Originally Posted by ebuddy
... to support an entertainment budget rivaled only by their health care expenses, a house way above their means, new cars, 500+ channels of television, and at least two gaming systems.
These sorts of people aren't what we'd call poor. I'll quantify this for you: In 1960, the percentage of Americans on welfare was about 2%. After LBJ and his "Great Society", that number rushed to about 5% by 1970. The number stayed between 4.5 and 5.5 percent throughout the 70s, and 80s, into the early 90s (hitting its highest peak at the end of Bush I and after 12 straight years of Republican presidents). After welfare reform in the mid-90s, the number has fallen off a cliff and is back down in the 2% range since the end of the Clinton admin.
The percentage of people in poverty is has varied between about 12.5 and 15% over the last 20 years. So realistically, the 2% on welfare is somewhere between 13 and 16% of the total number of people in poverty with 84-87% being people that work (or at the very least, that don't take welfare). Contrast this to the late 60s through the 80s where the 5% on welfare represented 40-50% of the total number of people in poverty.
Point being: All this talk about our "Welfare state" is overblown ... we're at 48-year low in the percentage of Americans on welfare. As I'd stated in other threads, the per capita GDP of the american worker has soared in the last 25 years. The assertions that the America has gotten lazier over the last 20 years is patently false and statistically provable as false. This is a major reason, I feel, why Americans are poised for a massive rejection of the Republican party this year is that they do seem a little out-of-touch with the facts on the ground. While they are busy calling us "a nation of whiners" as though it were 1974, the real rank and file of the working populous knows that they are working harder than ever and not going anywhere ... in fact, with the rises in fuel, groceries, and healthcare, a lot of them are going backwards ... even the ones whose incomes and employment have remained stable.