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Dependents Outnumber the Producers

Now more than half of all Americans receive "significant income" from the US government. If this trend continues, soon we won't have enough producers to support all the dependents. Then what?

Slightly over half of all Americans - 52.6 percent - now receive significant income from government programs, according to an analysis by Gary Shilling, an economist in Springfield, N.J. That's up from 49.4 percent in 2000 and far above the 28.3 percent of Americans in 1950. If the trend continues, the percentage could rise within ten years to pass 55 percent, where it stood in 1980 on the eve of President's Reagan's move to scale back the size of government.


That two-decade shrink-the-government trend now appears over, if for no other reason than demographics. The aging baby-boomer generation is poised to receive big payments from Social Security and government healthcare programs.

"New Deal programs persist," despite the Reagan revolution and its aftermath, says James Galbraith, an economist at the University of Texas in Austin. "They persist because they are largely successful and highly popular."

Mr. Shilling's analysis found that about 1 in 5 Americans hold a government job or a job reliant on federal spending. A similar number receive Social Security or a government pension. About 19 million others get food stamps, 2 million get subsidized housing, and 5 million get education grants. For all these categories, Mr. Shilling counted dependents as well as the direct recipients of government income.

Others have the same concerns I do:

Looking at the big picture, especially entitlements for older Americans, some experts worry about a fiscal undertow.


"I fear that we may be on the path to becoming a decrepit, high-unemployment welfare state," says Daniel Mitchell, an economist at the libertarian Cato Institute in Washington. Economists differ regarding whether, or at what level, a high tax burden acts to dampen economic growth. European nations have shown, for example, that advanced economies can maintain generous social-welfare programs.

But Mr. Mitchell says these nations pay a price of more tepid growth. Sweden, he says, has in recent years dropped off the global Top 10 list for per-capita output. Ireland, by contrast, has kept the government burden low and enjoyed rapid economic growth.

Unfortunately, as was said earlier in the article, Americans like the paternalistic "cradle to grave" care. Who would have thought that Americans, who for decades prided themselves on their reputations as rugged individualists, are turning into a bunch of parasites. What a shame.

Update: Commenters Mantis and Lee don't seem to have any reading comprehension skills because when they saw my comments referring to parasites, they failed to connect them to the context in which they were said, which was regarding the "Americans [who] like the paternalistic 'cradle to grave' care," and accused me of considering those who serve in the US military, as police officers and firefighters, and in our branches of government as parasites. I suggest you stop inserting a meaning that isn't there in order to serve your own purposes. Community colleges all over the country offer Basic Reading Skills classes. I recommend you sign up.


Comments (39)

They will get together and ... (Below threshold)
ptg:

They will get together and vote themselves a raise. We have had it.

We've reached critical mass... (Below threshold)
jpm100:

We've reached critical mass on handmeouts. Game Over.

This is very sad. ... (Below threshold)
Eric Forhan:

This is very sad.

"Mr. Shilling's analy... (Below threshold)
Lee:

"Mr. Shilling's analysis found that about 1 in 5 Americans hold a government job or a job reliant on federal spending."

and

"He added up the number of federal, state, and local government workers, plus private sector workers who owe their jobs to government. He then tallied the recipients of transfer payments (like pensions) and a few other substantial programs (like food stamps). And he tacked on the dependents of these direct beneficiaries."

Let's examine this closer. If one out five people in the US relies on a government-funded paycheck AND this guy is counting their dependents (average family of 3) then a large portion of the 52.6 percent are productive citizens who earn their money and pay taxers back, etc. PLUS their dependents.

Subtract that out before you start pointing your finger at "parasites" Kim. How fricking Republican of you to point at President George W. Bush and his family and call then "parasites" because Bush receives a government paycheck.

Then there is VP Cheney, and AG Gonzales and their families -- all parasites according to Kim.

Not to mention the soldiers serving in Iraq and their families! Parasites! According to Kim.

Liberal Derangement Syndrome runs amok on Wizbang! Amazing - no thinking just a knee-jerk hatred of their fellow Americans!

Not to mention the soldi... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Not to mention the soldiers serving in Iraq and their families! Parasites! According to Kim.

Let's not forget all defense contractors, private military companies like Blackwater, and contractors such as Halliburton's Energy Services Group and KBR. Hell, our entire operation in Iraq is being performed by "parasites."

