View Poll Results: Should food stamps only be redeemable for bulk staples and basic ingredients?

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  • Yes

    40 56.34%
  • No

    31 43.66%
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Thread: Should we restrict food stamps to bulk staples and basic ingredients?

  1. #41
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    Re: Should we restrict food stamps to bulk staples and basic ingredients?

    Quote Originally Posted by rocket88 View Post
    The other problem is that grocery stores with bulk foods departments tend not to be located in lower income areas. So unless someone did something to address that, they wouldn't have access to these things.
    And stores like Sam's Club and Costco that offer bulk foods don't accept SNAP.

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    Re: Should we restrict food stamps to bulk staples and basic ingredients?

    Quote Originally Posted by Neomalthusian View Post
    It's not so much that it's my nickel, it's that the shopping spree model of food stamps is utterly unnecessary. It's an inefficient way of accomplishing the mission of food stamps. There are much better ways to make sure our country is well nourished.



    Corporations make good money convincing the government to entitle people to its products. But it's wasteful and not necessary to use government benefits to enrich corporations under the guise of helping the needy.

    Is the actual mission of food stamps in fact a corporate one?
    well, since food stamp money goes to corporate food producers and then trickles down to the workers, i guess that is a side benefit.

    in reality, the mission of food stamps is to help those people left behind by supply side to live a more normal life. there's always room to tweak the system, but most of the **** i read on message boards is closer to :

    "these lazy poor people are stealing my money to buy twinkies."

    i don't really believe or care about that particular oversimplification.

  3. #43
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    Re: Should we restrict food stamps to bulk staples and basic ingredients?

    Quote Originally Posted by radcen View Post
    Question for those who would severely restrict what can be bought:

    Would you allow a can of Campbells soup to be purchased, or would you require that all the ingredients be bought separately?
    The idea I proposed here would exclude any prepared/processed food, i.e. anything with multiple ingredients listed on the label, so that means Campbell's soup too. Sorry. The idea is not about picking and choosing what I subjectively consider "healthy." The idea is that the most efficient way of mitigating hunger is to provide the building blocks of a good diet to the people and allowing them to decide how they want to eat using those ingredients.

    And when you wrap your mind around that, you realize that it's not a severe restriction. It actually sets people free to create anything they want from their ingredients on hand. From the things that would be redeemable with SNAP cards, one could make thousands and thousands of different food items and dishes.

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    Re: Should we restrict food stamps to bulk staples and basic ingredients?

    Quote Originally Posted by Neomalthusian View Post
    The poll question is rather basic. Should we do this? Explain why or why not.

    For context, this is what currently is redeemable:
    • breads and cereals;
    • fruits and vegetables;
    • meats, fish and poultry;
    • dairy products;
    • Soft drinks, candy, cookies, snack crackers, and ice cream are food items and are therefore eligible items
    • Seafood, steak, and bakery cakes are also food items and are therefore eligible items

    Source: Eligible Food Items | Food and Nutrition Service

    A question you might think about that could affect your answer might be, "What is the real, core, basic purpose of food assistance programs?"

    If the answer is to prevent hunger/starvation in the U.S., then I would propose that all packaged processed foods (foods with multiple ingredients listed) be excluded. That sweeps a lot of confusion off the table right there. Eligible items could include single ingredient bulk staples like rice, beans, lentils, flour, pasta, basic spices, cooking oil, even sugar, and produce, eggs, and, what the hell, even some types of meat.

    That combination alone results in a panoply of food options, and minimal risk of starvation. It also mitigates starvation at the cheapest and maybe healthiest manner possible -- by putting control over the ingredients into the hands of the person receiving and preparing the food.

    So my vote in this poll is Yes. We should do this.

    Let's assume these folks would throw a conniption and vote No.



    What do you all say?
    I'd also restrict by calories, based on the weight of the recipients. That is fat recipients would receive less food until they come down to a healthy weight.
    Quod scripsi, scripsi

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    Re: Should we restrict food stamps to bulk staples and basic ingredients?

    Quote Originally Posted by Helix View Post
    well, since food stamp money goes to corporate food producers and then trickles down to the workers, i guess that is a side benefit.

    in reality, the mission of food stamps is to help those people left behind by supply side to live a more normal life. there's always room to tweak the system, but most of the **** i read on message boards is closer to :

    "these lazy poor people are stealing my money to buy twinkies."

    i don't really believe or care about that particular oversimplification.
    That's fine, I understand that you're unmoved by people's outrage over using social benefits for marginally nutritious or non-nutritive items. More than being outraged at food stamp fraud, I simply think that going back to basics might (just might) give people even more options, opportunity for creativity with their food choices and diets, quite probably healthier, and has the potential to provide more food to more people for cheaper. It might even result in such savings that people could basically sustain on the food from the program alone, rather than use it only as a supplement, which is what it is now.

