When I caught this image on the internets and the commenters were all saying just how adorable it was and I just didn't think so. Then I thought making it into this lolcat would make it better and it didn't.
It's even less funny on mornings when I wake up to radio news about "food insecurity," and the fact that most monthly food stamp benefits get spent in the first three days of the month. It's the 26th of the month, and this is 'the hungry week,' folks. Would it stretch the food dollar if your forty-four dollars per month per person food stamp allotment was distributed as eleven dollars weekly? Really.
Two dots that I have not seen connected yet: the severe state of "food insecurity" in Alabama and Mississippi, and the fact that
"Two states continue to apply their sales tax fully to food purchased for home consumption without providing any offsetting relief for low- and moderate-income families. They are Alabama and Mississippi."
Duh. So let's pretend I'm still stupid enough to live in Birmingham, Alabama. If I got my forty-four dollars a month per person for food stamps, I'd have to pay 4 percent sales tax on my food to the state, plus 2 percent county sales tax, plus 3 percent to the city of Hoover, which, like the vacuum for which it is named, has annexed every parking lot with a grocery store attached to it.
I was actually shocked to see that the sales tax in Hoover has gone up to three percent. Trust me when I tell you, there are very few other places to shop in metro Birmingham.
NINE PERCENT of my food stamp money would be CUT from my benefit BY THE GOVERNMENT with no way to recover that.
Don't tell me I'm coming up against my own tax and spend liberalism. You wanna tax clothes at the mall? Food court lattes? Go ahead. Taxing the hungry for their FOOD is sinful.
In other economic news I don't want to write about, Nicholas Kristof reports the heartwarming story of a family that sold their house and gave a really large and generous portion of their ownings to hungry people around the world. This is a really great lesson for all of us, but while reading this I had a nagging question in the back of my head:
"Wow, they were able to sell their huge crazy-overpriced house?"
It also bugs me that we poor people are reminded of starving people in Haiti as if that will get us to forget that the inequity of income in the US.
Excluding capital gains, the richest one percent [of people in the United States] claimed 17.4 percent of all pre-tax income in 2005, more than double what that figure was in the 1970s. This is the greatest concentration of income since 1936, when the richest one percent received 17.6 percent of total income.
I can understand poor people in America bowing their heads in gratitude and giving to the much poorer and devastated people of Haiti.
I question how much of those ten dollar Red Cross cell-phone bill add-ons will still be being paid off with interest, on Americans' credit card bills, this Christmas, when much of the Haitian devastation will be forgotten, and people use those same generous phones to vote for the American Idol finalist.
Also, I can't understand why the populism on the right is getting all the media attention. Oh yeah, right wing populism and bread and circuses meet the needs of corporate-owned media.
And people at salon last night were laughing that they feel my kick in their ass on days they don't post. Heh.