Food stamps have strangely emerged as one of the wedge issues of right now, in a time where many more Americans are forced to rely on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, due to a decade of economic hardship across the country.
Yes, as increasing numbers of Americans receive food stamps, so too does our national ire for those lazy layabouts who have been downsized and foreclosed upon and hit hard times increase. What food stamps can buy, what invasive pee-in-a-cup procedures can be forced upon people and generally beating upon the poor has become somewhat of a horrifying national pastime, with those who are lucky enough to be a paycheck away from the poorhouse often leading up the festivities.
Comments on food stamp related articles seem to evoke a comic-if-not-so-tragic, Jonathan Swiftian response of increasing cacophony, with commenters suggesting “why stop at food stamps? Drug test people who get child support too!”
Anecdotal tales of welfare recipients living large on champagne and lobster inevitably follow, or often a supposed sighting of a poor person having the nerve to buy a birthday cake, because, I suppose, poor kids don’t deserve cake even if some beleaguered family scrimped and budgeted to allow the $15 on the SNAP account to allow it. I never.
Alas, in New Hampshire, you’re allowed to even purchase smokes with your meager allowance — and one fed-up cashier refused to accept EBT benefits for a purchase, and was summarily fired. The irony is almost too much to bear, as nearly all cashiers are nearly poverty-line themselves — yet this one felt such righteous indignation at being asked to do the job she was being paid to do, which is basically the only responsibility adults have besides raising kids and paying bills that she jeopardized it to make a point about other poor people.
Cashier of six years Jackie Whiton explains that while her bosses and lawmakers had other policies in place, her own personal feeling on food stamps should have superseded that, and says:
“I gave two weeks notice and tried to bow out gracefully,” said Jackie Whiton, of Antrim. “But the next day, I was fired.”
You can read the full story over at WMUR — but you do realize that if we stopped hand wringing about what poor people scrape together to eat each month, we’d have like a ton more man hours to dedicate to actually doing and making things ourselves?