Kids + Money

Open Thread - Consuming Teens: Kids + Money

This a quick trailer from photographer and filmmaker Lauren Greenfield's movie "Kids + Money":

If any of my kids ever want to see purses or clothes that cost "4 digits" they will have to buy it on their own because 4 digits is a lot of weeks worth of eating for many families, ours included. When you consider that 1 of 8 adults and 1 of 4 kids are on food stamps and for too many of them it is their only income, I can't see wasting that kind of money on stuff my kids will rip, wear out, write on with pens and markers and outgrow.

With food-stamp use at a record high and surging by the day, Ms. Bermudez belongs to an overlooked subgroup that is growing especially fast: recipients with no cash income.

About six million Americans receiving food stamps report they have no other income, according to an analysis of state data collected by The New York Times. In declarations that states verify and the federal government audits, they described themselves as unemployed and receiving no cash aid — no welfare, no unemployment insurance, and no pensions, child support or disability pay.

Their numbers were rising before the recession as tougher welfare laws made it harder for poor people to get cash aid, but they have soared by about 50 percent over the past two years. About one in 50 Americans now lives in a household with a reported income that consists of nothing but a food-stamp card.

I know that many people can afford to buy those expensive things and do give to charities to help people in need, as well, but the real question is: "Should this really be the way we want things to work?" The amassed wealth at the top of pyramid has a cost, and that cost is often the people in America and around the world that are at the bottom being put in a position of severe poverty.

Over the next week Open Thread may highlight and contrast a few more of the social, economic and environmental problems with this issue, and how "Commercialized America is Consuming You". A little longer excerpt from the movie "Kids + Money" below the fold.