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The "Re-Opening" the Economy Thread


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Extra SNAP benefits set to expire for millions nationwide


Residents of 32 states, including California, who rely on federal assistance to buy food are about to see their benefits shrink at the end of the month.


An emergency increase to SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly called the Food Stamp Program) was approved at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. For most recipients, that increase amounted to an extra $95 monthly over the past three years.


Starting March 1, those emergency COVID-era benefits will end across all states.


Seventeen states already saw those benefits expire as of January 2023. One state, South Carolina, ended the emergency allotment at the start of February.


In the remaining 32 states, plus Washington, D.C., Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands, the extra money will dry up starting with the March 2023 benefit month, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service.


Those 32 states are Alabama, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin.


In 2021, more than 41 million Americans were using SNAP benefits to help afford food.


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FYI, that's more than 10% of Americans.

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Bay Area Landlord Goes on Hunger Strike Over Eviction Ban


An Alameda County landlord began a hunger strike on Sunday to protest an ongoing eviction ban that he says has pushed him to the brink of bankruptcy. 


Jinyu Wu, 53, an immigrant from China, has a rental property in San Leandro, but says his tenant hasn’t paid him for three years due to an eviction moratorium implemented in 2020 in response to the Covid pandemic. 


A mother and children rented a unit from Wu shortly before the pandemic started, but now haven’t paid rent for 37 months. Wu says the tenants owe him around $120,000 in unpaid rent.




Because of the moratorium, tenants can’t be kicked out if they can’t pay their rent—although the policy also states that the tenants eventually have to pay what they owe.


Nearly three years after Covid struck, the Alameda County Board of Supervisors has continued to enforce the moratorium. The topic is set to be discussed at a Board of Supervisors’ meeting on Tuesday.


“We worked night and day for our new life and our American dream,” Wu said in a letter to the board. “Today, our property has been stolen from us by you, by this draconian eviction moratorium.”


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'You cannot hide': Biden administration to go after scammers who stole billions in COVID relief


The Biden administration announced a series of measures Thursday to track down and punish fraudsters who scammed billions of taxpayer dollars that were supposed to provide relief to Americans during the COVID-19 pandemic.


President Joe Biden is pledging $1.6 billion to bolster law enforcement manpower and new programs that will be used to prosecute scammers, prevent fraud, and provide assistance to victims of identity theft.


“We want to not only capture them and get their funds, we want to send a signal to them that you can run, but you cannot hide,” said Gene Sperling, a Biden senior adviser who is overseeing the implementation of the COVID-relief plan.


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Kind of a "random thought" post. But probably long. And economy-related. 

I just got up at 12:30AM. (I work nights, and I'm syncing my sleeps to be ready to work tonight). 

Decided I was going to my first visit to the local IHOP. 

Drove down to where it is. Outside of town. Sketchy neighborhood. 

I go in. The restaurant has maybe 35 tables. 4 of them occupied. 

And there's two groups of people in the lobby, waiting for tables. 

I step past then, to put my name on the waiting list. Obviously, nobody taking names. But I wait. 

And after waiting maybe 10 minutes, I notice the window to the kitchen. And there's maybe 25 plates of food there, not being taken to the tables. 

And there are two employees, I assume a manager and an employee, standing at a computer screen, gesturing at the screen and talking to each other. After a few minutes, they walk away. 

I leave. 


I've been seeing places with really ****ty service, ever since Covid. 

And I am firmly convinced that our society is witnessing a negotiation going on, between labor and capital. 

Labor has decided that they won't work those ****ty jobs, for what's being offered. And capital has decided that if they say "take it or leave it", and nobody takes it, then they'll just screw the customers instead of screwing the employees. 

And if anybody complains, they'll announce that it's because workers are too lazy or too greedy to work. 

I see huge price increases. I go to a Burger King, for a burger and soda. They're both large, but no fries. 

And it's $11. 

And it takes 20 minutes, to get through the drive through. And I know that it's not because the worker's pay has doubled. 

But the owner's profit, per burger, has. He's sitting in a beach house somewhere, getting a check every month from the 23 Burger Kings he owns. 

And telling the GOP that what the country really needs, is to legalize 13 year olds to work, and make 65 year olds keep working another 5 years. And probably after that. 

Edited by Larry
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