Didactic. Such a word should only be thrown around in intellectual circles at MIT right? Possibly its some form of chemical reaction taking place in a chemistry lab? It should be a word heeded more carefully by those in the media, if they can Wikipedia the article quickly enough. Didactic means something to the effect of “related to education or teaching/ instructional and informative”. Through the use facts and statistics you would imagine the USA to have more of an objective line of media, but you’d be wrong.
One such issue that arises and continues to be mentioned often and cited rarely is the concept of public aid and the social safety net, or what we call welfare. It has long been a republican talking point that welfare need be reduced and we spend far too much on giving hand outs to those unwilling to work. I would like to cite a didactic study on the current state of welfare within the US, the effects the recession of 2008 had on welfare, and what we can learn from it going forward.
From the years 2007-2012 the number of people on food stamps jumped from 26 million to 46 million respectively. This one simple fact would point to the idea that food stamp recipients/welfare families rely on government assistance due to financial hardship in their situation and the market in general, not because individuals are too lazy and unwilling to work. These newly included beneficiaries to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP, were effected by the collapse of the housing bubble and stock market within the US, not because they suddenly found themselves too lazy to work. This would seem to follow logically as this is exactly what the program is designed to do, help pick up families in need after or during hardship. The largest problem lies in the fact that not only were jobs and savings lost for millions of Americans because of the recession, but their tax dollars also bailed out the exact corporations and banks who doomed them in the first place. JP Morgan Chase was recently fined a record $13 billion dollars for their role in some of the illegal activities and lies that cost millions their life savings. However, the coverage from multiple organizations has been largely that this was a necessary step and that the fine imposed was too harsh! I’m jumping around here but $13 billion dollars is right around the net profit of a few months for a company like JP Morgan. Now there a lot of ways to cut the pie when it comes to overall social welfare. You really have to first cut out social security, Medicare, Medicaid, aid spent on the elderly, the blind and the seriously disabled because hey, those aren’t like the rest of the losers sitting on the couch eating Cheetos not willing to work right? The figure ends up right around $235 billion per year goes to the non working poor. That is total government spending on “those types of people” and it totals right around the same amount of profit JP Morgan would make in a year and a half. Thats one company vs. the entire welfare spending of a large nation on those “unwilling to work”. Seems strange and yet the numbers really don’t add up, I think what we all learn from this is that the problem lies in the richest Americans and how their finances effect the economy and national debt, not the poorest…
I have to get back to real work for a bit but I will be riffing on this much more later, check out the links below for some more information.
The concept of derivatives trading why the market collapsed in the first place is a larger story and needs exploring in great depth of which I do not have at this time. Check out the link at the bottom to the documentary “Inside Job” to get more details on the causes and effects of the recession. Back to the
Welfare wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wellfare#United_States
HuffPost Food Stamps Article: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/deborah-weinstein/food-stamp-cuts_b_4218559.html
Inside Job: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Xyn3OnsH3o