People Who Need To Be Punched: Baltimore Edition


The government would only buy me a vintage suit and typewriter

Like many people I know, my post-college years were interrupted by long periods of Dickensian poverty—missing rent payments, hawking old CDs and records to buy food, taking horrid jobs that paid subsistance wages, bouts of black lung from sleeping in the mines—while I tried to figure out how to "monetize" (to use that awful, trendy, but useful word) a history degree. What I never did, though, is ask the Clinton administration to underwrite my skinny jeans and "gourmet ice cream from Whole Foods" budget.

Salon reports on a wave of pretentious, talentless, ironic beard-wearing "artists" charging their stupid and expensive vegan diets to the taxpayer.

"She applied for food stamps last summer, and since then she's used her $150 in monthly benefits for things like fresh produce, raw honey and fresh-squeezed juices from markets near her house in the neighborhood of Hampden, and soy meat alternatives and gourmet ice cream from a Whole Foods a few miles away."…

"About half of his friends in Baltimore have been getting food stamps since the economy toppled, so [Gerry Mak] decided to give it a try; to his delight, he qualified for $200 a month."

"I'm sort of a foodie, and I'm not going to do the 'living off ramen' thing," he said, fondly remembering a recent meal he'd prepared of roasted rabbit with butter, tarragon and sweet potatoes. "I used to think that you could only get processed food and government cheese on food stamps, but it's great that you can get anything."

As Morrissey whimpered on the Smiths' debut album, "England is mine and it owes me a living." But unlike the whimpering Baltimore proletariat, the Wilde-loving Mancunian had a good measure of talent.

How innocent we were, back in the 1990s, to not know that there could be a species of rebel youth more loathsome than the "trustafarian." The Chomsky-reading son of the Connecticut industrialist is a worthy target of mockery and disdain, of course, but at least I'm not paying for his cage-free chicken breasts. One of the fools profiled in the Salon piece, an "artist" and "writer" named Gerry Mak (pictured), rails on his blog about those malevolent "people/employers who think because I enjoy art and writing, I will be happy to do it for free." That others partially underwrite Mak's failed career in the "creative fields" (his inelegant phrase), that he snacks on organic honey "for free," fails to provoke similar moral outrage.

Click here to view Mak's YouTube channel, which goes a long way towards explaining why the luckless foodie is forced to swipe a "Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program" debit card. A year old comment on his YouTube account—employing the grammar native to the site—sums it up rather well: "you seems always stay at home, get out and have some fresh air."

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  1. Every time god kills a hipster, an angel gets its wings.

  2. After watching all 5 seasons of The Wire, I thought I had seen all manner of scum that Baltimore had to offer. Boy, was I wrong.

  3. Fucking hipster.

  4. After I graduated in 1992 during the last great recession with my MBA, I had a long string of terrible jobs. I moved furnature, managed a Taco Bell, temp work with the SBA, and credit analyst/collections.

    Finally after nearly four years of gaining no real financial experience, I knew my MBA (Finance) had passed its expiration date and was now worthless. In 1996 recent grads were taking all the jobs and didn’t have the four year hole to explain as I. When all looked hopeless, I learned that anyone with any programming experience could hit 70k in a year and a 100k in three. I exaggerated my background in computer, got a great job, and never looked back.

    Sometimes you need adversity to propel you in new directions. I guess these losers will probably suffer in the long run and never amount to anything.

    1. Sure, you think you’re better off. However, with just a few more months of unemployment, you might have been able to hold out until that really sweet A/P spot opened up at the local Chuck E. Cheese.

    2. Yeah, and I went into computers in 2001, right as it all went to shit. I’m still waiting to see that $70K. Hell, I’d take $50K at this point.

      1. Hell, I’d take $49K. Hire me instead.

      2. You’re doing it wrong. Program them, don’t administer them.

  5. An Asian leach is a terrible thing. So contra-stereotype.

    1. some of us are clever enough to get paid off of ARRA.

  6. That right there is what they call a punchable face.

  7. As Morrissey whimpered on the Smiths’ debut album, “England is mine and it owes me a living.”

    In fairness, I think Morrissey was making fun of people with that attitude. After all, the next line was, “But ask me why, and I’ll spit in your eye”. Apparently, that was a proposition he didn’t think would bear much scrutiny.

    1. Yes, Morrissey was poking at people like Mr. Mak.

      If we didn’t have food stamps, this wouldn’t be possible. Don’t hate the player, hate the game.

      1. No, I think I’ll go ahead and hate both. After all, I am a Very Angry Boy.

  8. Just think how much the taxpayers will eventually spend to extract that typewriter from his ass.

    1. Just think of how much the taxpayers will spend until he extracts his head from his ass (if ever).

      1. And if Obamacare passes, we’ll be paying for that operation too.

  9. I’m find it a little frustrating that we seem to go after the low hanging fruit (no pun intended), like we see here…

    But, really, it isn’t about what they do with the money they steal from me that makes me mad–it’s the stealing my money part!

    Instead of focusing on the people who don’t work but get the benefits, maybe we should focus more on the people who are paying for these benefits but don’t get any.

    It’s not as bad as with the anti-immigrant folk, but it’s more or less the same argument. I don’t care whether my stolen money is being spent on illegal immigrants or American citizen–but I do care about them not stealing my money.

    I don’t care what you spend your money on either–even if it’s on organic honey or Norwegian curling pants…so long as you stop stealing my money.

    1. But, really, it isn’t about what they do with the money they steal from me that makes me mad–it’s the stealing my money part!

      Nice. I’ll nominate that for a win.

    2. I agree completely. The problem is, liberals always use the argument that we really have a duty to help the less fortunate (whether we’d be willing to do so without government interference or not). So if you’re against food stamps, you’re in favor of people starving to death. If you’re against government run health care, you’re in favor of people bleeding to death. Etc, etc.

      So it’s perfectly reasonable to point out that a lot of the time, welfare programs help not the people that could really use the help, but rather the people who are best at taking advantage.

      I think both arguments are valid. It’s wrong to steal money, and welfare is inherently wasteful.

      1. It does matter, in an irrational and subjective sort of way.

        Imagine someone literally steals your money. You track it down, and find out that they’ve given it to a third party.

        If the recipient is a home for orphans or the abused animals from SPCA commercials or starving Africans or something, you’re perfectly within your rights to take it back from them, but you’d probably also feel like a major dick about it if you did (less so considering they probably knew the money was stolen when they got it, but still kind of a dick). For those of us capable of empathy, there’s a guilt element in play, justifiable or not.

        Whereas, if you found that your money had been given to these hipster assholes, you’d just beat the fuck out of them until they gave the money back with interest.

        1. I think part of the problem is that it shifts the focus away from the true culprits here.

          …and it isn’t the slackers, the illegal immigrants or the welfare queens, really.

