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Is This Why Americans Have Lost The Drive To "Earn" More

Tyler Durden's picture


In the recent past we noted the somewhat startling reality that "the single mom is better off earning gross income of $29,000 with $57,327 in net income & benefits than to earn gross income of $69,000 with net income and benefits of $57,045." While mathematics is our tool - as opposed to the mathemagics of some of the more politically biased media who did not like our message - the painful reality in America is that: for increasingly more Americans it is now more lucrative - in the form of actual disposable income - to sit, do nothing, and collect various welfare entitlements, than to work. This is such an important topic that we felt it necessary to warrant a second look. The graphic below quite clearly, and very painfully, confirms that there is an earnings vacuum of around $40k in which US workers are perfectly ambivalent toward inputting more effort since it does not result in any additional incremental disposable income. With the ongoing 'fiscal cliff' battles over taxes and entitlements, this is a problematic finding, since - as a result - it is the US government that will have to keep funding indirectly this lost productivity and worker output (via wealth redistribution).


As we noted before (details below):

We realize that this is a painful topic in a country in which the issue of welfare benefits, and cutting (or not) the spending side of the fiscal cliff, have become the two most sensitive social topics. Alas, none of that changes the matrix of incentives for most Americans who find themselves in a comparable situation: either being on the left side of minimum US wage, and relying on benefits, or move to the right side at far greater personal investment of work, and energy, and... have the same disposable income at the end of the day.

Naturally, the topic of wealth redistribution is paramount one now that America is entering the terminal phase of its out of control spending, and whose response to hike taxes in a globalized, easily fungible world, will merely force more of the uber-wealthy to find offshore tax jurisdictions, avoid US taxation altogether, and thus result in even lower budget revenues for the US. It explains why the cluelessly incompetent but supposedly impartial Congressional Budget Office just released a key paper titled "Share of Returns Filed by Low- and Moderate-Income Workers, by Marginal Tax Rate, Under 2012 Law" which carries a chart of disposable income by net income comparable to the one above.

But perhaps the scariest chart in the entire presentation is the following summarizing the unsustainable welfare burden on current taxpayers:

  • For every 1.65 employed persons in the private sector, 1 person receives welfare assistance
  • For every 1.25 employed persons in the private sector, 1 person receives welfare assistance or works for the government.

The punchline: 110 million privately employed workers; 88 million welfare recipients and government workers and rising rapidly.

And since nothing has changed in the past two years, and in fact the situation has gotten progressively (pardon the pun) worse, here is our conclusion on this topic from two years ago:

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.

But for now, just stick head in sand, and pretend all is good. Self-deception is now the only thing left for the entire insolvent entitlement-addicted world.

* * *

Full must read presentation: "Welfare's Failure and the Solution"


Some other thoughts on this topic: DOES IT PAY, AT THE MARGIN, TO WORK AND SAVE?


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Sat, 12/01/2012 - 18:49 | 3026968 DanDaley
DanDaley's picture

Come on, you lazy 110 million, row harder!

Sat, 12/01/2012 - 19:02 | 3026997 CH1
CH1's picture


And, one by one, they are opting out. Met a Ron Paul supporter not too long ago; he was setting up to Go Galt right after the election.

I'll be looking for him in Atlantis.

Sat, 12/01/2012 - 19:12 | 3027013 American34
American34's picture

I will meet you at the Gulch.

Sat, 12/01/2012 - 19:45 | 3027067 Will To Live
Will To Live's picture

"Line up. If you are ready".  Says the man.

Sat, 12/01/2012 - 19:57 | 3027088 kaiserhoff
kaiserhoff's picture

I've seen this stuff before.  When you get into the details, it's both better and worse than portrayed.

Government benefits are overstated, because a lot of the "value" is in "free" corporate drug pusher medicine.  Not something worth anything like what the gubbermint pays for it.

On the other hand, "free" food, housing, and utilities are, by far, the most stable things these poor creatures have in their lives, or have ever had.  Remove them suddenly, and they are up a shit creek.

Poverty defined by cash flow is absurd.  In small town/rural areas, rent is almost nothing, you can raise your own food, and heat with fire wood.  If you are a lazy fuck, you can freeze and starve in the dark.  Many problems were created by welfare's lure into the cities.  Another hard drug habit to shake.


Sat, 12/01/2012 - 20:04 | 3027096 Karlus
Karlus's picture

Why, pray tell, would a pol reduce welfare payments to his suffering constituents while those darn Yuppies and clingers (who didnt vote for him) can still make their Lexus lease payments?

Squeeze em harder! Its Social Justice(tm) I tell yah!


Sat, 12/01/2012 - 22:17 | 3027298 economics9698
economics9698's picture

Conk island seagulls, would fly out to the Gulf Stream very early, feed, because of the rich fishing in the Gulf Stream, the shrimp & fish boats & then went back to St. Augustine. Fishermen threw a lot of the debris overboard, these seagulls figured out, I don’t have to get up early in the morning & fly out there & feed, I can sit on my fat butt on this island & wait for the shrimp boats to come back & wait until they throw the debris they throw into the water.


After a few generations, the conk island seagulls forgot how to go into the Gulf Stream & feed & they relied on the shrimp boats in the harbor. The area got fished to death & the shrimp boats went somewhere else, the seagulls, that’s all they knew. They didn't remember how to fly out to the Gulf Stream anymore, the sea gulls died out. The shrimp boats are going to leave eventually & you don’t know how to fly out to the Gulf Stream & feed. 

Sat, 12/01/2012 - 22:19 | 3027339 Harlequin001
Harlequin001's picture

True, we had knowledge in our communities that went back thousands of years, passed on from generation to generation. Break that link just once and it's gone for good.

Big pharma knows that. How much knowledge have we lost in the last 10 years, never mind 50?

