be done. I get $7 back on $10."

    Richard Enright, the manager at this Morgan Williams, says the numbers of customers on food stamps has been steady but he expects that to rise soon. "In this location, it's still mostly old people and people who have retired from city jobs on stamps," he says. Food stamp money was designed to supplement what people could buy rather than covering all the costs of a family's groceries. But the problem now, Mr Enright says, is that soaring prices are squeezing the value of the benefits.

    "Last St Patrick's Day, we were selling Irish soda bread for $1.99. This year it was $2.99. Prices are just spiralling up, because of the cost of gas trucking the food into the city and because of commodity prices. People complain, but I tell them it's not my fault everything is more expensive."

    The US Department of Agriculture says the cost of feeding a low-income family of four has risen 6 per cent in 12 months. "The amount of food stamps per household hasn't gone up with the food costs," says Dayna Ballantyne, who runs a food bank in Des Moines, Iowa. "Our clients are finding they aren't able to purchase food like they used to."

    And the next monthly job numbers, to be released this Friday, are likely to show 50,000 more jobs were lost nationwide in March, and the unemployment rate is up to perhaps 5 per cent.

    USA 2008: The Great Depression - Americas, World - The Independent

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    Elite Member kingcap72's Avatar
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    When Clinton left office, unemployment was down, we were paying down the deficit, the economy was good, we weren't at war and we had a surplus. Bush will leave us teetering on another Great Depression. But Bill was the one that got impeached.

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    Elite Member Dixie Normos's Avatar
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    Michigan has been in its own mini-recession for years as its collapsing industrial base, particularly in the car industry, has cast more and more out of work. Now, one in eight residents of the state is on food stamps, double the level in 2000. "We have seen a dramatic increase in recent years, but we have also seen it climbing more in recent months," Maureen Sorbet, a spokeswoman for Michigan's programme, said. "It's been increasing steadily. Without the programme, some families and kids would be going without."


    Michael Moore has a documentary out about Flint Michigan and it's what is it now, 20 year recession?

    It's scary. Parents are on programs that take them to far away areas to work, bus rides to get there take HOURS. They work for minimum wage, and are away from home for up to 18hrs travellig time. Lord help you if you can't fall asleep on moving transit
    "In the face of the blinding sun, I wake only to find
    that Heaven is a stranger place than than one I've left behind." - SM

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    Gold Member Delphinium's Avatar
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    I want to know how many of those on benefits actually qualify and/or are illegal immigrants. Those type of numbers can be manipulated left,right, and center.

    I definitely think the housing market is tanked and the economy isn't looking too good right now.. BUT if social programs continue to be funded despite our HUGE illegal immigrant problem, then I'm not believing we are in the next big depression

    Her vocabulary was as bad as, like, whatever.

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    Elite Member kingcap72's Avatar
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    ^^Well, I know here in N.J. the unemployment fund is running out because they kept dipping into it to pay for health insurance for those people that were uninsured, including illegals. So, they're already talking about major tax hikes to replenish unemployment.

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    La vie en rose DitaPage*'s Avatar
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    There will be another depression, I can really see that happening. Does anyone know anything about a certain coin that America has made? The 'Amero' or something? I don't know what I'm talking about, I don't really listen when people speak, I'm in my own world too much, but some guru-hippie-spiritual friend of my Mum's was talking about it. It was only hours later that i realized I might have been interested in that conversation.

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    Elite Member Mariesoleil's Avatar
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    I think the Amero would have been a bit like the Euro but for all North America. I may be wrong though.
    "Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counsellors, and the most patient of teachers."

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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    I can't see the Canadian government getting on board with that, considering the last time the US went into recession we did just fine and looks like we'll do the same again this time around.
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

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    Elite Member Sweetie's Avatar
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    Dismal projections by the Congressional Budget Office in Washington suggest that in the fiscal year starting in October, 28 million people in the US will be using government food stamps to buy essential groceries, the highest level since the food assistance programme was introduced in the 1960s.


    I can understand why. I have a friend and his food stamps just got raised to $160.00 a month; while is fat ass wife sits home, excuse me lays in bed all day and does nothing. She should have to GET A JOB and try to support their family prior to getting food stamps. The shit pisses me off. I have to go to work to pay for some lazy ass cunt to sleep in all day.

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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    let me guess: she's depressed.

    Frankly, some people aren't meant to exist. If you can't get out of bed and PROVIDE FOR YOUR EXISTENCE then fuck it.. just die.
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

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    Elite Member Sweetie's Avatar
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    No, she's just lazy. She thinks it's her right to sit home. She won't even discuss getting a job. She tells her husband he has to work overtime or find a new job when they run low on money. Then every year at tax time they get back around $5,600.00. He gives it all but $500.00 to her (which I bitch at him about) and then she spends it all at Walmart. The bitch went and bought a $6,000.00 bed with the FEMA money they got from a Hurricane several years ago. Her family is wealthy and she's never had to work and doesn't even consider that an option.

    Oh, and the government paid for both their children. Her brother makes over $100,000.00 a year, but since it's made on the water and he's "unemployed" for a couple months out of the year, they were able to have 6 free children. She told me I should just get paid cash so I could prove I didn't have a job for a month or so, and then I could have free children too. Yeah, that won't happen, I have too much pride for that.

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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    So why does this friend of yours continue with this woman? Doesn't he find her repulsive?

    He deserves what he gets if he allows it to continue.
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

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    Elite Member kingcap72's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sweetie View Post
    Dismal projections by the Congressional Budget Office in Washington suggest that in the fiscal year starting in October, 28 million people in the US will be using government food stamps to buy essential groceries, the highest level since the food assistance programme was introduced in the 1960s.


    I can understand why. I have a friend and his food stamps just got raised to $160.00 a month; while is fat ass wife sits home, excuse me lays in bed all day and does nothing. She should have to GET A JOB and try to support their family prior to getting food stamps. The shit pisses me off. I have to go to work to pay for some lazy ass cunt to sleep in all day.
    That reminds me of my cousin and his wife. He busts his ass and works THREE jobs, and she only works one job, but her one job pays her more than his three jobs combined. But she refused to help pay any bills, and they ended up losing their house because of it. And my dumb ass cousin is still with her.

    And I agree that it pisses me off that I have to go to work to support lazy people who are capable of working, but choose not to. Instead they want to sit around and wait for the 'first of the month' so they can get their free money.

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    Elite Member Sweetie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grimmlok View Post
    So why does this friend of yours continue with this woman? Doesn't he find her repulsive?

    He deserves what he gets if he allows it to continue.
    Because they have been together for about 15 years. They have 2 small children together and he wants a steady mom and daddy in their lives; he doesn't want to see his kids only on weekends. Yes, I think he is repulsed by her. She won't even cook him a meal after he's worked all day. He has to come to my house to eat, or either eat hamburger helper or frozen pizzas.

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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    the kids excuse is always a cop out, kids would rather both members be happy and separate then together and miserable.

    Sill after 15 years i suppose his balls have shrunk so badly that they've formed ovaries by now. Meh, he deserves what he gets. No sympathy.
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

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