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USA 2008: The Great Depression [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2008-4-4 01:50:14 |Display all floors
USA 2008: The Great Depression

Food stamps are the symbol of poverty in the US. In the era of the credit crunch, a record 28 million Americans are now relying on them to survive – a sure sign the world's richest country faces economic crisis

By David Usborne in New York
Tuesday, 1 April 2008

We knew things were bad on Wall Street, but on Main Street it may be worse. Startling official statistics show that as a new economic recession stalks the United States, a record number of Americans will shortly be depending on food stamps just to feed themselves and their families.

Dismal projections by the Congressional Budget Office in Washington suggest that in the fiscal year starting in October, 28 million people in the US will be using government food stamps to buy essential groceries, the highest level since the food assistance programme was introduced in the 1960s.

The increase – from 26.5 million in 2007 – is due partly to recent efforts to increase public awareness of the programme and also a switch from paper coupons to electronic debit cards. But above all it is the pressures being exerted on ordinary Americans by an economy that is suddenly beset by troubles. Housing foreclosures, accelerating jobs losses and fast-rising prices all add to the squeeze.

Emblematic of the downturn until now has been the parades of houses seized in foreclosure all across the country, and myriad families separated from their homes. But now the crisis is starting to hit the country in its gut. Getting food on the table is a challenge many Americans are finding harder to meet. As a barometer of the country's economic health, food stamp usage may not be perfect, but can certainly tell a story.

Michigan has been in its own mini-recession for years as its collapsing industrial base, particularly in the car industry, has cast more and more out of work. Now, one in eight residents of the state is on food stamps, double the level in 2000. "We have seen a dramatic increase in recent years, but we have also seen it climbing more in recent months," Maureen Sorbet, a spokeswoman for Michigan's programme, said. "It's been increasing steadily. Without the programme, some families and kids would be going without."

But the trend is not restricted to the rust-belt regions. Forty states are reporting increases in applications for the stamps, actually electronic cards that are filled automatically once a month by the government and are swiped by shoppers at the till, in the 12 months from December 2006. At least six states, including Florida, Arizona and Maryland, have had a 10 per cent increase in the past year.

In Rhode Island, the segment of the population on food stamps has risen by 18 per cent in two years. The food programme started 40 years ago when hunger was still a daily fact of life for many Americans. The recent switch from paper coupons to the plastic card system has helped remove some of the stigma associated with the food stamp programme. The card can be swiped as easily as a bank debit card. To qualify for the cards, Americans do not have to be exactly on the breadline. The programme is available to people whose earnings are just above the official poverty line. For Hubert Liepnieks, the card is a lifeline he could never afford to lose. Just out of prison, he sleeps in overnight shelters in Manhattan and uses the card at a Morgan Williams supermarket on East 23rd Street. Yesterday, he and his fiancée, Christine Schultz, who is in a wheelchair, shared one banana and a cup of coffee bought with the 82 cents left on it.

"They should be refilling it in the next three or four days," Liepnieks says. At times, he admits, he and friends bargain with owners of the smaller grocery shops to trade the value of their cards for cash, although it is illegal. "It can be done. I get $7 back on $10."

Richard Enright, the manager at this Morgan Williams, says the numbers of customers on food stamps has been steady but he expects that to rise soon. "In this location, it's still mostly old people and people who have retired from city jobs on stamps," he says. Food stamp money was designed to supplement what people could buy rather than covering all the costs of a family's groceries. But the problem now, Mr Enright says, is that soaring prices are squeezing the value of the benefits.

"Last St Patrick's Day, we were selling Irish soda bread for $1.99. This year it was $2.99. Prices are just spiralling up, because of the cost of gas trucking the food into the city and because of commodity prices. People complain, but I tell them it's not my fault everything is more expensive."

The US Department of Agriculture says the cost of feeding a low-income family of four has risen 6 per cent in 12 months. "The amount of food stamps per household hasn't gone up with the food costs," says Dayna Ballantyne, who runs a food bank in Des Moines, Iowa. "Our clients are finding they aren't able to purchase food like they used to."

And the next monthly job numbers, to be released this Friday, are likely to show 50,000 more jobs were lost nationwide in March, and the unemployment rate is up to perhaps 5 per cent. ... ression-803095.html

Disadvantaged Americans queue for aid in New York
You will reap what you sow!

