March 3rd 2017 – By: William Larsen – Civilians News – “News For All Views”
– Why Education and Welfare Reform Are The MOST Important Issues Of Our Time –
In 1929, thee American economy collapsed.
Later on, President Hoover worsened that economy, through strict government inaction.
It was only after Hoover, with his poignant stance on lesser government and non-intervention, that, “New Deal legislation,” began fixing American poverty. In this way, modern day government spending is largely due to the Great Depression era.
This is important to note for a variety of reasons. Many Americans today, old and young, have forgotten the roots of our society. While history often points to the Great Depression, in terms of economic uncertainty, after the 1920’s the issue of federal government expansion, largely dominated American culture. Even today, the size of the federal government and government intervention, is still one of the most controversial and core values, within American culture.
Throughout the 1930’s and 1940’s, the US government continued to, “wean,” the American economy into its modern state, through government spending. Later on, perhaps due to controversy surrounding this, “early welfare system,” a plane crashed into the Empire State Building’s, Christian Welfare Offices, in 1945. That plane crash occurred after a rash of suicides, swept through 1940’s New York City. This is a lesser known fact of historical significance today……
Suicide Statistics and the Economy
In fact, for many years suicide rates have been DIRECTLY tied to the economy as a whole. In this way, I believe the issue of suicide rates themselves, have largely come to reflect the “fairness” of the US economy….
In 2014, 13 out of every 100,000 Americans killed themselves. In 1999, 10 out of every 100,000 Americans also committed the act of suicide.
During this time, in conjunction with welfare statistics, participation in food stamp programs grew at nearly the exact same rate.
Population Expansion And Deficit Spending
For these reasons, this is an era of social and cultural evolution. In many ways, today we are witnessing an expanding population of 325 million Americans and NOT 325 million jobs…. And that is why education and welfare (and the history thereof) are of the utmost importance right now, for future generations to come.
In contrast, during the 1950’s there were approximately 125 million Americans, nearly half the modern population….. It was during this time, in a relatively manageable population, that the federal government could spend and maintain an intrinsically free market society. This was done many times, predominately through militarization and the expansions of legal systems. In this way, modern industrial complexes were created and still exist today. These complexes include, but are not limited to; fast food, insurance, several branches of the law and several other industries. For many decades this form of government intervention created jobs and stabilized American markets. However, many of these solutions are no longer applicable today, due to a growing population and market saturation.
For many decades America has examined this free market dilemma, with a, “Darwinist approach.” However, with a larger and larger population in America today, this approach is growing more and more inhumane…..
Clearly illustrating this problem are the issues of; food stamps, social security and suicide rates today…..
Below is the current federal government spending, “Food Stamp (SNAP)” statistics, from recent years.
|Food Stamp (SNAP) Statistics||Data|
|Total annual cost of food stamp program||$69,800,000,000|
|Number of Americans using the food stamp (SNAP) program||41,170,732|
|Number of American households receiving food stamps||22,318,000|
|Percent of population on food stamp program||14 %|
Food Stamp Statistics
This month, over 41 million Americans require government food assistance.
To put that number in perspective; 1 out of every 8 Americans required government food support, this year.
By comparison, in 2000, 17.1 million Americans required food stamp support, or roughly 1 in 16.
As I mentioned above, from 2000 to 2014, suicide rates grew roughly 30%, in 14 years…. This growth rate is similar to the growth of food stamp participation, which climbed roughly 50% over that same period of time.
To take that a step further; in 1990, the US population was around 240 million Americans and 20 million were on food stamps, at that time. This correlates to a ratio of roughly 1 in 12 Americans, on food stamp support, back in 1990.
In 1980, the US population was around 226.5 million Americans… By comparison, 21 million Americans were on food stamp support at that time, or roughly 1 in 10.5.
Where you begin to see a steep drop-off in the numbers, is around Vietnam. This was a well known proxy war over socialism, in the 1960’s. At that time, only 2 million Americans were on government food stamp support, with a population of around 200 million Americans. This correlates to a ratio of 1 in 100 Americans, receiving government food support, in 1969.
These statistics are vastly alarming.
In many ways these numbers represent; modern day government reliance, top heavy corporate pay structures and hypocrisy in terms of free market fundamentalism….. Yet, despite these truths, the next generation will inherit this deficit. Furthermore, the next century may also force young Americans to one day experience their own 2020’s, “cautionary tale of deficit spending.”
