Most Popular
1. It’s a New Macro, the Gold Market Knows It, But Dead Men Walking Do Not (yet)- Gary_Tanashian
2.Stock Market Presidential Election Cycle Seasonal Trend Analysis - Nadeem_Walayat
3. Bitcoin S&P Pattern - Nadeem_Walayat
4.Nvidia Blow Off Top - Flying High like the Phoenix too Close to the Sun - Nadeem_Walayat
4.U.S. financial market’s “Weimar phase” impact to your fiat and digital assets - Raymond_Matison
5. How to Profit from the Global Warming ClImate Change Mega Death Trend - Part1 - Nadeem_Walayat
7.Bitcoin Gravy Train Trend Forecast 2024 - - Nadeem_Walayat
8.The Bond Trade and Interest Rates - Nadeem_Walayat
9.It’s Easy to Scream Stocks Bubble! - Stephen_McBride
10.Fed’s Next Intertest Rate Move might not align with popular consensus - Richard_Mills
Last 7 days
Micro Strategy Bubble Mania - 10th May 24
Biden's Bureau of Labor Statistics is Cooking Jobs Reports - 10th May 24
Bitcoin Price Swings Analysis - 9th May 24
Could Chinese Gold Be the Straw That Breaks the Dollar's Back? - 9th May 24
The Federal Reserve Is Broke! - 9th May 24
The Elliott Wave Crash Course - 9th May 24
Psychologically Prepared for Bitcoin Bull Market Bubble MANIA Rug Pull Corrections 2024 - 8th May 24
Why You Should Pay Attention to This Time-Tested Stock Market Indicator Now - 8th May 24
Copper: The India Factor - 8th May 24
Gold 2008 and 2022 All Over Again? Stocks, USDX - 8th May 24
Holocaust Survivor States Israel is Like Nazi Germany, The Fourth Reich - 8th May 24
Fourth Reich Invades Rafah Concentration Camp To Kill Palestinian Children - 8th May 24
Banxe Reviews: Revolutionising Financial Transactions with Innovative Solutions - 3rd May 24
MRNA - The beginning of the end of cancer? - 3rd May 24
The Future of Gaming: What's Coming Next? - 3rd May 24
What is A Split Capital Investment Trust? - 3rd May 24
AI Tech Stocks Earnings Season Stock Market Correction Opportunities - 29th Apr 24
The Federal Reserve's $34.5 Trillion Problem - 29th Apr 24
Inflation Still Runs Hot, Gold and Silver Prices Stabilize - 29th Apr 24
GOLD, OIL and WHEAT STOCKS - 29th Apr 24
Is Bitcoin Still an Asymmetric Opportunity? - 29th Apr 24
AI Tech Stocks Earnings Season Opportunities - 28th Apr 24
S&P Stock Market Detailed Trend Forecast Into End 2024 - 25th Apr 24
US Presidential Election Year Equity Performance in the Presence of an Inverted Yield Curve- 25th Apr 24
Stock Market "Bullish Buzz" Reaches Highest Level in 53 Years - 25th Apr 24

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

How to Protect your Wealth by Investing in AI Tech Stocks

Zombie Workers, Zombie Votes

Politics / US Politics Feb 13, 2012 - 02:15 AM GMT

By: Bill_Bonner


Best Financial Markets Analysis ArticleWe used to like traveling. Now, it’s a drag.

“No, we don’t want to go through your new x-ray machine,” we told the TSA guard.

“Whassa matter? It’s safe…” she replied.

“How do you know that?”

“The government said it was safe.”

“Do you believe everything the government tells you?”

“Heh…heh… Okay…” then, turning to no one in particular… “REFUSAL on 11. Male.”

We were out quickly…but the poor old woman behind us had to get up out of her wheelchair…hobble through the x-ray machine…and then they still wanted to feel her up on the other side.

You can’t be too safe, right?

This has been going on for 10 years. But it is still shocking. No one seriously believes that 85-year-old crippled Lutherans are going to cause mayhem on commercial airliners. But no one seems willing to say so.

You can’t even ask the question. Because it leads to other questions. Who, actually, is a threat? Probably no one. So, why are we herded…inspected…and pawed…as if the survival of the nation depended on it?

For the money and aggravation, all this security has probably done little to make air-travel any safer. But it’s done wonders at turning the American population into whipped dogs. They bark on command. When they begin the round-ups, interrogations and deportations…Americans will be ready to get in line…

You’ll see part of the reason why, below…

Recent news brought reports of more new jobs. We suspect that most of the good news was merely misinterpretation of the data. Many people have been looking for work for so long, the feds have stopped counting them. Besides, they routinely adjust jobs upward in winter, to make up for bad weather. So when there isn’t any bad weather in January, the job numbers go up automatically.