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Post time 2008-4-4 14:58:26 |Display all floors
28 million unemployed!

The U.S. is in financial trouble. In recent years, their citizens have become oddly disconnected from reality and in large part deny the reality of serious economic stress.

Their economy is based on cheap power, and a sound Dollar.
These two factors are slipping away.
The Dollar has dropped 10-12% in value in the past year.

Their manufacturing base has been boxed up and sent over seas, while they import cheap labor from impoverished third world people, thus making living wages disappear.

What happens when diesel hits $5-$6 a gallon -- it is already over $4 nationwide.

Their debt to foreign entities has grown to the point that, admit it or not, they won't be able to ever pay off.
China holds 1.33+ Trillion in reserves and have lost $133 Billion just from holding the dollar over the past year! How much tolerance for loss do they have?

Give their present and near future situation any name you want, the US is in deep trouble.
Unfortunately, due to the interconnectedness of globalization, America may take Britain down with it.
You will reap what you sow!

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Post time 2008-4-4 16:04:22 |Display all floors

The Funnies

The latest round of tax rebate has the IRS working double time.  Apparently the White House decided that given the choice, the American poor would rather take the $300-600 to pay off debts, thereby defeating the economic stimulus expected if they spend the money on consumer goods.  So the IRS is taking matters into its own hands, and instead of sending checks, it is sending out cheap air conditioners (made in China, as part of the deal Paulson made recently - China buys treasuries, and the IRS buys China made consumer goods directly to give to the Americans).  

Some recipients are complaining, as there are rumors that taxpayers with connections get Viagra in lieu of payment, at 50% off the street price.  "I want some Viagra too," pouted the 20 something.

http://marketplace.publicradio.o ... 08/04/01/april_1st/

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Post time 2008-4-4 16:17:50 |Display all floors
Originally posted by gotohell at 2008-4-4 01:50
USA 2008: The Great Depression

Food stamps are the symbol of poverty in the US. In the era of the credit crunch, a record 28 million Americans are now r ...

poor guys, how else to live
What's on your mind now........ooooooooooooooo la la....Kind Regards

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Post time 2008-4-4 21:06:39 |Display all floors
By any honest measure, the US is in a depression right now.

The US has been faking its economic data for decades now.

The CPI is understated by about 4%. So when the government claims a growth rate of 1%, the economy is actually shrinking by 3% (recession). And when the economy is in recession according to the government, the economy is actually in a depression (negative 5% growth).

Similarly, unemployment is understated by 7 to 8%. So when the official unemployment is 5%, the actual unemployment is about 13% when discouraged workers are counted.

Don't take my word for it - check out Shadow Government Statistics by John Williams

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Post time 2008-4-5 09:21:22 |Display all floors
Originally posted by woodburn at 2008-4-4 21:06
By any honest measure, the US is in a depression right now.

America has just risen out of recession.. all of the elderly today lived through the great depression.. that’s just 2 or 3 generations ago, Most of the world has also simply developed in the about the same time period, and life 3 generations ago was unthinkable for us today. I don’t know the reason behind gotohells post, but were there to be another great depression today it would have quite a different effect, it would effect every country in the world, and many many other poor third world countries would also fall into a similar crisis.

Whatever your personal reason for hating the US, it seems it is more for selfish reasons than for the desire for change.. it seeks you hate every citizen in the US.. which is just blind and uncontrollable outrage and hatred and needs to be curbed for your own mental well-being and the quality of your own life. those wishing to Change US, with a desire to end the oppression and inequality and capitalistic nature of the country are the people who also have the same concern for the poor and working class in any society in any country in the world, including China. Communism is the peoples government, the workers united, those that take the punishment and suffer the ills of capitalistic greed and inequality and their necessity to exploit other less educated or less financially able people, even if it means created an environment where such education and financial opportunities are unavailable for the working and lower class; to make such a system of power and greed possible.

The Machinery of Capitalism is oiled by the blood of the workers.

and at some point those workers will be forced to fight for their freedom from the tyranny of corporations and financial giants and government branches, and the insatiable greed they have for brining every man, woman and child under their oppression and force them to bear an unbearable yoke of slavery for every last drop of blood from those workers by forcing them into slavery and taking away every simple right a human might have and making everything come at a price that benefits "innovative entrepreneurs".