Mantis and Lee, Do... (Below threshold)

Mantis and Lee,

Do you two comprehend what you read? Please note the context in which I made my "parasites" comment: it was in reference to those who like the paternalistic "cradle to grave" government handouts. I was certainly not referring to the US military or any specific branches of government for pete's sake.

And let's not forget your l... (Below threshold)
Lee:

And let's not forget your local police officers and firefighters - more "parasites"... right Kim?

The Resident Moron, Lying L... (Below threshold)
_Mike_:

The Resident Moron, Lying Lee, whined:
Liberal Derangement Syndrome runs amok on Wizbang! Amazing - no thinking just a knee-jerk hatred of their fellow Americans!

Liberal Derangement Syndrome is an apt term for your behavior. Glad you've finally recognized it.

this shows why the Republic... (Below threshold)
superdestroyer:

this shows why the Republican party is going to quickly become irrelevent to the political process. With so many Americans are at the government trough, then the rest of us have to vote for big government or will just be left out.

In a few years national politics with probably resemble DC or Mass local politics where one party totally dominates and that party uses its power to pass out goodies from the government.

Nice try, Kim. Let's look a... (Below threshold)
Lee:

Nice try, Kim. Let's look at your first sentence --

"Now more than half of all Americans receive "significant income" from the US government. If this trend continues, soon we won't have enough producers to support all the dependents. Then what?"

The soldiers, police, fireworkers, Presidnet Bush, etc. and their families aren't "producers", Kim? That's what you've said...

So if the correct percentage isn't 52.6 percent, after you subtract out all of these producing, non-parasitic people, what percentage of the US population DO YOU consider parasitic, Kim?

What classes of people cited are still parasitic???

Is it the college students who are receiving education grants????

Or the Veteran's who receive subsidized home loans?

Shilling: "About 19 million others get food stamps, 2 million get subsidized housing, and 5 million get education grants."

Now are you going to tell us that the 19 million who get food stamps are the parasites, right?

That would include disabled vets, single mothers on disability, etc...

Amazing. The Republican politics of hate in full bloom!

Commenters Mantis and Le... (Below threshold)
_Mike_:

Commenters Mantis and Lee don't seem to have any reading comprehension skills because when they saw my comments referring to parasites, they failed to connect them to the context in which they were said, which was regarding the "Americans [who] like the paternalistic 'cradle to grave' care," and accused me of considering those who serve in the US military, as police officers and firefighters, and in our branches of government as parasites. I suggest you stop inserting a meaning that isn't there in order to serve your own purposes. Community colleges all over the country offer Basic Reading Skills classes. I recommend you sign up.

Come on, Kim. If Lee didn't lie, distort, and misrepresent, he'd have have nothing to post.

Lee, That's still ... (Below threshold)

Lee,

That's still a pathetic attempt to argue your ill-conceived point. I specifically made my parasite comments about those who want the "cradle to grave" care and you know it. Get a life.

Lee, "parasites" is precise... (Below threshold)

Lee, "parasites" is precisely the correct term. By that, it specifically excludes those who get government money that are NOT "for services rendered." Members of the armed services, public safety officers, even (shudder) public sector employees and politicians give (in theory) "a day's work for a day's pay." Therefore, by definition, they are not parasites. Those that get government funding without offering anything return are.

In P. J. O'Rourke's "Parliament Of Whores," he cites a welfare mother who describes her job as "being a single mother." By her definition, her "job" is to bear and raise children without benefit of a father -- or, for that matter, her own income.

As one of her "employers," as one of the people paying her "salary," I wanna know if I can fire her.

J.

The countries who "get it,"... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

The countries who "get it," do quite well, the ones that don't, limp along, unable to fulfill their promises.

If you're going to dabble in a little capitalism, it's best to dive right in, rather than just dip a few toes in. The water's fine, c'mon in!

Maybe it's the doctors and ... (Below threshold)
Lee:

Maybe it's the doctors and nurses at the Veterans hospitals and clinics -- and their families -- that are "parasites" in your mind, Kim?

Or is it the school crossing guard making minimum wage 20 hours a week?

If I'm wrong, and that's not what you intended, then tell us, Kim -- who are the "parasites"?

