retail news in context, analysis with attitude

There is story worth reading, or listening to, if that is your preference, from "Marketplace" on National Public Radio (NPR), about whether or not the public should know how much money retailers take in through the federal food stamp program:

"Here’s the background: Last year we spent $76 billion tax payer dollars on the food stamp program (officially known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP). The money goes to about 47 million low-income Americans, who use it to buy food at more than 250,000 retail stores across the country.

"But … exactly which stores and which companies benefit most from those food stamp dollars is something the federal government has never disclosed. Officials have long argued they are required by law to keep the information secret, in order to protect retailers."

That may be changing … though it is the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) that seems to be okay with greater transparency, and retailers that are resisting, at least for now.

Check out the story here.
KC's View:
How public dollars are spent deserves maximum transparency, I think, except when it comes to national security issues. I'd frankly like to know how much food stamp money is going to which retailers … among other things, it might put into context requests for other things like tax abatements, or the expressed desire to move a headquarters abroad to avoid paying taxes.