Smashing The Myth Of America's "Stingy" Welfare State

Authored by Ryan McMaken via The Mises Institute,

According to the usual news sources, Donald Trump's new budget proposal "envisions steep cuts to America’s social safety net" and will "gut social programs." Most of the cuts were proposed to pave the way for more Pentagon spending. 

In truth, Trump's proposal doesn't matter, and Congress will set to work piling on more deficit spending for both social programs and for the Pentagon. 

But, the debate of "gutting" social programs will no doubt be used to perpetuate, yet again, the myth that the United States is ruled by libertarian social Darwinists who ensure that no more than a few pennies are spent via social programs for the poor. 

Now setting aside the question of whether or not social programs are the best way to address poverty, the fact is that the United States spending on social programs is on a par with Australia and Switzerland, and can hardly be described as "laissez-faire." 

Moreover, government spending on healthcare per capita in the United States is the fourth largest in the world.

Governments in the United States pour money into social-benefits programs at rates typical to a Western welfare state. We can debate whether or not the way this is done is sub-optimal or not, but the fact remains, that if we're going to talk about social programs, the amount of spending in the US is not low in a global context. 

According to the 2016 social expenditure database at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), public social spending as a percentage of GDP in the US was 19.4 percent:

While it is true the US is hardly the highest on this list, its social spending is higher than that of Canada, Australia, Ireland, and Iceland, all of which we are often told are far more "generous" countries in terms of their welfare states. Indeed, if the typical American leftist were asked if the US should spend as much as Canada or Australia on social benefits, the response is very likely to be an emphatic "yes." 

And yet, the US outpaces all of these, and has spending levels comparable to that of Switzerland. Indeed, the difference between Switzerland and the US in this measure is four-tenths of one percent. The OECD average is 21.4 percent, a matter of 2.1 percentage points difference from the US. 

When we turn to the matter of healthcare, we find that the US is a world leader in terms of governmental healthcare spending. 

According to the World Health Organization, only Luxembourg, Norway, and the Netherlands spend more government money on healthcare per capita. 

In the US, the sum is $4,153 per capita, and in Norway it is $5,154. In the United Kingdom, the total is $2,716. 

This presents a problem for advocates for more government control of the healthcare system, of course. Often, their line of argument is that Americans are too "stingy" with social health benefits. When confronted with the fact that government spending is quite high, however, they switch tactics, and then declare that if the US adopted a more government-regimented system, then spending would actually be lower. This was a tactic employed by Bernie Sanders. 

This latter claim may or may not be so, but the one thing we do know is that the US already spends more taxpayer money on healthcare than most everyone else. So, it seems hard to fathom that the "problem" — whatever that may be — is a product of too little government spending on health care. 

If advocates for reform want to argue over how the money is spent, let them do so, but the debate should hardly include any proposals to increase government spending. 

In the US, government spending on healthcare as a percentage of total government spending, is one of the highest among wealthy nations. Although, by this measure the US is equal with Japan and the Netherlands. 

I am not a defender of the US government's gargantuan military budget, but even considering that huge expense, government healthcare spending still takes up an unusually large amount of government spending in the US. 

There is no shortage of articles in publications like Slate and The Nation stating that "the American social safety net does not exist" and that the US has a "stingy social safety net."

Now, if by "stingy" one means, "poorly administered," "ineffective," or "counterproductive," then one would be on to something. But if by "stingy," one means "underfunded," well, there's little evidence of that. 

Even many advocates for a reduced federal budget are likely willing to consider ideas that would spend taxpayer dollars more effectively. After all, if it's a given that one is going to pay a large federal tax bill, one usually would rather see that money go to something like housing for a single mother and her children who are living in a car. 

But are federal dollars actually doing this well? 

Critics of American "stinginess" are themselves quick to point out that all that American spending on social benefits isn't pushing down poverty rates as in other countries. Even if one believes that governments are generally poor at accomplishing the goals they set out to accomplish, it seems that in this regard, the US government is especially bad.

