The economic inequality problem in the U.S. has reached a new record: it was determined that for the first time, the majority of food stamp program beneficiaries are adults instead of children and seniors.
An analysis of official data by economists at the University of Kentucky for The Associated Press shows the financial deterioration of the middle class, which worsened particularly from 2000-2011.
The phenomenon of the poor worker who must supplement his income is already the norm in several industries and big corporations. Using the model of paying little and counting on the government contributing part of the compensation for their workers, these companies have been able to report record profits and amass large amounts of cash.
This has also led to an unfair system, in which working is no longer the way to emerge from poverty. On the contrary: It traps workers with no possibilities of getting ahead.
The analysis also shows that the vision of the Republican majority, which continues to see the food stamp program as a corrupt benefit for people who do not want to work, is wrong. In reality, the number of people who depend on food stamps is growing because of tax policies and a gigantic income gap.
It is easy to blame economic inequality on the latest scapegoat, like Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) did yesterday. In USA Today, he blamed immigration for income inequality.
We must reverse the current trend by raising the minimum wage. In the short term, this means reinstating the supplemental unemployment assistance that expired; in the medium and long terms, it means setting a fairer tax policy. Improving the financial situation of workers will help the country’s economic stability with a more solid tax and consumer base.