In Entitlement America, The Head Of A Household Of Four Making Minimum Wage Has More Disposable Income Than A Family Making $60,000 A Year

Tyler Durden's picture

Tonight's stunning financial piece de resistance comes from Wyatt Emerich of The Cleveland Current. In what is sure to inspire some serious ire among all those who once believed Ronald Reagan that it was the USSR that was the "Evil Empire", Emmerich analyzes disposable income and economic benefits among several key income classes and comes to the stunning (and verifiable) conclusion that "a one-parent family of three making $14,500 a year (minimum wage) has more disposable income than a family making $60,000 a year." And that excludes benefits from Supplemental Security Income disability checks. America is now a country which punishes those middle-class people who not only try to work hard, but avoid scamming the system. Not surprisingly, it is not only the richest and most audacious thieves that prosper - it is also the penny scammers at the very bottom of the economic ladder that rip off the middle class each and every day, courtesy of the world's most generous entitlement system. Perhaps if Reagan were alive today, he would wish to modify the object of his once legendary remark.

From Emmerich:

You can do as well working one week a month at minimum wage as you can working $60,000-a-year, full-time, high-stress job.

My chart tells the story. It is pretty much self-explanatory.

Stunning? Just do it yourself.

Almost all welfare programs have Web sites where you can call up "benefits calculators." Just plug in your income and family size and, presto, your benefits are automatically calculated.

The chart is quite revealing. A one-parent family of three making $14,500 a year (minimu wage) has more disposable income than a amily making $60,000 a year.

And if that wasn't enough, here is one that will blow your mind:

If the family provider works only one week a month at minimum wage, he or she makes 92 percent as much as a provider grossing $60,000 a year.

Ever wonder why Obama was so focused on health reform? It is so those who have no interest or ability in working, make as much as representatives of America's once exalted, and now merely endangered, middle class.

First of all, working one week a month, saves big-time on child care. But the real big-ticket item is Medicaid, which has minimal deductibles and copays. By working only one week a month at a minimum wage job, a provider is able to get total medical coverage for next to nothing.

Compare this to the family provider making $60,000 a year. A typical Mississippi family coverage would cost around $12,000, adding deductibles and copays adds an additional $4,500 or so to the bill. That's a huge hit.

There is a reason why a full time worker may not be too excited to learn there is little to show for doing the "right thing."

The full-time $60,000-a-year job is going to be much more demanding than woring one week a month at minimu wage. Presumably, the low-income parent will have more energy to attend to the various stresses of managing a household.

It gets even scarier if one assumes a little dishonesty is throwin in the equation.

If the one-week-a-month worker maintains an unreported cash-only job on the side, the deal gets better than a regular $60,000-a-year job.  In this scenario, you maintain a reportable, payroll deductible, low-income job for federal tax purposes. This allows you to easily establish your qualification for all these welfare programs. Then your black-market job gives you additional cash without interfering with your benefits. Some economists estimate there is one trillion in unreported income each year in the United States.

This really got me thinking. Just how much money could I get if I set out to deliberately scam the system? I soon realized that getting a low-paying minimum wage job would set the stage for far more welfare benefits than you could earn in a real job, if you were weilling to cheat. Even if you dodn't cheat, you could do almost as well working one week a month at minimum wage than busting a gut at a $60,000-a-year job. 

Now where it gets plainly out of control is if one throws in Supplemental Security Income.

SSI pays $8,088 per year for each "disabled" family member. A person can be deemed "disabled" if thy are totally lacking in the cultural and educational skills needed to be employable in the workforce.

If you add $24,262 a year for three disability checks, the lowest paid welfare family would now have far more take-home income than the $60,000-a-year family.

Best of all: being on welfare does not judge you if you are stupid enough not to take drugs all day, every day to make some sense out of this Mephistophelian tragicomedy known as living in the USA:

Most private workplaces require drug testing, but there is no drug testing to get welfare checks.

Alas, on America's way to to communist welfare, it has long since surpassed such bastions of capitalism as China:

The welfare system in communist China is far stringier. Those people have to work to eat.

We have been writing for over a year, how the very top of America's social order steals from the middle class each and every day. Now we finally know that the very bottom of the entitlement food chain also makes out like a bandit compared to that idiot American who actually works and pays their taxes. One can only also hope that in addition to seeing their disposable income be eaten away by a kleptocratic entitlement state, that the disappearing middle class is also selling off its weaponry. Because if it isn't, and if it finally decides it has had enough, the outcome will not be surprising at all: it will be the same old that has occurred in virtually every revolution in the history of the world to date.

h/t Nolsgrad

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More Critical Thinking Wanted's picture


Further, care to address any of the points in my post? [...]

I thought I did exactly that. I have read your post and I have quoted a key assumption in your post and disagreed with it. Your other arguments appear to be based on this premise, so I did not reply to them - they are in limbo if the assumption is false. (which I think it is.)

You have not replied to my arguments in substance that I can see.

I specifically picked 'health care' as a benefit system, because it's one where there's a natural deterrence against freeloading: the overwhelming majority of people does not like to fake illnesses just to get free treatment.

So health care benefits, if provided not as in essence a paycheck contribution (like it is often provided in the US), but provided as a benefit/service itself, as a 'sovereign right', can be pretty efficient in practice and can improve the productivity of a country.