A Modest Proposal — Dismember America's Huge Welfare State

There may be many reasons for this. But it is also worth noting that among the Western welfare states, the United States is by far the largest with 320 million people. The next largest country isn't even half that size, and is Japan with 125 million people. And, of course, Japan's geography, culture, are demographics are completely different from that of the US. Once we get to governments of the size and physical scope of the US government, we're looking at something on a scale that can't possibly be considered  "responsive" or "accountable" by any measure. It becomes nearly impossible to make changes in such an enormous apparatus which itself cannot possibly take into account the vast number of different populations and conditions that exist across a place as huge as the United States. 

One immediate solution is to decentralize the welfare state immediately, and take it out of the hands of the federal government. But that by itself isn't a magic bullet, since we know that in California, which has its own supplemental welfare state on top of the federal one, poverty is higher than in any other state

Nevertheless, if we're going to hear constantly about what successes the Scandinavian welfare states are, for example, we might use this as an excuse to create welfare states on a more Scandinavian scale. Given that the largest Scandinavian nation-state (Sweden) has 10.1 million people, this means breaking up the American welfare state into at least 30 totally independent smaller pieces and going from there. These programs would then be under the control of local residents — as they are in, say, Denmark — and not something controlled by distant, untouchable Washington bureaucrats and politicians. An even better size for each piece would be something on the scale of Norway, which has five million people, and is thus the size of Minnesota or Colorado. At the very least, no government larger than a US state ought to be in the business of social benefits. 

When it comes to government, bigger has never been better. 


Bes stizazz Fri, 03/02/2018 - 22:38 Permalink

sounds like

Big Pharma,

the Insurance Companies,


and Medical "professionals"

having been robbing us blind.....

and why wouldn't they? 

we are a captive market

in an oligopoly where they can charge whatever the want

for as much profit as the want

and no one in government has any plans of changing that fundamental structure



In reply to by stizazz

snblitz Bes Sat, 03/03/2018 - 00:45 Permalink

While we are being robbed blind it is not the "professionals" and the hospitals that are doing it.

If you negotiate directly with a provider getting 75% off is pretty easy.  El Camino Hospitals offer 75% off their master charge list just for asking and paying cash.  You can get closer to 90% if you work at it.

In reply to by Bes

NiggaPleeze snblitz Sat, 03/03/2018 - 01:28 Permalink

It actually largely is the professionals.  90% of all healthcare costs are physician salaries.  US  physicians are most overpaid, arrogant, self-righteous class of unionized (via the AMA) workers on the entire planet.

Cut physician salaries down to a reasonable level (in Germany, for instance, doctors are de jure, not just de facto, unionized and earn about 50K Euros per year - "what? no yachts? no vacations homes here and there? no long list of investment properties? but I save lives! I'm God!" - no, you're not, you're a technician like hundreds of millions of other technicians who don't have mansions, yachts and investment properties - and, oh yeah, a bus driver "saves more lives" every day than a physician).

There is absolutely no way to bring healthcare costs down without stopping physicians from bleeding us dry.

Doctors, through their monopolistic union (the AMA), pretend it's "tort" costs, or "insurance companies".  But there are many studies out there that show where the problem lies:  physician salaries.  Physician salaries effect the price structure of the entire medical industry - the salaries pharmaceutical and insurance companies have to pay their personnel, the cost of medical devices, hospital administration, and there on down.  Even nursing, particularly with the feminist argument that nurses and physicians should be paid the same (with which I actually agree - except physician salaries need to come down to meet nursing salaries).

And the only way to bring down physician salaries from their stratospheric levels is to destroy the nefarious and greedy AMA - by far the most powerful union that has ever existed, puts the Teamsters to shame!

In reply to by snblitz

NiggaPleeze Heros Sat, 03/03/2018 - 04:25 Permalink


From all the down-votes there seem to be a lot of spoiled pampered, entitled, self-righteous physicians that use ZH who profoundly fear competition.  Your day will come, downvote me all you want, but the fact is the corrupt and nefarious AMA's artificial monopoly on medical care will come to an end soon enough.  And I will dance in the streets when it does!

In reply to by Heros

TuPhat NiggaPleeze Sat, 03/03/2018 - 08:46 Permalink

You left out a lot of relevant facts.  One of them being the education that doctors must pay for.  It is not on a par with nurses so you are way off base there.  You are also lumping specialists in with general practitioners or family doctors.  They don't get paid the same at all.  Your post was long but devoid of a lot of information needed to come to a good understanding of what the costs actually are.

