The American Dream
February 9, 2012
Today, the number of American adults that can’t take care of themselves is at an all-time record high. So what are we going to do if the number of people dependent on the government keeps going up? Some folks like to point out that most Americans that have recently become dependent on the government would rather be working, but because of a lack of jobs they have gotten into a position where they cannot take care of themselves anymore. Some other folks like to point out that the number of Americans that abuse the system and that enjoy being dependent on the government is steadily increasing. Sadly, both of those positions are true. It is a fact that the percentage of working age Americans that actually have jobs has declined dramatically over the past several years because of a lack of jobs. It is also a fact that a growing percentage of Americans believe that it is the job of the government to take care of them from the cradle to the grave. What people need to understand is that the government is the problem and not the solution. We desperately need more jobs in this country, but the federal government has been absolutely killing job growth, it has been creating a culture of government dependency, and it has been going into gigantic amounts of debt trying to take care of so many people. So what are we going to do if the number of American adults that can’t take care of themselves continues to set new records year after year?
Of course most Americans that are dependent on the government are not actually trying to abuse the system. Most are in that situation because they cannot find a decent job.
As you can see from the chart below, in the post-World War II era whenever a recession has ended the percentage of working age Americans that have jobs has rebounded substantially. But this has not happened this time….
The employment-population ratio fell to levels not seen since the early 1980s and has stayed there.
During the 70s, 80s and 90s the employment-population ratio kept increasing because a lot of women were entering the workforce.
But now our economy is not producing nearly enough jobs for everyone. Our economy is dying and the labor market has come to resemble a really bizarre game of musical chairs.
If you lose your job in this economy, you might be out of the game for good.
If you can believe it, today there are 100 million working age Americans that do not have jobs.
In all, there are 242 million working age Americans.
Only 142 million of them actually have jobs.
The rest are either taken care of by someone else in their family or by the government.
Since the year 2000, the U.S. population has increased by over 30 million.
But the number of Americans that have jobs has only risen by 4.7 million.
Something doesn’t add up.
The federal government keeps telling us that the employment situation is getting better, but the only way they can do that is by pretending that millions of Americans are “leaving the labor force”.
Between 2000 and 2011, the federal government says that the number of Americans “not in the labor force” rose by 17.9 million.
But during the entire decade of the 1980s the number of Americans “not in the labor force” rose by only 1.7 million.
Yes, there is something really fishy going on with the employment numbers.
And the percentage of the “working poor” in America has been steadily rising as well.
Millions upon millions of Americans that actually do have jobs are still not able to take care of themselves and are dependent on the government.
If something is not done to reverse these labor trends, the number of American adults that can’t take care of themselves is going to continue to set new records.
Today, over 70 percent of all spending by the federal government goes into dependence programs, and the amount of money that the federal government sends directly to American citizens has increased by 32 percent since Barack Obama took office.
Just about every measure of government dependence that is out there is going up rapidly. Just consider the following stats….
*Federal housing assistance increased by a whopping 42 percent between 2006 and 2010.
*Medicare spending increased by 138 percent between 1999 and 2010.
*Back in 1965, only one out of every 50 Americans was on Medicaid. Today,one out of every 6 Americans is on Medicaid, and things are about to get a whole lot worse. It is being projected that Obamacare will add 16 million more Americans to the Medicaid rolls.
*By the end of 2011, approximately 55 million Americans received a total of approximately 727 billion dollars in Social Security benefits. As theretirement crisis becomes much worse, that dollar figure is projected to absolutely skyrocket.
*The number of Americans on food stamps recently set a new all-time record. Right now, more than one out of every seven American citizens is on food stamps and one out of every four U.S. children is on food stamps. The number of Americans on food stamps has risen by more than 14 million since Barack Obama first entered the White House.
*According to the Heritage Foundation, more than 91 million Americans are financially dependent on the federal government at this point.
*According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 49 percent of all Americans live in a home that receives direct monetary benefits from the federal government. Back in 1983, less than a third of all Americans lived in a home that received direct monetary benefits from the federal government.
*When you total it all up, American households are now receiving more money directly from the federal government than they are paying to the government in taxes.
As you can see, the number of Americans that are receiving goodies from the federal government is rapidly increasing.
Meanwhile, the number of Americans that are working good jobs and paying taxes to support these programs has been going down.
If this continues, at some point the safety net will break.
And we need a safety net. There are always going to be some people who do not have the capacity to take care of themselves. We certainly don’t want to see anyone sleeping in the streets or starving to death.
But the tens of millions of additional Americans that have jumped on to the safety net in recent years are endangering the entire system. Our country is rapidly going broke and if the entire safety net collapses those that really need the help are not going to be able to get it.
In the end, what we really need in this country are tens of millions of additional good jobs. But our politicians continue to pass mountains of job killing new laws, and our big corporations continue to ship millions of our jobs out of the country.
If we stay on this road, the number of Americans that can’t take care of themselves is going to keep setting new records every single year.
And for the rest of us, let us never look down on those that are dependent on the government. The truth is that the vast majority of us are just a few really bad breaks away from losing everything.
This article was posted: Thursday, February 9, 2012 at 4:27 am