          It’s the politicians who continue to plunder my income and my savings.

          They’re the cause. They’re the ones to blame. Slackers are just another red herring.

          1. I take issue with parasites no matter how they live off me.

        2. Naaaa … see. I figure if its cash and the original dbags don’t have it, tough shit for me.

  10. Ken, I think you have a fundamental misunderstanding. All the money belongs to Obama, he lets you keep some of it.

  11. I agree with Ken.

    The subtext here seems to be that the problem with SNAP is that these guys are buying high-quality food with it. That implies that if they were buying crap, it would somehow be OK. [Of course, in a different context we’d rail against SNAP recipients as obese Americans who order crap food even though they could buy higher-quality food with their subsidy.]

    Either SNAP is a problem or it’s not. The actual food purchased isn’t so relevant to me.

    1. Fluffster–I read the indignation as not so much that he’s buying yuppie chow with his theft, but more that he’s a worthless loser who isn’t willing to sacrifice or get a worthwhile job that will pay for his lifestyle.

      His expectation is that his “enjoyment of writing and art” should be paid for by others goes beyond Euro standards and off into orbit around Bizarro.

      And yes, he should be punched in the face, daily.

    2. Well, it’s questionable whether organic honey is actually superior food. Or organics in general. At least, the degree of superiority is marginal at best. So why are food stamps being wasted to buy something of marginal benefit at best?

      You *can* eat well off a small budget, but the bank-for-buck ratio is not in buying free-range or organic. It’s in buying more veggies and beans.

      Ironically, we probably would improve people’s diets if we cut the food stamp budget to the point they could only *afford* vaggies and bens.

      1. Vaggies are the most expensive item on the market . . . any market. But the thought of some hipster using food stamps for an organic vaggie does sadden me . . . in an ironic sorta way.

        1. True, but you can eat the same one for a long, long time. If you do it right, I mean.

      2. I *do* eat well off a small budget, also organically and mostly locally.

        Remember when food prices were skyrocketing last summer?

        Mine weren’t, because fuel increases don’t make as big of a difference when your eggs are coming from 50 miles away instead of 1000.

        The real problem with our food system is the perverse system of incentives and subsidies that makes eating fresh vegetables grown locally somehow more expensive than artificially flavored corn derivatives that have been driven back and forth across the country a couple times before being finally deposited in your big-box store.

        Poor people (even idiot hipsters) are not the problem here. If you want your money to stop funding food, let’s talk about corn subsidies.

    3. Either SNAP is a problem or it’s not. The actual food purchased isn’t so relevant to me.

      Well, if you can afford to feed yourself while blowing your food stamps on rabbit and raw honey and overpriced/undernutritious vegan crap with your food stamps, you probably don’t need food stamps to keep body and soul together.

      So, there is a connection.

  12. Click here to view Mak’s YouTube channel

    I have a feeling somebody is about to receive some very cruel comments.

    1. He got some very honest one stars.

  13. In fact, indignation over trivia about the program like the fact that one guy bought rabbit with his benefit is counterproductive, for a pretty simple reason:

    Exposes on how people spend their SNAP benefit won’t get rid of SNAP. What they WILL get us is another wave of bureaucrat hires, so that we can try to micromanage the menus of program recipients more than we already do. I’d rather have lots of SNAP recipients blow their benefit on rabbit – or beer – and see all those bureaucrats out on the street.

    If you think you can get rid of the program itself, let’s get that done. If not, if you encourage the micromanagement of this shit, the statists will be only too happy to assist you, because that means they can build out their personnel empires a little more, and lock a few more MSW’s into lifetime sinecures and pension schemes.

    1. indignation over trivia about the program like the fact that one guy bought rabbit

      I’m indignant as hell about some parasite buying rabbit with food stamps.Rabbit is a traditional “meat of poverty” that can be taken with homemade traps,snares, slingshot or a cheap air rifle.You can “poach” rabbit, squirrel, doves, pigeons etc easily in an urban environment. Immigrants and country boy college students do it all the time.

      1. Ya got permit for them traps, Pilgrim?

      2. yup

      3. “You can “poach” rabbit, squirrel, doves, pigeons etc easily in an urban environment.”

        Mmmm… urban pigeon, nurtured from the nest on nice, wholesome garbage…

        1. Duh, that’s why you have to catch a few and coup raise them for a while on decent food. It’s not rocket surgery.

        2. Crabs feed on the muck at the bottom of the ocean and they’re still delicious!

    2. It’s not the buying rabbit that’s the problem per se, it’s the not particularly seeming needy with lines “I’m sort of a foodie, and I’m not going to do the ‘living off ramen’ thing.”

      Sure, if you stop at “all taxation is theft,” then who cares? But if your opinion is that some public charity is okay to keep people from starving, then you might be pretty annoyed that public charity is used for people who aren’t in any danger of starving or even going hungry, they just want to eat more expensive food.

      It makes these people sound as ungrateful as Dennis Moore’s peasants.

      1. “This redistribution of wealth is trickier than I thought.”

    3. I seem to recall that rabbit is something that poor people eat. They’re easy to raise, even in an urban environment.


      1. Pigeon is even better. Pigeon is a delacacy in every other culture but ours. You can feed an entire family with a good pigeon coup on a roof.

        1. And, come to think of it, the family cat disappeared recently . . .

          1. …and your kids homework is done!

        2. Um. Don’t tell this guy.

        3. Pigeon is a delacacy in every other culture but ours.

          Which is exactly why pigeons were imported to the US, as a food animal. The Modern Flying Rat is the descendant of feral populations of domestic fowl.

          Think of the crime it would be for chickens or pigs to be running around loose and uneaten.

          1. I live in Florida. We have LOTS of pigs running around loose and uneaten.

            1. You got fewer thanks to the work of my cousins!

            2. Come on up and get some of the pigs running around loose in D.C. It’s easy – you’ll know right where they are – it’s the big giant stone building with the big dome and the lady on top.

    4. You won’t actually get much in the way of new bureaucrats and increased micromanagement without a few more decades and a major U-turn in social work ideology.

      Social work and public assistance started with every penny being scrutinized because the poor were seen as being poor because they were incompetent at budgeting. People found ways around that by doing things like conniving with shopkeepers to buy approved items and then return them for store credit for unapproved items. Around the Great Depression, when a lot of “competent” people needed assistance, giving money without restrictions became seen as not only less demeaning but also more effective in educating people in how to use money wisely.

      Besides, the “best practices” in social work right now are to help people do whatever they want rather than coercing them in any manner.

      –Your friendly neighborhood MSW, who has been too poor to buy ramen, knows no one in her field with a sinecure and who only makes ends meet because her husband works in computers

  14. I’ve always wondered about the shitty jobs post-college. My degree is “worthless” outside getting into a masters program or law school, but I make “great” money for my age doing bookkeeping. Am I doing something wrong? I seem to be able to afford my rent and I eat meat instead of ramen.