In reply to by NiggaPleeze

NiggaPleeze TuPhat Sat, 03/03/2018 - 13:31 Permalink

the education that doctors must pay for

Agreed, doctors have to go to Med School for 4 years after their BS degree (though a lot of nurses, about 10%, spend two years on an MS, and about half get a BS).  (Note:  Many doctors try to include their residency, but they are paid for that - an average wage compared to most college graduates, not the astronomical ones doctors in the US expect, but an average one, of about $51,000 / year, which is the same average for other college graduates.)

But why do doctors need a BS?  That is a waste of 4 years.  One of the many problems with AMA.  Medical school should come right after high school.  No rational basis for requiring a BA/BS to attend medical school.  Most countries in the world do not require that.

Your post was long but devoid of a lot of information needed to come to a good understanding of what the costs actually are.

Right, I should explain how medical costs are allocated - that would make it long.  Do your own research on that, you will see I am completely on point.

In reply to by TuPhat

MAGAmania NiggaPleeze Sat, 03/03/2018 - 11:23 Permalink

The last poll I saw over 90% of physicians dislike the AMA. The AMA is part of the problem pushing Obamacare and CPT based coding complexity and profiting greatly from it


Bit you are just ranting about things you don’t have any knowledge on and making a fool of yourself to anyone who does know the numbers and facts. 


Clearly you hold some personal issue on the matter. Didn’t do well in school?

In reply to by NiggaPleeze

NiggaPleeze MAGAmania Sat, 03/03/2018 - 13:19 Permalink

The last poll I saw over 90% of physicians dislike the AMA.


Bit [sic] you are just ranting about things you don’t have any knowledge on [sic]

Actually I've studied the issue closely, from two perspectives:  what percent of medical costs goes to physicians (including physicians retained by insurance companies to review claims, by pharmaceutical companies to research new drugs, by medical device companies to develop new medical devices, by hospital administrators to administer hospitals, etc.) and what goes to other areas, like raw materials, torts (malpractice), etc.  About 90% of the cost is salaries.  So even if you eliminated every single other cost, medical costs would go down only 10%.

Also I've compared physician salaries in the US to the rest of the world.  See e.g. here.  You will see, doctors in Germany make about 1/3rd of what US doctors make.  Since physician salaries are about 90% of medical costs, reducing them by 2/3rd would reduce medical costs by 60%.  Simple math, my friend, you should learn some.

Didn’t do well in school?

Actually I graduated magna cum laude from a top five graduate school in my field.  And even though I work really hard I don't make as much money as an incompetent surgeon who graduated at the bottom of his class.  And no, it's not jealousy, as you are fixated on ad hominem attacks, I'm merely citing the economics for why health care costs (and, accordingly, entitlements) are so high.  But go ahead, use ad hominem attacks and distraction to fight facts, Hitlery would be proud.

In reply to by MAGAmania

MAGAmania NiggaPleeze Sat, 03/03/2018 - 11:23 Permalink

The last poll I saw over 90% of physicians dislike the AMA. The AMA is part of the problem pushing Obamacare and CPT based coding complexity and profiting greatly from it


Bit you are just ranting about things you don’t have any knowledge on and making a fool of yourself to anyone who does know the numbers and facts. 


Clearly you hold some personal issue on the matter. Didn’t do well in school?

In reply to by NiggaPleeze

Heros venturen Sat, 03/03/2018 - 11:28 Permalink

Since Holland was the only country that had de-criminalized soft drugs, ((drug dealers)) and addicts from across Europe flocked there.  Plus at that point in time Holland had loads of money and was a very easy welfare state.  It is not an example.

Besides, just because some idiots eat Tide Pods doesn't mean that they should be outlawed.  It is my fundamental right to decide what goes into my body, not the pharma industry, it's AMA gangster buddies, and the drug pushers of the Kazarian Mafia,

How about segregation as a solution.  Communities, towns, cities, counties and even states should be allowed to decide who they want to allow to settle there.  Drug addicts can have their own district, county, city, or even state.  They just cannot expect everyone else to pay for their upkeep.

The same would apply to sluts who miscegenate and get knocked up and decide to be a single mother.  If no one wants them around enough to be willing to pay their way, then they need to disappear.   They can move to dike-city where the feminists who "empowered" them would love to pay.