Now your average Joe knows only which pill to take for headaches, every narural remedy has been made the stuff of witch doctors...

and as for such simple things as the value of money, or how to manage your personal finances...

Sat, 12/01/2012 - 22:24 | 3027349 economics9698
economics9698's picture

Go back to 100% money backed by gold, let the peasants starve to death, in 10 years it would all be back to normal.

Sun, 12/02/2012 - 00:22 | 3027488 Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture

In many different ways and for all good reasons, give this one a read if you have not.

The 110 million will benefit, as will the 88 and the rest. :-)

It changed my life, a little over 3 decades ago..

Nice analogy 9698..

Jonathan Livingston Seagull


Sun, 12/02/2012 - 01:17 | 3027543 willwork4food
willwork4food's picture

I remember years ago as a teen I read the book and loved it. Upon reading a negative commentary from a fundi official in the paper editorials I wrote him a letter that did not necessarily included the phrases "best wishes to you and your wife".

He mailed it back without saying a word.

Sun, 12/02/2012 - 01:19 | 3027545 markmotive
markmotive's picture

In all honesty, I don't expect much from a society in which 7% believe the Planet of the Apes might come true.

Sun, 12/02/2012 - 01:32 | 3027552 willwork4food
willwork4food's picture

The simple fact that you are here and are not mindlessly watching American Idol says quite a lot about the possibility of a better future.

Sun, 12/02/2012 - 03:52 | 3027637 CheapBastard
CheapBastard's picture

"In all honesty, I don't expect much from a society in which 87% watch Dancing with the Kardashians every night and 18 hours of non-stop Balloon Boy.".

Sun, 12/02/2012 - 08:52 | 3027761 GetZeeGold
GetZeeGold's picture




Paris Hilton for President 2016.....yeah she's white but she's a lot better looking than the old black guy.

Mon, 12/03/2012 - 11:15 | 3029584 TBT or not TBT
TBT or not TBT's picture

So instead of watching debates we would be scoring sex tapes and outtakes from MTV shows.

Sun, 12/02/2012 - 20:25 | 3028601 nufio
nufio's picture

the author seems to be implying disjoint sets. What about all the private sector workers that get welfare? 

Sun, 12/02/2012 - 01:48 | 3027570 Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture


Sun, 12/02/2012 - 10:09 | 3027836 SilverDOG
SilverDOG's picture


As brutal as that may be. Far less brutal, than continuation of our current trajectory.

Prepare, or be a peasant.

Sat, 12/01/2012 - 22:35 | 3027364 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

Sort of like earning money via government contracts, yes Economics9698?

Sun, 12/02/2012 - 12:04 | 3028066 kaiserhoff
kaiserhoff's picture

A contract to do work as opposed to a contract to turn food to shit?

I see what you mean.  If you have shit for brains, there is no difference.

Sat, 12/01/2012 - 22:31 | 3027360 icanhasbailout
icanhasbailout's picture

Make that chart really meaningful: subtract assumed liabilities from government debt for each income level based on the percentage of taxes paid by that income band, times the number of those individuals in that same income band, from the total net wages + benefits scale.

Sun, 12/02/2012 - 00:23 | 3027487 mpyre
mpyre's picture

and the lure into the welfare-rich cities over the past 60 years was a clever ploy to create welfare "plantations," i.e. congressional districts, where the benefits kept flowing if you returned certain elected officials to office...too cynical, maybe, but there is certainly no urgency in those "distructs" to break up the dependency pays, both ways.

Sun, 12/02/2012 - 00:38 | 3027508 Lord Koos
Lord Koos's picture

It wasn't "welfare's lure" that brought people into the cities.  It was millions of good jobs -- jobs that are now gone forever, outsourced all over the world.  "Welfare" didn't exist at the time of the large rural-to-urban migrations, which were mostly from the agrarian south into the industrialized north. There was no "war on poverty", no foodstamps, no unemployment offered by the federal government at that time. Try reading a history book.

Sun, 12/02/2012 - 05:10 | 3027666 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

No war on poverty?

Fabled past, fabled past...

Nope, there was no welfare going on. Simply the largest fastest land transfer ever recorded in human history.

Nothing worth including in any analysis of the situation.

'American' economics, transfer of wealth is central.

Mon, 12/03/2012 - 12:46 | 3029912 Lord Koos
Lord Koos's picture

Many of those who migrated north had no land, they were sharecroppers in debt to the company store.

Sat, 12/01/2012 - 20:31 | 3027149 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

"Met a Ron Paul supporter not too long ago; he was setting up to Go Galt right after the election."

I sure hope he did and that many more ideologically blinded Tea Party types follow suit.  As a small business owner, I would love to pick up their slack and take back the country for those of us who see plenty to go around if we could get rid of the worthless moochers at the top.

Sat, 12/01/2012 - 20:59 | 3027200 GernB
GernB's picture

Well, thats progress. Its a step in the right direction. Feeling responsible enough for others that you stop careing what people better off than you do. Now, if you can just take the next leap and decide that you respect for other peoples lives means it is morraly wrong to force others take on that responsibity against thier will, then you will have made Ayn Rand proud.

Sat, 12/01/2012 - 21:22 | 3027236 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

It's like arguing with a college freshman who just read her first Rand novel.   

Sat, 12/01/2012 - 21:32 | 3027260 More_sellers_th...
More_sellers_than_buyers's picture

PLUS 1,000,000


Sat, 12/01/2012 - 21:53 | 3027300 CH1
CH1's picture

a college freshman who just read her first Rand novel.

A little late, maybe, but a good start. Rothbard next!

Sat, 12/01/2012 - 22:20 | 3027341 economics9698
economics9698's picture

I love it when Rothbard describes how the king stole from the peasants in the mercantilism period.  Makes 2012 seem normal.

Sat, 12/01/2012 - 23:00 | 3027401 GFKjunior
GFKjunior's picture

Excellent suggestion.


