Friday, September 28, 2012

Soup Line

Today we feature a picture of a Soup Line. This is a long line of people waiting to get a free cup of soup at a street mission. The picture was taken in the early 1930's under the Brooklyn Bridge in New York.

The line looks to have a hundred or so people in it, and photographs like this help us to see the devastating economic conditions of the Great Depression. I find it interesting that today some 47 Million people are receiving food stamps in the US. I wonder if there are now proportionally more people on food stamps than people who stood in soup lines in the 1930's.


  1. having not long ago to work in a soup kitchen, I would point out that many get food help that have jobs but do not have enough money to live on without this extra help.

  2. No, I think that the welfare and food stamps have made it so easy for people to get money from the government without any real effort.
    I can see the cheats lining up to cheat the government because it is easy for them to steal and lie.
    Don't get me wrong, there are people that do need the help, but there are to many that could work. but the system has made it to easy for others to simple not work because it would take a little effort on their part. And then there are the ones that don't need the help, but still steal what they can.
    I think there would be a lot less people on welfare if there was some system that made them account for there time and need for what they got, instead of sitting home watching TV.
    But back then it really took an effort to stand in line for a time in the rain, snow, cold and heat just to get a cup of soup.
    What I do find strange is that there doesn't seem to be any women or children stand in line.

  3. I know nothing of food stamps as I've never been unfortunate enough to rely on them. I do believe that there should be a limit on what you actually can purchase with them. I recall working as a checkout bagger years ago and food stamps were used to pay for things such as cigarettes and candy. It may be different now. Nonetheless we do owe it as Christians to help the truly needy. I still go with the old adage: Give a man a fish he eats for a day...teach a man to fish and he eats for life".

  4. I've have my own business (a one-man carpentry shop) for 26 years. With a set-up like that I suppose it would be hard to prove poverty and receive welfare. Besides, my Dad taught me that if I don't have work it's my job to find work. My wife and I passed this on to our kids. I've never wanted to take a rest at someone else's expense.

    It's not a crime to need help, even for a long time. I wonder, though, if there isn't a troubling lack of vision in the populace. At 64 I found that the long-lived recession was beginning to thin out my main market which is people with discretionary money who want nice woodwork in their homes. My wife also noticed and suggested that I make a change in careers. So, I widened my vision to find something else. It turned out to be accounting. I am now a student as well as a business owner.

    Is it hard work? As my son would say, "It's difficult, but not impossible." Studying is a good balance for working with my hands. I like doing both tasks. It feels good to be alive.

  5. I forgot to add that I've worked through four recessions. The first, beginning in 1986, was the worst because I was not established as a business. We had young children and applied for food stamps. We used the WIC program which provided basic food staples such as really good cheese. We shouldn't forget that we are just emerging from an extremely bad recession. I'm glad these programs were there when we needed them.

    1. That government cheese was the best cheese.
      I didn't get any myself, but would buy it from people that would get it and had more than they could use.
      People would tell that I shouldn't buy it from them because all they would do with the money was buy beer. My reply was, "They were going to sell it to some body, it might as well be me"

  6. Last of all, here is a song by Peter Gabriel which well expresses the feelings of people who have had a hard time of it in a bad economy.

  7. After my plant shut down due to NAFTA and the wonderful global economy that we were consantly indoctrinated with I went to work making about 1/3 of my previous salary. Some of the young people working with me were also drawing food stamps and were on the WIC program.They were not making enough to buy fuel and insurance but they could still smoke a pack and 1/2 per day and and buy the latest big TV, cell phone and cable. They know how to work the system and every year they get a sizable tax refund. We are subsidising the Walmarts and other businesses paying base rates and no benefites. I worked well into my 70s for extra spending money and to help some of my G'children in school and also because I just liked working.

  8. It is the duty of Christians and the church but not the duty of government to help the poor. The Bible discourages laziness and commands that if you don't work you don't eat. The churches were commanded to help those that were widows indeed of good character with no relatives that could help, not just anybody.

    If charity comes from government then it is no longer a gift but an entitlement, a right as it were, and there is no limit of people who feel entitled to it. It encourages laziness and resentfulness from those who work hard, sacrifice and pay taxes.

    Welfare is also used to buy votes, which is why FDR used it so much.

    When charity comes from individuals, it is then truly charity and fewer ne'r do wells will take advantage of it. Before the Era of Welfare we currently have being on the dole and not taking care of your family was a disgrace.

    The photo was probably taken during the day when kids were at school and Mothers at work.

  9. The sign on the building for the safe baby bath is interesting! Thanks for all your interesting pictures.

  10. At the time of the Great Depresson, a quarter of the people were out of work. At the moment, approximately 20% of the people in the United States qualify for food stamps. You can work full time and still need them if your rent and child care take up a certain percent of your income. (Been there; done that.) You cannot use Food Stamps for cigarettes or alcohol, but you can buy candy and soda, which is a shame. I do wish you could use them for sanitary supplies, band-aids and toilet paper, all of which are basic necessities.


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