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Governmental Spending and Handouts are Destroying America’s Work Ethic

Posted by Steve Markowitz on October 30, 2012

Thetimes-tribune.com posted a fascinating, yet disturbing article titled U.S. loses to disability gamers concerning the degradation of work ethic in the United States.  It reviews a report by economist Nicholas Eberstadt of the American Enterprise Institute who presents the following evidence/conclusions in his “A Nation of Takers: America’s Entitlement Epidemic.”

  • For 2010 total government transfers exceeded $2.2 trillion in money, as well as goods and services to Americans.  This amounts to $7,200 per individual and $29,000 per family of four.
  • Today’s transfers exceed the total of all other federal expenditures.  Prior to 1960, only in the 1931 and 1935 did federal transfer payments exceed total other costs.  To put this in perspective, during FDR’s presidential years these transfers were less than a third of total spending.
  • From 1960 to 2010 transfers (entitlements) increased from 28% to 66% of total spending.
  • Male work force participation has sunk to 73% today from 89% in 1948 with many men not wanting to work.  At 73% this is lower than its counterpart in Europe.
  • The disability rate has skyrocketed in the United States from 455,000 in 1960 to 8.6 million in 2011, four times the number of Americans on welfare.  About half claiming disability are from “mood disorders” or “musculoskeletal system and the connective tissue” issues.  In 1960 about 134 Americans were employed for every disabled worker.  In 2010 there was one disabled for every 16 employed.

The degradation of American work ethic is a tragedy that is draining the Country’s spirit and wealth.  While many on the Right would blame the governmental programs that helped foster this slide on Democrats, Republicans have been complicit with significant growth in related programs occurring under the Nixon, Ford and George W. Bush administrations.  In fact, Eberstadt concludes that between 1960 and 2010 entitlement spending was 8% higher under Republican presidents.

In addition, many “industries” have benefited from the various governmental handout programs including the medical profession, pharmaceutical companies, lawyers, governmental employees and social workers.  It is telling that with all of these groups supposedly working for the good of society that the disability rate has skyrocketed.  The actions of these special interest groups have either hindered the publics’ health and/or foster a growth in dependency.

As this Blog has proffered previously, the only way to address the evils that come with excessive governmental spending is to strictly limit Congress’s ability to spend in any year more than the government brings in that year’s revenue.  Any spending beyond that threshold is corruptive to a democratic society.

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One Response to “Governmental Spending and Handouts are Destroying America’s Work Ethic”

  1. Carl Hackert said

    “I have seen the enemy and he is us”

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