Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Half of U.S. households on benefits

The story notes that the number is up from 30% in the early 1980s.

49.1%: Percent of the population that lives in a household where at least one member received some type of government benefit in the first quarter of 2011.

Food stamps are received in 15% of households,  social security 16%, and 26% have someone on Medicaid.  Only 2% (lower than I would have thought) have someone receiving unemployment benefits.
It is important to note that a lot of people feel that they are “entitled” to their social security benefits as they are only withdrawing the money they put in.  This is an inaccurate summation.  Typically people withdraw every cent of money that they have contributed within the first four years of receiving benefits.  The system was not setup to have the majority of people drawing from it for extended periods of time.
Not surprisingly it is the Social Security and Medicaid benefits that people are most reluctant to cut.


PioneerPreppy said...

Nor was it designed to have so much of the population at the receiving end of it. They didn't think through such social evils as abortion and feminism when the created Social Security.

Anonymous said...

Some of the families are double dipping. Like getting food stamps along with SSI disabilities. Might skewer the %.


russell1200 said...

PP: I don't know the numbers well enough to know how either would influence SS. Presumably more women in the workforce, making more money, was not the problem, but the overall flattening of real wages likely was.

GK: It was based on census data, so while I am sure the numbers are far from perfect, the double dipping is factored in.

I am going to have to look at the SS payoff versus Medicaid-care payoff. I was just reading something that indicated that is was Medicaid-care that was the big bargain for retirees.

PioneerPreppy said...

More women working in the short term but much smaller families and so much of the potential work force left on the clinic floor. I doubt anyone even considered the long term effects of feminism and legal abortion or reduced family sizes.

russell1200 said...

PP: So feminism and abortion are the issue? Not increased longevity? Population growth is very much a mixed blessing, and even second tier countries (like Mexico) have started to reach zero populationg growth.

Mixing moral arguments with effect-based arguments is in my opinion a mistake. With all the moving pieces within a complex society, you don't have a prayer of making a convincing argument based on numbers, but you do a very good job of muddying up the moral argument.