Friday, March 19, 2010

Food Stamps Are... Hip?

Salon.com has an interesting article this week about the large numbers of cool unemployed college grads receiving food stamps.  More commentary here.  Looking at our sickly economy, it seems overly harsh to criticize any individual for using every available tool at their disposal to save money.  On a policy note, however, there should be better methods for distinguishing between those who truly need nutritional assistance and those who don't.  I won't make any judgments, but an unemployed middle-class college graduate is in a much different long-term socioeconomic category than those living in poverty.  My main problem with food stamps is that they don't discriminate against unhealthy foods.  Obesity, diabetes, and other health problems hit the food stamp demographics hard, and the government could reduce its health care costs by making nutritionally worthless foods like soda more expensive.

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