Animation: America's Metamorphosis To A Welfare State

Tyler Durden's picture

Still confused why there are those who call America the USSA? Don't be. As the following animation from the NYT so vividly shows, government benefits across the US have nearly tripled from a modest 7.8% of all personal income in 1969 to a 'European' 17.6% in 2009. And this before Obama went to town (as a reminder total debt has risen by over $4 trillion under Obama - a significant portion of that has gone to fund social welfare). Thus, we are confident that as of this writing, the government accounts for at least 20% and possibly as high as a quarter of all personal income. One can use any word to describe that transition depending on one's personal political preferences, except for one: "sustainable."

Source: NYT

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MsCreant's picture

"Hey Tyler,

Or, get a map and do an animated tracking of all the subsidies and bailouts that corporations are getting. Start from 1969, what the hell. Match it with corporate bonuses while you are at it. Then do a tally of how much social welfare spending govt does on individuals, and how much on corporations."


Where in that did I say to tax the corporations? My post was about WS and corporate wellfare.

Please don't misrepresent what I said.

Thank you.

Milestones's picture

Excellent post MsCreant. I too would love to see that info. Too much B.S. has been bandied about on this very issue. Right on.    Milestones


P.S.This has been a great posting by Tyler--the views, passions and dialogue have been tremendous

uno's picture

biggest change in the last 10 years is the Ghetto-ization of Middle Age White America, too good for welfare but not SS disability, food stamps, medicaid.

Gully Foyle's picture


Dude, you don't know that many poor people right? Poor whites have always been in ghettos. Matter of fact most minorities seem cleaner than poor white, I guess maybe they had pride and whitey lost it.

uno's picture

What is different is living off the government mentally, white middle age people who are looking at playing the system for retirement, not very poor white young people.  Growing up my family qualified for food stamps, my parents would rather us starve first.  Now I see many middle aged whites opting for SS disabilty first.

Gully Foyle's picture


The difference is those people with SS actually paid into it with the sweat of their brow.

uno's picture

besides SS, there are more opting for food stamps, medicaid or other programs, I am seeing is the atitude change.  You are correct that SS was paid by work, there are some cases which I believe take more than put in (of course inflation not taken into consideration)

DFCtomm's picture

Obviously you aren't familar with SSI.

roadhazard's picture

Don't forget the triple dippers.

Whiner's picture

The voting citizenry of this "lunocracy" have now found the key to the federal treasury and are voting themselves benefits out of the productive sectors income and assets. Problem is of course, there's nothing in the treasury, but debt certificates (and maybe, a comparative smidgin of gold). It may be we have reached the tipping point toward collapse, which I hope will give birth to a new government closer to the republic envisioned by the writers of the Constitution.[I gotta stop tokin this weed!]

TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

No need to stop tokin', but it'd be nice if you shared.


Bringin It's picture

Due to your last comment, I'm afraid I can not vote you up.   Otherwise I share your sentiments.

[I gotta stop tokin this weed!]

Chimerican's picture

How many of us are indirect recipients of welfare? I don't get a gov't check but I am sure I benefit from more than defense and public services; although, benefit is a questionable concept. Let's face it, right left, gay, lesbian, whatever, we are all prisoners of THE SCHEME.

Gully Foyle's picture


"How many of us are indirect recipients of welfare?"

We all are.

A rising tide lifts all boats.

JW n FL's picture



Hang in there!

Trickle down is going to kick in any day now!


MsCreant's picture

Somehow that does not float my boat.

FeralSerf's picture

"Mr. David Stockman has said that supply-side economics was merely a cover for the trickle-down approach to economic policy—what an older and less elegant generation called the horse-and-sparrow theory: If you feed the horse enough oats, some will pass through to the road for the sparrows." -- John Kenneth Galbraith

Vendetta's picture

Because Milton Freidman meant to say "sinking exchange rates" instead of the touted "floating exchange rates" when he convinced Nixon to take us off the gold standard so tricky dick could fund more vietnam. 

Sudden Debt's picture

The social safety nets in europe are in severe danger. Over here they are talking about cutting it and going US style. And in the US they are going europe style.... Go figure....

Gully Foyle's picture

Sudden Debt

"The social safety nets in europe are in severe danger. Over here they are talking about cutting it and going US style. And in the US they are going europe style.... Go figure...."