For example I cited the german example: in Germany every citizen has a health insurance chip card which they use everywhere in the health care system to identify themselves - but there's no monetary exchange (in most forms of usage). The doctor/nurse/hospital administrator/emergency room personell/etc. accepts the chip card and that's it - you get treatment free of charge. This removes most vectors of social freeloading/leeching.

Your whole premise appears to be that benefits are unfixably inefficent, that they are unfixably promoting freeloading and non-working (leeching), and that they undermine our future (or at least the future of the middle class), and are theft and are immoral.

I see (and cited) several real-life examples where that is not so - and I think that technology can help reduce freeloading. You already listed a few benefits (such as security, the enforcements of contracts, etc. etc.) that you yourself consider acceptable - I think the basis you mentioned was that they allow us to exist to begin with.

Well, proper health care is a pretty fundamental thing to allow us to exist as well, right?

MachoMan's picture

You're talking about how well the system works and I am talking about the unsustainability of your system.  You can throw darts at any which one you want, and it is likely insolvent.  You can talk about the benefits of one over the other, how each is handled, which class of person benefits the most, but in the end, the bill comes due.  My question is how can you possibly avoid talking about the cost of the system while spouting forth its merits?  Does your health system work in all demographic environments?  What about non-citizen freeloaders?  The possible constraints are endless.

You talk about the health industry in a vacuum.  As if you get to design it in academia without application to the real world.  The entitlement state does not just rest with a single entitlement...  it covers the entire spectrum of entitlements...  and the moral hazard attached at the hip.  This is why, despite a conceptually perfect medical system (whichever you want to choose), the government backing it ultimately fails.  This concept has been lost on you...  despite being played out time and time again and, sadly, as we speak.

More Critical Thinking Wanted's picture


You're talking about how well the system works and I am talking about the unsustainability of your system. [...]

(Just to clarify, I was talking about examples where benefit systems works. There's plenty of bad examples as well.)

But more importantly, why would nation state level health care be unsustainable? There's lots of synergies that make such a large system cheaper - I've outlined a few already. The german health care system is about twice as cheap as the US one, on a per capita basis - and it has existed for decades and is sustainable. For example see this OECD data:

Total health expenditures (2008):

Germany: $3737 per year per person (7% of GDP)

        U.S.: $7538 per year per person (16% of GDP)

If you cut through all the health care obfuscation and polarization and look at the raw costs you'll see that the US health care system is literally the most expensive one in the developed world.

Furthermore, US citizens are getting a pretty bad deal for all that money I have to say: for example no 'health security' at all - an illness can still bankrupt you! What kind of 'insurance' is this??

MachoMan's picture

You're arguing in a vacuum.  I want you to provide historical examples of how this has worked, survived, and prospered.  For reasons of rudimentary incentive and human decision making skills, a national healthcare system is not an island unto itself...  the conditions necessary to even implement such a system are the same conditions that give rise to financial/economic unsustainability.  Thus far, humans have been incapable of walking the tight rope.  Maybe after the debt jubilee we'll get to try again.  [or make another trial run at displaying our stupidity].

In academia, on paper, sure, we might be able to do it...  the real world, as always, is a totally different ballgame.

More Critical Thinking Wanted's picture


There's plenty of historic evidence - just try the health care systems of Sweden, Switzerland, Finland or Germany.

Here's the cost comparison:

And what health care benefits you get in say Switzerland:

The facts are that it works, it's highly civilized and it's efficient.


AmericaRacket's picture

I think the US is being silly about not putting more money into public education for example. Finland and Germany both have very strong public schooling with essentially zero private schooling (not even private universities) - and their pupils are top notch in most tests, their scientific and industrial production is very strong, their workforce is highly qualified. Arguing about putting even less money into US public education is more than silly IMO ..


Allow me to give you a reason why people could be so silly.  The US Public Education System is already the most expensive systems in the world, and arguably the least effective in terms of the educational product.  It might be the most effective if you consider its real purpose: to keep Americans ignorant, atomized, and docile.

Our college system is so awash in government grants and loans that it is an extension of the public school system.  Quite simply, the entrenched bureacracy has created an unspeakable monster that is bleeding our funds while abusing our children.  This is why I do not think it silly to spend less on our public schools.

chopper read's picture

+1, agreed.

institutional indoctrination is a time-honored tradition in the USSA.

"The chief end, wrote the British evolutionist Benjamin Kidd in 1918, was to 'impose on the young the ideal of subordination.' At first, the primary target was the tradition of independent livelihoods in America. Unless Yankee entrepreneurialism could be put to death, at least among the common population, the immense capital investments that mass production industry required for equipment weren’t conceivably justifiable. Students were to learn to think of themselves as employees competing for the favor of management. Not as Franklin or Edison had once regarded themselves, as self-determined, free agents.Only by a massive psychological campaign could the menace of overproduction in America be contained."

CH1's picture

you need to be able to see things with other people's eyes =

Stop using your mind and surrender it to me!

And, punk... How about some empathy for the people whose income is stolen?

