Gallery I
The Result Of Gross Greed
Index Page 2
Index Page 3

No Stigma Now In America’s Food Stamp Program

By James Donahue

The current financial crisis has left so many people either out of work or slaving for such low wages that families are on the brink of starving. A recent report by the New York Times said the number of food stamp recipients is up by about 10 million over the past two years with one in eight Americans and nearly one in four children now receiving help.

Who would have dreamed our nation would fall into such a state even a decade ago? We fondly remember the boom years when jobs were plentiful and all it took was a strong back, a quick mind and/or a willingness to work hard to reach some degree of success. If you didn’t like the job you had there was another one to be had just around the corner. The trick was deciding on a career and then pursuing it.

Since organized crime moved into Washington, D. C., and the bad guys dipped their hands freely into government coffers everything seems to have fallen apart. The factories that once offered good paying jobs to high school and technical school graduates moved overseas in pursuit of low-cost and non-union labor. With them went many high paying top executive jobs once sought by college graduates.

The big banks and lending institutions, propped up by the Federal Reserve (alias Bank of England), began gambling with the people’s 401-K retirement funds and other personal investments, including real estate, after legislators under President Bill Clinton passed the 1999 deregulation of the banking industry. Those regulations, put into place after the great stock market crash of 1929, were designed to prevent a repeat of the same insane investment practices that brought about the Great Depression.

Why would our leaders submit to such legislation? And why would the nation’s most powerful financial people demand it? The answer is greed. There were people in high places that were seeing a chance to become exceptionally wealthy at the expense of the people. And everything happened exactly as planned.

A majority of the legislators were obviously well paid for their services. And sure enough, when the collapse of the real-estate market and banking institutions occurred near the end of the Bush Administration’s tenure, the Republicans in power saw to it that all the cash reserves in Washington were quickly dumped into the laps of the bankers in what is known as the great “bailout.”

President Barack Obama inherited the entire mess. While he is promising government-financed public improvement programs to put people to work rebuilding the nation’s crumbling infrastructure, developing green technology, revamping the health care system and shutting down two costly wars overseas, Mr. Obama appears to be fighting an uphill battle against key legislators who appear to be on the payroll of big business interests rather than their constituents at home.

While all of this is going on, the gap between the fabulously wealthy and the poor is getting wider and wider. The so-called “middle class,” once considered the backbone of America, is quickly going extinct.

Ironically, as the talking heads on our nightly television screens argue and pros and cons of capitalism-vs-socialism, it is the socialistic programs still operating from within the federal government that are literally keeping the machinery turning. They include Social Security, Food Stamps, unemployment security and cash welfare.

Even with this kind of government assistance, plus lots of other charities like Catholic Family Services, the Salvation Army and numerous local church sponsored programs, the homeless are gathering in larger and larger numbers on the streets of both large and small communities. The phenomenon of tent cities, first noticed in southern states like California, is springing up all over.

This is a sad state of affairs for a nation that once boasted its great wealth and was known for offering its financial and excess commodities as a helping hand to underprivileged and struggling nations around the world.

What happened to that image? We remember when the sight of the Statue of Liberty once meant something to people arriving at America from abroad.

It is due time for Americans to rise up in rebellion against this situation. The wealthy thieves who ravaged our national treasury must be smoked out and held accountable. They should be found guilty of their crimes and if we can’t force them to return the money they stole, at least we must cut off their pipeline to our tax dollars.

If the people we elect to office fail to act on this all-important issue, and do so with haste, perhaps impeachment action is needed. If this situation gets much worse, people may be marching down Pennsylvania Avenue with pitchforks in hand, and nobody wants it to go that far.