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    Re: Should we restrict food stamps to bulk staples and basic ingredients?

    Quote Originally Posted by Neomalthusian View Post
    That's fine, I understand that you're unmoved by people's outrage over using social benefits for marginally nutritious or non-nutritive items. More than being outraged at food stamp fraud, I simply think that going back to basics might (just might) give people even more options, opportunity for creativity with their food choices and diets, quite probably healthier, and has the potential to provide more food to more people for cheaper. It might even result in such savings that people could basically sustain on the food from the program alone, rather than use it only as a supplement, which is what it is now.
    i'm all for more options, and i'm a bit of a fitness nut myself. i'm just not for being pissed off that lower socioeconomic consumers are using the benefits to buy the food that they want. there are more important things to be pissed off about.

  7. #47
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    Re: Should we restrict food stamps to bulk staples and basic ingredients?

    Quote Originally Posted by Oftencold View Post
    I'd also restrict by calories, based on the weight of the recipients. That is fat recipients would receive less food until they come down to a healthy weight.
    Of course, this neatly overlooks the fact that obesity is caused more by poor quality food than by overeating, and the cheap foods you'd be forcing fat poor people to buy would only make them fatter.

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    Re: Should we restrict food stamps to bulk staples and basic ingredients?

    Quote Originally Posted by Helix View Post
    because you're a member of a society, and sometimes that means dealing with stuff you don't approve of. i do it every day.
    If government had the capability of being efficient, then I'd be all for it. But over and over it has shown to be the least efficient at anything. I mean, how much did the Obamacare website cost? 200 Million? 300 Million? More? You think any other company would pay that .... for a site? In the private sector, you'd have mass firing over that crap. For the government, it's just another day. Actually, you got the guys responsible for accountability for this stuff living it up in Las Vegas.

    Quote Originally Posted by Helix View Post
    nah, trickle down should actually work so that there are good jobs for the people currently on assistance. and when we figure out that it doesn't work as advertised, we should modify it slightly so that it works better.
    Again, it's about getting the most bang for your buck. It's one thing to rail against the private sector and talk about how it doesn't work, but look at the government's efforts. 47 million people are on food stamps. Half of this country doesn't pay any taxes, where as those who are successful, who are contributing to growing on the economy are being taxed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Helix View Post
    reread what you just wrote, and figure it out.

    there are a lot of machines i rage against. the evil, lazy poor is a myth i broke for myself when i was still a libertarian. can you do the same?
    The road runs both ways Helix. People who live off the government aren't exactly starving in the street either. Most people that are on these assistance programs, live like royalty to what people in poverty live in other countries. We as a government need to focus on not providing a happy life for those less fortunate, but providing emergency assistance. This way it doesn't encourage them to say on it. Look at programs like Medicaid, that has become so laughably broke that doctors are denying them coverage. Ultimately, there are just some things this country can't afford while attempting to remain competitive with the world markets. Lest we end up in the situation of Europe where they are suffering from a debt crisis because they tried to do to much. We're already racking up a trillion a year in debt, how much more do you want to add?

  9. #49
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    Re: Should we restrict food stamps to bulk staples and basic ingredients?

    Quote Originally Posted by Korimyr the Rat View Post
    And stores like Sam's Club and Costco that offer bulk foods don't accept SNAP.
    And you know, that really boggles my mind. I see people who operate restaurants buying huge sacks and buckets of ingredients from places like Costco and Sam's, which they do the work to prepare into food items at a markup, and whaddya know, SNAP will even pay for some restaurant food.

    It would delight me if SNAP beneficiaries could be the ones buying these sacks and buckets full of ingredients and making their own food for much cheaper than what they have to fork over for grocery, restaurant and convenience store food. I mean I guess it wouldn't necessarily be great for the restaurants and grocers and food processors, but it would be great for the people themselves. They'd be the ones capitalizing on their own value-added efforts, cost-cutting for their own personal benefit, rather than purchasing subserviently from the others, who benefit from their ongoing dependence.

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    Re: Should we restrict food stamps to bulk staples and basic ingredients?

    Quote Originally Posted by Helix View Post
    i'm all for more options, and i'm a bit of a fitness nut myself. i'm just not for being pissed off that lower socioeconomic consumers are using the benefits to buy the food that they want. there are more important things to be pissed off about.
    Obesity is a huge issue in this country. What's worse if you see that in those areas that are the poorest, are also the fattest? How does that even work anyways? I mean I thought poverty was about scratching for change for money to survive... instead everyone's having a big mac and laughing all the way.

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