AmericaRacket's picture

Hey critical.  I just wanted you to know that you weren't junked 40 times because we're a bunch of crazy right-wingers.  You see, when you say something like "that's just your opinion" you are issuing a 6th-grade level of discourse.  When you say "you have to see through other's eyes" and leave it at that, without giving anybody a specific reason or even a specific "other", you will draw heat.  When you start equating rights with opinions, that's dangerous territory, as I could state that it is only your opinion that we have the right to free speech, freedom of religion, association, trial by jury, etc.  We should take all views into account etc.  People don't take kindly when you start talking about the achievements of civilization for which millions gave their lives as "opinions".

First of all, one difference between a "right" to enjoy the fruits of your own labor and your "right" to a free entitlement (you name it, free public schools, free medical care) is that free entitlements don't exist.  Someone has to perform the labor.  You are claiming thus that we have the "right" to demand that everyone else work for us for free.  Free speech on the other hand , does exist.  If I claim the right to speak my mind wthout being accosted by thugs in jackboots, or to work without having over half my proceeds stolen at gunpoint, I am demanding something that is very easily done and that is very sensible, and that is kind of obviously the right thing to do.

Since there could not be such a right, we have to broaden the picture a little bit (proceed maybe to the 10th grade level) and talk about alternative social arrangements.  I have nothing in principle against charity, or even social welfare arrangements paid for by a reasonable tax burden.  Reasonable people can dissagree on the details.

But let us not obscure certain crucial realities by locking them into an irrelevant Left-Right grid or by puffing up infantile nonsense about everybody's right to an opinion.  The issue here isn't greedy people who don't want to let saintly bureaucrats help the poor with other people's money.  It's about the fact that a guy who is making 60K in America (which is supposedly living the Everyman's version of the American Dream) will struggle to pay his rent, food, and medical bills, to the point where he will have LESS DISPOSABLE INCOME than a dole-rider who gets for free what the productive classes pay for at extortionate prices.  Basic living expenses are so high that the productive worker has nothing left over after paying up for fraudulently inflated medicine, housing and food.  The only difference between middle class and poor is that the middle class pay the cost of their enslavement.  What's your opinion about that?

More Critical Thinking Wanted's picture


First of all, one difference between a "right" to enjoy the fruits of your own labor and your "right" to a free entitlement (you name it, free public schools, free medical care) is that free entitlements don't exist.  Someone has to perform the labor. [...]

I replied to a similar point elsewhere already, but let me try to sum it up here too:

I believe the main mistake you are making here is that you assume that the full revenue you get from an activity is "your property". It is obviously not so: just try to open a shop in a mall and keep all the income as "your property" without paying the rent to the mall owner ...

Likewise, try to perform your "work" that you do in the US elsewhere in the world and try to draw the same income - you likely wont succeed. Why? Because your ability to earn money and the amount you get depends on a thousand small infrastructural details that the US as a nation state with 300+ million people is providing to you: if you are a businessman then your customers travel to you on public roads, they get protected by the military and thus have a safer business enviroment. If they have contractual disputes there's a modern judicial system at hand. Rulings of courts are then enforced as well. US foreign policy is active in hundreds of countries to lobby for rules favorable to US business interests, etc., etc.

Most of this you and your business associates and customers get free of charge or get heavily subsidised.

If you expect to get all that service 'for free' then you are naive: running a developed economy is very expensive, and all developed countries on the planet seek a rent for those services, because that's how they think they can finance it.

If you try to draw income without paying the infrastructure and insurance fees for it (taxes) you are freeloading - and freeloaders are not welcome in the US, nor in other developed countries. (Somalia has a zero percent tax rate, you can try your luck there although you will likely find their infrastructure, their security situation and the judicial system a bit lacking. Something for something - you wont have to pay taxes!)

If you argue that you did not ask for this system then you are right: you got born into it without your permission, and this whole system is an entitlement you got as a birthright - with all its advantages and disadvantages. You can change it anytime in principle, there's periodic times when all voters have the power to change the rules that govern the US - though you need to convince a significant portion of voters that your views are worth voting for.

cranky-old-geezer's picture

"The right[s] to [of] life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness (to make money) [i.e. the right of property] is a [are] sovereign right[s]."

There, fixed it.

... and they're not Constitutional rights, they're Declaration of Independence rights. Cite the correct source of authority.

... and they didn't come from God despite the founding fathers believing they did.  They came from whoever wrote the DOI. Again, cite the correct source of authority.

... and if you don't know how to defend them in court they're pretty much useless.

... and they don't override a contract.  It's the other way around.

fiftybagger's picture

"$10-$20b per year social programmes"


Ha hahahahahahahaha. 

See how the left lies?  See what utter morons they take you for?


20 billion dollars is 20,000 dollars for 1 million people.  Try ten or a hundred times that.  Since liberals don't believe in right and wrong, or that there is a God, they have no problem lying through their teeth.

More Critical Thinking Wanted's picture

Oh, of course the total spending there is much larger than 10-20b - most of it goes into Medicare, one of the most popular government programmes in the US, which not even the GOP dares to destroy.

Assume your worst case and weigh that against your ability to be able to use hundreds of trillions worth of infrastructure and be able to make trillions of dollar - it's still a very good deal you get compared to being born in free Somalia with zero government, zero taxes (and zero infrastructure and zero security as well, mind you).

Your whining about 'entitlement' programmes in the US is very, very pathetic to external observers. The level of social spending in the US is much lower than that in the EU, the top tax bracket is much lower than in most of EU. You do not realize how much more could be spent on 'entitlement' while still having a well functioning, innovative and flexible economy with happy rich people ...

fiftybagger's picture

Thanks but no thanks.  When I leave it will be for Singapore not Greece.