In reply to by venturen

SirBarksAlot NiggaPleeze Sat, 03/03/2018 - 09:06 Permalink

Doctor's in the US are required to pay for expensive medical schools, while doctors in other countries are not.  Why do you think everyone comes here for surgeries?

Doctors get signed to hospitals based on their track records.  If they draw a lot of patients, they get more money.

The hospitals have been taken over by administrative companies that take most of the profit in bonuses.


In reply to by NiggaPleeze

Endgame Napoleon NiggaPleeze Sat, 03/03/2018 - 09:34 Permalink

In the fake-feminist era, more than half of the physicians are women, and since highly paid professionals are almost always married to other high-salaried people, their income is [much higher] in this era than the still-affluent physicians of past eras, when the US had greater, widespread national prosperity. Before assortative mating halved the size of the US middle class, wealth from the decent-paying and the sky-high-paying professions was spread out over twice as many college-educated households.

Granted, physician is about as merit based as it gets in the professional world. When you consider the concentration of much-less-skilled, but high paying and full of excused absenteeism for busy-working parents, crony office jobs—with healthcare benefits undergirded by a $260 billion employer tax exclusion—that are concentrated in fewer households due to assortative mating (and the crony-parent job network), the wealth concentration via assortative mating is even more incredible than what occurs due to the handful of fields that require an absolute ton of merit-based, high-level education and testing hoops. 

Meanwhile, life expectancy is going down in the USA, particularly for white citizens who do not — percent-wise — qualify for as much womb-productivity-based, means-tested welfare as minorities and noncitizens, albeit whites consume more welfare overall. Despite all of the spending on healthcare welfare, millions of American citizens still only have access to emergency rooms, clogged with illegal aliens who get layers of monthly welfare due to US-born kids and a sole, male breadwinner per family / per multi-family household, as long as they stay below the earned-income limit for the programs in traceable income. The illegals who pay taxes also get the child-tax-credit welfare up to $6,444.

Single mom citizens get the same amount of unearned income from government (and more in my state) for their womb productivity, when they provide evidence of part-time work that keeps them below the earned-income limits for multiple welfare programs. They use thei own paycheck stubs to prove earned income that is counted against expenses. They get free or reduced-cost rent, free EBT groceries, electricity assistance, monthly cash assistance, daycare that is nearly free to accommodate their part-time work and — last but not least — their child-tax-credit welfare that topped out at $6,444 before doubled by the Swampsters.

Per capita income across many states is between $18k sand $20k.

The refundable [EITC] child tax credit for maximum (irresponsible) womb productivity is $6,444—i.e. approximately one third of the yearly take-home pay in a $9-per-hour job, like many of the jobs in insurance underwriting, a field where it is very hard to get a job with a college degree, four insurance licenses and years of insurance experience, but not if you are an unlicensed momma with unearned income for womb productivity, enabling you to work for very low wages in a back-watching, frequently absentee mom gang, where “we have 17 women in here and HAVE to have someone’s who fits in,” and “you just don’t know what it is like to raise two boys.” In smaller companies and larger companies that are household names, this is the way interviews are conducted for the many mom-gang jobs in the Era of Fake (Womb-Productivity-Based) Feminism.

Many other female-dominated office jobs in financial services and elsewhere in the service sector fall into that discriminatory mold, thanks, in part, to how monthly welfare and child-tax-credit welfare shapes the employment scene.

Many of the mom-gang employees are supplementing spousal income with official (and unofficial) part-time work, and congress just added to their womb-productivity-based tax welfare as well, including for the moms with plenty of spousal income, dominating the low-wage office jobs in posher areas of town, the ones bounding out the door every afternoon and for weeks of baby travel soccer, never getting fired although they leave at the busiest times of day, when phones ring off the hook with paying customers. 

“Voted best for moms,” managers explain that their employees have “somethin’ comin in” (from government, spouses or ex spouses) that covers their major household bills, makimg the low pay acceptable.

Productivity is down in the USA.

I am certain it has nothing to do with the enormous volume of excuse d’avoir absenteeism for busy-wirking parents, including few of the dads. I have seen an AVALANCHE of excused absenteeism for parents in places where I worked — beyond their PTO and multiple pregnancy leaves — and precisely one mom fired for all-day / every-day absenteeism in a management job. She came in only briefly once a day, and If the manager had been a fellow mom, she would have been kept YEARS more, even though there is sky-high turnover in these jobs among the churned hard workers who help to keep the managers in bonus money. 