    1. Perhaps competence is more important than a piece of paper saying you’re supposed to be competent?

      1. That flies in the face of all the findings of all the academics who push college so their job is secure… Wait.

  15. Eating “healthful” foods is actually quite cheap. I proved it to a Seattle Times reporter a couple of years ago.

  16. Hey! I used the food stamps tobuy T-bone steaks .

  17. I thought this was going to be about Avon Barksdale.

    1. I thought this was going to be about Jimmy McNulty!

      1. I thought this was going to be about Clay Davis! Sheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeit.

  18. Go Americorps, “volunteers” get $1000 post-tax a month +$200 a month food stamps and a $5k lump-sum payout at the end.

  19. This pathetic fuck is 31 years old. Thirty. One. Years. Old.

    By the time my old man was 31 he was farming 640 acres on his own to support a wife and 4 kids. All after spending 2 years patrolling the Korean DMZ.

    1. But had your old man produced some of the most completely worthless youtube videos of his day? I think not.

    2. High quality Iowa farmland runs $5000-$7000 per acre.

      Your pappy was making his bucks off over $3 million in capital, which I doubt this “pathetic fuck” has.…..who-2010-3

      1. It says “on his own”, not “of his own”.

      2. Uh… Also, apparently Chad hasn’t figured out that he might want to go hop in his way back machine and learn that “High quality Iowa farmland” 40-50 years ago wasn’t actually $5-7,000 an acre… So pappy actually *didn’t* need $3,000,000 in capital to get going no matter how you look at it – and that’s assuming that he owned the land himself as opposed to had a deal with a bank or sharecropping situation.

        I haven’t been around that much the last couple months, but it appears Chad remains as dumb as a box of dirt as usual.

        1. Sean, if it had been one million rather than three (in today’s dollars), would it have made a difference to my argument?

          Pappy likely inherited 640 acres of land and good bit of capital equipment to boot.

          1. Pappy could just have likely been a guy who scraped together enough money to buy some secondhand equipment and farmed other people’s 640 acres for shares or cash-rent.

            Pulling a narrative that supports your preconceptions right out of your ass: anyone can do it!

          2. 320 acres owned by my grandfather, originally sodbusted by his grandfather in the 1870s and 80s. Homestead Act.

            160 acres leased.

            80 acres bought with a mortgage in the mid 1960s.

            Capital equipment: 1950 Farmall Super M, 1967 Farmall 756, JD combine, machine shed with repair tools, confinement hog barn, 1912 granary, 4 wire corn cribs, 10k bushel soybean drier.

            In the 40 years he farmed it he raised a couple million bushels of corn, fed a couple thousand head of livestock, lost two fingers and never made more than $60,000 in a year. When my grandparents died he got that 320 acres, plus a $175,000 inheritance tax bill that forced him to sell off 100 of it. He retired a few years later and now putts around that fabulously wealthy agri-kingdom of his in a ’97 Chevy S-10.

            I realize he didn’t didn’t do anything important like making ironic fashion statements or pushing the boundaries of transgressive art, but hey, to each their own.

            1. Ah – The Homestead Act! One of the two biggest federal subsidies behind the wealth of the rich Galtian Supermen, the other being the Pacific Railroad Act of 1862, which gave millions of acres of land and vast barrels of money to men who would go on to be the original capitalist superheroes.

          3. Yeah, and we all know if someone inherits any property or material items from an ancestor, they’re just undeserving, greedy, rich pieces of shit who should be glad and grateful to the state for allowing them to keep it. The state should just take all of a decedent’s property and wealth and decide who deserves it more than the decedent’s own offspring.

      3. 1. He never said that it was high-quality farmland.

        2. Farming 640 acres on your own is a herculean feat. I imagine the little hipster slime wouldn’t manage more than a few before he dropped from exhaustion.

        1. You think the hipster could even do one acre? You’re a very generous person. I’m thinking a windowbox garden would be too much.

          Besides, its soooo much easier to buy a bunch of fresh cilantro at whole foods, and let 75% of the bundle rot.

        2. Farming 640 acres on your own is a herculean feat.

          No shit. That is one (1) square mile.

  20. Liberals like me who think poverty programs for the “deserving poor” should really hate folks like this. Not only does it damage support for the program, but it is in itself immoral. The program was created, via much hard wrangling, to help folks other than this person. They are stealing with it being made technically legal through a technical loophole. Shame on them. I mean that in the truest sense, they should be ashamed of themselves.

    Oh, and I agree with fluffy that the diet is not what makes this wrong, and attempts to address the diet would just mean more bureaucracy. It’s the fact that this program is intended for the needy and these kids are not needy that makes it wrong.

    1. You are right MNG. I actually support programs that help the actual needy poor. And anyone who feels the same ought to hate these fuckers with a special passion.

      1. Perhaps this would explain why private charity would be the way to go. They can (or in theory should be allowed to) discriminate freely, not giving their resources to the phony artist-types, and only giving it to those they deem truly needy.

        1. MNG probably wouldn’t like the slippery slope argument right about now. Private charity has no slippery slope like public charity does because private charity is never forced.

  21. I’m going to point out here that eating a vegan diet is actually cheaper than not. Meat and milk product are the most expensive things at the supermarket.

    That said … clearly the food stamp allowance needs to be reduced if people are able to buy organic honey and gourmet ice cream with it.

    1. I’m going to point out here that eating a vegan diet is actually cheaper than not. Meat and milk product are the most expensive things at the supermarket.

      No meat*, milk and eggs are cheap. Fresh produce is expensive in comparison. In my poverty days I learned to ask the produce manager for “waste” produce to feed “pet guinea pigs”.Just wash the sweeping compound off it.

      (*ground chuck is a bargain at Whole Foods, and much better than what you usually get in a grocery store at about the same price)

      1. Not at my supermarket.

        Ground beef will run me about $4.00/lb.

        Most fruits and veggies are in the $2.00/lb range ( maybe less). Which is larger by volume than meat.

        Eggs are pretty cheap, I’ll give you that.

        1. WTF? $4/lb? Once I got it in Costco for something like $2.30/lb. Lean stuff, too.

        2. Volume and weight aren’t good comparisons. Meat is calorically dense. Also, the second you start buying all those vegan alternatives to stuff vegans don’t eat, your savings are gone. I don’t know many vegans who are willing to live without their faux milk.

    2. Being one, I take issue with using the word vegan as an epithet here. The salon article doesn’t mention vegan at all, and most of the food they are talking about is not even vegetarian.

      If we’re going to do wealth distribution I don’t think it should come with many strings attached. Otherwise its just more government bureaucracy and social engineering.

      Agreed the subsidy must be too high if they can afford this.