I think it was Gary Allen who pointed out the plan was to lower the Us standard of living while raising that of the rest of the world. For one world government to be effective every nation needs to sit roughly at the same table, each side conceeds something.

I'm always amazed that people don't recognize the obvious.


tickhound's picture

"every nation needs to sit roughly at the same table"

And that's the hook, isn't it?

Recognizing is easy.  Now as for the conceding...

tickhound's picture

The solution is clear... Revise the formula and recalculate excluding food stamps and medicare beginning '09.  Run new animation.  Then, focus on finding and killing bin laden again. 

The recovery could use the boost.

MsCreant's picture

There is no clear solution to this. The government can't keep doing it. (Read that we can't keep doing it). But when it stops, oh my...Folks won't understand why, they will just know they want theirs and they ain't getting it. 

There is probably going to be a lot of shooting.

DFCtomm's picture

You say there is no clear solution, and the very next breath you name the clear solution. You know where it's headed, but you don't know when the trains going to pull into the station.

MsCreant's picture

I like to think shooting is not a solution, but you are correct, it decides one hell of a lot, as we speak.

FeralSerf's picture

Shooting's been the recurrent solution for mankind's problems since the beginning of recorded history and probably before that too.  It's the ultimate bankruptcy, the reset.  People are the problem.  When enough of them are shot, the problem becomes more manageable for a while, and then it starts over again.  It's the Ultimate Vicious Circle.

"The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, but to those who see it coming and jump aside." -- Hunter S. Thompson, The Rum Diary

Omen IV's picture

usa has 160,000,000 people it doesnt need over the next thirty years - white and blue collar are off the air

bill murray calls them "compost"


without an industrial policy all is lost there is no one who will not be effected - all depends to some degree on disposable income as a source of demand for someone else in USA especially white collar -including doctors and lawyers who depend on level of transactions - velocity - services industry is ready to implode without discretionary income expanding

end WTO & GATT without restrictions - must be revised to comparable wage and regulatory environments / countries or VAT  - the race to $22 per day for six day week 10 hours a day is the only firm ground and the engineers to support them are all there for higher and higher value added - chinese/ cambodia/ vietnam/ thailand / indonesia - are all fluid movement of technical class to support slave wages for instant factories - including eventually aerospace / semi conductors / machine tools to follow



Chimerican's picture

True enough Serf. That's what progroms are all about.

GeneMarchbanks's picture

From a couple years ago but if watch the last 15 minutes or so, the solutions are outlined very well.

rsnoble's picture

It's all fkd up I have no answer for any of this.  Macro speaking you pull the plug your talking instant shithole.  The idea of less gov't involvment creating jobs would take years, in the meantime everything goes to hell. I don't think they'll ever go that route but instead keep it together as long as they can before forced collapse. Just imo.

tickhound's picture

Yeah, they'll need to keep xbox on as long as possible.

Gunga's picture

 This type of article distracts people from the truth. Compared to the trillions of dollars given to multinational corporations the American people are left fighting for the crumbs that fall from the bounty that America provides. The money given to international financial services firms far outweighs the money paid to the American people. Most of us pay social security taxes, unemployment insurance and other taxes that we will never see. TARP, and all of the other bank bailout schemes, not to mention the interest free loans the Federal Reserve gives to its chosen ones far outweigh the pittance redistributed to the American people.  Endless war only serves to redistribute more from the people to industry. When government and industry combine to take the fruits of the peoples labor it is fascism.

We should be so lucky to have the government redistribute the fruits of our labor amongst the people. I would rather my tax dollars go to benefit my neighbor than some corporate entity.

MsCreant's picture

Agree. I posted above on the idea that we should chart welfare to corporations while we are at this.

DFCtomm's picture

The top 1% buys the votes of the bottom 50%  so they can screw the middle 49%. This is a map of the payment distribution.

FeralSerf's picture

The wealthy Power Elites are the ones that are directly responsible for big government. Big government costs a lot. Big government is the reason we have big spending, big deficits and big taxes. The Power Elites are the ones that select the people in government that have the authority to spend. And those people spend most of the money on the Power Elites that put them, and keep them in government. The Power Elites are the ones that benefit directly from a large military, both from military spending and military conquests.

Your vote doesn't mean shit. It's a waste of gas going to the polls.

