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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



November 28, 2010 – Comments (6)

Zerohedge has the find here:

Tonight's stunning financial piece de resistance comes from Wyatt Emerich of The Cleveland Current. In what is sure to inspire some serious ire among all those who once believed Ronald Reagan that it was the USSR that was the "Evil Empire", Emmerich analyzes disposable income and economic benefits among several key income classes and comes to the stunning (and verifiable) conclusion that "a one-parent family of three making $14,500 a year (minimum wage) has more disposable income than a family making $60,000 a year." And that excludes benefits from Supplemental Security Income disability checks. America is now a country which punishes those middle-class people who not only try to work hard, but avoid scamming the system. Not surprisingly, it is not only the richest and most audacious thieves that prosper - it is also the penny scammers at the very bottom of the economic ladder that rip off the middle class each and every day, courtesy of the world's most generous entitlement system. Perhaps if Reagan were alive today, he would wish to modify the object of his once legendary remark.

the rest is here:




6 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On November 28, 2010 at 2:45 PM, alstry (< 20) wrote:


and the rich are only rich because the government is bailing out their investments....

how long do you think this can last before the nation must go to war to defend the right to consume without producing relatively that much.

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#2) On November 28, 2010 at 5:57 PM, outoffocus (23.76) wrote:

I can see that he's trying to make a point with the amount of aid a poor family qualifies for.  But I cannot say I 100% agree with his assessment.  For one thing, he mentions a pretty high number for the medicaid and CHIP.   However he fails to take into account employer-sponsored medical benefits.  Most likely someone making a salary of $60000 a year has some sort of medical benefits available for the employee and their family.   Therefore if you subtract out of the medicaid and CHIP benefits the minimum wage family only has $21000 in disposable income (per his calculations) substantially less disposable income than the family making $60000.  If you take it one step further and break it down by the individual qualification for each of the programs he listed, he will find that:

1.  The average minimum wage worker does not recieve full benefits of all those programs at once and 

2. Considering those programs are generally used for a specific purpose (utilities, food, medical care) it really doesnt amount much "disposable income". 

I can see the point he's trying to make but he should make sure he properly accounts for all the factors so that its not so easily disproven.  

Lastly if he really wants to attack entitlement programs, he should go after to 2 800lb junsustainable behemoths in the room that cover people regardless of financial need (Social Security and Medicare) rather than go after programs that actually keep children in this country from starving. 


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#3) On November 28, 2010 at 9:20 PM, ChrisGraley (28.62) wrote:

I'm kinda in line with outoffocus on this, but it is eye opening! It's a little simplistic and it's too bad because a more indept study would be importent.

Aside for forgeting about the employer benefits for the $60k employee, they forgot about the food costs for the same employee and the employee costs for the same benefits. They also didn't take into account the bonus for breeding like a rabbit in the case of the minimum wage employee.


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#4) On November 28, 2010 at 9:43 PM, JBKirtley (49.39) wrote:

I see it every day as a work the bench in a pharmacy. On copayments alone, a personon state assistance that is my age and taking the same medications in the same dose and buying the same quantities will pay $24 for a three month supply.  I will pay $249 dollars.  And remember, I work for the pharmacy!

Also, I never got a raise when one of my children were born.  Instead I had to cut my budget to feed and clothe the extra person. Perhaps if the "safety net" only paid 60% of minimum wage we wouldn't have enough jobs to make it worthwhile for illegals to cross the border.

Ben Franklin was right when he said the that the only way to cure a person of poverty is to allow them to become uncomfortable in it.

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#5) On November 29, 2010 at 7:34 AM, devoish (71.86) wrote:

Disposable Income:The amount of income left to an individual after taxes have been paid, available for spending and saving.

Discretionary income:The amount of an individual's income available for spending after the essentials (such as food, clothing, and shelter) have been taken care of.

Poverty:the lack of basic human needs, such as clean water, nutrition, health care, education, clothing and shelter, because of the inability to afford them.

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#6) On November 29, 2010 at 11:00 AM, totallyoblivious (< 20) wrote:

Per that definition of disposable income, the medicare portion should not be taken into consideration, as it is available neither for spending nor saving.

That said, the underlying theme of the article that entitle programs are out of control is valid.  I agree with outoffocus that the real place to start is with Social Security & Medicare.  Why Medicare over Medicade?  Because I'd rather see children who have had no control over their own circumstances receive healthcare than the elderly, who have led full lives and have made various decisions in their lives that have caused them to either have or not have their own healthcare.

That said, taking a chainsaw to entitlement programs alone isn't enough to solve the U.S. budget crisis.  Revenues need to increase drastically to reach a point where there is a surplus rather than a deficit, and even completely eliminating social security and medicare (~35-40% of the budget) wouldn't get us there.  Either considerably more jobs need to be created, or taxes need to increase, or some combination of the two in addition to spending cuts.

Kill off the 14 trillion in debt, operate without a deficit, then people can have all the entitlement programs they want as far as I care.  Until then, though, it is absolutely absurd for the government to be handing out money left & right.

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