LetThemEatRand always brings up Ayn like ZH quotes her in every post. I've been a daily reader for a while and have yet to hear Tyler praise Rand. Even the comments rarely bring her up, does LTER even know of any other writers.


Mises, Rothbard, Hayek, those are real thinkers. Do a little reading and get to know them LetThemEatRand, you may forget about your pet Ayn.

Sun, 12/02/2012 - 10:18 | 3027850 GMadScientist
GMadScientist's picture

Maybe you should look further up the thread before commenting...who said "Gulch" and "Galt" first?

We'd love nothing more than to forget that hack trollop.


Sun, 12/02/2012 - 10:29 | 3027871 BKbroiler
BKbroiler's picture

I've been a daily reader for a while and have yet to hear Tyler praise Rand

If you were familiar with her works, you wouldn't have to look very hard.  All these articlees about the rich leaving because of the socialism and the moochers... this is all Randian.  You don't have to mention the name.  And while I don't agree with everything he says, LetThemEatRand is one of the few on here not totally brainwashed by Tea Party Propaganda.

 Poor people are not evil.  People on food stamps are not evil, and they are not the problem. From my experience, they are the hardest working people in the country, working difficult jobs and shitty hours for bad pay and no benefits.  The problem is the oligarchy, the problem is the nepotism that keeps ungrateful, shortsighted, me-first generation of spoiled brats in positions of power both in politics, public and private sectors.  The character assasination of anyone making less than 30K has been a really shameful con on the american people.  Everything starts at the bottom.

Mon, 12/03/2012 - 12:49 | 3029920 Lord Koos
Lord Koos's picture

In my experience, immigrants, legal and illegal, are the hardest working people in the country.

Sun, 12/02/2012 - 11:01 | 3027935 Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill's picture

Too many syllables for him to understand.

Seems to have necrophillic fixation with Rand though.

Sat, 12/01/2012 - 21:26 | 3027245 Central Bankster
Central Bankster's picture

I suppose getting tag teamed by Obama and Geithner does make you technically a "working" man, but small business owner... ??  That's a bit more than I can handle.

Sat, 12/01/2012 - 22:17 | 3027335 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

I'll bet half of your monthly rent or mortgage that you do not own a business, and that you probably live with a relative.  Okay, I'll up it by $20.  That would make the bet $20.

Sat, 12/01/2012 - 22:37 | 3027367 Central Bankster
Central Bankster's picture

Haha, that last one stung a lil, did it?



But I will play along, just because I know deep down this will frustrate you.  I run my own business, live by myself, and I own a home.  Thanks for playing :)

Sun, 12/02/2012 - 09:29 | 3027798 GetZeeGold
GetZeeGold's picture over

Sun, 12/02/2012 - 10:19 | 3027856 GMadScientist
GMadScientist's picture

Sure ya do, Skippy. Sure ya do.

Sat, 12/01/2012 - 21:48 | 3027285 CH1
CH1's picture

As a small business owner, I would love to pick up their slack

Have at it slick! They're looking for fresh suckers.

Sat, 12/01/2012 - 22:31 | 3027359 economics9698
economics9698's picture

Small businesses has become an exercise in who can best suck a government tit and bend over when called upon.

Sat, 12/01/2012 - 22:37 | 3027370 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

Okay, I mostly ignore you now (other than above), but you are a fucking government contractor, economics9698, as you admitted in past posts several months ago when you let your guard down.  What.  The.  Fuck.  Have you no shame at all?

Sun, 12/02/2012 - 01:37 | 3027559 Terminus C
Terminus C's picture

It's only bad when others do it.

Sun, 12/02/2012 - 10:23 | 3027861 GMadScientist
GMadScientist's picture

File under the "everybody acts like me" thesis.

If you're a thief, you'll probably worry about your shit being stolen.


Sun, 12/02/2012 - 04:12 | 3027642 Dave Thomas
Dave Thomas's picture

You obviously don't run a "small business". I've never taken a government penny, and work my ASS off. Matt Lesko was so 1998 dude. Get a clue.

Sun, 12/02/2012 - 10:24 | 3027864 GMadScientist
GMadScientist's picture

I'm pretty sure Wendy's has taken a motengator of govt cash there, "Dave".

Love the backed potatoes.


Sat, 12/01/2012 - 23:17 | 3027429 Oppressed In Ca...
Oppressed In California's picture

You're probably a small business owner with nothing but government contracts.  Talk about moochers.

Sun, 12/02/2012 - 02:05 | 3027584 HurricaneSeason
HurricaneSeason's picture

Take all the affirmative action contractors MBE, WBE, DBE, WTF and 3/4 million postal workers, military, and others and I think 20 million government workers seems way too low. I'd like to see a list of who is defined as a government worker these days. Does that include millions of teachers, I would think?

Sun, 12/02/2012 - 02:38 | 3027606 Poetic injustice
Poetic injustice's picture

Internationally, yes. Firemen, police, teachers are counted as government employees because government (local or country) pays them.

Sun, 12/02/2012 - 16:10 | 3028323 HurricaneSeason
HurricaneSeason's picture

Yes, I think we're mostly talking police, firemen and teacers here, but you never know. The postal workers are no longer government employees, they are in the "private sector" even though they are the only ones that can put the mail in the box by law. I'd love to see a breakdown of the government workers by trade, because I'm sure there'd be many of them missing from the list. It'd be easier to see the list of the first 20 million to find the rest.

Sun, 12/02/2012 - 07:34 | 3027729 SoCalBusted
SoCalBusted's picture

Let them eat 8A!

Sun, 12/02/2012 - 10:14 | 3027844 CaptainObvious
CaptainObvious's picture

As a small business owner, you should be depressed when responsible, hard-working consumers decide to unplug from the economy.  Who do you think patronizes your small business? 