DFCtomm's picture

So your vote doesn't matter? That's it end of story? You have no ideal what the mechanism is by which your vote is rendered impotent? The vote purchasing of those on the lower end of the economic scale is how your elites ensure your vote doesn't matter.

blunderdog's picture

Total bullshit.

Most of the poorest Americans don't vote.  "Big money" interests render ALL voters impotent by choosing the candidates.  If there are only 2 choices, and both choices are selected by the corporations that fund campaigns, and both candidates are going to enact and maintain the same policies, then NO ONE'S VOTE MATTERS. 

The welfare state is voted for, and it is supported by the same people and institutions that own the big businesses.  Walmart (and GE, and The News Corp, and whoever else you want to name) is hugely successful precisely because so many dirt-poor Americans have some income to spend there.

What you descibe is a real risk, and it has happened in other parts of the world which has an engaged electorate.  But we've set things up here in the USA so that our politicians don't even have to buy votes from the poor.  They just don't matter that much.

Vendetta's picture

control who the choices are in each party and control the vote, simple.  No small wonder some of the Founders hated political parties.

FeralSerf's picture

Most people on the lower end don't vote.  The votes are bought through the MSM, no doubt your vote as well.

"The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the public is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country." Edward Bernays

I would argue with Eddie's use of "democratic".  There's nothing "democratic" about it.  It's brain-fucking-washing.

Chimerican's picture

I want to be a Power Elite. Can I buy your vote.

DFCtomm's picture

I'd ask too much. It's the law of supply and demand. Too many people like feralserf don't think it's worth anything, so they drive the price down.

FeralSerf's picture

How much do you think it's worth?  If I price it higher, will you respect me more?

Only an idiot believes voting means anything anymore, beyond being a device for TPTB to learn how much they need to pay for police protection.

"The real rulers in Washington are invisible and exercise power from behind the scenes." – Justice Felix Frankfurter

"The ruling class has the schools and press under its thumb. This enables it to sway the emotions of the masses." – Albert Einstein

"None are so hopelessly enslaved as those who falsely believe they are free." -- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

"The best way to control the opposition is to lead it ourselves." -- Vladimir Lenin

"Those who vote decide nothing. Those who count the vote decide everything." - Joseph Stalin


I'm having trouble following how the american people get crumbs. We have a 3.8 trillion dollar budget. We have spent trillions of dollars on public works projects, welfare, social security , ssi and every imaginable New Deal and Great Society program for over 70 years. What do we have for that money but increasing numbers of individuals who are on the receiving end of something they feel entitled to.  I don't believe the government should be subsidizing any industry but to whine about the injustice of the corporate fraudsters while not owning up to the socialist state is a bit much. The largest recipient of all government largesse has been and always will be the citizenry that expects or takes a handout from the government.  Thats why we are broke.  No one in power can say no and 1 party in particular has paved its way to power by buying votes through redistribution of income. I'm all for eliminating all forms of preferiential treatment. Corporations or Citizenry

blunderdog's picture

  What do we have for that money

A society unlike the one in Sri Lanka, since you ask.  Welfare is "civilization" tax. 

Stop feeding people and they *will* start shooting and firebombing.  Most of the cost of welfare can't be properly evaluated because the cost of living in a place where raiders are constantly trying to rob food-delivery trucks or kidnap affluent family-members is very difficult to determine.

Our politicians know this, by the way, and they know they can't currently do much for America's poor. 

That's why even Dubya was glad to sign the biggest entitlement expansion since the creation of Medicare.

FeralSerf's picture

Dubya was glad to sing that entitlement expansion, not because of the "benefits" to the proles, but because it enriched his owners in the health care, finance and insurance industries by a huge amount.  That enrichment devasted the SSI/Medicare funds.

dwdollar's picture

I'm sure the NYC financial system bleeding the rest of the country dry has nothing to do with this dependence.


NYC is the needle and DC is the hand bleeding everyone to death.

Bobbyrib's picture

You obviously live in the South or the Mid-West and can't comprehend that both regions have been suckling the government teat for decades. Pop quiz: Which region of the country elected FDR? *Edit: Actually both, but which region of the country was primarily Democratic until the Civil Rights Act?

This map should should shut up a lot of Mid-Western and Southern posters who constantly make fun of "liberal socialist blue states."


tickhound's picture

True.  However, one must take into consideration that we, as Americans, have been conditioned to prefer a particular brand of shit.