A Nanny Moose's picture

So? Afraid the parasites have bled your host dry, are we?

More Critical Thinking Wanted's picture

I wouldn't go so far as to call Singapour parasites - there's certainly a lot of original production going on there as well. The ... extremely lax banking and tax rules do attract the mob from all around the world to wash their money, so be careful if you go there - avoid the russian bankers, etc.

UGrev's picture

Let me sum it up for you, because you are clearly not an American. Americans have NO problem giving to others by choice but when it's taken from us by force, then we have a problem. We will help you if you can prove to us that you indeed, tried as hard as you could; but if you're asking for handouts without so much as lifting a finger for yourself.. then quite frankly, you can piss off. 

You may rise and you may fall, but you are better than the ones who didn't try at all. 

This is something I tell my 7 year old, who asked for food donations instead of gifts at his 7th birthday party. So kindly take your "progressive" spew and move along. 

More Critical Thinking Wanted's picture


Americans have NO problem giving to others by choice [...]

LOL, that is another right-wing myth that is easily debunked.

Here's the list of the most charitable countries on the planet, on an "annual percentage of income given to charitable causes":

How charitable is the average US citizen? Only 0.20% of the average income ...

So it turns out that those 50% top tax bracket 'big wellfare state' losers in Europe are giving two to five times more money per capita to charitable causes than the USA which has a top tax bracket of 35%.

So you have 15% less taxes at 35%, but are only willing to spend a measly 0.2% of your income 'voluntarily'. Wow!

Desenstematic's picture

Real charity does not come in the form of digital units from your bank acount getting moved to some Charitable organizations bank account...

very telling how you think of these things

More Critical Thinking Wanted's picture

Real charity does not come in the form of digital units from your bank acount getting moved to some Charitable organizations bank account... [...]

Certainly - but there's a strong observed correlation :-)

AmericaRacket's picture

Count churches?

Also, America has the greatest wealth disparity by far, and if the richest are the least charitable, as seems distinctly possible, it would make a difference.

I believe, as far as charity goes, the main difference is religious and secular.

More Critical Thinking Wanted's picture

if the richest are the least charitable, as seems distinctly possible [...]

That's certainly possible (many rich people are sociopaths), but note that it pretty much undercuts the whole argument I was replying to: that somehow voluntary charity in a no-taxes environment could and would provide the same national resources as taxes. If we abolished income taxes we'd be pushing resources mainly to the richest.

Hicham's picture

So people are junking him...and yet he makes a very good point? People need to junk more sparingly.





RKDS's picture

I'm sort of surprised how low the percentage is purported to be, but you know, it's still a misleading statistic.

Just as a for instance, I probably donate about $200 every year to Toys For Tots.  That's 0.5% of my pre-tax salary, but of what I actually get to keep after taxes, it's a full 1%.  I know, nowhere near the 10% the church would like to see, but I'm trying.

I don't believe that I give so far above the average.  Sure, there are alot of poor people who can't dragging the average down, but what does this say about the super-wealthy?  How much more could I afford to help if I wasn't paying a 30% federal-state-local income tax?

No easy answers so long as the free-lunch crowd at either end continues to play us against each other, that's for damend sure.

chopper read's picture

if Trillions of $USDs were not tied up in U.S. Treasury Bonds supporting the Welfare State, this capital would be in the private sector because it would have no other place to go.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average would be at 100,000 and everyone would have a helicopter in their back yard. Hurricane Katrina victims, for example, would not need to rely on central planners who currently have a monopoly on both "force" and incompetence. The abundance of wealth would increase the generosity of fellow Americans to unseen levels, and dwarf financial outpourings towards Haiti's hurricane victims and Bali's tsunami victims by comparison.

Instead, we are paying ever-expanding interest payments on nearly $15 Trillion with approximately $160 Trillion in unfunded liabilities to the further enrichment of The Federal Reserve and extended members of the International Banking Cartel. 

More Critical Thinking Wanted's picture

The US Government uses up 35% of GDP currently.

That's about 15 thousand dollars per person - not nearly enough to have a helicopter.

Also, much of that 35% is spent on projects that would have to be done anyway: defense, infrastructure (roads), the judiciary, policing, foreign relations, etc. So you'd be paying it not in form of taxes but in form of a defense insurance fee towards United Military Corp, an infrastructure use fee towards Big Co Roads and Rails, a judiciary insurance fee towards Lawyers United Corp, a police protection fee towards Cops United Corp and a foreign relations fee towards Diplomats Inc., etc.

Much of that $16K would be used up for these purposes, and seeing how insurance companies have monopolized the US the fees would quite possibly be much more than ~$1250 per month. You'd want to pay that extra +$300 per month to insure your kids against kidnapping, with a 5 minutes guaranteed SWAT option for another +$150, right? (the standard contract only offers a 30 minutes SWAT response.)

I mean, just private health care can easily cost this much per year for you. Guess how much it would cost if you had all these other services were private insured as well, hm?

If you oppose taxation and government you really need to think through the consequences. Existing examples of private insurers can give you a clue about how the future would look like with various US government services privatized.

chopper read's picture

ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



United States Debt of $14.6239 TRILLION is 94.27% of GDP as of 2010.