I am equally certain that America’s low productivity has nothing to do with the fact that avid participation in the following workplace activities is more important to crony-parent manager than all-day attendance, high account-generation numbers and high account-retention numbers:

  • Baby-Mommy-Look-Alike-Bulletin-Board-Decorating Contest
  • Halloween Dress-Up Day and Cubicle-Decorating Contest
  • Family Day Picnic
  • Adult Cubicle Easter-Egg Hunt  
  • Bring-Daughter-To-Work Day
  • Bring-Son-To-Work Day
  • Spin-The-Wheel Contest with Piñata 
  • Potluck Lunch Number Five with Soft-Porn Film (government job)
  • Bowling Day
  • Movie Day 
  • Etc., Etc., Ect.


Women complain about men making more, regarding that as the pay-equity issue, but in truth, it is the frequently absentee moms who often don’t meet the quotas who make more. They have higher paychecks than childless, female counterparts, especially relative to the number of hours worked, due to the progressive tax code. Hiring / retention favors, likewise, accrue to childbearing-aged moms across many family-friendly, parenting-focused industries. As a single, childless woman, I have to cover all of my bills on earned-only income from one stream, but make less than moms due to the pay-per-birth tax-welfare code, even in cases where I come to work every day, stay the whole day and meet the quotas every month and moms don’t.

Conservative: I call BS.

People without kids, particularly those without spousal income, face an impossible situation. We must cover rent that consumes more than half of our earned-only income and all other household bills, with none of this monthly welfare and tax welfare, while moms have all of their major household bills eliminated by government, with ever-increasing child tax credits thrown on top to add mom-pampering pocket money.

What will conservatives do next: triple their child tax credits, rigging workplaces to an ever greater extreme?

They are NOT “the poor,” either, as portrayed by the progressives who usually know zero about the way welfare programs work. The demographic composition of “the poor” changes dramatically when the moms’ pay-per-birth monthly welfare is added to their earned income in the annual Supplemental Poverty Report from the Census Bureau.   

If they could count the untraceable, unearned income of “poor” working moms who often have lots of help from the children’s grandparents and untraceable income from the kids’ father(s), they would have even higher incomes. Which is why moms oftentimes boast about spending their child tax credits on an arm full of $800 tattoos (bought for baby), trips to Florida beach motels to entertain their boyfriends (for baby) or a master bedroom suite from Ashley Furniture (purchased for baby), compliments of the US Treasury Department.

For the many childless citizens with zero spousal income, struggling to cover rent that soaks up more than half of earned-only income, this tax cut for the rich, with the doubled child-tax-credit welfare for the womb-productive “poor,” guarantees that even more discriminatory employers will staff workplaces with 98% frequently absentee, childbearing-aged moms who do not need higher pay or more work hours to cover their household bills, while those of us who do get a “tax cut” that will cover a Costco membership. 

In reply to by NiggaPleeze

Xena fobe Endgame Napoleon Sat, 03/03/2018 - 13:00 Permalink

Right on.  All of this pay for breeding is an indirect subsidy to the wealthy. 

I actually like the pot lucks and bring your kid to work days.  I eat up their food and put their kids to work. 

What sucks is that single people are busier because there is noone to split up the chores with.  Maybe employers should make allowances for that!  Hey boss, i had to replace my alternator Sunday and couldn't get to the yard work. I won't be in today.  

Employers will give us a heart attack if we let them.  They can have whatever expectations they like. That's out of my control.  I can only produce what I can produce.  Their lack of adequate planning and staffing is not my problem.  It's all BS anyway.  

In reply to by Endgame Napoleon

drdolittle NiggaPleeze Sat, 03/03/2018 - 10:01 Permalink

Facts first

Physician salaries account for 20% of healthcare spending.

Many other countries provide free medical school, in the US it's about 50k per year and most physicians have debt to the tune of 2-300k when they get out and work a minimum of three years of apprenticship (residency)

Dude, you shoulda signed up for obamacare and not had all those medical bills to make you bitter. A captive market for big insurance who add so much to healthcare.

