Home > The Economy > Graph of the week: Number of Americans participating in food-stamp programs

Graph of the week: Number of Americans participating in food-stamp programs

 

  1. October 15, 2010 at 4:50 pm

    Can you trade food stamps for money?

  2. merijnknibbe
    October 15, 2010 at 6:19 pm

    To me the remarkable thing is that the USA stops being ‘the land of the free’ as soon as it comes to the poor. One of the remarkable things about money is that, once you have it, you are free to spend it on whatever you like. People getting food stamps are not given this freedom: they get ‘special purpose money’ – which only buys food. Maybe that’s a good thing. Maybe it’s not. But it does run counter to the ‘it’s a free country’ idea.

    P.S. – aside from the increase of the use of food stamps, there is quite an increase in other kinds of ‘special purpose money’ like credit cards which only can be used in destinated shops, copy cards and lunch cards from companies, vouchers which buy education or (in the Netherlands) some kinds of care etc. etc. In the textbooks you can read that the great thing about money is that it’s an universal means of exchange. Is special money starting to drive out universal money?

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