    3. Hazel, when you look at the essential nutrition per buck ratio, meat is a bargain, because meat is very nutrient-dense.

  22. OK, I decided to RTFA and you know what?

    I really disliked the people in it.

    But not because they’re on SNAP.

    The most objectionable aspect to them was their belief that they deserved EMPLOYMENT. Not that they deserved charity.

    I can see these art majors and poetry graduate students thinking they deserve charity. It’s that they think, or at one time thought, that they have anything worthwhile to contribute to society that deserves renumeration that offends me.

    I read that guy’s blog entry. He rails against the lack of value placed on “creative” people by the marketplace. He employs the example of videographers, who used to find work producing internal corporate videos, but who now have no work because the corporations just film their own damn videos.

    Did this idiot ever SEE any corporate videos produced in the 70’s or 80’s? The average YouTube video is superior to them. Anyone who produced corporate videos in that era deserves to starve. I’d rather have them on SNAP than walking around telling people, “I’m a successful videographer!” or whatever. The former is just another example of government waste; the latter is an offense against the entire concepts of earning, deserving and employment.

    1. If he is that creative he ought to be able to think of someway to make himself useful.

    2. This is for you Fluffy.

    3. I can see these art majors and poetry graduate students thinking they deserve charity.

      Charity is voluntary.

    4. Mak’s blog is even more offensive. This little fuck has the temrity to compare himself to Harlan Ellison. Ellison may be galactic-sized, planet scorching asshole of the first degree, but he’s an accomplished asshole of the first degree. He’s *earned* the right to deamnd compensation for his work and likeness.

      Judging from this turd’s youtube page, he’s a pouting, talentless hack who Ellison would skin and filet if given an opportunity. He’s earned NOTHING in his life.

      If Mak was really and truly interested in getting a job in his field, he’d be out every day, taping and editing films and shorts to show his value to employers and posting *those* to his youtube page, instead of his juvenile idiocy. I don’t think too many companies are looking for novice throat singers.

      1. he’s an accomplished asshole of the first degree.

        With Ellison the operative word is ASSHOLE.I’m hard-pressed to think of any creative type, some portion of whose work I consider among the best of it’s kind, to be personally more loathsome. Vanessa Redgrave? Roman Polanski? Phil Spector? No…help me out here…..

        1. No, I think Ellison tops that list by a tall margin. He is the Alpha Asshole. He might even be the Omega Asshole.

  23. from the comments of the article:

    The argument that this is taxpayer money is ridiculous. These people are also taxpayers, so why should they not reap the benefits of a system they have and will continue to pay into?

    1. Yes because people who have never worked pay so many taxes. If this clown were an umemployed guy in his 50s who had worked every day since he was 20 paying taxes, I would agree. But this guy, not so much.

  24. And maybe if this guy would buy his suits somewhere besides the Ironic Fashion Statement Department, he might have better luck finding a job.

    1. ” … Ironic Fashion Statement Department … “

      Best thing you’ve ever written on this site and a great name for a band.

    2. I’m not defending Douchebag Extraordinaire here, but you are incredibly naive if you think that homeboy can just, like, find a job!

      It’s lot rougher out there than you might realize. I’ve got around 10 years of experience, have almost completed my (worthless) BA, and my job prospects are pretty non-existent…even for generic crap work like answering phones. I don’t live in the boonies (20 minutes outside of Philly), and I’m far more intelligent, well-spoken, and an all around better hire than most people in my shoes. Even with all that being said, it’s still hell out there for job seekers.

      I’m not trying to nitpick, but I think we ought to remain honest here. Frankly, I think the best all-around solution is for him to go play in traffic. If he does it right, it will keep him off welfare while also keeping him out of the job market and hurting the prospects of legitimately hard-working folks like myself. Win-win!

      1. Bullshit. He just can’t/won’t find a job that he wants to do.

        Hunger is a fabulous motivator.

        1. I forgot, this is the dot-com 90s and jobs are plentiful!

          OH WAIT!

          1. Really? There are *no* jobs out there? Or is that the only available jobs are ones that go below your threshold of pride? Because, I see a shitload of all kinds of jobs in my job search agents every day (I should start compiling the better results of search algorithm errors).

            If you can’t find a satisfactory job in your trained field, pick a new field. Go back to school or learn a new skillset.

            1. JW,
              It’s the notion that there is a right to earn a living at something you like is what pickles my ass.

          2. And before you climb down off your high fcking horse, let me give you my career itinerary:

            -Work in a grocery store until my early 30’s, while I take *forever* to get my bachelors in journalism (there’s a worthless degree), paying as I go, and decide what I want to be when I grow up.
            -Oh shit! I don’t want to be a journalist? What’s plan B?
            -OK, How about photojournalism? Freelance for about 18 months and decide I don’t have the fire inside for this very competitive field
            -OK, how about becoming a lawyer? I like the law and arguing. Make sure to completely fuck your LSATs scores all to hell.
            -Alright, Plan C, go back and get another BS, this time in paralegal studies (don’t laugh).
            -Get a job in a major law firm as a legal assistant to get experience and letters of recommendation for law school, taking a 33% pay cut from the grocery store. I eat lots of ramen and defer student loans as long as possible. (Oh, and get divorced.)
            -Holy shit! Law is boring as hell! I don’t want to be a lawyer! What’s plan D?
            -Hmmm, computers sound interesting. Flaw in plan. I know nothing about computers, having never had the money to buy one before (this is the mid-90’s).
            -Sell beloved motorcycle and buy first computer for $2300 to learn about them.
            -Bug IT Director at law firm for a job in IT.
            -Get the job in IT and hate my new boss, the help desk monster. Other LA’s can’t understand why I’m doing this.
            -Switch over to hardware/network. New boss is even worse.
            -Go back to school again and get Masters in IT.
            -Meet next boss in class, who offers me a job, with a bitching raise.
            -Leave there after a few years to get my own shop, which is the last stop for now, with another kick-ass salary increase.

            All of which *I* made the investment in through working, loans and landing a job that covered half of my Masters tuition. So, don’t tell me it can’t be done.

            1. Note that what you “got done” required a hot, booming field that was paying bitching salaries.

              Good luck finding one of those nowadays.

              1. No, it requires a modicum on intelligence and the will to do what needs to be done.

                Either you want it, or you don’t.

              2. Government worker.

              3. Jesus Christ, Chad, you’re like that dopey Schleprock character from the old Flintstones. You carry your own little gray cloud around with you.

                Glass half empty much?

                Successful people don’t sit around waiting for “a hot booming field” to come by. They work their asses off, consistently, day in, day out, and often that hard work ultimately pays off. It may take years, but that’s generally how it works.

                “Luck” has very little to do with it. I can’t recall who said it, but it’s something along the lines of, “I have found that the harder I work, the luckier I am.”

