At a time when record numbers of Americans rely on food stamps to feed their children and stock their pantries, the topic remains a hot one, with many suspicious of the poor rather than the high-flying financiers that crashed and burned our economy.
Instead of railing against a system that allows banks to treat the government like their own personal money pinatas, a large swath of Americans instead turned their ire toward low-income Americans- demanding the poor submit to drug tests, calling to slash budgets for food and medical assistance and generally decrying a system they believe is straining not due to high unemployment and a chronically weak economy, but instead plagued by laziness.
The anger directed toward food stamp recipients is somewhat puzzling given so many American families are a paycheck or two away from having to queue up at the welfare offices themselves, but promotions like “Food Stamp Friday” do little to quell the outrage, and fuel the frustration many have toward what they see as a system gamed by the poor and not oil companies even as more dump trucks of money were poured upon them by Congress just this week.
So in Alabama, The Rose Supper Club in Montgomery is starting Food Stamp Fridays, where those who present a food stamp benefit card at the door will receive $5 entry. And the promotion has worked in predictably bringing notoriety to Food Stamp Fridays, with all kinds of angriness about people on food stamps spending gubmint money on nightclubs and patron.
Except that food stamps can’t be used for club entry fees. Or liquor. Or any other number of things you can purchase at a nightclub, and to our knowledge, no nightclub in America accepts food stamps for any of its wares. In fact, if you are poor, on food stamps and have a baby, you can’t even buy diapers with them.
So why exactly are we mad that people on food stamps (many or even most of whom work) are able to scrounge up $5 to get a discounted entry at a nightclub? Should people on food stamps have absolutely no joy in their lives, not even a $5 night out at some busted supper club in Montgomery, Alabama?
Apparently, the Alabama Human Resources Department thinks so, as spokesman Barry Sparks commented that the department does not approve of the promotion, and reiterated that food stamps are to buy food for families with low-incomes.
So far, The Rose Supper Club’s Food Stamp Fridays is set to continue through April.