But there’s another problem.

“Most of the new jobs being created,” complains Robert Reich, “are in the lower-wage sectors of the economy – hospital orderlies and nursing aides, secretaries and temporary workers, retail and restaurant. Meanwhile, millions of Americans remain working only because they’ve agreed to cuts in wages and benefits. Others are settling for jobs that pay less than the jobs they’ve lost. Entry-level manufacturing jobs are paying half what entry-level manufacturing jobs paid six years ago.”

He continues, in the Christian Science Monitor:

Other people are falling out of the middle class because they’ve lost their jobs, and many have also lost their homes. Almost one in three families with a mortgage is now underwater, holding their breath against imminent foreclosure.

The percent of Americans in poverty is its highest in two decades, and more of us are impoverished than at any time in the last fifty years. A recent analysis of federal data by the New York Times showed the number of children receiving subsidized lunches rose to 21 million in the last school year, up from 18 million in 2006-2007. Nearly a dozen states experienced increases of 25 percent or more. Under federal rules, children from families with incomes up to 130 percent of the poverty line, $29,055 for a family of four, are eligible.

Too bad; Reich misunderstands everything. He thinks Republicans are to blame for wanting to reduce government handouts. Reich believes he can replace real middle-class earnings with a cushier safety net…as if there was no difference between a person who earns a living…and one who begs one….

…and as if the middle class wouldn’t have to pay for it.

On the subject of handouts, the Republicans are on slightly more solid ground than Reich and the democrats. They say they will cut them back. At least, those that don’t go to the voters.

For example, Mitt Romney says he doesn’t care about the poor; he cares about the middle class. Why? The middle class votes; the poor don’t.

Trouble is, there are more and more people who are slipping from the middle class…to the poor side of town.

Investment Business Daily is on the story:

The American public’s dependence on the federal government shot up 23% in just two years under President Obama, with 67 million now relying on some federal program, according to a newly released study by the Heritage Foundation.

The conservative think tank’s annual Index of Dependence on Government tracks money spent on housing, health, welfare, education subsidies and other federal programs that were “traditionally provided to needy people by local organizations and families.”

The two-year increase under Obama is the biggest two-year jump since Jimmy Carter was president, the data show.

The rise was driven mainly by increases in housing subsidies, an expansion in Medicaid and changes to the welfare system, along with a sharp rise in food stamps, the study found.

“You can’t get around the fact that policy decisions made over the past two years, on top of those made over the past several decades, are having a large effect on the pace of growth of the index,” said William Beach, who authored the Heritage study.

Government dependence has climbed steadily since 1962, when the index stood at 19. By 1980, the index had risen to 100. It stood at 294 in 2010, the last year for which the data are available. D.C.-based Heritage has produced the index for nine years.

The report also found that spending on “dependence programs” accounts for more than 70% of the federal budget. That, too, is up dramatically. In 1990, for example, the figure stood at 48.5%, and in 1962 just over a quarter of federal spending went to dependence programs.

At the same time, fewer Americans pay income taxes, the report notes. Almost half (49.5%) didn’t pay income taxes in 2009, the latest year for which the researchers have data. Back in the late 1960s, only 12% of Americans escaped the income tax burden.

Other findings:

The number of people dependent on the federal government shot up 7.5% in the past two years.

In 2010, for the first time ever, average spending on dependence programs per recipient exceeded the country’s per-capita disposable income.

Our quick-witted Dear Readers are probably already gasping for air. The zombies now are getting more money than wage earners. And millions of those wage earners are zombies themselves, on the government payroll…or the payroll of some industry – health, education, military – that depends on federal spending.

That leaves honest working people in a minority. And everybody gets a vote.

How do you think the zombies will vote? To cut back on spending on education? On healthcare? On foreign wars or new weapons? On welfare? On food stamps? On unemployment comp?

No, dear reader, there are some ailments that can’t be cured…and some problems democracy cannot solve.

Bill Bonner
The Daily Reckoning

Bill Bonner [send him mail] is the author, with Addison Wiggin, of Financial Reckoning Day: Surviving the Soft Depression of The 21st Century and Empire of Debt: The Rise Of An Epic Financial Crisis and the co-author with Lila Rajiva of Mobs, Messiahs and Markets (Wiley, 2007).

    © 2012 Copyright The Daily Reckoning, Bill Bonner - All Rights Reserved
    Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors.

© 2005-2022 - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.

Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in