The number of Americans who use food stamps is now close to 46 million, that's 15 percent of the population. The program is formally known as SNAP these days, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. And the number of people who depend on it to buy groceries has grown substantially, even since the recession was officially declared over, back in June of 2009.
Joseph Byrd, unemployed and living on disability, prepares to pick up groceries at the Bed-Stuy Campaign Against Hunger food pantry in Brooklyn, N.Y., in 2010. The new experimental poverty measure takes into account cost of living associated with geographic differences.
Ben Lerner's debut novel, Leaving the Atocha Station is one of the most compelling books about nothing I've ever read.
Ordinarily, I'm not a fan of this kind of spinning-one's-wheels-in-the-sand fiction. Austen and Dickens and Hammett got to me early and spoiled me: I like plot. But Lerner's offbeat little novel manages to convey what everyday life feels like before we impose the structure of plot on our experience.
As he listens to the current debate in Washington over the budget deficit, taxes and economic policy, former President Bill Clinton says the discussion lacks a lot.
"It's all about 'is the government good or bad or taxes always good or bad?' " he told Morning Edition co-host Steve Inskeep during an conversation that's scheduled to air Tuesday. "There's very little talk about what actually works."
That's why Clinton has a new book — Back to Work — with this subtitle: Why We Need Smart Government for a Strong Economy.
The nationwide Occupy movement might be targeting Wall Street, but it's arguably municipal governments that have felt the biggest impact so far.
Protesters have staged weeks-long sit-ins at public spaces in cities from New York to Atlanta to Pittsburgh to Oakland, Calif. Although the demonstrations have been largely peaceful, hundreds of protesters have been arrested and there have been a handful of violent clashes with law enforcement.
The United States Supreme Court heard arguments on Monday in a case that combines the Middle East conflict with the dueling foreign policy roles of Congress and the president. Specifically, the question was whether Congress can force the executive branch to list Israel as the birthplace for United States citizens born in Jerusalem.