Unauthorized signs have been popping up at Philadelphia area grocery markets, and they have been causing indignation with patrons and the store management alike. Now the man responsible for posting the signs is facing backlash in social media as well.
Amateur comedian Jay McGuire has been posting official looking signs at the entrances to Philadelphia based Wawa grocery stores, and then posting them on his Facebook page. The signs denigrate users of food assistance programs and wrongfully state that the grocery chain no longer accepts food subsidies. Now his social media is facing backlash.
Jay McGuire is an amateur comedian who came up with an idea to prank welfare recipients: he decided to post signs at the entry doors of a local Philadelphia grocery store chain that alleged that the customers were no longer welcome.The signs read:
“We are no longer accepting EBT. Please use cash or credit. If you do not have cash or credit then maybe it’s time to get a job.”
The signs were not authorized by store management and do not reflect company policy towards EBT users. They are removed by the stores when they are found.
Once McGwire posts the signs, he stands aside to monitor reactions from customers as they enter the store, and then shares what he observes on his Facebook page. His posts have actually garnered over 5000 views since he started his project.
However, many are incensed by his particular approach to humor. A number of op ed pieces have pointed out that the vast majority of recipients of federal food assistance, also known as the SNAP program, are actually hard working families with children, the elderly, and people with permanent disabilities.
According to the USDA, 20 percent of people receiving SNAP benefits are elderly or disabled. 75 percent of SNAP recipient households include a child, an elderly person or a disabled person.
The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities commissioned a study which found that “The overwhelming majority of SNAP recipients who can work do so. Among SNAP households with at least one working-age, non-disabled adult, more than half work while receiving SNAP, and more than 80 percent work in the year prior to or the year after receiving SNAP. The rates are even higher for families with children, more than 60 percent work while receiving SNAP, and almost 90 percent work in the prior or subsequent year.
“The number of SNAP households that have earnings while participating in SNAP has been rising for more than a decade, and has more than tripled, from about 2 million in 2000 to about 6.4 million in 2011. The increase was especially pronounced during the recent deep recession, suggesting that many people have turned to SNAP because of under-employment, for example, when one wage-earner in a two-parent family lost a job, when a worker’s hours were cut, or when a worker turned to a lower-paying job after being laid off.”
So what do you think? Is McGwire hitting on a new brand of comedy, or is he simply resorting to the same bully tactics that are always sure to get a few cheap laughs at someone’s expense? Share your opinions here.