"I specifically made my parasite comments about those who want the "cradle to grave" care and you know it. Get a life."

Explain who that is for us. It would have been nice if you hadn't labeled the whopping 52.6 percent of Americans as parasitic and were more specific in your post, but here's your chance

How many Americans do you estimate are "want" what you call "cradle to grave care" and remember - by Shilling's accounting and your definition -- a 4 year old child of a hard-core crackhead welfare mother is a "parasite" too.... since he/she's the dependent of someone who receives government support.

Do you really think that four year old American child qualifies as a parasite too?

And give us what your estimate is for the number of people who you feel truly qualify as "parasites" -- are we talking about 1 million? A couple hundred thousand?

If the number of Americans AND THEIR DEPENDENTS who receive food stamps and are therefore "parasites" is 19 million, how many of those 19 million do you estimate WANT cradle to grave handouts?

And let's not forget your h... (Below threshold)
Lee:

And let's not forget your headline amidst all of this backpedaling and lying about what you said versus what you meant...

"Dependents Outnumber the Producers"

You're referring to the 52.6 percent figure cited by Shilling - that's what you used for your headline - you said the "non-producers" outnumber the producers, and you labeled this 52.6 percent -- which includes all of those people all the way up to President Bush -- as non-producers and parasites.

It's interesting that Lee l... (Below threshold)
Jo:

It's interesting that Lee leaps to the conclusion about firemen, military, etc. being parasites.
I guess that was a freudian slip.

Can't be. An absolute pack... (Below threshold)
Mike:

Can't be. An absolute pack of lies. Everyone knows that Chimpy McHitlerburton stripped hundreds of billions from programs for the poor in order to line the pockets of his cronies in the military-industrial complex with blood-for-oil dollars. The nerve. Really.

Lee, my parasite comment wa... (Below threshold)

Lee, my parasite comment was very clear; there is absolutely no confusion on what I said versus what I meant. I am neither backpedaling nor lying. You, sir, are the one with the deficient reading comprehension skills, so don't even think about blaming me for that.

And just because I write something with which you disagree does not mean that it's a lie. You seem to have the unbelievably arrogant perspective that your view of the world is the one and only truth, and those like me who disagree are just offering lies. People with your attitude are dangerous because your ultimate goal is to shut down any and all views that that are in opposition to yours.

It does not strike me as fa... (Below threshold)
Jeff Blogworthy:

It does not strike me as fair to include SS income in the numbers. After all, the government takes YOUR money for your entire life only to give less than they took back to you. Then they call it "government income." What a scam.

Commenters Mantis and Le... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Commenters Mantis and Lee don't seem to have any reading comprehension skills because when they saw my comments referring to parasites, they failed to connect them to the context in which they were said, which was regarding the "Americans [who] like the paternalistic 'cradle to grave' care," and accused me of considering those who serve in the US military, as police officers and firefighters, and in our branches of government as parasites.

Ah, I see. So you define the "parasites" as those who, what, depend on the government for care when they are old? So those who put money into social security and medicare all their lives and now expect the payout are parasites?

The truth is, Kim, that the rising rates have nothing to do with more people in this country turning from "rugged individualists" to "parasites," but rather the reality of an increasing number of retired Americans (as the article states, 1 in 5 "receive Social Security or a government pension," and growing). Add that to the 1 in 5 with a government job (or one funded by the government) and you have 40% of the 52.6% who "receive significant income from government programs." Now you haven't stated if you consider those who collect social security or government pensions to be "parasites," but in the case that you don't we're down to a little over 12% of the country who could qualify for that.

So who makes up the 12.6%? According to the article, about 1.6% receive education grants. Are they parasites? About 6.3% are on food stamps (and 0.6% in subsidized housing; I assume most of them are on food stamps too). I have no doubt you consider those people parasites (and an apt label it would be, if they do not contribute to the economy), but is there any evidence that the number of people who get this kind of welfare (the parasitic kind) is on the rise?

What do you know? It isn't:

Welfare rolls have declined steadily since the welfare reform law was signed in August 1996. Between August 1996 and June 2005, TANF caseloads for families have declined by 2,512,752 -- from 4,408,508 to 1,895,756 -- a decline of 57 percent. For individuals, caseloads have declined by 7,792,314 -- from 12,242,125 to 4,449,811 -- a decline of 64 percent.