There are worthless moochers at the top AND at the bottom.  What are you going to do about the worthless moochers at the bottom when the worthless moochers at the top leave these shores, as they can easily afford to do, and the productive people in the middle stop consuming?  There are going to be riots; the worthless moochers at the bottom are not people who know how to take care of themselves or are even willing to learn to take care of themselves.  These are people who will arm themselves and come after what you've got, as they've proven abundantly in the past.  Think you'll be better off then?

Sun, 12/02/2012 - 00:47 | 3027515 Silver Bug
Silver Bug's picture

Half of America is happy to live in a complete nanny and welfare state. They have no drive to live a fulfilling life. It is sad.


Five Most Common Gold and Silver Mistakes. Free eBook.

Sun, 12/02/2012 - 01:34 | 3027555 boogerbently
boogerbently's picture

It's nice to see ZH'ers bag on losers, for a change, instead of retirees.

Sun, 12/02/2012 - 09:46 | 3027810 GetZeeGold
GetZeeGold's picture



Bagging losers is don't lead them as much as retirees.


Aim straight at them and pull the trigger.

Sun, 12/02/2012 - 01:41 | 3027563 willwork4food
willwork4food's picture

Absolutely right. These wothless kids want to get fed each day, entertained and by golly if they don't DEMAND a new diaper every few hours.


Sun, 12/02/2012 - 02:21 | 3027595 FreedomGuy
FreedomGuy's picture

I just got my third quarter "bonus" check yesterday. I live on a combination of salary and bonus, usually 80-20. When I see nearly half the bonus go out in government subtractions I wonder what the hell I am working for at times. My life is a morass of government rules and levies that gets more restrictive every year. i watch sophisticated good looking know-nothings, do-nothings like President Obama and I feel nothing but virtual hatred for this arrogant unaccomplished egomaniac ruining an entire way of life. To be fair, it did not just start with him, but it is likely to finish with him.

A part of me empathizes with the person on public assistance. it is a guaranteed check for no effort. If you go into the private sector you have to learn how to put up with unsavory people, take risks, honor your word, work hard for little reward at the beginning, etc. There is much risk and no guarantees. However, it is the only way to self respect, honor and the satisfaction of success. It cannot be given. It has to be earned. Welfare neighborhoods are the most depressing and dangerous of all neighborhoods. They are not swimming in happiness and gratitude. I find this mute testimony to the success of government programs.

My theory is down deep somewhere in their subconscious they know that they are at the endpoint of stolen money. If they carjacked someone for the Christmas TV they would go to jail. If they let the government do the same thing they are praised.

Sun, 12/02/2012 - 07:31 | 3027728 Husk-Erzulie
Husk-Erzulie's picture

Welfare, the dole, is much more dangerous for those who recieve it than those who are forced to pay for it.  From the point of view of oligarchical or ruling class planners it is a most effective tool for destroying troublesome subcultures/ethnicities.  Two or three generations and you suck the life right out of them; throw in a draft and a nice slaughtersome war and you simply enhance the process by breaking the transfer of cultural knowledge between generations, both practical and moral.  Any subculture which finds themselves outside the ruling class should view welfare with the absolute horror it deserves, it's proponents as agents of literal death and destruction, and RUN not walk away.  Race doesn't matter, Black, Scottish, Native American etc.  If the state is trying to hand you a "welfare" check, it is dripping with blood and pregnant with the destruction of your people.  It is the end of self help, the end  of family, the end of cultural uniqueness, the end of hope.

Sun, 12/02/2012 - 10:07 | 3027830 Moe Howard
Moe Howard's picture

Well said by both of you. Bravo. I agree.

Sun, 12/02/2012 - 12:12 | 3028075 AssFire
AssFire's picture

I agree and applaud as well Moe.

Only the broiler and rand trolls seem to agree that it is our government's job to confiscate wealth for their constituents.

Sun, 12/02/2012 - 14:34 | 3028224 FreedomGuy
FreedomGuy's picture

Very true, Husk. I have seen different analyses. At the end, to be on long term welfare you have to carve out your conscience and throw it away. That explains what we see in welfare neighborhoods. It is also true as others have said directly or indirectly that an entire class of people without a conscience can be a useful thing to some. It is how we get to the collectivist end game, I believe.

Sun, 12/02/2012 - 08:10 | 3027739 shovelhead
shovelhead's picture

You don't get it.

For these people, free money IS a fulfilling life. Quite a few on the left hand side of the bell curve have different priorities than the rest.

Sun, 12/02/2012 - 10:09 | 3027835 Moe Howard
Moe Howard's picture

That wasn't true back in the late 1950's - 1964. It was LBJ and the war on poverty that destroyed the black family and values, and it's been working on every other race since. Endgame; Government control of everything.

Sat, 12/01/2012 - 19:02 | 3026999 Central Bankster
Central Bankster's picture

The idea of transfering the wealth from productive to the unporductive is clearly a problem.  But lets be honest here.  Cut these benefits to zero, and the government is still bankrupt.

Sat, 12/01/2012 - 19:28 | 3027036 PGR88
PGR88's picture


Cut the benefits to zero - and you get at least another 20 million Americans entering the labor force, probably many more.

How much would that many more working and productive Americans increase tax reciepts to the Gov't?   How much would that increase GDP?  How much would that reduce the trade deficit?   How much would that reduce crime?

Having people working is ALWAYS better than not, financially, socaily, spiritually.

Sat, 12/01/2012 - 19:34 | 3027048 tenpanhandle
tenpanhandle's picture

PGR88 - you upvoted your own reply --Ha!Ha!

Sat, 12/01/2012 - 20:32 | 3027155 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

Virtually everyone with whom I engage in debate here gets a magic upvote within 10 seconds of their own posting.  I guess he learned from the "best."

Sat, 12/01/2012 - 21:18 | 3027223 jballz
jballz's picture

I up vote almost all of my own comments. I wouldn't write them if i didn't think they were fucking awesome.

