The Joy of Going for Broke

One of the fabulous familiarities of living in a fading society is that not a day goes by where something utterly flabbergasting doesn’t occur.  We don’t like it, of course.  But who are we to stand in the way of it.

Naturally there’s nothing we can do about it…except enjoy it as best we can.  Here’s what we mean…

The U.S. federal government has run up $16.8 trillion in debt.  Pencil in household, business, state, and local government debts and you get $59.6 trillion.  You’d think by now something would’ve given way.

No doubt, many things have and are giving way – like Detroit.  Still, as John Maynard Keynes, the messiah of deficit spending once remarked, “There’s a lot of ruin” in a nation.

The ruin, of course, can be enraging…if you let it be.  However, we recommend against that.  Rather, we recommend you find entertainment in it.

Feeding the Caribbean with Food Stamps

For example, as we just noted, the country is beyond broke.  What’s more, there are 47 million people who depend on food stamps for their daily bread.  These people have been tempted out by the carrots of government onto the outer spans of a brittle tree branch.  When it breaks there will be hungry stomachs and holy fury to pay.

But did you know that U.S. tax payers are not only funding the daily bread of large numbers of their fellow inhabitants…they are also footing the bill for people to eat in other country’s abroad?

We’re not just talking about foreign aid programs here.  We are talking about food stamps.  The New York Post recently discovered city residents are using food stamps to buy food and ship it to relatives in Jamaica, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, and who knows where else.

“Welfare recipients are buying groceries with their Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards and packing them in giant barrels for the trip overseas,” The Post found.

“The practice is so common that hundreds of 45- to 55-gallon cardboard and plastic barrels line the walls of supermarkets in almost every Caribbean corner of the city.”

From what we gather, this is occurring at a grand scale…

The Joy of Going for Broke

‘“Everybody does it,’ said a worker at an Associated Supermarket in Prospect Lefferts Gardens, Brooklyn.  ‘They pay for it any way they can.  A lot of people pay with EBT.’

“Customers pay cash for the barrels, usually about $40, and typically ship them filled with $500 to $2,000 worth of rice, beans, pasta, canned milk and sausages.

“Workers at the Pioneer Supermarket on Parkside Avenue and the Key Food on Flatbush Avenue confirmed the practice.  They said food-stamp recipients typically take home their barrels and fill them gradually over time with food bought with EBT cards.  When the tubs are full, the welfare users call a shipping company to pick them up and send them to the Caribbean for about $70.  The shipments take about three weeks.”

Here at the Economic Prism we are all for helping our fellow man.  But we prefer to teach a man to fish so they can become self-supporting through their own contributions.

Instead, like most government plans, our leaders perpetuate a food program that makes people reliant indefinitely.  Even so, politicians refuse to acknowledge that their schemes cost too much and often fail or backfire.  They just keep pouring more and more money into them.

There’s no stopping it.  The government’s balance sheet is larded up with so many programs that several generations of citizens, noncitizens, and now residents of other nations have become reliant upon them.  These programs aren’t affordable.  So the politicians borrow money to pay for them.  After that they print money to roll over the debt.

This, unfortunately, is the unfavorable place we currently find ourselves.  We are experiencing the last joyful hurrah, in the form of EBT funded offshore shipments of food, which accompanies going for broke.  The circumstances are heinous.  Enjoy the travesty while it lasts.


MN Gordon
for Economic Prism

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