Zero Hedge produced a couple of eye-opening charts, showing the “welfare cliffs” that make it tempting to not work and the dramatic fall in the labor participation rate among men. You should take a look at them. It substantiates a point Zero Hedge made awhile back:
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.
When people can bring home more income by standing on a street corner soliciting handouts, or sitting home watching The View than by working and actually contributing to society… many will stand on street corners and stay home, stealing from their neighbors (with their main accomplice, big government).
Not working is supposed to hurt, to encourage people to get out and do something–anything–to serve others, contribute to the community, and earn daily bread. There are few things more destructive to our fellow humans than faceless “welfare” which steals from one to hand to another, with no stigma.
Yes, yes, I know… I know… you can give me an example here and there of someone who actually needs assistance—I get it. But I can probably find 100 for every one you show me, and we can take care of those who truly need help, if we kick the rest in the rump and encourage them to get out there and do something.
When people in front of you at Walmart are talking on an iPhone 5 while using their SNAP card to buy groceries you know something is terribly, terribly wrong with the picture.