Although occasionally i will down vote them as soon as I post when I am sure my input will run against the lemming groupthink of the masses.

Sat, 12/01/2012 - 21:25 | 3027242 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

That response gets an upvote from me, for which I apologize in advance.

Sun, 12/02/2012 - 02:13 | 3027589 Rusty Shorts
Rusty Shorts's picture

..well i be Jackleg Jesus, i just just down voted myself...damn. 

Sat, 12/01/2012 - 21:22 | 3027237 Central Bankster
Central Bankster's picture

I downvoted you just because I don't like you.

Sat, 12/01/2012 - 21:26 | 3027247 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

+1.  Get in line.

Sun, 12/02/2012 - 01:45 | 3027568 willwork4food
willwork4food's picture

Ahh, isn't that sweet? We're all one just happy family here @ ZH.

anyone got some spare change?

Sun, 12/02/2012 - 02:59 | 3027615 John_Coltrane
John_Coltrane's picture

But you earn every downvote, my included, with your every comment.  Get thee to the HuffPo where your fellow binary neuron types reside.

Sun, 12/02/2012 - 10:22 | 3027859 CaptainObvious
CaptainObvious's picture

Whereas you get 10 downvotes as soon as people read your user name.  Why is that, do you think?

Oh, and let me increase your red count.  It's part of my charitable giving for the day. ;)

Sun, 12/02/2012 - 01:37 | 3027558 boogerbently
boogerbently's picture

I didn't know that was possible.

I just "upvoted" myself.

Sat, 12/01/2012 - 19:44 | 3027066 ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

And what will those 20 million enter the workforce to do?

Sat, 12/01/2012 - 20:26 | 3027143 Confused
Confused's picture


Sat, 12/01/2012 - 20:33 | 3027157 FeralSerf
FeralSerf's picture

Since those at the bottom of the food chain are getting their hours cut to 29 per week, thanks to Obamacare's health insurance requirements, they can slip into the vacuum there.  And everyone will live happily ever after as part time workers.

It might be a good idea to check to make sure that burger was actually flipped before you eat it.

Sun, 12/02/2012 - 01:39 | 3027561 boogerbently
boogerbently's picture

That's the problem with the dem "master plan".

When less and less work, more and more taxes will be required to support them, but less will be working and paying in!

I'm sure there's a simple explanation.

Sun, 12/02/2012 - 10:24 | 3027865 CaptainObvious
Sat, 12/01/2012 - 20:33 | 3027159 Matt
Matt's picture

And what will keep government from spending money on something else, in such a way as to continue running deficits?

Sat, 12/01/2012 - 21:24 | 3027239 jballz
jballz's picture

Carjack your Lexus and rape your women folk, bitchez.

I love this chart. I want everyone to see it and stop working. Get on a program. Or make six figures. There is no life in the middle.

Them we find out how long it works when the ratio is ten mooches to one half worker.

Fuck if it works....we are set!

Don't forget one in twenty of us probably wants to work and doesn't do it for the money. You know, retarfs and such. They can carry us all maybe?

Never know until we give it a go.

Sat, 12/01/2012 - 21:52 | 3027293 newengland
newengland's picture

Red mist: dead before the body hits the ground.

There will be consequences for politicos and their pets when war weary men come home, and find everything they fought for betrayed by the masses, the main scream media and the DC NWO crowd.

That's why the Patriot Act and NDAA were passed. The freak inbred NWO and their fans know that some men can defend their families, the only thing that makes their lives worth living.

Sat, 12/01/2012 - 22:33 | 3027362 economics9698
economics9698's picture

When the fiat dies we will get a few heads on some sticks.

Sun, 12/02/2012 - 01:49 | 3027573 willwork4food
willwork4food's picture

We should have done that 3 years after the NAFTA passage the good folks in Congress gave us.

Sun, 12/02/2012 - 10:11 | 3027841 Moe Howard
Moe Howard's picture

The jobs "Americans just won't do", which are done by slave labor imported from south of the border currently.

Sat, 12/01/2012 - 19:49 | 3027075 kaiserhoff
kaiserhoff's picture

Yes, cut them to zero and kick the illegals out..., a win, win for the budget, rule of law, and Western Civ.

Probably should phase them out over a two year period, worst offenders first, but once the end is in sight, work becomes a lot more appealing. 

Sat, 12/01/2012 - 20:06 | 3027104 Karlus
Karlus's picture

But how could those "undocumented guest workers" vote?

Sat, 12/01/2012 - 20:46 | 3027183 The Gooch
The Gooch's picture

O will just have his productive (8,000+ and growing by the hour) homies from MS-13 stand outside the polls-



Sun, 12/02/2012 - 01:42 | 3027565 boogerbently
boogerbently's picture

The same way "hawaiian born" barry had his education paid for with foreign student loans.

Sat, 12/01/2012 - 21:38 | 3027265 max2205
max2205's picture

All those illegals get the best deal. Guarrentied everything. Thanks black prezzz

Sat, 12/01/2012 - 20:29 | 3027147 Confused
Confused's picture

I'd be interested in the answers to these questions as well.


But lets first workout the problem of finding these 20+ million people newly entering the workforce (along with all those college debt slaves) jobs.


Or is finding a job as easy as cutting those benefits? 


Can't disagree with having people working is always better than not. But there are a ton of people out there who WANT to work. Now all they need is someone to hire them. Any ideas? 

Sat, 12/01/2012 - 21:32 | 3027256 jballz
jballz's picture

Of course they will find work. Look at the great depression. None of these programs and nobody went hungry back then. They had to improvise a bit, but shit we got through it and the fascism and communism wasn't that hard to shake.

But so you know I offered a mother of three a hundred bucks for a session and she turned me down. Food stamps. Take those away she would have earned it the old fashioned way. Entitlements ruin all the fun.