      2. Ya gotta have FAITH and sobriety wouldn’t hurt either.

        Seriously, a non-defeatist attitude, persistence and hitting the bricks before dawn.Fucking junkies are making enough money to buy their junk.
        What’s your excuse again?

        1. Nice, printed that out for my 18 year old thanks

      3. “My daddy always told me any man who can’t find work ain’t lookin’ hard enough”

        You can’t help a tough economy. Why not focus on what you can help? Keep pushing out those resumes(start at 7am, like it is your job), network with EVERYONE, and don’t give up.

  25. I’d rather have them on SNAP than walking around telling people, “I’m a successful videographer!” or whatever.

    Let me be clear. There are those who say we cannot have both. I do not agree with this statement.

  26. Yeah, how dare poor people not fit your stereotype of what they should be. What dicks. A good poor person would know to shut up and eat fast foot and ramen. Maybe you should let us know who is qualified for assistance and who isn’t? Asshole.

    1. Shut the fuck up you twit. It is not that these people are poor. It is not even that these people eat organic food. It is that these people are self entitled assholes who think the entire world owes them a living.

    2. Maybe he should get off his lazy and pretentious ass and get a job?

    3. Maybe you should let us know who is qualified for assistance and who isn’t?


      You are aware that these assistance programs have their qualification guidelines set by statute, right?

      And that this means that the Congress votes on them?

      And that each of us votes for a representative in Congress? And that this vote constitutes our judgment on the validity of their voting record, including votes that set up the guidelines for programs like this one?

      Every American citizen at or above the age of 18 is entitled to pass judgment on who is qualified for assistance and who isn’t.

    4. You smug bastard. I am poor. I eat ramen noodles from time to time because I am poor.If you want to buy me a steak, go ahead I ain’t going to stop you. But, I will be damned if I think it is my right to one. If one of these fucks wants a job construction sites and restaurants always need people. And don’t tell me these people are too proud to work menial labor, because they don’t know the first fucking thing about pride.

      1. If one of these fucks wants a job construction sites and restaurants always need people.

        LOL!! Could you imagine this Asian Urkel wanna-be working in construction? He’d be beat to death with a ball peen hammer on the first day.

      2. If one of these fucks wants a job construction sites and restaurants always need people.

        Have you been paying any attention to what this recession looks like? Construction has been shedding jobs like crazy since the bottom fell out of the housing market.

        From the March 4 report from the BLS:

        Construction employment fell by 64,000 in February, about in line with the average monthly job loss over the prior 6 months. Job losses were concentrated in nonresidential building (-10,000) and among nonresidential specialty trade contractors (-35,000). Since December 2007, employment in construction has fallen by 1.9 million.

        Also, keep in mind the mean unemployment period is currently 30 weeks (>40% unemployed over 27 weeks), so it’s not just these hipsters that aren’t able to find jobs.

        1. Low paying non-union labor has a very high turnover. Small contractors are always looking for people to haul rocks, dig ditches, clean sites, demo…etc. You could probably go to the local lumber yard and have a job in a couple of days if you will work. There is work but, it’s work, not drawing ugly fucking pictures.

      3. Amen to that…

        These parasites are sackless pukes who’ve earned the scorn heaped upon them.

  27. It’s crazy that they give individuals $150 for food. I spend about $75-$80 a month by buying at Sam’s Club. And I don’t skimp at all.

    1. Do you prepare most meals at home or do you eat out a lot? Eating decently for under $100/month is damn near impossible and I live in an area with low cost of living.

      1. It can be done. My wife feeds a family of 3 a gourmet diet on a budget of $55 a week.

        She makes her own bread, hamburger and hotdog rolls, and pizza and foccaccia dough, though, and flour and yeast are a lot cheaper than prepared foods. And she is the kind of savage coupon psycho who reads blogs about how to fuck the Price Chopper and CVS up the ass with a chainsaw using structured coupon plays.

        But it can be done.

        1. My wife doesn’t spend that much either. And she, like your wife, is a savage coupon clipper and uses the hell out of Costco.

        2. structured coupon plays.

          It’s like Magic cards for chicks!

      2. You have to get in the habit of hunting around for the best prices and if you don’t know how to cook well, learn.

        My boyfriend and I have been surviving in part by the generosity of his parents lending us a very large sum of money and also in part because I anally scan ads and have learned who has what for the cheapest. It’s a pain to know you’ll have to dedicate an hour on dinner, but it’s worth it in the end. You can control everything that goes into your meals and it works out to be much cheaper than relying on prepared foods.

        1. More unsolicited advice:
          Does your BF work hard and/or have future marketable real skills?Are his parents truly “rich” or just upper middle class? If the answers are no and no you need to be hitting the bricks before dawn looking for a new one…AND a job.

        2. My boyfriend and I have been surviving in part by the generosity of his parents lending us a very large sum of money and also in part because I anally scan ads and have learned who has what for the cheapest.


          1. K-Y, it makes perfect sense to be capable of anally scanning when you have had this medical procedure:


            1. Drunkenatheist, don’t forget to floss.

      3. It can be done. You have to cook for yourself, and from scratch (no packaged foods). Which is healthier anyway.

        I cook Indian a lot, which generally involves a lot of rice, potatoes and beans. You can have an extremely healthy diet off of lentil soups for a pittance. And because beans and lentils are so damn cheap, you can afford fresh vegetables.

        1. On the other end of the spectrum, there’s always the Bar-S line of affordable lunchmeats.

          Also many of the McDonalds have days where they have to get rid of excess inventory, so you can buy 25 cent burgers after 3:00 on those days. Ten bucks let’s you walk put with a freezer full of burgers.

          Then of the course, the big reality is that much of the money we spend in 21st century America is money spent on having others do work we either don’t want to do, don’t know how to do or don’t have time to do. The last one is the only major obstacle. The first two are easily enough solved.

          1. The idea of eating a reheated McDonald’s burger that’s been in the freezer for a few days makes me want to vomit.

    2. My roommate and I spend 150 per month on food(I know because I keep a spreadsheet of my monthly spending). We mostly shop at Costco and eat a very protein rich diet.

  28. This one kid may or may not be a douchebag (he certainly dresses like one) but this article wreaks of “waaaa, I’m going to whine about the tiny amount of money that goes to actually helping/feeding people instead of the vast majority of money that is effectively welfare for the ultra-rich.” I hate rich kids who complain about the poor in the libertarian movement – you fail to capture the moral supremacy that our movement ought to have.

    Next time, instead of some douchebag’s $200 a month, look at the trillions spent to keep bad-biz-bankers afloat, to subsidize a war that kills innocent poor people around the world, etc.

    1. Yes. Since Time Geitner stole a few trillion, it is a ok for this asshole to live on my tax dollars because he thinks he is entitled to a job as a videographer. Yeah, that makes it a-ok. This guy wouldn’t be poor if he didn’t sit around whining about how the world owes him the living of his choice.

