Friday, August 19, 2011

Working Poor on food stamps the Real Problem in Wisconsin. Will Walker’s Open for Business be the solution?

It’s not just the lack of job creation by the Republican administration we have to worry about, but the decades long wage stagnation hitting families.
Wausau Daily Herold: The dramatic growth of food stamp use in Marathon and Lincoln counties is one metric of how much poverty has increased in north central Wisconsin as a direct result of the recession.

In a related story, I just ran across an article where big business is again complaining about a 7.5 percent increase in health care insurance for their employees, and how they’re going to make those employees pay more out of pocket to lessen the blow. But that only reduces take home pay, which in turn cuts the discretionary income that is used by consumers to create demand and improve the economy. Back to our food stamp problem:
A Wausau Daily Herald report recently found that a monthly average of 14,784 people in Marathon County received food stamps in the first half of this year. In 2007, that number was 7,936. In Lincoln County, the monthly average four years ago was 1,587. In 2011, it was 3,700.

And a long-term trend in the use of food assistance is that more people who receive it come from households with income from work -- the working poor. As lower- and middle-class wages have been squeezed in the past 20 years or longer, it is more common for people who work, even in full-time jobs, to nevertheless wind up at or below the poverty line. The fact that the number of people receiving assistance has skyrocketed means people are losing ground, and that can't be explained away. 
Walker's simplistic "Open for Business" slogan does little to deal with shrinking wages and rising food stamp use and Badgercare enrollment.

No comments:

Post a Comment