A helicopter can be bought for $40,000.

 There are 330,000,000 people in America.  For every American to have a helicopter it would cost $13,200,000,000,000 or $13.2 Trillion, which is less than the money currently tied up in our Treasury Bond market.  


Well, I lived in England for 6 1/2 years.  My wife is British.  The system is filled with horror stories.  I have lost a father-in-law and a great friend due to gross incompetence in the NHS.  I have heard countless testimonies as they relate to NHS staff performing in line with how they are paid. 

Further, consider the fact that it is the American profit-driven system which creates most of the advances in healthcare which everyone enjoys around the world. 

Finally, understand that if you feel you have to fight back profiteers now in a competitive system, wait till you have to fight back deathboards in a rationed system.  'Austerity measures' anyone?


Fact No. 1:  Americans have better survival rates than Europeans for common cancers.[1]  Breast cancer mortality is 52 percent higher in Germany than in the United States, and 88 percent higher in the United Kingdom.  Prostate cancer mortality is 604 percent higher in the U.K. and 457 percent higher in Norway.  The mortality rate for colorectal cancer among British men and women is about 40 percent higher.


Fact No. 2:  Americans have lower cancer mortality rates than Canadians.[2]  Breast cancer mortality is 9 percent higher, prostate cancer is 184 percent higher and colon cancer mortality among men is about 10 percent higher than in the United States.


Fact No. 3:  Americans have better access to treatment for chronic diseases than patients in other developed countries.[3]  Some 56 percent of Americans who could benefit are taking statins, which reduce cholesterol and protect against heart disease.  By comparison, of those patients who could benefit from these drugs, only 36 percent of the Dutch, 29 percent of the Swiss, 26 percent of Germans, 23 percent of Britons and 17 percent of Italians receive them. 


 Fact No. 4:  Americans have better access to preventive cancer screening than Canadians.[4]  Take the proportion of the appropriate-age population groups who have received recommended tests for breast, cervical, prostate and colon cancer:

  • Nine of 10 middle-aged American women (89 percent) have had a mammogram, compared to less than three-fourths of Canadians (72 percent).
  • Nearly all American women (96 percent) have had a pap smear, compared to less than 90 percent of Canadians.
  • More than half of American men (54 percent) have had a PSA test, compared to less than 1 in 6 Canadians (16 percent).
  • Nearly one-third of Americans (30 percent) have had a colonoscopy, compared with less than 1 in 20 Canadians (5 percent).

Fact No. 5:  Lower income Americans are in better health than comparable Canadians.  Twice as many American seniors with below-median incomes self-report "excellent" health compared to Canadian seniors (11.7 percent versus 5.8 percent).  Conversely, white Canadian young adults with below-median incomes are 20 percent more likely than lower income Americans to describe their health as "fair or poor."[5]


Fact No. 6:  Americans spend less time waiting for care than patients in Canada and the U.K.  Canadian and British patients wait about twice as long - sometimes more than a year - to see a specialist, to have elective surgery like hip replacements or to get radiation treatment for cancer.[6]  All told, 827,429 people are waiting for some type of procedure in Canada.[7]  In England, nearly 1.8 million people are waiting for a hospital admission or outpatient treatment.[8]


Fact No. 7:  People in countries with more government control of health care are highly dissatisfied and believe reform is needed.   More than 70 percent of German, Canadian, Australian, New Zealand and British adults say their health system needs either "fundamental change" or "complete rebuilding."[9]


Fact No. 8:  Americans are more satisfied with the care they receive than Canadians.  When asked about their own health care instead of the "health care system," more than half of Americans (51.3 percent) are very satisfied with their health care services, compared to only 41.5 percent of Canadians; a lower proportion of Americans are dissatisfied (6.8 percent) than Canadians (8.5 percent).[10]


Fact No. 9:  Americans have much better access to important new technologies like medical imaging than patients in Canada or the U.K.  Maligned as a waste by economists and policymakers naïve to actual medical practice, an overwhelming majority of leading American physicians identified computerized tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) as the most important medical innovations for improving patient care during the previous decade.[11]  [See the table.]  The United States has 34 CT scanners per million Americans, compared to 12 in Canada and eight in Britain.  The United States has nearly 27 MRI machines per million compared to about 6 per million in Canada and Britain.[12] 


Fact No. 10:  Americans are responsible for the vast majority of all health care innovations.[13]  The top five U.S. hospitals conduct more clinical trials than all the hospitals in any other single developed country.[14]  Since the mid-1970s, the Nobel Prize in medicine or physiology has gone to American residents more often than recipients from all other countries combined.[15]  In only five of the past 34 years did a scientist living in America not win or share in the prize.   Most important recent medical innovations were developed in the United States.[16]  [See the table.]


statistics from a survey by the United Nations International Health Organization:

 Percentage of men and women who survived a cancer five years  
 after diagnosis:


  U.S.              65%

  England        46%

  Canada         42%


 Percentage of patients diagnosed with diabetes who received  
 treatment within six months:


  U.S.              93%

  England        15%

  Canada         43%


 Percentage of seniors needing hip replacement who received it  
 within six months:


  U.S.              90%

  England        15%

  Canada         43%


 Percentage referred to a medical specialist who see one within  
 one month:


  U.S.              77%

  England        40%

  Canada         43%


 Number of MRI scanners (a prime diagnostic tool) per million people:


  U.S.              71

  England        14

  Canada         18


 Percentage of seniors (65+), with low income, who say they are in  
 "excellent health":


  U.S.              12%

  England        2%

  Canada         6%

More Critical Thinking Wanted's picture


I think you need to apply a bit more critical thinking. Do you regularly check whether the sources you are using have been criticised or debunked yet? For example you should be careful with anything that comes out of the NCPA - they have a clear conservative policy agenda. In this case too their 'facts' were found to be all but facts:

Just one little snippet:

"Fact 7" alleges that Americans are more satisfied with our health care system than citizens in countries with more government involvement in health care. Atlas cites the above Commonwealth study to support a claim that "more than 70 percent of German, Canadian, Australian, New Zealand and British adults say their system needs 'fundamental change' or 'complete rebuilding.' That is true, but what Atlas doesn't tell us is that more Americans (82 percent) respond that way, more than respondents in any of the other countries. In fact, that study found that 34 percent of Americans believe that our system should be completely rebuilt, compared to only 12 and 15 percent in Canada and the U.K., respectively. (3)

Ouch: 82 percent of Americans think in that study that the US health care systems needs a 'fundamental change' or a 'complete rebuilding' - more than in any other country surveyed. That pretty much undercuts your whole argument - if the US health care system is indeed so splendid, why are US citizens so unhappy about it?

Inquiring minds want to know.


chopper read's picture

is that the best you could do?

umm, ...because Americans would rather spend their dough on more toys, trinkets, houses, and holidays than on healthcare.  

This is NOT a reason to circumvent the U.S. Constitution and a Republic of Laws protecting individual property/wealth.

‎"I am going to flatly state this. It is illegal to force me to buy a product I do not want. Whether you think I need it or not. It is an illegal act as a government fiduciary, to compel us to pay taxes through implied threat of force and then give our money to private businesses', banks, insurers, and automakers. ... We are a nation built upon law. That law protects the minority from the whims of the majority. When under the guise of authority a police officer is allowed to break the law, or our government under guise of authority breaks the law, are we supposed to ignore it? Help them rationalize and justify it, enable government to do it again just as long as they have some passionate concern and a palatable excuse? Just who is it that polices government, that enforces law when government violates law? Apparently nobody."


keep in mind, a larger 'welfare state' means a larger bond market, which means evermore opportunity for the International Banking Cartel to front-run our private Federal Reserve Bank, and evermore national debt upon which to earn interest.


Refer to this:

"After the gold standard was destroyed by the U.S. government, the Fed has been hijacked by a clique that runs it without any regard to ownership, the Constitution, the law or, for that matter, to the vital interests of the American people."

More specifically, here is how the International Banking Cartel uses The Fed as a means to front run the US taxpayer.

"The bulk of the Federal Reserve banks’ assets, contrary to the original intention to run the Fed as a commercial paper system, are Treasury bonds. The bulk of their earnings are interest income derived from Treasury bonds. Most of these interest payments are quietly and illegally refunded to the Treasury.

Thus the assets backing Federal Reserve notes are, for the most part, non-interest-bearing Treasury bonds or “strips”, the value of which is grossly overstated in the balance sheet. The interposition of the Fed between the U.S. Treasury and the public in the money-creating process is a sham. The “open market operations” of the Fed is a sham.

The dollar is being created in violation of the law, by pure fiat, at the whim of appointed officials arrogating unlimited power to themselves; this in a republic where government is supposed to be based on limited and enumerated powers. The roundabout nature of the dollar-creating process serves the purpose of fooling people.

The Fed could very well be abolished, and the U.S. Treasury could issue fiat dollars directly, reducing the budget deficit of the federal government in the process. If it doesn’t, it is because it wants to pull the wool over the eyes of the public. It wants to maintain the pretense that a central bank independent of the government does the issuing as dictated by market forces. Hereby the true fiat nature of the dollar is revealed. Only simpletons believe that there are solid assets backing the dollar.

A Tale of Twelve Shills

The bond market has been turned into a casino. The gamblers are bond speculators, including all the major banks. The manager of the casino has hired twelve “shills” who play and win big at the gaming tables in order to perk up gambling spirit and to keep it high. At the end of the day the shills must return their winnings to the owner of the casino. These shills are none other than the twelve Federal Reserve banks.

The value of Treasury bonds is maintained through fraud. Today nobody in his right mind would hold his savings in bonds, as was the case before 1913 when the rate of interest and bond prices was stable and, hence, bond speculation was non-existent. Thus the logical basis of the value of bonds has been shattered. In the present environment the value of Treasury bonds is maintained by virtue of letting them serve as chips at the casino. People have to buy them if they want to play. As more and more chips are issued, the shills must become more and more active to prevent gambling spirit from sagging.

The fraud of pretending that Treasury bonds have any real value at all, and that the destiny of the underlying debt is to be paid, is exposed. If it wasn’t for the $100 trillion derivatives markets in bond futures and options, Treasury bonds would become worthless, and so would the dollar. These derivatives markets must spin ever faster in order to keep the value of Treasury bonds from collapsing. The shills can postpone the day of reckoning but cannot avoid it. Messrs. Greenspan and Bernanke could be reckless in using the printing press, as they have publicly said that they would do, but that should only make the dénouement, whenever it came, even more horrible.”