      Good touch adding in the whine about the War. That is first rate performance art. A lot better than what is usually done around here.

      1. The point is scale and motivation. It’s also about prioritizing within our movement.

        When we gripe about some ugly kid getting food stamps, we’re fighting against what is essentially a tiny fragment of the overall government budget. We’re also alienating a ton of people who disagree with things like bailouts and war quite strongly but don’t really care that much about ugly kids getting a couple of hundred bucks a month.

        Above and beyond that, it’s about our rightful place as the most moral point in politics. We’ll win more “good guy” points by being good guys and opposing welfare for the ultra-rich and mass-murder in the middle east rather than simply bullying ugly kids.

        1. Bullshit. Two wrongs do not make a right. And I know too many people who work too hard at jobs they hate because that is what is necessary to have anything but absolute distain for this little bastard who would rather live off welfare than work a job he thinks is beneath him.

          There used to be a concept in this country called shame. People used to be ashamed not to pay their own way. We would do well to bring that back. And this guy is as good of a place as any to start.

          1. My fiancee and I shop at Goodwill a lot, because new furniture is fucking expensive and we’re in our first unfurnished place. (Plus, that way we can afford high-quality things likes Pyrex cookware.) We were buying a chair the other day and were behind a woman with a little boy in line. She was buying clothes for her son which totaled to $67, but she only had $40. The cashier tried to give her all of them for $40, but she wouldn’t have it. I thought of putting down $27 for her, but I figured she’d refuse it. So some people still have shame.

        2. Sure just steal a little bit from everyone else. It won’t matter. It is only the big thieves that matter.

          1. There’s a difference between saying something is OK and saying we have bigger fish to fry. We’re just better off tackling big, winning issues first. Then we can go after municipal trash collection, the post office, unfair regulations on landlords, and food stamps.

            1. Yeah! Reason should do an article about that!

            2. Personally I think it might be better to start with the smaller issues like this first. For one thing, it’s a little easier. For another, if we can stop the welfare gravy train for douchebags like this, and eventually for nearly everyone, maybe those people will wake up and go “hey! We’re not getting anything from the government and we really need it, why are those rich banking fucks getting money?”, thus generating a few more allies in the overall fight.

        3. It’s about fighting the entitlement mentality that pervades these circles.

          I want a prestigious degree with few job prospects – we need to massively subsidize student loans.

          I want a big house – easy credit leads to housing bubble and massive housing loan bailouts.

          I want the perfect job, and I won’t settle – 99! week unemployment benefits.

          I want big, beautiful health insurance but don’t want to pay for it – Obamacare.

          The fact is that none of these are a serious problem on their own. But if you look at the state of our society, it’s evident that there are enough assholes who act like this to ruin it. We need to break the chain of asstitlement. And these moron hipsters are a good place to start.

    2. Troll here much? No, apparently not, or you’d know better than to make a such silly comments.

    3. Next time, instead of some douchebag’s $200 a month, look at the trillions spent to keep bad-biz-bankers afloat, to subsidize a war that kills innocent poor people around the world, etc.

      You must be new here. There’s certainly no shortage of derision for corporate welfare on Reason H&R.


      1. Oh, I’m familiar with Reason, I just don’t tend to post. I’ve just got a bug up my butt lately about folks in our movement targetting what I believe to be strategically low-value targets rather than some very easy pickins.

        I also generally advocate a much more left-friendly outreach plan in general.

        1. So a “left friendly outreach” means saying it is okay to be a bum and live off welfare?

          1. I don’t really agree with mdh, here, but I would say this:

            If you tried to administratively filter out people like this guy from the “deserving” poor, you’d spend more on bureaucrat salaries, health care, and pension benefits than you’d save by taking back this guy’s $200.

            I hate to say it, but if we can’t get rid of the program completely, I’d rather be defrauded a couple hundred bucks at a time by assholes like this than pay people to sit in offices in DC and around the country pushing paper back and forth to “prove” that the “right” people are getting the aid.

            Destroying the ability of people to earn an income working meaningless jobs for the state is more important than ferreting out every last undeserving hipster on SNAP.

            The legions of government employees who work on this shit at every level are a vast reservoir of “talent” for statist organizations and political movements. The incomes they’re drawing from their sinecures support them while they figure out ways to increase the size of government even further. And the psychological impact of the sheer amount of paper they move helps to condition the populace to the idea that the government can require you to fill out a form before you take a shit in the morning.

            1. If you tried to administratively filter out people like this guy from the “deserving” poor, you’d spend more on bureaucrat salaries, health care, and pension benefits than you’d save by taking back this guy’s $200.

              Hence the need to call people out on their bullshit through articles such as this.

            2. When I’m President, as head of all bureaucracies at the federal level, I will make it a point that each and every bureaucrat is responsible for eliminating a certain amount of waste, or their job will be the waste that I eliminate. Incentivize efficiency, and then once you’ve attained as much as you can, start eliminating jobs by attrition. I know it’s hard to fire government workers, so make it part of their job to cut, cut, cut. No need to hire more people to eliminate waste.

          2. Left-friendly outreach means targetting issues specifically where people coming from the modern ‘left’ will be more likely to open their ears to our message. Food stamp reform just isn’t a winning issue.

            I consider myself a radical pragmatist.

          3. No. It means pick your fights wisely and alludes to “the enemy of my enemy” tactic.

            Now, when both Republicans and Democrats are both so discredited and so scared of libertarian ideas, there is a chance to make some real headway but only if libertarians don’t insist on pissing everyone off.

            People like Mr. Mak can be dealt with later.

        2. Oh, I’m familiar with Reason, I just don’t tend to post. I’ve just got a bug up my butt lately about folks in our movement targetting what I believe to be strategically low-value targets rather than some very easy pickins.

          I’ve heard this comment hundreds of times by posters and I am dumbfounded every time it is made. What site are you viewing? Not this one!! Reason has daily articles and blogs concerning all the issues you insinuate that they are ignoring.

          I also generally advocate a much more left-friendly outreach plan in general

          More power to ya.

        3. ‘targetting what I believe to be strategically low-value targets’

          Um, Moynihan isnt crafting Libertarian strategies with this post. And little Timmy Geithner and Larry Summers get their arses handed to them on a near-daily basis by Cavanaugh. Please try to pay attention.

    4. “Nits grow up to be lice”

      1. It’s a shame this comment got threaded so far down. I like.

    5. You do realize that entitlements consume the lions share of the budget right?

      Social Security + Medicaid … not corporate welfare. Just welfare.

    6. “Next time, instead of some douchebag’s $200 a month, look at the trillions spent to keep bad-biz-bankers afloat, to subsidize a war that kills innocent poor people around the world, etc.”

