But a stigma placed on cash-like welfare (which food stamps are) remains a positive sign of a healthy work ethic. If you came across two societies--Society A, in which food stamps were stigmatized, with families reluctant to go on the dole even if they were eligible, and Society B, in which they weren't, you would want to bet on (and live in) Society A. It's one thing to relax the stigma on welfare in times of epic economic decline. It's another if the stigma doesn't return with the possibility of employment. The CBPP chart would also have demonstrated that food stamp rolls have risen rapidly before--in the slump from 1988 to 1994--only to fall just as rapidly when the economy picked up in the mid-90s. Of course, at that time we had a President (Clinton) who was campaigning against "welfare as we know it."** It seems unlikely that President Obama will repeat the performance. ...So, the number of food stamp recipients has risen during previous recessions and receded thereafter, only they won't recede this time because (choose one):
A. Mickey Kaus sees the future and knows this for a fact
B. The President is a Negro
C. Being on food stamps was shameful in 1990 but no longer is
D. Only Mickey Kaus understands the wisdom of claiming that some grand social change is responsible for the increase in food stamp recipients while providing a link showing that the increase is in fact the result of a simple inverse relationship with the strength of the economy
E. Come on, have you seen how black the President is? Black. Welfare. Do I have to draw you a map?