Sigh. The whole range of things people will do between "commit a crime" and "starvation" is being excluded.
No, it isn't. You keep claiming that no one will starve in the U.S.
And you keep wobbling from one point to another. No one starves in the US as a result of lack of availability of food. Period. That has nothing to do with the fact that there are choices to be made between food insecurity and crime though.
I agree and with the auxiliary statement that a person will commit a crime before starving. What they do before they hit that point is irrelevant to the conversation. Unless you have comments to add that are irrelevant to starvation or "food insecurity", because I don't.
WTF!? Take a language course some time. I honestly have no clue what you're trying to say here.
This topic is over food stamps. The only thing being provided is money for food, not shelter, transportation, health care, etc.
But you just agreed that food stamps provided for food often actually result in other things being purchased because it frees the person from having to choose between buying food and buying something else. You even said this was a good thing. So I think it's more than fair to talk about the impact of helping people afford those other things.
However, to answer your question, you limit and restrict it to each individual on a case by case scenario. For example, someone who just lost their job who is fully capable of working will get less time and benefits as a person with health conditions that prevents that individual from getting certain jobs, etc.
That's great. But how do we determine if our current method of determining how much each case receives is correct or not? You say we should tailor the benefits to the cases, but then argue against someone like me simply pointing out that we're currently handing out more food stamps than we should because they're enabling people to buy other things than food. Then you insist that this is perfectly ok. Then you insist that if things aren't working we should adjust them. It's like you just run around in circles on this, never admitting that the other guy has a point, but never sticking to one yourself.
Do you think that food stamps are currently correctly managed? Yes or no?
I'm not bouncing back and forth. I've said that the government is providing money for the food (in reference to food stamps), nothing more nothing less.
Except for the times when you say this:
The outcome is that money frees up money to spend on other stuff.
So, it's not money for food. It is something more. WTF?
As I mentioned, how a person decides to spend the money allocated on a specific cause is irrelevant to the intent of the cause.
Of course it's relevant. It's relevant to anyone who isn't brain dead.
I can spend my housing allowance on strippers, that doesn't mean that the government is giving me money to support strippers.
Yes it does. More importantly, if you feel you have enough extra money after the government assistance to spend on strippers, then it's reasonable to assume that we can reduce the amount you receive by the amount you spent on strippers. In fact, we should arguably keep reducing the amount you receive until you no longer spend money on strippers. If you're able to afford extras, then you don't need government assistance. Period. It really is that easy.
There's absolutely no deception involved.
When people insist that any attempt to reduce food stamps allotments is wrong because "you'll be taking food out of people's mouths!", when those receiving the food stamps have enough extra money to pay for $800 cars, strippers, liquor, cigarettes, lottery tickets, etc, then the argument being used is absolutely deceptive. It's based on a false claim that if we reduce that person's food stamps, that they'll go hungry as a result
. But that can't be true if that person has money to spend on any luxuries at all. That person *could* afford sufficient food to avoid hunger. If they choose not to in favor of hiring strippers, or buying lottery tickets, that is their choice. We should not feel sorry for their hunger at all. And we're certainly under no obligation to continue to reinforce their bad choices by simply giving them more money in the form of food stamps.
Unless the person has exactly zero dollars or less to their name, then OBVIOUSLY, money is being spent else where.
Yes. Which is what I've been saying all along. But for some bizarre reason you keep insisting that food stamps are for "buying food, nothing more, nothing less". That's absolutely false. For the vast majority of food stamps recipients, that money is "obviously" being spent elsewhere. So let's stop defending food stamps on the basis of them just being about buying food.
There are different levels of poor. We're not talking about 3rd world country level poor, we're talking about USA poor. people that are "USA poor" tend to have CLOTHES and usually a place to stay, limited food and limited money. The food stamps are there to provide food for the people. Unless your argument is "If you have money to pay for a place to live or to wear clothes, then you don't need food stamps", then you have no argument.
Sure. But when those people are maintaining $800/month cars? Or spending money on liquor, or cigarettes, or playing the lotto, or going to a casino, or buying a playstation, or any of hundreds of things that people spend money on that are not necessities? I have no problem with someone who receives food stamps, but if they are doing so, they should be so poor that they can't afford any luxuries at all (very few at least). They should at the very least meet the rest of us half way by making good choices about what little money they do have. Which is where this argument began. No one on food stamps should *ever* be choosing to buy soda at all anyway. They should not be buying chips, or crackers, or any form of snack food. If you are so poor that you require other people to help provide you with money to buy food, then you should be buying food, not junk.
We should not need to pass laws prohibiting what people spend their food stamps on. We should be limiting public assistance such that those who receive it will be forced to make good choices *or* go hungry (or end out on the street, etc). You yourself agree that people will do extreme things to avoid actual starvation (like committing crimes). But does this not also mean that they'll do something far less extreme (like not spending money on soda) long before reaching that extreme? If someone truly had a choice between soda and avoiding starvation, they'd choose to avoid starvation every single time. The reason why people on food stamps buy things like soda is because they are not remotely near that level of economic desperation
. My argument is that we should be able to safely trim the benefit amounts to a point where people will make good choices while still being well above the "desperate" level economically. There has to be a point at which this will happen. We're way way way way way above it. The fact that so many people on assistance spend so much on luxuries is proof of this. The fact that differences between outcomes based on receipt of food stamps doesn't seem to change hunger rates at all is another bit of proof as well.
We can bury our heads in the sand and repeat rhetoric like "We must provide food stamps to people or they'll starve!", or we can look around at the real situation and make intelligent changes to our system. I'm simply suggesting the latter course. Edited, Jan 18th 2013 6:13pm by gbaji