      A) There’s already plenty of that on Reason,

      B) What, as long as there’s a greater evil in the world, we’re not allowed to bitch about anything else? That’s going to make Reason real exciting: “We were going to write about something else, but apparently there is still war and high-level government corruption going on, so we’ll just write about that for the 9000th day in a row.”

  29. The part of me that often gives people way more credit than they deserve wants to believe this is an elaborate prank devised by Urkobold because no rational individual would want their real name and approximate location of where they may be found by an angry, pitchfork-wielding mob to be published in a piece that details their egregious abuse of food aid. Conversely, another part of me is anxious to see what kind of conceptual, deconstructive installation piece these people will eventually be made into.

  30. I’d make an exception to my normal rule and punch those glasses right into his fucking eyes. Maybe I’ll have some fucking sympathy for you when you’re blind, you fish-reeking little prick.

    mdh, what’s wrong with hating the little guys, too? It’s a refreshing break from hating the people who are vastly more powerful than us.

    1. I concede to that argument. 😉

      1. Don’t rattle Warty’s saber. He is a cunning linguist.

  31. Oh, goddammit, this prick was listening to Amon Amarth in his stupid fucking video. God fucking dammit. I hate when people ironically listen to metal to ironically show us how non-aggressive they are. Motherfuck this little fucking prick.

    1. Dude. Seriously. Did you get the chill pills I mailed to you?

    2. Not only was it Amon Amarth, but it was the worst song on their otherwise pretty good new album. Literally any other song on their last 3 albums would have been a better choice. Leave it to goddamn hipsters!

  32. Wait… so this guy qualifies as eligible for the subsidy and he uses said subsidy in a novel (if controversial on this site) way. If he’s legally allowed to receive the food stamps, and if he spends them on food, what’s the problem?

    Don’t people of every income bracket look for ways to reduce their cost of living (be it by donations to tax deductible charities or what have you)? Is this not an example of individual ingenuity in a “broken” system?

    Of course, the existence of some distasteful effects at the margins of a large public program such as this does not necessarily negate the good it does for the truly needy (if we do not judge this man “truly needy” as the law does).

    1. Stabbing me in the chest with a snapped connecting rod is a novel way of using a broken system, but I wouldn’t like it either.

      1. Is that a policy argument against it?

        1. Illustrative allegory that aims to demonstrate that clever is not necessarily moral or desirable.

          1. I would say “illustrative” is a matter of opinion in this context. Rather, it is besides the point; which was the biased lens with which the libertarian establishment conceptualizes the individual.

  33. Dude, moynihan, it’s like, so incredibly ironic that you would blame the victim.

    My PBR habit needs a budget man.

  34. I think this article was planted by the Pentagon to drum up support for the reintroduction the Draft.

  35. Click here to view Mak’s YouTube channel, …

    Moynihan, how dare you make fun of those special needs!

  36. I hope you’re all enjoying your Reason-sponsored two-minute hate. It’s good that you can stay focused on the important things in life, like despising others and worrying that someone, somewhere might be using your precious tax dollars to his own advantage.

    1. Well, you can only hate cops SO MUCH before it becomes boring.

      We need to move the hate around to keep it fresh. This guy’s ass was today’s green pasture for our cows of despising.

      1. Hate around here is a renewable resource. If we could generate light from it, this site would outshine the sun.

  37. You need to read more comments. Reason sponsors hours of hate.

  38. Moynihan, somebody really needs to punch you in the face.

    1. Allright, we’ll let Mak get one free shot in. We can patch up Moynihan with a snoopy bandaid, then get back the business of beating the hipster with organic carrots.

  39. I pay far more than $200 in various taxes per month. I don’t get any public assistance now, nor have I ever unless you count my state college education and I alone pay back the student loan. Would it be stealing if I applied for and received food stamps equal to or less than my tax burden?

    I don’t own a flat screen, our cars are paid off, and the only reason my mortgage payment is more than the rent of a lesser place is because of the taxes. Do I qualify for a “return of my taxes” based on H&R standards?

  40. I read an article about this somewhere else where volunteers for the expanded Obama programs were told they were eligible for food stamps by the program. I think it was a teacher program.

  41. In my life, I have never taken one cent of welfare. I have eaten a lot of ramen. I have even donated plasma to be able to afford it. I have lived in a YMCA dorm. All after I got my law degree.

    So I hope this little parasite encounters Steve Smith in a dark alley one day.

  42. I just Googled Gerry Mak. Most of the results are various profiles on linkedin, etc. But near the top on the second page of results is this very post on Hit ‘n’ Run. Which means the Salon article can’t be far behind.

    Which means that if a potential employer Googles their potential new hire, Gerry Mak, they’ll quickly find out that he’s been all but defrauding the welfare system.

    If that potential employer were me, I’d think “hey, this guy is willing to steal from the government. Why wouldn’t he steal from me?” and move on to the next applicant. (Not to mention a quick perusal of Mak’s blog would quickly convince me that the guy’s a jackass whom I wouldn’t want to deal with on a daily basis.)

    Good job, Gerry Mak. You are truly a first-class moron.

    1. Internets, preserver of truth, justice, and the American way!

    2. How is he defrauding the welfare system? He’s buying food that he likes with his food stamps. BFD.

      1. I said “all but”. Yeah, as far as I can tell, it’s not technically fraud, but I think this definitely counts as gross misuse.

  43. I’m not really that outraged by this kind of stuff. Food Stamps is one of the few government programs that I actually think is worth while, and yes, some people are going to learn to take advantage of it. But what’s the solution? Get rid of the program entirely and let a few children starve? Have a social worker evaluate each applicant to verify that they are not a hipster? It’s a government program. It’s going to be wasteful. But it’s one of those few government programs where I can’t fathom how you could create a private, market-based replacement, so I tolerate it and reserve my outrage for more deserving targets.

    I will also say that people are too quick to criticize the poor for the choices they make with their meager resources. I’ve seen people become openly angry when a mother bought her child a candy-bar using foodstamps – as if his mother’s misfortune means he must suffer as well, even if she has budgeted for such a small luxury. Lately people have been getting up in arms about homeless people and poor people who have cell phones. Apparently communication should not be a priority for the poor. We have to remember that subjective preferences apply to everybody.

  44. We have to remember that subjective preferences apply to everybody.

    That’s all well and good, but really, I think you only have a right to “subjective preferences” that you pay for yourself. Once you ask other people to foot the bill, then their preferences have priority.

    1. No, no, no. For the few government programs that we’re going to have we should keep them as simple as possible. I much prefer “Here’s $200 that you can use to buy food” to “here’s $200 that you can use to buy off this approved list of items” because that approved list of items is going to be subject to political favoritism, lobbying efforts, corporate interference, etc., etc., etc. Don’t be tempted by the lure of power and control purely because some of your tax dollars may be involved.