I believe……this trend in government spending is an issue of economics and American education. In fact, the gap between America’s free market and modern day welfare statistics, in many ways illustrates the problem itself.
In my opinion, it all starts with education…….
I believe it’s utterly inhumane to say, “Americans don’t deserve food,” or in essence, the tools to create it for themselves…..
Living a healthy life is a human condition. Food itself, could easily be viewed as an un-alienable human right, no different than citizenship today….. This is my belief….. However, not everyone in America sees it this way……. Nevertheless, without food the human body has no energy to contribute to society, in any way at all……
So this circumstance really comes down to education, in my opinion….. The fact of the matter is that times are changing and in many ways, due to Ai technology and automation, America must change accordingly…..
Free Market Adaptations
This is not to say America should abandon the principles of the free market, but only that America should proceed through the 21st century with caution.
One day, in the not so distant future, home farming, global Wifi and solar power, will allow for a natural rural sprawl. This will in all likelihood, offer more solutions in terms of self farming, relieving the need for food stamp support. However, that future is not today. I will cover this issue later on, but largely due to the ramifications of plastics and the need for environmental protectionism, I believe home farming and rural sprawl….. IS NOT CURRENTLY….. America’s best solution, in regards to welfare reform.
America will always be a culture of exceptionalism and independence; however it is simply the REALITY that times will continue to change.
While not going as far as to advocate a foreign system of capitalistic-pseudo-socialism….. it is important to remember that many Americans on welfare today, are no different than you or I.
Social Security Vs Food Stamps
In conjunction with food stamp support is also the issue of Social Security. In 2016, 61 million Americans received 768.63 billion dollars worth of social security benefits… annually. (https://www.ssa.gov/oact/STATS/table4a5.html)…..
Furthermore, a large majority of that money, is going towards health and prescription drug coverage, for senior citizens…. This is another reason why I believe education, is a major problem with welfare reforms….
To be clear….. it is these same Americans, who currently receive an annual 768.63 billion dollars in government backed social security, who once claimed to have won, “the cold war against socialism.” It is these same Americans, who are receiving almost a trillion dollars worth of government spending, every year, whose demographic is best known for pushing, “free market reforms” and opposing social welfare systems altogether…..
By contrast, 70 billion, or 1/10th of that government backed social security, is spent on food stamp programs every year…..
For those reasons, I believe food and housing benefits should be considered, “an unalienable human right,” no different than citizenship today….. However, this concept leads to a plethora of resulting arguments, debating the fabric of America, as well as the interplay between government spending and free market institutions….
This leads me to wonder….. Should baby boomer retirees, be revoked of social security benefits, under the guise of free market economics?
Who’s to say housing the homeless, or making food and shelter UNALIENABLE HUMAN RIGHTS, would demean currency? Who’s to say that acceptance of these reforms, MANY OF WHICH ARE ALREADY IN PLACE TODAY, would demean hard working Americans, going to work everyday? Furthermore, if housing and food benefits do become subsidized government needs, how can we as Americans justify the laziness of the few, who choose not to participate in the economy moving forward? (Read also, last month’s article on the future of Ai, in the economy.)
This conundrum raises a handful of sub issues, which must be confronted head on, in order to propel national growth and development.
It is of my belief, that contrary to popular opinion within the US today, housing reforms could (and should) take place in America. I also believe that this could be done while still preserving social and economic mobility, through land and material wealth.
A fairer system, I believe would be similar to voluntary education…. That is to say, I believe that MOST AMERICANS, would still choose to work and hold jobs (even the worst of jobs) under a fairer system.
Not intending to wean the masses onto government aid, it is of my opinion, that barracks style housing, or group housing, should be used to keep homeless people inside at night, as well.
Nevertheless, opponents of welfare reform, point to homelessness and starvation, as deterrents for drunkards and paupers. Nevertheless, I believe that even the worst of jobs, in America today, would continue to be done, EVEN IF shelter and social security, were effectively viewed as human rights. I also believe that these social acceptances, could take place, in regards to welfare reform, while still maintaining America’s core values of social mobility and economic efficiency…..
PS: Or the billionaire class could just invest in small business’ like mine……