Sat, 12/01/2012 - 21:54 | 3027299 August
August's picture

Heck, in 1946 you could get a Japanese girl all night in exchange for a can of condensed milk.


Sat, 12/01/2012 - 22:36 | 3027369 economics9698
economics9698's picture

That HBO whore on TV is still charging $20 for a bj.

Sun, 12/02/2012 - 02:00 | 3027579 willwork4food
willwork4food's picture

..and you might stll get that cute Japanese girl born in '46 for a can of

Sun, 12/02/2012 - 00:31 | 3027496 Eally Ucked
Eally Ucked's picture

What an ugly fuck!

Sun, 12/02/2012 - 00:56 | 3027523 Eally Ucked
Eally Ucked's picture

I hope your daughter or granddaugther will get the same offer shortly. Youll be happy then you fuck! I dont even down arrow you fuck face - you're not worth it!



Sun, 12/02/2012 - 02:32 | 3027602 jballz
jballz's picture

Well I was just trying to stimulate the economy. Truth is you can go to any third world country and bang a smokin hot eighteen year old for a hundred bucks. Here you have to pay triple that for some haggered mule woman that can't even make a living waiting tables and sucking welfare on the side.

Obama. What a fucking jerk, eh?

Sun, 12/02/2012 - 02:45 | 3027612 Eally Ucked
Eally Ucked's picture

That's what you should fuck all your life, mulls with silicon tits and aspiration to become stars on the world entertainment firmament. For the rest of the world, just give them donation because they're working all their life for you. And fuck off!!


Sun, 12/02/2012 - 03:01 | 3027620 jballz
jballz's picture


I am not into that. But check it out. All these broke ass women with no job prospects and the only thing keeping them from turning tricks for grocery money is Obama loading up their snap cards every month. It's bullshit. Cut the welfare and we'll be getting us some serious ass.

It's the way it's always been fella, don't get mad at me. If the system weren't so fucked up with the free handouts you wouldn't be all warped into thinking I am suggesting something immoral.

You'll see.  

Sun, 12/02/2012 - 02:05 | 3027585 Eally Ucked
Eally Ucked's picture

And how you made your money to make such an offer you fucken ubermensch?

Sat, 12/01/2012 - 20:38 | 3027166 cranky-old-geezer
cranky-old-geezer's picture



Cut the benefits to zero - and you get at least another 20 million Americans entering the labor force, probably many more.

Assuming jobs exist for them.  If not, then you have 20 million rioting looting zombies doing ther best to bring the rest of society down.  If they can't have a comfortable life, you're not gonna have a comfortable life either.


Sat, 12/01/2012 - 22:38 | 3027372 economics9698
economics9698's picture

If there was no minimum wage there would be jobs for them.

Sun, 12/02/2012 - 00:26 | 3027493 Eally Ucked
Eally Ucked's picture

You're absolutely right, and that fuck does not understand basic priciples of peaceful life. He thinks he will pay 2$/hr and make 50$/hr resaling chinese products for ever.

Sun, 12/02/2012 - 01:35 | 3027554 AGuy
AGuy's picture

"Cut the benefits to zero - and you get at least another 20 million Americans entering the labor force"

I am not a fan of entitlements, but Doing what?  People that have left the workforce years ago have little to no change re-entering it. Most of the jobs lost were shipped overseas and are not coming back.

"How much would that reduce crime?" Probably increase it considerably. With no Job and a needy stomach, many will turn to crime to meet ends. Some will opt to get arrested for the 3 daily free meals and healthcare in US prisons.

Eventually the house of cards will crash. When it does there will be blood on American streets.



Sun, 12/02/2012 - 04:29 | 3027652 Alternative
Alternative's picture



But the basic Government's premise (meaning also all those who voted for them) is that so-called poor would rather stage a 'revolution', killing and pillaging, than work.


Thus, your only option is to placate them to maintain some order. 

They may try hide it under some pretense at humanitarian help to thy brother and sister, but that's like Facebook do gooders, sharing nice images and sayings of good deeds and inspiration, while being complete morons who would kill at seeing somebody scratch their Lexus.

Sun, 12/02/2012 - 09:57 | 3027819 Umh
Umh's picture

Working people are to busy to stage a revolution which explains why most revolutions are started by children of the affluent. The children of the affluent have the time to start and organize a revolution. If we look at it in terms of free time perhaps giving the poor money/bribes to placate them isn't a good idea.

Sun, 12/02/2012 - 04:29 | 3027653 Alternative
Alternative's picture



But the basic Government's premise (meaning also all those who voted for them) is that so-called poor would rather stage a 'revolution', killing and pillaging, than work.


Thus, your only option is to placate them to maintain some order. 

They may try hide it under some pretense at humanitarian help to thy brother and sister, but that's like Facebook do gooders, sharing nice images and sayings of good deeds and inspiration, while being complete morons who would kill at seeing somebody scratch their Lexus.

Sat, 12/01/2012 - 19:32 | 3027042 tenpanhandle
tenpanhandle's picture

well then, let's cut taxes to zero also as the cake is indeed baked. before that happens though, we have to use a thick willow switch to drive the hogs from trough. question is: who'll be first to switch the hogs?

Sat, 12/01/2012 - 20:03 | 3027095 kaiserhoff
kaiserhoff's picture

You could hire half the commenters here for that job.

The only gubberming jobs that appeal to me are:

Minister in Charge of Firing Kleptocrats and Shutting Down Agencies, or

Free Lance bounty hunter of illegal aliens

Sat, 12/01/2012 - 21:21 | 3027230 adventuretime
adventuretime's picture


Sun, 12/02/2012 - 03:12 | 3027624 Poetic injustice
Poetic injustice's picture

To be honest I'd sign up for "Regulations simplification and elimination".
Alternative would be "Tax reduction and abolition of tax code exemptions".

Then, when there is no regulation to enforce, agency can be fired completely, yes.

