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Who Are the REAL Welfare Queens?

 

After social security I think there are probably more misconceptions about the Food Stamp (The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP.) program than any federal program in theUnited States of America.

In an ideal or perfect world there would be no need for food stamps.

Unfortunately, we do not live in an ideal or perfect world.

Often times we mischaracterize the types of people who use food stamps. Often times we have no facts to support our beliefs. Some politician or other says food stamp recipients are dead beats and just want to sit on their couch all day watching television cause they are ‘entitled.’

As with social security you can be pretty sure that when a politician opens his/her mouth on food stamps he/she is either ignorant of the facts or down right lying to you.

This has always been true; but no more so that during this Great Recession.

The Aftermath of the 2008 Financial Meltdown

The financial and banking industry meltdown of 2008 has caused many people in what used to be the great American Middle Class to lose their jobs, their homes, and their savings. And any recovery has largely been an illusion, at least for the unemployed.

Somewhere between 5.2 million and 7.9 million middle class people lost their jobs during the Great Recession. Gee, a million here, a million there and pretty soon we are talking real people and real pain.

From 60 Minutes Profile

Many American families are living in their cars since the Great Recession started, simply because they were laid off and there are not enough jobs for all to work.

Too many Americans who did nothing wrong, who had decent paying jobs prior to the Recession lost those jobs during a financial meltdown that was not of their doing.

People with advanced degrees and home owners are among today’s food stamp recipients. And during this Great Recession a new category of people receive food stamps: the working poor.

Exactly who does receive food stamps?

According to Wikipedia for FY 2010:

  • 49% of all participants are children (17 or younger), and 49% of them live in single-parent households.
  • 15% of all participants are elderly (age 60 or over).
  • 20% of all participants are non-elderly disabled people.

So, well over 50% of the people who receive food stamps are children, the elderly, and the disabled.

So only 16% of food stamp participants are unemployed or in some other category.

I have read articles that say that many unemployed people who are eligible for food stamps do not sign up because it goes against their beliefs and/or the stigma. (Read Darcy DeMarco for details.)

Again from Wikipedia:

The average gross monthly income per food stamp household is $731; The average net income is $336.

36% of participants are White; 22% are African-American, not Hispanic; 10% are Hispanic; 2% are Asian, 4% are Native American, and 19% are of unknown race or ethnicity 

Despite the harsh rhetoric during election campaigns there is generally broad bi-partisan support for the food stamp program in Congress.

Wall Street, Bankers, and Financiers
A brief synopsis of the Financial Meltdown of 2008 as I understand it:

Wall Street, Bankers, and Financiers for years and years and years took our mortgage payments, our IRA money, our 401K money, our pension money, and any other money they could get their hands on and gambled with, it using a financial product called derivatives, making hefty million dollar profits off of it for themselves for years.

But as eventually happens with all gamblers there came a day of reckoning. They began losing. By 2008 these loses became wide spread in the industry. This led to the Financial Meltdown of 2008.

Because for some reason I do not understand, the federal government decided Wall Street, Bankers, and Financiers were too big to fail. Small businesses can fail if they play fast and lose with money. But not the big players I guess.

So rather than eat their gambling loses themselves, or paying back the people whose money they lost gambling, the government took more of our our money, and our children’s money, and our grand children’s money, and our great grand children’s money to bail out Wall Street,  Bankers, and Financiers.

Here’s the thing:  ALL OF IT WAS OUR HARD EARNED MONEY. What Wall Street gambled with was our money. And it was our money that paid them back for their losses too.

WOW!!! What a deal.

 In short,  the gamblers instead of investing our money so we could see a small profit some day, stole our money, went gambling, lost, and then got more of our money to make up what they lost.

Not only did they get their losses paid back, they took enough money to give themselves huge multi-million dollar bonuses to celebrate what colossal schmucks we all are.

And all of this has led to the highest unemployment in America in decades leading to more people needing food stamps just to eat.

So now I ask you: Who?  WHO are the real welfare queens?

Are the welfare queens the unemployed who get $140 a month for food? Or are they the Wall Street gamblers who used our money to make billions gambling, lost it, and then got more billions of our money so they could gamble some more?

QUOTE OF THE DAY: Matthew 25: 44-45

Then they will also answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and didn’t help you?’

“Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Most certainly I tell you, inasmuch as you didn’t do it to one of the least of these, you didn’t do it to me.’

Featured Recipe    Hamburgers Deluxe

Just in time for Memorial Day cookouts this weekend!

Monday, May 28th is also National Burger Day.

So I had to share a hamburger recipe today. Right? Right.

My dad liked to cook as much as my mom. Like my mom he was also a very good cook. He loved to grill over charcoal in our backyard. He was always tinkering with making the best BBQ Sauce.

He used to make these delicious hamburgers. He would take one thick patty of ground chuck and place it on thick aluminum foil. The he would add a slice of onion, a slice of tomato, and a slice of green pepper. Then he topped it with another hamburger patty and sealed the two burger patties around the vegetables.

