Thursday, October 3, 2013

Cutting SNAP Benefits

As noted in the blog from yesterday the Scandinavian system of social benefits is far less stingy than the US, and strangely enough, their economies are stronger, there is less inequality, their tax rates are higher and productivity is strong. Assuming the opposite is what we here need, the recent efforts to reduce food benefits to the food insecure seems destined to bring about increases in insecurity - insecurity in one area tends to morph into additional insecurities whether they be health, economic, personal safety, housing, etc.See Stiglitz and Kaldor's The Quest for Security for confirmation.

Dean Baker an economist with the Center for Economic and Policy Research offers another interesting insight into this approach and an alternative in his poignant blog
 Beat the Press
 in which he regularly critiques the economic reporting in the major media outlets. See "More Context for Republican Proposal to Cut Food Stamps" from last Saturday.

Another interesting perspective from a recent Atlantic article, Why the Poor Don't Work, According to the Poor, sheds more light on this important issue for millions of Americans.

The fight to dismantle the expanded health care coverage to millions of Americans that has, at least in the oratory of those who believe that the Affordable Care Act is a poison on our society, is aimed again at the same group of Americans. Those proponents of less security for their neighbors seem to have forgotten that the ACA was a very compromised approach to deliver health care, since the liberals were largely supportive of single-payer, Medicare for All, and created this amalgam as a salve to the free-market fundamentalists.

Could ACA be better? Absolutely! Single payer has way more benefits for a lot less cost, and it would cover everyone.