When It Doesn’t Pay To Work…

…people won’t work.

Via Zerohedge and Powerline and excerpted from the data presented by Gary D. Alexander, Secretary of Public Welfare, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania:

Exactly two years ago, some of the more politically biased progressive media outlets (who are quite adept at creating and taking down their own strawmen arguments, if not quite as adept at using an abacus, let alone a calculator) took offense at our article “In Entitlement America, The Head Of A Household Of Four Making Minimum Wage Has More Disposable Income Than A Family Making $60,000 A Year.” In it we merely explained what has become the painful reality in America: for increasingly more it is now more lucrative – in the form of actual disposable income – to sit, do nothing, and collect various welfare entitlements, than to work. This is graphically, and very painfully confirmed, in the below chart from Gary Alexander, Secretary of Public Welfare, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (a state best known for its broke capital Harrisburg). As quantitied, and explained by Alexander, “the single mom is better off earnings gross income of $29,000 with $57,327 in net income & benefits than to earn gross income of $69,000 with net income and benefits of $57,045.

Click to enlarge.

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.

Naturally, the topic of wealth redistribution is paramount one now that America is entering the terminal phase of its out of control spending, and whose response to hike taxes in a globalized, easily fungible world, will merely force more of the uber-wealthy to find offshore tax jurisdictions, avoid US taxation altogether, and thus result to even lower budget revenues for the US. It explains why the cluelessly incompetent but supposedly impartial Congressional Budget Office just released a key paper titled “Share of Returns Filed by Low- and Moderate-Income Workers, by Marginal Tax Rate, Under 2012 Law” which carries a chart of disposable income by net income comparable to the one above.

Full presentation:


17 thoughts on “When It Doesn’t Pay To Work…

  1. This is all part of the designed cooperation between government and “favored” businesses — otherwise known as FASCISM!

    At the rate we’re going, we will soon be down to those major conglomerates that the government “allows” to exist, and then the people will have to compete for the few jobs available, which will also be tightly controlled through government oversight/regulation.

    But, hey, what do I know: I’ve only read the blue prints these Liberal/Progressive/Gloablists published in the early 20th Century. I’d have to be crazy to believe they actually meant what they said. 😉

  2. And of course the problem MUST be the “welfare state”. And not the fact that millions of americans can work a full time job. Or work two, even 3 part time jobs utlimately working much more then full time- and not be able to meet their basic needs. While we see corporations returning record profits, we see the gap between the rich and poor continue to grow, and the middle disapear.

    Let me ask you this- is there any justification for a job in this country where the worker can not meet the most basic needs to survive? Is there any justification for a major corporation to hire many part time workers rather then fewer full time workers, because it limits their responsibility? Allows them to increase profits?

    And how ironic you use the “single mom” in your example. When you oppose abortion. Oppose requirements for contraception to be covered by health insurance. Oppose funding for groups such as planned parenthood that provide free or low cost contraception and education.

    • It’s not “my” example, buttsuck. This is an example used by the guy who heads the public welfare department in Pennsylvania – and what it illustrates is a fact. Based on his data, there is no need for an abortion because there is plenty of support from government, although given your responses, I’m reconsidering my opposition to it in your case.

      Contraception? Who the hell are you, Sandra Fluke’s uglier sister? $9 a month at the evil Wal-Mart – or here’s one cheaper – DON’T GO AROUND F*CKING LIKE A RABBIT IN HEAT. If you can’t afford a kid, don’t get put yourself in a position to get knocked up.

      What is illustrated is exactly the welfare state. Period.

      Let me take a stab here:

      Let me ask you this- is there any justification for a job in this country where the worker can not meet the most basic needs to survive?

      I don’t know, is there? If a person has no skills or no skills than an employer values or needs, is there any justification for them to pay someone because they can fog up a mirror? It is not the responsibility of the market to provide employment, it is the individual’s responsibility to prepare themselves for jobs where they can make what they want to make. Maybe 100 years ago there was an excuse for somebody not being able to do that but not today with the access to education and job training there isn’t.

      What about the morality of a government that encourages and funds a higher education bubble, cranking out graduates with worthless bullshit degrees by the busload and dumping them into a weak economy loaded with debt? Why is it my responsibility to clean that up? What am I going to do with an art history major when I need a subsea petroleum engineer? An art history major is worthless to me, there is no reason for me to pay him £70K a year with benefits when his skills are limited to answering the phone and making copies at £18K a year?

      Is there any justification for a major corporation to hire many part time workers rather then fewer full time workers, because it limits their responsibility? Allows them to increase profits?

      How about avoids a government boondoggle like Obamacare – that is a current justification. The primary function of a business is to make a profit, not provide employment. By making a profit, they can invest and expand, bringing in more jobs. I’m not clear as to why making more profit is a bad thing. Here’s my argument that profits are, in fact, moral:

      The idea that it can harkens back to Marx’s idea that capital is a vampire, sucking the lifeblood of the labourer and that income should be distributed from those who have the ability to those who have the need. Understood in the context of these two statements, the definition of “fairness” is that the output of every citizen should be valued exactly the same and the purpose of a “progressive” tax system is to “correct” the inequality of value of those outputs via the redistribution of income from top value creators to those who create lesser or no value.

      That’s not a value judgement of people, it is a simple fact. It is an immutable fact of life that people are born with different skills and abilities, different intellectual capacities and develop different motivations as they mature and as a result, each person is able to generate a different outcome. Some turn out to be lawyers, business people, vessel captains, skilled craftsmen, engineers, care workers, medical professionals, builders or actors – many of which are careers exhibited by the co-bloggers on this site. The point being that I do not have the skills required to be a vessel captain and I’m sure that there are skills I have that others lack. We all offer a different value to society and to the economy and as a result, we all draw from the economy a different amount of compensation.

      That’s the free enterprise system. The “fairness” is determined by an impartial arbiter, an independent market that sets a price on what we have to offer. Price is reset and adjusted with every individual transaction. What could be more moral than having a totally independent methodology to set that price where we are judged not on who we are but by what we produce?

      The struggle with “progressive” taxation and its basis in Marxism is exactly this – no two people are the same. If you don’t have the skills, the ability or the same desire that I do, you cannot achieve what I have achieved (nor can I what you have). If you can’t achieve the same level as me, I simply do not have enough money or assets to give to you to sustain you. At that point, what you “earn” is more dependent on my ability to generate income than your ability.

      Where is the fairness in that? Where is the morality in having my income confiscated to be given to another, not because they create value, but to satisfy some false sense of “equality”? By doing this we subsidise non-production and guarantee a continuance of it. We equalise nothing but the outcome – and that is simply not sustainable because as we have demonstrated, to discourage the consumption of something, you make it more expensive to acquire – and taxes raise the cost of achievement.

      Here’s the one where the welfare state is immoral.

      Read something other than Das Kapital.

    • “While we see corporations returning record profits, we see the gap between the rich and poor continue to grow, and the middle disapear.”

      drugsandotherthings – I weep for you. I weep for your envy. I weep for your jealously. I also weep for the fact that you are so bitter that you can run with the Soros’ and Trumps for the world, but most of all I weep that you allowed yourself to become a fiscal underachiever.

      How’s this. We’ll get the Republicans to agree to the tax hikes you whack-assed liberals are so desperately hyperventilating about. We’ll ask for some Medicare cuts (which will cause your side to have a stroke over, and your bunch will ultimately decline), and then we’ll see who the obstructionists really are.

      Better yet, I hope they accept. Then you liberals can have your week’s worth of our money. Your week’s worth of glory, my doltish friend.

      And then what? Still going to be the racist Republicans, and Bush’s fault?


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