Here is another:   

“Chart 1 reveals the linear connection between the Rothschild’s and the Bank of England, and the London banking houses, which ultimately control the Federal Reserve Banks through their stockholdings of bank stock and their subsidiary firms in New York.

The two principal Rothschild representatives in New York, J. P. Morgan Co., and Kuhn, Loeb & Co. were the firms which set up the Jekyll Island Conference at which the Federal Reserve Act was drafted, who directed the subsequent successful campaign to have the plan enacted into law by Congress, and who purchased the controlling amounts of stock in the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in 1914.


These firms had their principal officers appointed to the Federal Reserve Board of Governors and the Federal Advisory Council in 1914.  In 1914 a few families (blood or business related) owning controlling stock in existing banks (such as in New York City) caused those banks to purchase controlling shares in the Federal Reserve regional banks.  

Examination of the charts and text in the House Banking Committee Staff Report of August, 1976 and the current stockholders list of the 12 regional Federal Reserve Banks show this same family control."


but, just keep on being a 'useful idiot' to the International Banking Cartel, MCT.  Their plan to enslave the world with debt and siphon wealth upwards is working out famously thanks to the likes of you and other fools.  



More Critical Thinking Wanted's picture


This is NOT a reason to circumvent the U.S. Constitution and a Republic of Laws protecting individual property/wealth. [...]

If you think that a (rather smart) piece of paper written 200+ years ago by a handful of long dead people has any relevance to the wishes and circumstances of 300+ million people living in the US today you will be disappointed again and again, until the end of your life.

Sure, it outlines nice concepts, and if it lines up with their interests or isn't causing too much inconvenience it's fine and will be followed.

But if it stands in the way of torturing terrorists or stands in their way in some other major way then the general population, the police, the courts and politicians will all look the other way (or will be defeated at the next election if they dont).

You need to stop this quasi-communistic idealism really and you need to face reality.

chopper read's picture

that 'piece of paper' created the Gilded Age and the wealthiest and most free country on the planet at one time.  Its why we have 8,000 tons of gold in Fort Knox.   you and your viewpoints have destroyed freedom and opportunity in America.  Further, you're still arguing with Repugnant-cons with typical Dumbo-crap talking points while your country is being stolen from underneathe you.  wake up, dumbass!!! 

More Critical Thinking Wanted's picture

Dude, you need to read more history books - and real ones, not the ones 'edited' for conservative kids :-)

In the 'Gilded Age' (when the US tried to catch up with the rest of the world after a destructive civil war) they still lived like crap: security was so bad that everyone had to have weapons, the environment was in shatters (cities stunk, rivers were poisoned due to rapid, unregulated industralization, etc) and kids only had an about 70% chance to make it to 10 years old.

And you can only think of the resources that were plundered and the gold that was hoarded??

If you and your family wants to go back to those 'free' circumstances then I suspect you could move to Somalia and start hoarding gold - there's plenty of gold mines on that continent.

chopper read's picture

security was so bad that everyone had to have weapons

see, by now it is clear to anyone else observing this conversation exactly how much you talk out your arse.  you really are a fucking idiot, and do not have a clue about nearly anything.  i picture you in a cubical somewhere, or perhaps having tenure at a community college.  without a doubt, you are a major joker who has not achieved much.

if you have EVER read a real history book, then you would realize that the 'wild west' was not so 'wild' at all.  in fact, everyone having a weapon promoted peace.  an armed society is a polite society.  if you compare this to our urban areas today, which outlaw 'weapons', you begin to see the portion of our world that you chose to ignore from your ivory tower.  You are obviously a limousine liberal who has rarely ventured out past your immediate suburb, let alone to such a place as Somalia, which you so brazenly reference. 

as for child mortality during the Gilded Age, at that time it was as good or better than anywhere in the world.  to compare it to today's standards is grossly unfair and intellectually dishonest, and you know this.  shame on you. 

this is no longer about truth with you, if it ever was, but rather about 'winning', even if you have to disrespect the process of peaceful debate.  

Pol Pot would be proud, MCT.  

p.s.  I'm not your "dude", dude.  I'll probably be forced to combat you when I see you in the revolutionary streets, dude.  Because you empower Statist thugs, dude.  Which makes you Statist scum, dude.

More Critical Thinking Wanted's picture


as for child mortality during the Gilded Age, at that time it was as good or better than anywhere in the world.  to compare it to today's standards is grossly unfair and intellectually dishonest, and you know this.  shame on you. [...]

You really need to read up on how life really was in the 'Gilded Age'. (beyond the bits about the gold rush and the hoarding of thousands of tons of gold and the post-civil-war run-up of a war-stimulated economy)

Life expectancy in Sweden in 1850 was 41 years:

In 1870 it was 45 years:

In the US in 1850 it was 39.5 years, 23.0 years for blacks (!):

And that was before the Civil War.

After the Civil War the US produced some good growth (and health) numbers, but from a low war destructed/depressed baseline it's easy, right? Want me to cite german GDP growth after 1945?

Also, you have to realize that life was pretty miserable in most of the world in that age, not just the US. Europe was comparatively worse because the US skipped most of the early industrialization and was a lot less crowded as well. It made up for it later on though.

If you were catapulted back 100-150 years into the role of the average US city dweller (which most of the population consisted of) you'd really hate that place.