And the resulting revolution will be akin to every communist revolution, and in the aftermath there will form a "people's" system, for the workers and by the workers. and the new emblem on the American flag will be a hammer and a sickle, red to represent the blood that had to be spilled to attain self-worth and equality and their freedom from oppressive greedy and selfish people.

But that is not the tone of your post.. you seem to hate everyone in the US, and in wanting their complete social misery of every citizen will also equate to the complete social misery of every citizen in many countries throughout the world.. Countries that are barely able to stand on their feet, and just beginning to hold their heads up and say they are developing well in many areas. You are everyone’s enemy, and nobody has any use for a person that wants the senseless misery of others. That is the opposite of communism, communism want to make the ground equal, and the burden to bear equal, and lift up the poor and give them some dignity and pride in themselves and their country. You seem to not care about change or the maladies the people suffer, you seem to take pleasure and derive joy from peoples suffering.. that seems a little like a Nazi mentality, or corporate pig mentality. I hope you will join the brotherhood of communism and fight for justice and equality and the welfare of the people in every country by helping to understand the perfect unselfish brotherly love and goodness that communism is and they can move the ball forward to becoming communist societies.

The only safe place in this world and the only sound government system for this entire globe will always and forever be communism.

America has labeled communism as the great evil of the world, but in fact that is very rich and very powerful people who want Americans to believe that so that capitalism may prosper and serve its end: the filling of the pockets of the rich. Even the Baby-boomer generation was forbidden to gather to form any sort of community solidarity for social and economic and financial stability and welfare, because the government and those fat greedy pigs wanted each person to pay all of his individual money under the full influence of the capitalist propaganda machine to be sure to bleed absolutely every last penny possible to bleed from any individual, and to keep them from raising social status or acquiring education that might make the elite few less wealthy, because the fewer people there are at the top, the richer they can get. Anybody caught doing so was labeled a communist and put in the watch files of J. Edgar Hoover.

That is the reason Chinese had to form Chinatown. The Chinese "hui" which means the gathering of financial and capital resources, has existed long before communism has and by its very nature is the very evil the corporate fat pigs tell Americans defines their enemy, or communism. And the only reason for that is the bleeding of the working class, and keeping them under the thumb of oppression. Because Chinese are a closed society in America they are able to keep their dealings quite out of view of the capitalist propaganda machine and its enforcers, so they were able to deal well with one another, and help each other out, interest free. so that all may benefit from the collective wealth based on community sharing, and selfless giving and honesty of dealing well with each other and not bleeding them for every penny... they are your community.. That is communism. And all may have greater wealth and capital for investments and become infinitely wealthier. There are many policies in the US which make such communistic money dealings illegal and very difficult, but conquering obstacles and difficulties has been the Chinese specialization in the US since their first arrival.

Many other Americans and other ethnic groups from other close knot societies have tried the same thing, but only the Chinese have been so successful at it. Even families and communities with a long history in America have tried that only to be publicly shunned and verbally hanged and humiliated and labeled communist and unable to do any business at all, and even had to move out of their communities.

Communism is the sharing of wealth for the common good, equal in all parts. That is the exact opposite of capitalism. But that is the inherent love in people in most other countries and systems in the world.. Close cultures that have existed for thousands of years. All capitalism does for them is make other people oppress, lie, and separate themselves from the others in society and work to make their lives more difficult so they can earn more money by treating them unfairly.

Any country that chooses capitalism over communism is choosing its own destruction; because there are limits as to hw much one man can take from another, both men being born equal.

I’m not writing this only for you, I’m writing this so others in here may see the light, and turn from the capitalist ways and stay true to your their brothers, your brothers will not let you down. And equally you can progress, as equals. Brother to brother, as it should be, and as it was meant to be

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Post time 2008-4-5 16:11:33 |Display all floors
You sound like you have lost the plot!

Originally posted by justbabygirl at 2008-4-5 09:21
Whatever your personal reason for hating the US, it seems it is more for selfish reasons than for the desire for change.. it seeks you hate every citizen in the US.. which is just blind and uncontrollable outrage and hatred and needs to be curbed for your own mental well-being and the quality of your own life.

In your long rambling post, which I gave up reading, after the first couple paragraphs, you missed one vital point.

The article was written by a Briton living in the US!
You will reap what you sow!

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