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Veteran Advisor

From the parlor pit 12-10

Well the US goevernment just took a huge leap in it's number one consumer status of food products.


Foodstamps Soar By Most In 16 Months: Over 1 Million Americans Enter Poverty In Last Two Months

Tyler Durden's picture

And we thought last month's delayed foodstamp data was bad. The just reported foodstamp number for September was a doozy, with 607,544 new Americans becoming eligible for foodstamps, as a record 47.7 million Americans are now living in poverty at least according to the USDA. The monthly increase was the highest since May 2011, and with August's 421K new impoverished America, over 1 million Americans made the EBT card their new best friend. It is unclear just which atmospheric phenomenon will get the blame for this unprecedented surge in poverty, which comes at a time when the pre-election economic data euphoria was adamant that the US economy was on an escape velocity to utopia. Instead what we do know is that in August and September, over three times as many foodstamp recipients were add to the economy as jobs (324,000). We also know that with the imminent impact of Sandy, which will send foodstamp recipients soaring, it is now looking quite possible that the US may end 2012 with just over a mindboggling 50 million Americans living in absolute poverty and collecting the $134.29 average monthly benefit per person, instead of working. Welcome to the recovery indeed.

Individual Americans on foodstamps:

Foodstamps at the household level rose to a record 24 million:

Aggregating foodstamp, disability and nonfarm payrolls data shows that since the start of the Depression in December 2007, 21.8 million Americans have shifted more or less permanently to the entitlement line, even as the US still has to generate 4.4 million jobs just to break even.

And the same shown on a monthly basis:



Now this isn't about who's fault it is or what politician is lieing. This is about the fact that the US consumer is our largest market of food. 


We in agriculture produce food. 


It is very clear now that as we move forward the deficit begins to be a huge problem for the entity buying food.


IF milk, meat,and eggs continue to have to go up to meet the continuing increases in cost of production and the Government continues to have to battle balancing the books.  How long before they adjust policies to lower food costs?


Can they adjust policies to adjust food costs?


we let the farm bill expire without the apocalyptic disaster that so many called for. Milk didn't jump to parity.  USDA offices haven't closed and school lunch programs are on auto pilot and obviously so is the EBT program.


The last five weeks have actually had a decrease in the price of milk on the board by nearly $3 /cwt. Hogs and cattle have been sideways at best and while corn and beans are off the highs they certainly aren't under cost of production.


Going forward we have never been so much at the mercy of the Government intervention as we are right now.  All commodity groups are clamoring for a bigger piece of the USDA pie While the Food stamp program is quietly just taking  all the funding. With the cuts that will have to be made are looming (believe me there will be some cuts) Secretary Vilsack has clearly stated who is getting the cuts in his Last speech. 


We don't matter.


When the evening news has the opportunity to run two stories. One on the possible cuts in Farm programs While interviewing a farmer in front of his new half million dollar combine.


Or the single Mom who is about to loose her food stamps being interviewed in front of her trailer house.


Who is the public going to sympathize with.


SO even tho milk has actually for the first time in almost 6 years had a decrease in production Month over month for two consecutive months. Our price has lost 12% Fundamentals don't matter as much as we think guys.


It's all about the guy purchasing the Food.


And he is rapidly running outa money.

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65 Replies

Re: From the parlor pit 12-10

Grow the economy , grow the economy. Replace food stamps with good jobs and that will solve most of the problem. Alot of folks have more money being on assistance than if they got a job , drive to it and pay taxes on it. Administration appears not to be concerned how many are on food stamps or how much money they borrow.. Increases their power base. Tax polcy needs to change. Spending needs to decrease.


One good growing season will take care of a lot of the shortages however we can't be responsible for inflated costs of trans, marketing processing etc.



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Re: From the parlor pit 12-10



If you eliminated the approximately $half billion in incremental food stamps and unemployment payments the GDP would be about -2%rather than the +2%ish that it is now.


Then the depression would extend to rich people whose assets and income would decline. 


Which seems only fair, really.


If the cargo cultists would like to cut spending in the face of this, be my guest. It's their funeral too.


Of course there are much better ways to use those resources than the food stamp program as it is currently constituted but this isn't an environment where public policy is going to get fine tuned for the better.

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Honored Advisor

Re: From the parlor pit 12-10

This is an excerpt from last Friday's Market to Market show...


"Daniel Jackson, Family Tree Farms: “-- our labor force that we have is predominately, maybe, 99 percent Hispanic.  A lot of these people are coming from other countries and we need immigration reform.  We do. No doubt about it. And it seems like a very easy fix to me as a farmer that we have the technology available to be able to take some sort of card and - and - and be able to do a screening process in these other countries and bring people up here that are not criminals.  They're not people wanting to take advantage of a system.  They're just hard working, honest people.  … bring them up and let them work here for 8-9 months and then they can be able to go back home because most of these people want to go back home.”


A recent CBS/New York Times poll showed more than 60 percent of Americans felt illegal immigrants should either be allowed to apply for U.S. citizenship or stay as guest workers.

Opinions aside, Jackson is among the farmers and ranchers in the Central Valley, who have attempted to get unemployed American citizens in the area to help in the field during labor shortages.


Daniel Jackson, Family Tree Farms: “…we have gone to the unemployment offices before and asked for workers. And one day we needed 300 workers to come out and pick zucchinis for us and what ended up happening was, is they were very excited, they gave us all the applications, we were excited, the next day when we were ready to pick, ten people showed up.”

Manuel Cunha is president of the Nisei Farmers League, a San Joaquin Valley based farmer advocacy group with 1,100 members.


Manuel Cunha, Nisei Farmers League: “U.S. workers will not work in this type of work.  They refuse to work in it.  The only way they're ever going to work in it, and God forbid that we go -- a real depression of 1929, then maybe people will realize that there is no more welfare; there is no more unemployment money.  You want to eat?  You got to work"

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JRfrom OR
Frequent Contributor

Re: From the parlor pit 12-10

While we're on this topic, has everyone seen the new demonocracy debt  video?

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Re: From the parlor pit 12-10

Not saying do it overnight , it will take time to change policy to create good jobs and wean these programs down. When Debt = 100% of GDP we will have a serious problem. We have a serious problem now, very few in Washington seem to realize it.


An economy built on food stamps and unemployment is non sustainable.Not necessarily blaming all the particpants , most blame goes to the govt and the progressive policies of the last 60 years


Monetary policy has been great for commodity producer but has been a disaster for consumers as they watch their purchasing power erode by the day

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Honored Advisor

Re: From the parlor pit 12-10

Don't hold your breath......when is the last time a good idea has come out of Washington?   I used to think that those folks were very smart......Now it appears that they are only smart at keeping their jobs, not at really "doing" their jobs.

Senior Contributor

Re: From the parlor pit 12-10

Money given to someone is a lot easier spent than money earned by someone.  This props up the ecnomy until those giving the money run out of it. 

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Senior Contributor

Re: From the parlor pit 12-10

When the i's are dotted and the t's are crossed in the history books, they will clearly show how GW Bush and Obama have been horrible POTUS for the poor and lower middle class.  The primary reason for escalating food and energy prices stems from both of these fellas continual assault of the U.S. dollar.  The stimulus money being spent is basically taken from the poor and lower middle class and given to the rich.  With a strong U.S. dollar, both food prices and energy prices would have been kept in check.  By continually lowering the U.S. dollar, food and energy prices have skyrocketed.  Everytime Helicopter Ben throws more stimulus around, we see a spike in both food and energy prices. 

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Re: From the parlor pit 12-10

Well said Gored

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