The Shutdown’s Real Impact on Everyday Americans

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On Disrupt with Karen Finney, Demos Senior Fellow Sasha Abramsky drew from the experiences of those he interviewed for his book,The American Way of Poverty, in order to challenge conversative rhetoric regarding the government shutdown.

Using the example of the poor and food stamps, Abramsky emphasized that, rather than dealing in convenient abstractions, it's essential that we acknowledge the poor are real people with real needs.

There are 47 million Americans who are on food stamps. They're not on food stamps because they want to be. They're on food stamps because they've lost their jobs, or many of them have jobs but [the jobs] pay too little to pay all their bills. They're on food stamps because otherwise their kids would be hungry. You take $40 billion out of that program, and several million of those 40 million, especially able-bodied adults, will be hungry.