Ok, so there isn't a rise in welfare parasites, but there is a rise in a) government employees or private sector employees funded by the government and b) retirees collecting social security and medicare.

I don't think I need reading skills classes, but rather you need a little help writing clearly. First assignment: explicitly state who you think the "parasites" are. Do try to be more specific than 'those who like the paternalistic "cradle to grave" care.' And while you're at it, tell us how this rise of dependents is a result of increased numbers of said parasites instead of other factors involving non-parasites who get income from the government.

Jeff Blogworthy:I... (Below threshold)
_Mike_:

Jeff Blogworthy:
It does not strike me as fair to include SS income in the numbers. After all, the government takes YOUR money for your entire life only to give less than they took back to you. Then they call it "government income." What a scam.

Except that it's a 'Pay-as-you-go' system meaning that the money 'contributed' during your working years is paid out to those drawing money at the time. Of course to Democrats, all your income is theirs and whatever they're generous enough to permit you to keep is considered a 'government expenditure'.

Come on, Kim, you had to kn... (Below threshold)
brainy435:

Come on, Kim, you had to know the "parasite" remark would rile up the libs who post here, like mantis and Lee.

It just hits too close to home for them.

Kim, with all of your backp... (Below threshold)
Lee:

Kim, with all of your backpedaling and spin you still fail to recognize that your headline has betrayed you.

You clearly did mean to include all 52.6 percent -- which includes President Bush on down -- since your headline refers to the 52.6 percent as non-producers.

"Dependents Outnumber the Producers"

How can the Dependents outnumber the Producers unless you count President Bush, and all of the other folks I've cited, as "Dependents" and therefore non-producers.

And through all of this you've still declined to clarify matters are define who specifically, and in what quantity, are the actual "dependent parasites"?

I'm not shutting down anything Kim. Nobody has been stopped from expressing their views as a result of my comments, in fact -- you have a chance to explain how dependents outnumber producers (your headline) if you aren't including all 52.6 percent?

"And just because I write something with which you disagree does not mean that it's a lie."

Your headline isn't a lie, Kim? Dependents really outnumber Producers?

Bullshit. It's isn't anywhere close - in fact the number is so small you refuse to even venture a guess as to how small it is because the whole premise of your post -- which is right in your first paragraph:

If this trend continues, soon we won't have enough producers to support all the dependents. Then what?

...is nothing more than total unadulterated bullshit, based on a lying headline.

Kim, any time you or Lorie ... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Kim, any time you or Lorie post the two lefty dimmers come out in full hate mode. Not for your post, because you are a female with an opinion. Track back to other posts and you will find that I am right. I would recomment ignoring the blatherers. People with a mind know what you meant. ww

Come on, Kim, you had to... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Come on, Kim, you had to know the "parasite" remark would rile up the libs who post here, like mantis and Lee.

It just hits too close to home for them.

Not that it makes any difference, but I work in the private sector and have my own health insurance, and the only government "handouts" I've ever received were the Pell and IMAP grants when I was an undergrad (I've never even collected unemployment). I do, however, notice all the money deducted from my pay for social security and medicare. I guess if unfortunate circumstances in the future prevent me from saving enough money for retirement and I have to recoup some of the money I put into those programs, I'm a parasite.

News Release:Today n... (Below threshold)
nogo postal:

News Release:
Today nogo postal released findings that demonstrated that 10% of America supports the recently released findings of Gary Shilling.
75% of Americans who googled Gary Shilling found if they googled Gary Shilling Family Tree ...they were in fact related...
12% of Americans expressed concern that the Gary Shilling referenced lacked credentials that would/should allow him to be taken seriously...

2% of Americans wondered.."Hey is this the only guy you could find?"

The rest were...uncommitted/unsure/or were cousins of mantis

The Resident Moron, LyingLe... (Below threshold)
_Mike_:

The Resident Moron, LyingLee, whined pathetically:


"And just because I write something with which you disagree does not mean that it's a lie."
Your headline isn't a lie, Kim? Dependents really outnumber Producers?

