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1 In 9 Americans On Food Stamps

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http://www.reuters.com/article/domesticNew...E5825OT20090903

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - More than 35 million Americans received food stamps in June, up 22 percent from June 2008 and a new record as the country continued to grapple with the worst recession since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

The food stamp program, which helps cover the cost of groceries for one in nine Americans, has grown in step with the U.S. unemployment rate which stood at 9.4 percent in July.

The Labor Department will release August employment figures on Friday.

June was the seventh straight month in which food stamp rolls set a record. The average benefit in June was $133.12 per person.

(Reporting by Roberta Rampton and Chuck Abbott; editing by Jim Marshall)

Perhaps starving people are eating all the green shoots? :unsure:

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The food stamp recovery?

The system is slowly collapsing, without a debt jubilee I can't see how it can be fixed. The counters need to be reset to zero and then regulations put in place to stop this insanity happening again.

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American welfare is better than here. Its quite laughable how people whine about the British system when most western countries have far higher amounts paid out to the typical person...

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The food stamp recovery?

The system is slowly collapsing, without a debt jubilee I can't see how it can be fixed. The counters need to be reset to zero and then regulations put in place to stop this insanity happening again.

What does that mean exactly? If someone owes money, that they just don't have to pay it back? How the hell would that work?

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Unemployment just hit a 26 year high today

By Timothy R. Homan

Sept. 4 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. jobless rate in August jumped to 9.7 percent, the highest since 1983, and employers cut another 216,000 jobs, reinforcing concern that consumer spending will slow even as the economy stabilizes.

...............

Adjusted for part-time employees that would rather have a full-time job and for discouraged workers that are no longer looking for a job but would take one if it were available, the jobless rate jumped to 16.8 percent in August from 16.3 percent.

A rising jobless rate, stagnant wages and falling home values signal a lack of consumer spending may curb an economic recovery.

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=206...id=azXZugoul_S0

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Unemployment just hit a 26 year high today

Wasn't there a hope that this number would be down, based on the purely technical situation of long standing unemployed falling off the register? :ph34r:

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What does that mean exactly? If someone owes money, that they just don't have to pay it back? How the hell would that work?

http://www.unbossed.com/index.php?itemid=2504

Debt and forgiveness through the ages

Speaking of biblical decrees, I was surprised to read this today.

There is no guarantee that the measures will succeed. The vast scale of government borrowing may exhaust the stock of global capital. Markets are already beginning to question the credit-worthiness of sovereign states. The Fed may find it harder than it thinks to disengage from colossal intervention in the bond markets.

In the end, the only way out of all this global debt may prove to be a Biblical debt Jubilee.

Jubilee is an interesting tradition that hasn't really been practiced for centuries, but for thousands of years it was an accepted part of middle east tradition. In today's world the idea of a periodic wholesale canceling of debts and the restoration of land to the poor seems utopian and anachronistic.

Unlike today's world, the ideas of morality and religion wasn't excluded from economics. In fact, unlike today, morality and religion was infinitely more important than profit and personal property.

What was radically disturbing in archaic times was the idea of unrestrained wealth-seeking. It took thousands of years for the idea of progress to become inverted, to connote freedom for the wealthy to deprive the peasantry of their lands and personal liberty.

"Land must not be sold in perpetuity, for the land belongs to me and you are only strangers and guests. You will allow a right of redemption on all your landed property."

- Lev. 25:23-28

From the same article.

It seems like all commentary on the situation of America today is put into the context of post-WWII. That's like studying the history of Rome, but ignoring the 500 years of history that happened before Ceasar's armies crossed the Rubicon. If you intentionally limit your vision of the world then you will eventually be caught off-guard by larger trends.

This problem is especially true in the field of economics.

The fact is that the financial system, as it was structured in 1944, was an experiment. No one knew if it was sustainable, and it certainly wasn't intended to last forever.

That world has been slowly, and increasingly, breaking down for the last several decades, but because no one looks more than 65 years into the past no one can imagine a different world. Everyone is terrified of the "unknown", when in fact is isn't unknown at all. It's just different.

If we took off our blinders and looked at the history that existed before 1944 we would not only stop fearing the past so much, but we would actually learn valuable lessons that we could apply to the economic crisis of today.

"Although capitalism is not a Ponzi scheme, credit-based economies, sic capitalism, and Ponzi schemes share the same fatal flaw. Both must constantly expand or they are in danger of collapse."

- Darryl Robert Schoon

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What does that mean exactly? If someone owes money, that they just don't have to pay it back? How the hell would that work?

I came up with a more sophisticated variant* on the debt jubilee, but..

The idea after such an event is that Hard and fast lending criteria are put in place to stop the debt bubble reinflating. Like you CANNOT offer a secured loan over 95% LTV or 3x single income, like unsecured loans and credit card limits cannot exceed 1x income; and at the moment of the jubilee you would also hike rates up to something rational. The idea being to collapse house prices by about the same as you collapse mortgage debt, so the overall inflationary effect is minimised.

*Briefly:

- 20k For everyone.

- For anyone with their name on a mortgage, this 20k will be taken off of the balance.

- For anyone under 21, the cash will be put in trust (net of any debt), £1k for every year old.

- For anyone with student debts, these will be paid out of the 20k

- Any unsecured debt would also be paid first.

So only a proportion (under half) would probably end up in people's pockets, and would go mostly to people with little or no debt - i.e. those least likely to spend the lot.

Of course, this would actually mean bypassing the banks, so it's as likely to happen as Gordon Brown winning a wet T shirt contest..

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Just read your link, but it doesn't seem to mention whether or not my neighbour (who bought in 07) would have his mortgage written off, or whether if I buy after this Jubilee thingy, I will still have to borrow and repay. If this is the case, I might have to do him some harm :lol:

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*Briefly:

- 20k For everyone.

- For anyone with their name on a mortgage, this 20k will be taken off of the balance.

- For anyone under 21, the cash will be put in trust (net of any debt), £1k for every year old.

- For anyone with student debts, these will be paid out of the 20k

- Any unsecured debt would also be paid first.

That would require either £1.2tn of QE or an increase in government debt of about 100% of GDP, so either a lot of inflation or massive tax hikes to pay for the increase in government debt. Interest rates would have to rise, making existing private and government debt more expensive. I'm not sure you actually gain anything on balance from mass debt forgiveness, fun though it might be. Better just to pay it back and force lenders to realise and write off bad debts.

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That would require either £1.2tn of QE or an increase in government debt of about 100% of GDP, so either a lot of inflation or massive tax hikes to pay for the increase in government debt. Interest rates would have to rise, making existing private and government debt more expensive. I'm not sure you actually gain anything on balance from mass debt forgiveness, fun though it might be. Better just to pay it back and force lenders to realise and write off bad debts.

You'd have to print it - no point trying to borrow that amount of cash. Indeed the whole point is to try and reduce total borrowing to something sane, and at the same time stop the 'giveaway' from being used to fuel a massive consumption bubble. Interest rate hikes and strict lending limits have to be part of the plan.

There would be some inflation, but I suspect a lot less than you'd think.

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