I get new insurance cards every year and usually have to go through to hassle of getting a bill submitted to the old cards and correcting this. My credit card only changes every few years. My credit card company makes money when I use it. My insurance company makes money when I don't use it. They get paid to keep you from getting healthcare. Yeah, the medical establishment is screwed but you're messed up as to why.

In reply to by NiggaPleeze

NiggaPleeze Xena fobe Sat, 03/03/2018 - 14:55 Permalink


First of all, only 20% can go to administrative costs (that's by law under Obamacare).  Second, most of those administrative costs go to the doctors who are reviewing the treatment and costs - if those doctor salaries go down, so do the administrative costs.  I.e., doctor costs are not just the cost of the doctor treating you, doctor costs come up in many ways in total medical costs.  Third, they are not necessarily trying to "prevent you from getting care", believe it or not, a lot of doctors in practice try to defraud insurance companies or engage in unnecessary procedures (that are costly and risky to the patient, but enriching to the doctor).

When you add up all the MD salary components (providing care; hospital administration; insurance company care review; medical device research; pharma research by doctors; etc.), yes, it is at 90%.  But obviously the doctor in the office seeing you is not taking that 90% - the point is there are many other doctors involved in the process of that one doctor seeing you in his office.

In reply to by Xena fobe

Lord Raglan NiggaPleeze Sat, 03/03/2018 - 11:54 Permalink

I disagree.  You couldn't be more wrong.  What they put surgeons through in terms of tests and their residencies and the long hours and pressure, they deserve every dime they get when they get out.  The pressure to perform is almost insurmountable and many drop out of med school for that reason.  Their life is nothing but test after test after test.  It is a difficult life.  You are just filled with envy at what some of them make.  Envy or coveting is a horrible trap.  One of the 10 Commandments.  What it really is is "thou shall not covet".  

The reason health care costs are high is because when people don't have to pay for it themselves, they don't take care of themselves and they abuse the system.  I can't believe the morbidly obese fat pigs that go to the doctor everyday, seeking a pill so they can eat 5 gallons of ice cream on the way home.  My premiums are high because I pay for these obese pigs.  Stats show that by 2030, 2/3rd of Americans will have diabetes.  We make them pay their own health care costs, just see how skinny they'd get.  The medical system loves these pigs.  They make money for the hospitals, the doctors, the physical therapists.  None of us should have to subsidize these pigs, many of whom are illegal aliens.  

In reply to by NiggaPleeze

NiggaPleeze Lord Raglan Sat, 03/03/2018 - 13:54 Permalink

As I noted below, 14 out of the 15 top paid occupations in the US are doctors. 

What they put surgeons through in terms of tests and their residencies and the long hours and pressure, they deserve every dime they get when they get out.

Big deal, it's not hard to be a doctor.  There are millions of them around the world, virtually all working for far less than US doctors make.  And, frankly, most of them doing a better job.

As to long hours:  residency sucks, but that is the fault of the AMA, not the patient.  As to costs, 4 years of unnecessary BS degree sucks, but that is the fault of the AMA, not the patient.  As to pressure, studies show that in terms of pressure many jobs are far worse than doctors.   Believe it or not, one of the most pressure-cooker jobs (to which I can personally attest) is being a waiter, and they make about minimum wage.

And why is there no competition?  The human body is the human body.  Why is it virtually impossible for a doctor trained in France, Germany, or India to get a license to practice in the US?  Even though medical tourists go to those countries to get cheaper healthcare with far better results than are provided in the US?  Why does the AMA seek to ban all alternative therapy, from chiropractic to homeopathic to anything other than the pills they push?

So, to summarize, AMA keeps costs up with:

  1. artificial barriers to entry (essentially precluding foreign trained personnel, a useless BS degree requirement for medical school, ridiculous residency hour requirements) (i.e., reduce supply)
  2. artificial limits on number of medical schools and residency programs to keep number of physicians down (i.e., reduce supply)
  3. anti-competitive lobbying against alternative treatments (chiropractic, homeopathic, etc.) (i.e., increase demand)

I could go on and on, but I'll keep it short:  try taking the red pill.

In reply to by Lord Raglan

NiggaPleeze Just a Bucket Sat, 03/03/2018 - 13:45 Permalink


That's for GPs, specialists make another 30% over that.

