business news in context, analysis with attitude

With brief, occasional, italicized and sometimes gratuitous commentary…

•  The Washington Post reports that Iowa is "poised to approve some of the nation’s harshest restrictions on SNAP. They include asset tests and new eligibility guidelines. By the state’s own estimate, Iowa will need to spend nearly $18 million in administrative costs during the first three years - to take in less federal money. The bill’s backers argue the steps would save the state money long term and cut down on 'SNAP fraud.'

"The measure is part of a broader national crackdown on SNAP, the federal program at the heart of the nation’s welfare system. The proposed legislation was not a homegrown effort but the product of a network of conservative think tanks pushing similar SNAP restrictions in Kentucky, Kansas, Wisconsin and other states. But experts say Iowa’s represents the boldest attack yet on SNAP, and Republicans in Congress have signaled a similar readiness to impose limits on federal food assistance."

The bill has been passed by the legislature and is expected to be signed by Gov. Kim Reynolds.

The questions being raised about this movement is whether it is about efficiency and effectiveness, or about political posturing.  I also find myself wondering whether retailers that generate some significant revenue from people using food stamps will be weighing in on this trend.

•  From the Associated Press:

"Vermont ice cream maker Ben & Jerry’s said Tuesday it supports a plan to unionize by the workers at a retail shop in the same city where the brand, known as much for its social activism as its products, was founded.

"Ben & Jerry’s said, in a statement, it shares 'the goal of advancing justice, both inside and outside our company.' The ice cream manufacturer was founded in a former gas station a short distance from its retail shop in downtown Burlington.

"'That’s why we recognize and support the rights of all workers to unionize and collectively bargain,' the company said. 'Ben & Jerry’s is committed to the goal of operating our company in a way that is fair, inclusive, and equitable, while being a dynamic and fun place for all workers'."