Moran (Week 8)
Moran (Week 8) History 348
Popular in United States History 1917-1945
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Popular in History
This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Savannah McNealy on Monday March 7, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to History 348 at Colorado State University taught by Dr. Scheflin in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 17 views. For similar materials see United States History 1917-1945 in History at Colorado State University.
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Date Created: 03/07/16
Week 8 (Moran) Sunday, March 6, 2016 7:29 PM Thesis (?): My findings do not challenge the idea that the Food Stamp plan represented a shoring up of capitalism, no do they deny that conservative pressures shaped program design. Instead, my findings question the impetus behind these design choices, the economic interests that shaped them, and the larger impact that the Food Stamp Plan had on ideas about welfare recipients and American poverty. Consumption Politics • Looking at working and middle class consumers rather than poor welfare recipients and analyzing the relationship of those consumers to the state through spending habits • Rebuffs previous emphasis on the New Deal's conservativism and denies that conservationism can be evidenced through a polity interested in passive purchasing rather than in active political engagement • Unions and consumers combined created "purchasing power" that directed new deal policy toward support of consumerism ○ The welfare program was directly modeled after this "purchasing power" but it never quite got as full scale • Ignores the poorest of poor From Yellow Grapefruits to Blue Stamps • • "piglet massacres" ○ The USDA ordered the plowing under of crops and slaughtering of piglets to steady farm prices in 1933 • FDR in response to the piglet massacres accelerated a program to distribute agricultural surpluses to the unemployed ○ Goods were only distributed to those so poor that no market demand for the commodities would be disturbed ○ The program had no care for nutrition or needs of those receiving goods § People were receiving things they'd never even seen before, and didn't even know how to eat it People saw the program as similar to communism ○ ○ The program humiliated its recipients Grocery stores were mad because now potential customers were being taken ○ The program had no care for nutrition or needs of those receiving goods § People were receiving things they'd never even seen before, and didn't even know how to eat it ○ People saw the program as similar to communism ○ The program humiliated its recipients Grocery stores were mad because now potential customers were being taken away from them § Henry Wallace's Two-Price Plan, 1938 □ One price for regular consumers, on price that the government was paying half of for relief recipients □ People desperately feared that this would exacerbate the classes within society □ Never got off the ground § 1939 Food Stamp Plan □ Allowed wholesalers to purchase excess commodities from farmers □ Then sold the goods to grocers who then sold them to housewives of all classes □ The government subsidized the purchase of regularly priced goods through the issuance of food stamps, that you purchased for one price and redeemed for more □ Turning welfare recipients into welfare consumers Welfare without Stigma? • The good food stamps was doing for the economy helped with the stigma • lamented the presence of agricultural interests in policy making • Politicians like it because it supports so many different groups • Apparently equitable treatment of the American poor • Women were not slotted into a lower channel of benefits • The reason politicians, businessmen, and social workers didn't want to say they were supporting the plan was how it quelled the discontent of the potentially restive poor ○ Alleviating hunger was a security interest for the nation ○ Protecting capitalism Critiquing the Consumer Model • Some disliked the replacement of cash relief with coupon relief • Demanded that poor buy their relief ○ Many people thought it was so expensive to buy the minimum stamp • Bonus stamps had to be spent on certain things, and this crafted consumers and shaped patterns of consumption ○ Single men were at a disadvantage, because the stigma was too bad for a man • More aimed at families ○ Many people thought it was so expensive to buy the minimum stamp • Bonus stamps had to be spent on certain things, and this crafted consumers and shaped patterns of consumption ○ Single men were at a disadvantage, because the stigma was too bad for a man • More aimed at families • Modern single men couldn't cook ○ Divorced men were (at the time) abandoners of families • Men also were associated with cheating the system • The relief consumer had the potential to shape the depression economy, but onl to the extent that the relief consumer allowed himself or herself to be reshaped Considering the Legacy of Food Stamps • The food stamp plan ended because surplus was now going to the military • It took 20 years for food stamps to be fully revived • We have to continually evaluate how the most lo-wincome of low-income consumer fit into consumer politics
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