Sun, 12/02/2012 - 10:31 | 3027877 CaptainObvious
CaptainObvious's picture

The only gubmint job that appeals to me is Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank, because I'd love to be the one who pulls the plug from that motherfucker for good.

Sat, 12/01/2012 - 19:27 | 3027032 Jason T
Jason T's picture

Ramming Speed!!... number 41!!

Sat, 12/01/2012 - 19:46 | 3027072 Urban Redneck
Urban Redneck's picture

The first chart would look a lot better with the median income and quintile bands plotted-

Sat, 12/01/2012 - 21:08 | 3027212 Slightly Insane
Slightly Insane's picture

This year, when I fill out my taxes ... I'm claiming 150 million dependents.  The absurdity of this is specifically directed at wiping out the middle class, and rewarding people not to be industrious, or to work, all engineered by THE GOVERNMENT!

Sun, 12/02/2012 - 01:16 | 3027542 BoNeSxxx
BoNeSxxx's picture

Yup... a quick scientific check of my cul du sac shows the following:

5 homes

1 Retiree (gets Social Security and Medicare)

1 Gov't Worker (military contractor)

1 Gov't (non military contractor)

1 Doctor

1 Sales guy (me)

That's 2 workers to 3 sponges or 1:1.5

I approve the math in this article.

Sun, 12/02/2012 - 01:45 | 3027567 Terminus C
Terminus C's picture

You and the doctor produce things?

interesting... people are so removed from production these days that they don't even know what it is.

Sun, 12/02/2012 - 10:44 | 3027903 Calmyourself
Calmyourself's picture

Okay Trotsky, only urban factory workers produce, ha.  Exactly why the services in the USSR sucked for so long..

Mao did not want more Doctors either he wanted blast furnaces in backyards to "produce" it do not work out so well.

Sun, 12/02/2012 - 04:10 | 3027641 Poetic injustice
Poetic injustice's picture

See 0 factory workers in your list?

Sun, 12/02/2012 - 10:00 | 3027823 Hubbs
Hubbs's picture

Speaking as a doctor, and calling a spade a spade, I too am a government worker, and if it were not for all the Medicare and Medicaid, My "services"would be drastically decreased. So would my income, but then so would my overhead and hassles that govt care has brought about.
Then think of all the government auditors, Joint commissioners, EMR software sales, adminsitrators and all the other bureaucracy I am forced to carry would fare.. the facti is one half of the health care dollar is from government sources.

There are a lot more people on the dole in more ways you can think.

Sun, 12/02/2012 - 10:24 | 3027863 Moe Howard
Moe Howard's picture

I was born in the mid 1950's. We did not have health insurance of any kind, my whole childhood. I remember the doctor making a housecall about me when I had chickenpox or something, I must have been 4 or 5. We lived in Chicago, not some backwoods. My dad paid cash. As he always did when we went to the doctor.

My how times have changed. Now I go to the doctor, he doesn't even talk  to me, he looks at the tests and what the nurse wrote and prescribes some drugs. Before I quit smoking, everything was caused by smoking. Now it is caused by "side effects".

I have removed myself from the "healthcare system". I think they are doing more damage than good for me.

Sun, 12/02/2012 - 10:37 | 3027888 CaptainObvious
CaptainObvious's picture

I stopped patronizing doctors a decade ago, upon the realization that the solution to everything was a little white scrip.  I've been handling my own health care since then and I'm doing just fine, and it costs a whole hell of a lot less, too.

There are still doctors who perform house calls and accept cash for payment.  It's called concierge medicine, and it's only available for the people who can afford it.  You and I?  We aren't members of that country club.

Sun, 12/02/2012 - 11:50 | 3028029 BoNeSxxx
BoNeSxxx's picture

Absolutely spot on... a little OT but spot on



My doc wanted to put me on meds for hypertension and cholesterol -- both of which would have been considered in the 'normal' range 10 years ago.

Anyway, I dropped animal protein from my diet and went back to see him a year later... my BP and my cholesterol were both super low and I lost 30 lbs...

He aked me what I did and I said, 'stopped listening to you'

Sun, 12/02/2012 - 11:22 | 3027982 Jam Akin
Jam Akin's picture

Absolutely right.  My father was an insurance actuary who participated in some of the first studies in support of a new product - heath insurance - in the early 60s.  Heath insurance has been around for less time than some of us here and thus it is not preordained to stay as it is forever.

Sat, 12/01/2012 - 21:29 | 3027254 disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

i've been trying to find that scene in Waterworld where they row the Exxon Valdez actually. It's kind of what our economy feels like to me. "The Deacon" throwing the crowd cigarettes to "keep them at bay" as he tries to explain how "all is well...we'll find dry land soon." it sure feels like we're in an Ocean of Liquidity that's fer sure. And yes "the Government taxes EARNERS not savers." there is a Breaking Point however...

Sat, 12/01/2012 - 22:25 | 3027353 smiler03
smiler03's picture

Your wish is my command. Waterworld rowing scene:

Sun, 12/02/2012 - 07:51 | 3027733 fade2black
fade2black's picture

Here's a good analogy... from the first line to the last... as we go down the drain...


Sat, 12/01/2012 - 22:04 | 3027318 Harbanger
Harbanger's picture

"the single mom is better off earning gross income of $29,000 with $57,327 in net income & benefits than to earn gross income of $69,000 with net income and benefits of $57,045."

In Obama's Utopia, you are punished for success.

Sun, 12/02/2012 - 08:40 | 3027752 midtowng
midtowng's picture

This article is full of half-truths.

For instance, the use of the term "welfare" in this article includes any government benefits.

Secondly, a whole bunch of those people collecting "welfare" also work for a living already. The best example is the working poor who collect food stamps because they don't earn enough to live on.

If the article is going to lie about simple things like that, then it isn't worth reading.

Sun, 12/02/2012 - 11:08 | 3027954 Central Bankster
Central Bankster's picture

You failed reading comprehension.

