Tornadoes, Austerity, and Food Stamps

In one of my posts on drones, I noted that we have had more deaths this year in AL (238) and MO (159) because of extreme tornadoes the severity of which is probably at least due partly to climate change than we have from terrorism.

But there’s something else that seems to have happened.

Meteor Blades has a post cataloging how many more people are relying on food stamps this month–45.8 million, or close to 15% of the country. He links to the state-level data, which reveals  a huge spike in AL’s use of food stamps. In April 2011, 868,813 Alambamans used food stamps–a worse than average but not abysmal 18% of its population. In May, that number spiked to 1,762,481, over 37% of the population, almost 900,000 new people getting food stamps.

Incidentally, the only people from AL’s congressional delegation to vote no on the debt ceiling vote this week–Martha Robey, Mo Brooks, Richard Shelby, and Jeff Sessions–did so from the right.

Assuming these numbers are right (the numbers reported for new applicants–100,000 from hard-hit Jefferson County–seem to support them), there’s still a good reason why so many Alabamans are relying on federal aid to feed themselves: the devastating tornadoes in April. In response, the state rolled out special sign-up processes, turning around applications in three days time. Though, at least from some quarters, there was skepticism about whether people were applying because of the tornado, or more generalized need.

At the very least, the reliance of over a third of Alabamans on food stamps, half of them in response to the tornadoes, suggests one more cost from this crazy weather.

But it will be interesting to see what happens to these numbers in subsequent months. Will these numbers return to “normal,” reflecting an appropriate and short term response to a disaster (even if it is one Alabama’s legislators all refuse to pay for)? Or are we seeing a poor state come to rely on the government for bare necessities once it becomes easy to apply?

Tweet about this on Twitter0Share on Reddit0Share on Facebook0Google+0Email to someone

25 Responses to Tornadoes, Austerity, and Food Stamps

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11
  • 12
  • 13
  • 14
  • 15
  • 16
  • 17
  • 18
  • 19
  • 20
  • 21
  • 22
  • 23
  • 24
  • 25
Emptywheel Twitterverse
bmaz @ddayen Granted. Hope Wolvereenies and ASU can meet in some meaningful game this year.
3hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @Silversalty @emptywheel @ddayen You got 15 followers jackass, go blow yourself.
3hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @ddayen @Silversalty @emptywheel Oh, hai, how ya doin?? Welp, at least it wasn't Appalachian State this time cc: @ColMorrisDavis #Harbahaha
3hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @invictawatchUSA @EyalAtInvicta @BuyInvicta @EVINELive You guys have morals+game, or just covering? We shall see. What you honestly got???
3hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @Silversalty @emptywheel @ddayen Yeah, what is your brilliant take asshole? Got one? No, then shut the fuck up. And go the fuck away. #dick
3hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel RT @JoshMBlackman: Judge Bunning's Mom on Obergefell: "He doesn’t agree with the Supreme Court but has to obey the law." http://t.co/YQ0lBX
3hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @ilovaussiesheps Hmm. I shall try to do better.
3hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @Travis_Waldron I'm the LAST person to be able to criticize for language. But I invite to consider whether we're pitching this right.
4hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @Travis_Waldron With all due respect, this is abt a bunch of workers (who happen to be millionaires) putting it to the man. Let's tell that
4hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @Travis_Waldron You did! Might I invite you to review your language for how working people might see themselves here?
4hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @Travis_Waldron This is a big labor issue. Stupider than Uber, justifiably. But nevertheless a labor issue.
4hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @Travis_Waldron OK. You've not been as horrible as certain other leftie sports guys. Nevertheless, this is a key labor issue. Push it.
4hreplyretweetfavorite
August 2011
S M T W T F S
« Jul   Sep »
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031