And that includes only salaries, it does not include the obscene amounts physicians make off owning their own "medical equipment" and charging their unsuspecting "patients" astronomical rates for that.  That is how many physicians end up making millions a year.

And $181,000 is more than any other profession makes.  For a job that isn't actually very hard.  According to BLS, the top occupational salaries go to (sort by the "Annual mean wage" column) the following occupations (medical ones, in bold):

  1. Anesthesiologists   $269,600  
  2. Surgeons  $252,910  
  3. Obstetricians and Gynecologists   $234,310  
  4. Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons   $232,870  
  5. Orthodontists   $228,780  
  6. Physicians and Surgeons, All Other  $205,560  
  7. Internists, General   $201,840  
  8. Family and General Practitioners  $200,810  
  9. Psychiatrists   $200,220  
  10. Chief Executives  $194,350  
  11. Pediatricians, General  $184,240  
  12. Dentists, General   $173,860  
  13. Dentists, All Other Specialists   $171,900  
  14. Prosthodontists   $168,140  
  15. Nurse Anesthetists  $164,030  
  16. Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers  $152,770  
  17. Petroleum Engineers   $147,030  
  18. Computer and Information Systems Managers   $145,74

So, out of the top 15 paid professions, 14 are in the medical field - and the odd one out, CEOs, is ranked 10th!

But sure, keep telling us how doctors make normal wages for a normal, not difficult job.

In reply to by Just a Bucket

Just a Bucket NiggaPleeze Sat, 03/03/2018 - 14:04 Permalink

Still looks perfectly reasonable to me.  


Number one on your list, anesthesiologists, are responsible for the survival of patients.  It's neither a "normal" job, nor a "not difficult job."  


Frankly, I think you're being kind of an idiot.   But maybe I am.  I don't know.   



In reply to by NiggaPleeze

NiggaPleeze Just a Bucket Sat, 03/03/2018 - 14:14 Permalink

Still looks perfectly reasonable to me.

Yeah, well you are missing the point.  My point was medical costs (and hence entitlements) are high because medical salaries are high.  So you are fine with high medical costs.  Great.  That doesn't change the economics I was explaining.

Number one on your list, anesthesiologists, are responsible for the survival of patients.  It's neither a "normal" job, nor a "not difficult job."

A bus driver is also responsible for survival of passenger.  And a cook for survival of customer.  Etc.  So what?  That is imbecilic doctor propaganda.  And it's not difficult, there are countless anesthesiologists in the world, most doing a better job than US ones, who manage just fine without sucking every penny they can out of their patients, to the point of bankrupting families who have a minor medical problem.

In reply to by Just a Bucket

Just a Bucket NiggaPleeze Sat, 03/03/2018 - 14:17 Permalink

Airline pilots make way too much. I didn't know their salaries were that high.  They're just glorified bus drivers, and any retard can become one.  How hard is it to sit in a cockpit all day and flip some switches every once in a while?  


Pilot unions are much more of a menace I'd say.

In reply to by NiggaPleeze

SanoSX NiggaPleeze Sun, 03/04/2018 - 07:18 Permalink

The author says per capital spending is 5k. I’m not certain where his data came from as US spend is over 10k. 

When referring to healthcare it would be more accurate to read, “The price of healthcare is high” vs “The costs of healthcare are high.”  The costs are not high, the prices are far too high. 

Everyone knows there is no correlation between price and outcomes in healthcare and that there is 400-500% variance in surgery prices, especially non-emergency surgery. 

As for total healthcare expense.

Physician expenses known as professional fees are not the largest they are the second largest expense in healthcare. 

In- patient




The real challenge with the healthcare spend is the lack of transparency and anti-competitive landscape.  Employers with a PEPM are choosing to pay cash for procedures and realizing a 40% drop in spend. Why? 

Transparency = competition and competition yields higher quality outcomes at lower prices. 

In reply to by NiggaPleeze

MAGAmania snblitz Sat, 03/03/2018 - 11:18 Permalink

You are incorrect and obviously ignorant of health care system design in the USA

Physician salaries are approximately 8-12% of costs and most physicians who even take government health care plans (Medicaid or Medicare) lose money on each patient after overhead costs


while your rant may have made you feel good you’re just flat out wrong


and as a proportion of spending the USA spends less on physician income than most other countries. 


References are easy to find. Educate yourself

In reply to by snblitz