Friday, July 11, 2014

So who is it that's collecting welfare?

It's not who you think it is:
That's the white underclass in America today... and the "welfare" recipients alone make up something like 15-20% of the population, never mind the "working poor" who earn enough to be means tested out of "welfare" programs.

All told, white, black, hispanic, and everyone else, this institutionalized underclass is something like 25% to 35% of our population, depending how you count it, and whose numbers you believe. Most of them don't live in the inner cities, or the "hood"...

They live in... Jacksonville Illinois.... or Kearny Arizona... or Waycross Georgia.

... and whether they are recipients of state "aid" or not, they are in what is known as an equilibrium trap.

If things were any worse, people would just leave. Go to another place with better education and employment prospects.

If things were any better, people could get ahead, and the local economy could grow.
This is a long but important post, one that highlights just how damnably hard it is to get incentive structures right, particularly in the public sphere.  RTWT, if you don't have a heart of stone.


Ken O said...

During one particularly awful stretch, I had to do the food stamp thing. College degree and all, I was working as a minimum wage day laborer. My wife was unemployed. We had taken a homeless friend in before the rough patch. So, we qualified for 90 days of aid. The most damning thing I noticed about the system was the way it is designed to keep you in thrall. When I finally got some overtime hours and was thinking that I was on my way out of the hole, the amount deposited to the EBT account was reduced by the amount of my extra earnings.

Scott_S said...

That system is designed as a trap - you have to make a quantum leap in earnings to get out of it.

Michael said...

They are buying votes, pacifying those that would resist the system, and guaranteeing another generation of Americans that will remain dependent on government assistance. Its insidious in extreme and serves many goals all at the same time.