08 January 2011

Reposted from Jobsanger

While the super-rich celebrate their massive tax cuts and enormous bonuses in this holiday season, many other Americans are still in the throes of the continuing recession. They are jobless and having trouble just putting food on the table for their families. The Department of Agriculture recently announced that nearly 43 million Americans are currently receiving food stamps -- about 14% of the total population in this country (and the number is rising each month).

And you can be sure that is only a part of the families that are having difficulty these days. There are others whose pride will not let them ask for help -- at least not yet. This new recession-born economic reality is altering the gift-giving habits of many Americans. Instead of some kind of entertaining or luxury gift (or some ugly reindeer sweater), a lot of Americans are giving their family members or friends a gift born of necessity this year -- groceries. Read this excerpt from the Los Angeles Times:

"With the nation's unemployment rate still high and the economy sluggish, a growing number of people are giving food this holiday season. But it's not fruitcake, eggnog or Christmas cookies. Instead, the quiet voice of frugality is prompting consumers to wrap up baskets of kitchen staples, boxes of meat and grocery store gift cards to help loved ones stock dwindling pantries."

It seems that for many the grocery store has become the place to shop for gifts for loved ones. It could be a gift basket of staples or a grocery store gift cards. In fact, industry analysts say grocery stores will rank fourth in gift cards this year (behind only discount, department and drug stores). With the unemployment situation not expected to get better anytime soon, maybe for years, they could keep moving up that list in coming years.

Is it any wonder that many Americans are very angry with both political parties? Instead of concentrating on creating jobs to help ordinary Americans, the politicians would rather waste time arguing over how much money they will give away to the rich and how they can help corporations to continue to export good American jobs. And now they want to cut the few programs that actually help people, like Social Security.

It looks like the politicians have forgotten why they were elected.

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