You'd have to work a lot harder, for a lot less money proportionally, and you'd have a lot lower standard of living all around: sanitation, roads, clear air, clean water, general infrastructure, security, etc. etc. - and I'm not talking about technological advances/gadgets here, just basic everyday necessities we are taking for granted today.

chopper read's picture

we are in agreement that technological developments have made life better for everyone over time.

stev3e's picture

Sweden?  Couldn't you cherry pick better than that?

More Critical Thinking Wanted's picture

is that the best you could do? [...]

That I have proven that you were quoting from a document that is lying? Yes. The fact that it does not even bother you that you are spreading lies is pretty telling, and your posturing about the US Constitution is a bit pithy in that light as well: the founding fathers certainly did not condone lying and they certainly detested liars.

chopper read's picture

i'll take the information from the Huffington Post on board.  It is not my intention to spread false information.  your post is duely noted. 


now, outside of 4 single bullet points from 1 of many documents that I've posted, do you care to address ANY of the other points, or do you wish to delude yourself further into believing you have a leg to stand on?


this will cause a revolution.  and it will be decided in the streets if nowhere else.  good luck.  you're going to need it.



stev3e's picture

>>Do you regularly check whether the sources you are using have been criticised or debunked yet?<<

Like the sources you used for statistics about charity.

You are smart.  You are educated.

But you are very dishonest.  And it is transparent.

More Critical Thinking Wanted's picture


How much more could I afford to help if I wasn't paying a 30% federal-state-local income tax? [...]

One thing that can be observed in that list is that the northern, 50% top tax bracket countries are so high up the list. I.e., against common sense, higher taxes seem to increase the willingness to donate.

Of course correlation does not imply causation, and I do not know the answer to that correlation, but two plausible answers would be:

  • Since donations are tax deductible, people know that if they donate X to a good cause half of that amount will be matched by the government in essence. This increases the incentive to donate.
  • Those able to donate now were beneficiaries of various social programmes (and donations) in earlier phases of their lives - or see those programmes (or donations) working for their loved ones. This increases their social awareness and increases their incentive to donate.

But still the willingness to donate financially on a voluntary basis rarely goes above ~1% of GDP.

Given that even the super-lean (and tax evasion financed :-) Singapour government needs 15% of GDP to function, voluntary contributions in the 1% ballpark are clearly not sufficient to drive social needs - let alone finance the US government which is spending 35% of GDP - or the government of Germany which spends 44% of GDP.

A Nanny Moose's picture

Your little charts don't show the people in their cars stopping at the exit of the Target parking lot, to hand $5 to the homeless guy holding a sign. Call it grassroots charity. It is huge, and those people holding signs rake in some cash.

Ricky Bobby's picture

Just think if you don't waste your time here you will have more time to read Chomsky and sing the praises of Hugo and Fidel.

Watauga's picture

Okay, you have convinced me that you are, indeed, an idiot.

MachoMan's picture


Blow your troll job out your brittish ass.  You parade on here about the relative virtues of the european entitlement system without mentioning europe is insolvent, especially the brittish isle.  You presume that the inevitable conclusion to an entitlement state (which america has far crossed the rubicon into) is not financial ruin.  Eventually, the productive lose incentive and/or ability to drag the rest on their coattails.  You've already witnessed a "bucking of the saddle" so to speak, but now the horse is about to just lay down...  and it doesn't matter how much you (or bennie) flogs him.


FatFingered's picture

It's time for bed MoreCritical.  You are not going to finish that bottle tonight.

Sam Clemons's picture

What infrastructure is worth "hundreds of trillions of dollars"? 

I know it costs a lot, but that would definitely not be my first "wag." 

More Critical Thinking Wanted's picture

What infrastructure is worth "hundreds of trillions of dollars"?

If you sum up the value of the various components of the 'US marketplace' (and its judicial and security infrastructure) you get to such figures. Just the last 20 years of US GDP is in excess of a hundred trillion dollars, so the total monetary value is probably in excess of a quadrillion dollars.

Is a 35% top tax bracket really such an unreasonable fee for individuals being allowed to access and make money in this huge (and valuable) marketplace?

The voting majority appears to think it's a fair price.

The whining minority thinks they have some sort of 'right' to freeload, that they have a right to being able to make money in this valuable marketplace for no fee at all.

MachoMan's picture

see post above regarding argument from intimidation.  There is a reason our founding fathers were concerned about the tyranny of the majority...  unfortunately, even they could not devise a foolproof system.

Further, you're leaving off the fact that the infrastructure was created using borrowed dollars.  You presume that the spending was necessary and beneficial and that the authorization to spend was done with the consent of the people in a fair and unbiased democratic process.  Also, the "marketplace" is shrinking...  and, in all likelihood, was never "real", but rather a paper illusion.

Again, as previously stated, instead of implementing straw men (e.g. "The whining minority thinks they have some sort of 'right' to freeload, that they have a right to being able to make money in this valuable marketplace for no fee at all."), maybe you can make a value statement as to whether the majority is morally correct and, if so, what effect this will have to the ability of the country (and world) to remain a going concern.

PS, are the injections from the FED into european nations (either directly or indirectly) to keep them propped up justified?  Are those voted on by the majority?  Or is majority support just impled?  Thanks.