September 15, 2007


Why the Hungry Refuse Help (NY Times. 9/15/07)

As many as 1.3 million New Yorkers, about one-quarter of them children, do not have enough to eat. These are precisely the people, many from working families, whom federal food stamps are supposed to help. But bureaucratic hassles imposed by the city may be discouraging hundreds of thousands of eligible New Yorkers from getting the help they need.

A study by the Urban Justice Center, a nonprofit group that advocates for the poor, found that of 9,500 recipients surveyed, more than 5,800 had their benefits cut off within 20 months of enrollment. The vast majority remained eligible for food stamps, but, in most cases, they simply did not show up to get their aid renewed. Many said they could not deal with the paperwork and long waits, or get time away from work or children to reapply at a city office.

How's that bureaucratization of pauperism working out?

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 15, 2007 7:24 AM

To the ants, this story is about grassoppers who will not stop fiddling long enough to get free food.

The economic analysis is revealing. Ponder how the city bureaucrats have been suborned into beating the bushes to generate
demand for--food.

Now those so-called "hungry," who for the most part do not look hungry, are feeding somehow. The complaint is that they have made economic decisions in choosing their source of free food, choices not to the liking of one set of bureaucrats.

Thus subtle pressures may be employed to influence behavior. Once we determine that honest work is better, not just for ants but for the grasshoppers also, than having the so-called "poor" sit around watching their behinds grow fatter, then by all means let there be some "cost" to the recipient for all this manna from Heaven.

Posted by: Lou Gots at September 15, 2007 9:27 AM