Sat, 12/01/2012 - 18:50 | 3026970 zilverreiger
zilverreiger's picture


Sat, 12/01/2012 - 19:46 | 3027071 ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

Quote from first paragraph:

"This is such an important topic that we felt it necessary to warrant a second look."

Sat, 12/01/2012 - 18:52 | 3026974 Racer
Racer's picture

If they taxed companies/ the fat cat 0.1% properly and got rid of their loopholes to avoid contributing that would be a start

Sat, 12/01/2012 - 19:56 | 3027073 Urban Redneck
Urban Redneck's picture

Actually, in terms of addressing the issues presented, NO, IT WOULDN'T.

Sat, 12/01/2012 - 20:37 | 3027164 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

The all caps made your non-substantive argument even LESS CONVINCING.  P.S.  The very top owns more in non-productive assets (offshore accounts, commodities, numerous luxury homes, foreign currencies and U.S. dollars) than the debt (all of it, not just the current deficit) by multiples of 50 or more.  A wealth tax would allow the U.S. to right its balance sheet and focus on a tariff structure that would require trading partners to have roughly equivalent worker protection.  The U.S. would in fact thrive if we stopped with the idea that dynastic wealth passed from generation to generation of unproductive heirs of past oligarchs is somehow necessary and good for society as a whole.

Sat, 12/01/2012 - 21:13 | 3027221 surf0766
surf0766's picture

You first. Forward half of your assets to us. Wealth tax communist bullshit

Sat, 12/01/2012 - 21:28 | 3027252 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

When I make my first $25 million I'll let you know.  Now let's have a debate about whether it is communist merely to desire a society where unelected oligarchs do not run the show, which is the current state of the Land of the Free and the inevitable consequence of allowing wealth to concentrate among a few hundred people (400 individuals control more total wealth in the U.S. than 50% of the population combined).

Sat, 12/01/2012 - 22:15 | 3027326 Urban Redneck
Urban Redneck's picture

You are full of BULSHIT.  The US debt is 16.323T, fity times that is USD 816 Trillion.  That is greater than the world wide money suppy, the worldwide debt supply, and the worldwide equity supply, combined.

Any fool with $30,000 and a day trading account can easily a trade a notional $1million, without even venturing to lowest margin brokers offering triple digit leverage- that doesn't make them a millionaire.  The US debt cannot be paid off by taxing wealth THAT DOESN'T EXIST.  Have you ever even set foot in the worlds larger wealth management institutions, much less looked at how much wealth they manage

BTW my point was entirely substantive, the article is about breakeven on making vs taking in the ballpark of the median incoome, and the ratio and producers supporting the consumers of government largesse; not about the capicity of outliers to impact the short or medium term sustainability of the unsustainable

Sat, 12/01/2012 - 22:26 | 3027338 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

You're right.  The wealth of the .01% (one-one hundreth of one percent) is only ten times the national debt.

Sun, 12/02/2012 - 06:39 | 3027442 Urban Redneck
Urban Redneck's picture

You numbers still don't make sense unless you're infinitely rehypothecating Yamashita's gold.

At 10 times the US public debt- that would still be $160 trillion held offshore by Americans...

Worldwide Wealth Management Industry is $123 trillion which includes huge privately held chunks of:
USA Public Debt/Money Supply $16 trillion (only $11.5 trillion held publicly, and much of it is held domestically)
EUROZONE Public Debt/Money Supply 14.52 trillion USD
JAPAN Public Debt/Money Supply 9 trillion
Global Equities $4 trillion market cap (the US is trading at a price-to-book of 2)
All the gold ever mined in world history $9 trillion
(Yeah I simplified the definition of money supply)
And Americans are only a fraction of the wealthy worldwide.

That scale of wealth simply doesn't exist.

Have you inadvertently channeled man Math Man and started counting oil that hasn't been pulled out the ground yet? Which is actually owned by the land owner and not the lessee until extracted under Common Law, or the State under Civil Law, and still not the oil companies under Maritime Law? If not, there is some serious errant leverage in your calculation.

On second thought-

If you are talking about the top .01% of WORLDWIDE rich dudes, not just Americans, that would reconcile the ballpark numbers, but if the individual is not a US citizen or resident, then the IRS has no right to tax them, and I hardly think that the 99.99% in the US wants to start paying direct taxes to support the largess of EU socialism in a reciprocal arrangement.  In the NWO globalist frakshow, you are getting more than your fair share if you make more than $10,000.

Sun, 12/02/2012 - 10:20 | 3027857 GetZeeGold
GetZeeGold's picture



Fortunately you don't really have to learn math in our new public education system. They hand you a trophy in the lunch room under the towering mural of Bam Bam....and then they send you on your way.

Sun, 12/02/2012 - 11:06 | 3027947 Calmyourself
Calmyourself's picture

LTER is a troll jealous af anyone with a buck more than her..  She hates the rich so much she will not let her own employees unionize as she took all the risks and wants al lthe rewards.  Besides the talking points with that one read like an obamabot with a script in front of it.

Sat, 12/01/2012 - 20:22 | 3027137 nmewn
nmewn's picture

Couples making 250k IS NOT the .01%. That's the latest "proposal".

Furthermore, corporations pass EVERY tax levied on to their customers (you & me). Meaning, prices you pay AFTER TAXES (you pay income taxes, remember?) go up, meaning less buying power for your labor.

In essence, you advocate for a hidden tax on everyone...when you say RAISE TAXES ON COMPANIES OR CORPORATIONS. They are in business to make a profit, if they cannot make a profit they close their doors and fire people.

This is the last time the topic of "raising corporate taxes" needs to come up on ZH...its mindlessly fucking stupid...America already has one of the highest corporate tax rates on the planet and many of them get a government subsidy to offset that rate.

Look up the word fascism to get a clue.

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