Why Dependency Is Chronic

The article, by Neil Downing, takes the tack of describing people who find their Social Security checks indispensable, but the recipient numbers are the important part, to my mind:

Now, 200,202 Rhode Islanders are collecting Social Security benefits, according to newly issued figures from the Social Security Administration’s Office of Research, Evaluation, and Statistics. …
Nationwide, Social Security beneficiaries now number more than 52.5 million, up from 50.9 million as of December 2008, and 49.9 million as of December 2007.

Drawing on U.S. Census data, 19% —almost one-fifth — of Rhode Islanders receive some sort of Social Security benefit (which compares with 17% nationwide). The ratio is going to grow, given retiring Baby Boomers, shrinking generations, and longer lives, bringing the feasibility of the program into question.
The larger lesson (which one can see national politicians, especially Democrats, have learned) is that it’s possible to buy constituencies. The trap of European quasisocialism (or the real thing) is that the political parties begin striving to prove that they can better manage benefits, not to admit that they are far less competent than the citizenry to manage individual lives.

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joe bernstein
joe bernstein
11 years ago

Off topic:I told them at RIF that “kudzu”Stuie would test their bandwith-well,apparently Mr.Diarrhea of the Mouth has crashed their site.

10 years ago

corporations and their leaders are bought with tax breaks (mineral depletion allowance?), special deals and bloated government contracts. to single out recipients of a social program that helps millions out of poverty is plain ridiculous. I’d like to see you apply your anti-government rhetoric to business, and call for the end of all special deals for corporations, the investment class and so on. How would they all fare without their perks?

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