Category Archives: Food

Column: We need to fix the social safety net, not shame those who need it

Column: Kristen S. Seefeldt, We need to fix the social safety net, not shame those who need it, PBS Newshour: Making Sense (Feb. 2, 2017).

Article: Understanding How Low– Socioeconomic Status Households Cope with Health Shocks: An Analysis of Multisector Linked Data

Article: Tammy Leonard, et al.,  Understanding How Low– Socioeconomic Status Households Cope with Health Shocks: An Analysis of Multisector Linked Data, 669 Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 125 (2017).

News Article: “In the Shopping Cart of a Food Stamp Household: Lots of Soda”

News Article: Anahad O’Connor, “In the Shopping Cart of a Food Stamp Household: Lots of Soda,” N.Y. Times (Jan. 13, 2017).

News Article: “In a California Valley, Healthy Food Everywhere but on the Table”

News Article: Thomas Fuller, “In a California Valley, Healthy Food Everywhere but on the Table,” N.Y. Times, Nov. 23, 2016.

New Article: “Food Stamps, Unjust Enrichment and Minimum Wage”

New Article: Candace Kovacic-Fleischer, Food Stamps, Unjust Enrichment and Minimum Wage, Law and Inequality: A Journal of Theory and Practice, Vol. 35 (forthcoming).  Abstract below:

A number of large retail chains with monopsony power, such as Walmart, pay their low level employees so little that these employees are eligible for food stamps and other governmental benefits. In addition to paying low wages, these chains often have hourly restrictions so that their employees are not eligible for overtime pay. At times the chains violate the wage and hour provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) by making hourly employees work “off the clock,” a practice known as wage theft.

One of the reasons these low wage retailers can pay so little is because their employees can supplement their income with food stamps. Another reason is the minimum wage of $7.25 per hour has not been raised since 2009. Paying anything more seems generous.

Whether to raise the minimum wage is fiercely disputed. This paper suggests the debate focus not only on the effect of the minimum wage on jobs, but also on the unjust enrichment of monopsonistic employers. By applying the law of unjust enrichment (also referred to as restitution), the government should be able to recover from these employers the amount of food stamps their low paid employees receive at taxpayers’ expense. A lawsuit in unjust enrichment should make the public aware that with food stamp payments and other benefits, the government is subsidizing monopsonistic employers.

New (mini) Report: “More Than 500,000 Adults Will Lose SNAP Benefits in 2016 as Waivers Expire”

New (mini) Report: “More Than 500,000 Adults Will Lose SNAP Benefits in 2016 as Waivers Expire” from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

New Article: “Why America Should Save SNAP”

New Article: Representative Rosa L. DeLauro, Why America Should Save SNAP, 52 Harv. J. on Leg. 267 (2015).

New Article: “Why Poverty May Be More Relevant Than Race For Childhood Obesity”

New Article: “Why Poverty May Be More Relevant Than Race For Childhood Obesity” – NPR

New Article: “Rethinking The Sales Tax Food Exclusion With SNAP Benefits”

New Article: Anna Johnson & Steven M. Sheffrin, Rethinking The Sales Tax Food Exclusion With SNAP Benefits, 79 State Tax Notes 149 (Jan. 11, 2016).  Abstract below:

Most states either totally or partially exclude food at home from the general sales tax. This exclusion generates a debate between tax policy analysts with their emphasis on broad base, low-rate tax systems against the advocates for the poor who argue that the exemption for food is necessary on distributional grounds. States that do tax food at home are often singled out as having particularly regressive and punitive tax systems. What is missing from this debate is a serious discussion of the consequences of non-taxability of benefits under the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (food stamps). We present evidence that the SNAP program effectively reaches the vast majority of the poor thus making the taxability of food at home much less important for individuals in lower income tiers.

-Thanks to http://taxprof.typepad.com/ for the heads up!

Op-Ed: “Block Granting SNAP (food stamps) Would Break A Crucial Anti-Poverty Program”

Op-Ed: Jared Bernstein, “Block Granting SNAP (food stamps) would break a crucial anti-poverty program,” The Washington Post.