      1. Im betting alcohol and cigarettes are not on the approved SNAP list, for political reasons. And dont go telling me cigarettes aren’t ‘necessary’ or ‘vital to a balanced and nourishing diet’.

        Its only a stones throw from Parliament Lights to raw organic honey.

        1. I have worked in a coop grocery and a couple of health food stores. As of 1980, you could not buy alcohol, candy, or imported items with food stamps. And cigarettes are not food, so they clearly don’t qualify.

          It is possible that they have changed the rule on imported food, or that it is no longer possible to enforce because of so much imported produce.

  45. You over privileged asshole, you obviously hate the poor. Maybe you should try eating on only $200 a month, jerkwad.

  46. I agree with Thom.
    All the personal judgement and scapegoating of Mr. Mak that appears in this article and many of the responses to it doesn’t amount to any useful critique. In fact it only reveals the short sightedness of those spitting such venom.
    If someone needs to apply for food stamps because they cannot find a job, it’s their business. Regarding the “subjective preferences” debate, well I also agree with the poster Thom’s stance there too.

  47. Heaven forbid someone use food stamps to buy food!!

  48. Someone is using food stamps in sane way by not buying macaroni and cheese and you guys are complaining.

    Do you guys know how many kids are on food stamps now? Do you realize that kids would starve without this program?

    So there is waste. I don’t fucking care. If it saves one kid from going hungry, I will take that. It’s my goddamn tax money, too, you shameless, evil turds.

    Your mantra should be let’s starve kids. Let’s let them suffer because their parents are lazy.


    And the person who said we need to cut the money for food stamps because poor people don’t deserve fancy food needs to be in some poor hungry kids shoes right now.

    1. “Do you realize that kids would starve without this program?”

      Wrong. If they are blowing 130 bucks at Whole Foods they aren’t eating for the whole month with that money. That means this is supplemental not necessary.

      If they wanted they could use their own money to eat at food 4 less and it would go much farther.

      1. What part of this didn’t you understand? For every asshole like this guy who shops at Whole Foods there is a kid, like my own father, who is starving that needs food stamps. Fuck you are dense. I was talking about the people who want to do away with this program or want to cut the money for it. You do realize that half the kids in the US would go hungry without this?

      2. Yeah, those kids need to get jobs. The workforce really needs to start utilizing that 1 year old through 15 year old group. Fuck those lazy do nothings. They deserve to starve. *face palm*

  49. From CBS: ‘Nearly half of all U.S. children and 90 percent of black youngsters will be on food stamps at some point during childhood, and fallout from the current recession could push those numbers even higher, researchers say.’

    Someone needs to be punched and it’s not the guy in hipster douche wear.

  50. My dad would have starved without food stamps as a child. He later went on to serve this country by joining the Army and fighting in a war. Do you think he has a problem with people like this getting a handout no matter how undeserving you may think they are. I asked him. Hell no. He doesn’t. Because he knows that for every rich snob getting a handout, there’s some hungry kid out there getting fed.

    1. And by rich snob, I mean some kid who obviously could be mooching off his parents but has decided to mooch off the government instead, in some sort of counterculture-esque dick move, like the guy pictured above.

  51. Hi. I’m the guy in that picture. I was wearing those clothes for a video my friend was making. That’s not what I wear every day, not that that should be a reflection of my character. I laugh at myself every time I see that photograph.

    I don’t shop at Whole Foods. The reporter in the original article asked us where food stamps were accepted, and we said that Whole Foods accepted food stamps, which is true, and the food stamp program allows us to buy any non-prepared food item at Whole Foods.

    However, we know that shopping at Whole Foods is not the most economical thing to do, even though I, and many of my friends, care enormously about the quality of what we eat. From a pragmatic standpoint, we don’t shop at Whole Foods often, but I see nothing morally wrong with shopping there, particularly because for many items, the quality is simply better than at Giant. The 365 brand at Whole Foods can also often be as cheap as food anywhere else.

    I shop a lot at the nearby halal market (Punjab Grocery on 33rd St). I shop at Safeway on 25th St, and the Giant in Waverly for most of my day-to-day food needs. Even conventional, non-organic fresh produce can be expensive in those places. I still do not buy processed and pre-prepared foods, even when they are on sale, because I don’t want to eat industrial food additives.

    If I mis-manage my food stamps, and I run out by the end of the month, I use some of the small amount of money I earn from my job. I wish I could earn more, but I have been having trouble finding even basic retail and service jobs. Some of my friends have vegetable gardens as well, and others work at the farmers market, so they help me out with vegetables when I need them.

    My parents came to this country poor. They managed to make a good life for us, but we have no family estate or inheritance. Times are tough for them, and I can’t ask them for help. I am very lucky for all the advantages I’ve had in my life, but right now, the recession is hitting my entire family pretty hard. I don’t want to be on assistance permanently, but I am just trying to make the best of what is currently available to me. I really don’t feel entitled to anything. I’m just doing my best to survive.

  52. Wow. Just fucking wow at these comments.

    So because someone wants to eat healthy, they’re scum? “Fuck you, you’re poor, you had BETTER be eating 99cent Taco Bell excrement and processed pigfat EVERY SINGLE DAY. What are these, REAL clothes? Why aren’t you in tatters and rags?! I like my second-class citizens to be visibly obvious so I can spit on them easier.”

    It’s so obvious what separates you, the Righteous American, from the Bleeding Parasite, huh? Merely one thing – the employer that gives you money that you so deserve. Because we all know that sitting at your office chair, making Powerpoint slides is really “hard work” that deserves that 90k/year. And these scumbags that have no skills (clearly artistic skills and ability to pass an entrance exam don’t count), should eat nothing because they deserve nothing, right??

    What the fuck is wrong with America? If you really think these people are getting a great deal through welfare/foodstamps, why aren’t you doing it? Would you like to trade your job with one of the 10% of America that is currently unemployed? Anyone of these “lazy bums” that you hate so much would take your place in a heartbeat. Do you really think you’re the only one with the “unique skills” qualified for your job? Fuck no. Do you really think that the number of qualified/willing to work people magically matches the number of jobs available? Is this an obvious rhetorical question or have you not heard any of the news since late 2008??? Fuck.

  53. You don’t really have to spend much to be able to eat good food. Fresh, unprocessed food is cheaper and healthier. In these tough economic times, people can still survive on a meager income. However, it’s not good that there are people who become dependent on government food stamps when they can earn a living. It’s also not good for the government to just give away food stamps without knowing if the individuals they give them to really need help.

  54. At least he’s not stealing as much as Barack HUSSEIN Obama and his universal health care plan. WHERE IS THE LONG FORM BIRTH CERTIFICATE OBAMA? WHERE IS IT?!!?! No socalest

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