Nearly 48M Americans, which is about 15 percent of the population, got a cut in food stamps today. That means a family of four would receive $632 in monthly food stamps, down from $668.
More cutbacks are on the way. Republicans are looking to ax almost half of the $76B Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Democrats, the former champions of the underclass, want to shave $4B over the same 10-year period.
There’s another storm on the horizon for the down and out.The Emergency Unemployment Compensation program, which extended jobless benefits to 73 from 26 weeks expires Jan. 1. There’s little hope that the GOP-controlled House will extend the program.
There are good signs for upscale retailers. Two-thirds of the AARC respondents have no plans to cut or defer spending during the next year. The average rich household expects to send $2,175 for Christmas gifts. That’s four times the average household spending projection by the National Retail Federation.
The food stamp cuts and AARC survey illustrate the sharp differences in the future prospects of the “have-nots” and the “haves.”
There’s an opening for a PR-savvy politico. Bill DeBlasio will be elected New York City Mayor next week, succeeding billionaire Mike Bloomberg. Based on his “tale of two cities” campaign theme, DeBlasio will win in a landslide of about 40 percent. His message resonated. Geez, even Donald Trump threw in the towel, saying Bill D. would be a good mayor.
Granted New York is a liberal Democrat city, but a U.S. presidential candidate with the guts to adopt DeBlasio’s theme would win by at least 10 percent.
Ronald N. Levy (Nov. 6, 2013): Reductions in government benefits threaten not only the "down and out" but also the "down and IN"--prisoners including many minorities. For black males in their 30s, says a Sentencing Project report on the Internet, "one in every ten is in prison on any given day." Another two may be former prisoners who served their sentencdes or were paroled and are now on our streets.
Of those born today, one in every three black males and one in six Latino males can expect to go to prison at some point in their lives.
"Screw them" the more affluent may be tempted to say but jailing millions (over two million are imprisoned today) costs billions in taxes that could be used for our health, education and lower taxes.
We can see three reasons for the problem:
1. Many minorities from poor minority schools can't get good jobs so they turn to crime.
2. Many minority kids can't afford slick lawyers and political donations that may help many white suburban kids remain free.
3. Once someone goes to jail, it becomes very extremely hard to find a job because who wants to hire an ex-con?
It may cost billions and billions a year less to educate kids than to kail them later--educate not just in History and Algebra but in office work, factory work, and how to get along on the job so as not to be fired.
Millions of white kids go to colleges, costing families or taxpayers $40,000+ plus a year, and say "I don't know what I want to do" while millions of minority kids don't go to college and don't know what they CAN do without adequate education.
The PR imperative is not to plead for "fairness" for minorities just as it's often fruitless to ask "fairness" for an industry or company
It's because people who don't feel affected may think "screw them" or worse. So the PR imperative is to show that it would pay for the WEALTHY and middle class to provide good education for the poor--instead of paying so many billions to catch lawbreakers, hospitalize the injured and imprison millions.
When America sees the choice as (a) educate them so they can get jobs, or (b) don't educate them but arrest them and jail them when they break the law, skilled PR may have helped America see that what's good for the poor may also be good for the rest of us.
Bill Huey (Nov. 6, 2013): We need to cut back on basic services to the poor, you see, because everyone wants spending cuts and the poor are almost the only group that doesn’t have a lobbyist charging a million dollars a year to raise money for congressmen to run again in their districts. Besides, poverty is a civil crime and we need to stamp it out. Starvation has been used for centuries as an effective technique for getting rid of unwanted elements of society.
Not to mention that we have an obesity problem in this country.
Joe Honick, GMA International Ltd (Nov. 1, 2013): THE BAILOUTS that appeared in these pages a while back. These realities should not pit liberals and conservatives against each other. After all, liberals are labeled "do gooders", and most conservatives see themselves as "God fearing" folks who have compassions for the needy. If corporation and banks are '"needy", one might think the nation's poor could also qualify the same as we say they do around the world where we send more than a few billions.
arthursolomon (Nov. 1, 2013): The sad and ironic part is that while so many people need food stamps nationwide, a great percentage are in the South, where tea party candidates are making inroads. The same goes for legal abortions. Kevin, I agree that a liberal president would get elected over a tea party type candidate. But what's also needed is for a greater number of GOP voters to begin taking part in their primaries so tea party types don't get the nomination.