LyingLee has problems with vocabulary so let's look at the meaning of the word lie:
a false statement made with deliberate intent to deceive

LyingLee incorrectly uses the word lie to describe anything with which he disagrees or believes to be false. However, those not divorced from reality understand that the difference between a lie and a false statement is a matter of intent. LyingLee, being a looney leftard, apparently has be psychic abilities to divine intent... (rumor has it he knows where Jimmy Hoffa and Elvis are) and, as evidence by his blathering here, everything that has ever been written that is false was done so with the full knowledge that it was false.

Of course, the rest of us simply chuckle at the pathetic little nit.

How can the be? According t... (Below threshold)
Scrapiron:

How can the be? According to the Liberals the poor pay too much of the tax burden. Are they paying taxes on they're welfare? I doubt it.

Break out the life long welfare riders and you'll be shocked at who is on it. Lots of sorry whites and 90% ? of the blacks. People like the democrats keep them on welfare for the vote, and Je$$ie/$harpton want them on welfare so they can beg money from the welfare checks.

I love it when the truth comes out. Conservatives must be the only people doing an honest days work in the united States and the dhimmi's want to up the take from them.

"a false statement made ... (Below threshold)
Lee:

"a false statement made with deliberate intent to deceive"

example: "Dependents Outnumber the Producers"

They don't Mike - even you are smart enough to see that now-- but Kim has refused to admit an error, Mike, much less correct the error - so this is indeed an intentional effort on her part to mislead. Having the ability to correct it - she chooses not to.

Good one Lee, ignore the cr... (Below threshold)

Good one Lee, ignore the crux of the argument like a good ass-clown troll that you are and spew off into unchartered nonsense. Wouldn't expect anything less from you.

Facts are presented. Stati... (Below threshold)

Facts are presented. Statistics are shown. Logical conclusions are drawn. Concern over the eventual economic downfall of our nation are expressed.

And the liberals, not wanting to give up their piece of the political and monetary pie, resort to name-calling, ad hominems, straw men, and general behavior I would expect from a six year old being told he cannot buy a bag of M&Ms.

Is anyone surprised by this?

We never got to the "crux" ... (Below threshold)
Lee:

We never got to the "crux" Steve because the problem was never quantified. After sifting through the misinformation from Kim, and pointing out the flaws in her argument that my local police officers are "parasites", Kim declined the opportunity to draw any real conclusions.

Kim had ample opportunity to define the problem, and chose to resort to name calling instead.

Oh well, maybe next time she won't base her premise that "soon the parasite dependents will outnumber the producers" on a bullshit phony analysis of the facts.

And I'm sure next you'll be... (Below threshold)

And I'm sure next you'll be telling everyone Social Security is solvent and there's no problems there too.

Do these numbers include U.... (Below threshold)
Baggi:

Do these numbers include U.S. Military, retired military, FBI, CIA, Border Patrol, Federal Police, etc?

I suspect that it does, which means that percentage is way over inflated.

Actually, found the answer ... (Below threshold)
Baggi:

Actually, found the answer for myself.

"He added up the number of federal, state, and local government workers, plus private sector workers who owe their jobs to government. He then tallied the recipients of transfer payments (like pensions) and a few other substantial programs (like food stamps). And he tacked on the dependents of these direct beneficiaries.

I don't really think it is fair to call employee's of the City, State and Federal governments "Dependents" or even employee's of say, Halliburton, or Lokheed Martin or Boeing, as dependents of the government. Shoot, this would also probably include teachers and university prof's too.

Seems to me like that number isn't a good number for "Dependents".

"Kim, any time you or Lorie... (Below threshold)
Sue:

"Kim, any time you or Lorie post the two lefty dimmers come out in full hate mode. Not for your post, because you are a female with an opinion. Track back to other posts and you will find that I am right. I would recomment ignoring the blatherers. People with a mind know what you meant. ww

Posted by: WildWillie at April 16, 2007 04:08 PM"

I agree Kim. I have noticed this as well. They've been doing it for quite some time.

Seems these liberals have trouble with women who have opinions and can think for herself. Who knew??

The resident moron lefties ... (Below threshold)
nikkolai:

The resident moron lefties here are always good for a laugh. Keeping us informed on the dailykos talking points, and all....

Well, Kim was sure to infor... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Well, Kim was sure to inform us that she doesn't consider government employees to be parasites (despite clearly claiming that from the outset), yet she can't bring herself to clarify exactly who she does consider parasitic. I for one am shocked.

Linking not thinking, right Kim?




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