The entire thing was enclosed in the aluminum foil and then he would place it over the charcoal and heat until the burger was done.

They were so delicious. Dribbling down your chin juicy delicious. That’s what I’m talking about.

The hamburger recipe I share with you today is kinda, sorta like that. Instead of veggies I just mix some flavors I like into the ground chuck  before cooking. The patties can be cooked in a skillet, under the broiler, over a charcoal grill, or on an indoor grill pan.

At a $1.25 per burger this is definitely a Recession Buster Recipe©.

Here is what you will need for 4 people:

1 pound of ground chuck

1 tablespoon horseradish mustard

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1 small onion

1-2 drops liquid smoke (optional)

4 buns

A little oil for the grill or skillet

Here is what you do:

Bring the ground chuck to room temperature and place in a large bowl.

Dice the onion very, very fine and add to the ground chuck.

Add all of the other ingredients to the ground chuck.

Using your hands mix everything together. Don’t over work though either as it will make the hamburger tough.

I use a knife to draw lines to guide me into getting 4 roughly even amounts. My own personal version of a Quarter-Pounder. I know it is hard to see them in the picture. But I have drawn a line from top to bottom then again from left to right. Then I form the meat into four patties. Again, try not to squeeze too hard.

When the patties are formed and using your thumb make a slight indentation or dimple in the center of the hamburger. This will prevent the patty from turning into a rotund ball like shape while cooking. Do not make the patties too thin either. Dbout ¾ an inch, is best.

Also, do not put salt on your burgers before you cook them. It too will make them tough.

If using a grill lightly oil it. Grill on high heat. Get the grill really, really hot.

If using a skillet add a bit of oil and when the oil starts to shimmer the skillet is hot enough to add the patties.

Place your patties on the grill or in the skillet. Avoid the impulse to flatten the patties. This simply squeezes all the juices from the patties making your burgers dry.

Cook for 3 minutes on one side, carefully flip the burger and cook 3-4 minutes on the other side for rare.

Basic Cooking times:

3 minutes each side for rare

4 minutes each side for medium rare

5 minutes each side for well done.

Let the burgers rest for a few minutes after they have finished cooking to let the juices redistribute. Then serve anyway you like your burgers and with your favorite condiments.

The burger I share today is so tasty it needs nothing else. I also eat hamburgers without a bun. Weight wise, it’s not the burger. It’s the bun!!!!

Bon appétit!!!

Cost

1 pound of ground chuck                 $3.91

1 tbspn horseradish mustard           $0.18

1 small onion                                 $0.24

1 tspn Worcestershire sauce            $0.04

1-2 drops liquid smoke                    $0.07

4 buns                                           $0.50

A little oil for the grill or skillet         $0.04

Total cost = $4.98
Cost per person = $1.25

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5 comments to Who Are the REAL Welfare Queens?

  • I know what you mean by the rhetoric surrounding food stamps. I also have my doubts about whether it’s a recession or depression but that’s for another day. I suppose it all depends on whether you’ve got a job or not.

    We see the pundits on the news talking about how people on welfare or food stamps are layabouts who wouldn’t work in a candy factory tasting candy. It’s just not true. The jobs have disappeared and no matter how badly someone wants to work, it’s just not possible.

    How disheartening it must be to need the food stamps and know how people are going to think and talk about you.

    I love burgers but I don’t have them very often. I’ve never tried liquid smoke in them but I have some and I’m going to try it. 🙂

    • Roberta

      Just don’t over do it on the liquid smoke. LOL 🙂 ROTFLMAO First time I did it I used way too much. Bad. Baaad!!! A few drops is all you need. Learn from my mistake.

  • Roberta, I have been on food stamps since mid-March, for the first time in my life. I have a college degree, double major in English and Italian. My husband’s company folded overnight and we lost everything we owned in Cleveland, Ohio. We moved to California to pursue our creative dreams, and while I worked at Coco’s (a foodie’s nightmare) to keep the food on the table, my husband could not find work. When he finally found a job, we moved to be closer, and I stopped working to spend 4 months with my mother in Serbia, who is dying of cancer. I came back, husband lost his job, and we were penniless. I don’t know how I survived the month, but in the end we received food stamps.
    Am I embarrassed every time I swipe the card at the grocery store? You bet I am. But pride has to take a back seat when the hungry kids look you in the eye. Did I want this to happen to us? No way. I am 48, intelligent, wordly, well-read, and destitute. I did not sign up for this, nor did I choose this path. I might have made a wrong choice when I picked my mate, but I cannot control the circumstances that lead to this.
    Sorry for the rant – your post just landed at the right time:)
    BTW, we are “friends” on Twitter, where I found you via Maureen and Justin Bogdanovitch:)
    I am looking forward to getting to know you better! Have a great weekend:)

  • I never thought about putting horseradish in my hamburgers, I bet it is so tasty. I don’t really like hamburger, but I am going to try this recipe now that I can eat more of a variety of things.

    • Roberta

      Thanks for all of the great comments Terry. Actually, you can put just about anything into a hamburger. Make what ever suits your fancy.