There’s a fairly basic question at the core of the current food-stamp debate in Congress. Why has the program grown so rapidly over the past few years — to the point where 47 million Americans, one-sixth of the country, now receive food stamps?

Defenders of the program typically argue that enrollment rose because we had a horrific recession and unemployment hit the stratosphere. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is supposed to kick in to help families hit by economic distress. The program has kept 4.7 million people out of poverty. There’s no problem here. And so on. 

Read More


Mark Karlin, Editor Of Buzzflash At Truthout

As we repeatedly focus on wealth inequality in the United States (i.e.; just four hundred persons in the US have as much in assets and income as the bottom 50% of Americans), a video points out the even more extreme global wealth disparity. 

Read More


As a severe recession and unprecedented unemployment sweeps Italy, millions of people are struggling to make ends meet. The number of those receiving food assistance has doubled in the past two years, according to a government report.

The data comes from national statistics institute ISTAT, which published an annual report demonstrating, among other issues, that Italy is witnessing youth unemployment of nearly 40 percent – the highest in Europe.

Read More


A year to the day after kicking off his re-election campaign at Ohio State University, President Barack Obama returned to the college campus and told graduates that only through vigorous participation in their “democracy” can they right an ill-functioning government and break through relentless cynicism about the nation’s future.

“I dare you, Class of 2013, to do better. I dare you to do better,” Obama said.

Read More