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Thread: One Half of U.S. Households Getting Benefits

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    One Half of U.S. Households Getting Benefits

    Medicare, Medicaid, Unemployment Benefits, etc. etc.

    I wonder how this compares with the UK and other countries?




    Number of the Week: Half of U.S. Lives in Household Getting Benefits - Real Time Economics - WSJ

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    Re: One Half of U.S. Households Getting Benefits

    I wonder how many people are collecting benefits that didn't actually pay into them. By the time I can retire, my lifetime's worth of payment into Social Security will probably no longer exist.

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    Re: One Half of U.S. Households Getting Benefits

    With increased government spending comes the need to pay for it, and if taxes aren’t going to increase that means deficits. Nearly three-quarters of Americans blame the U.S. budget deficit on spending too much money on federal programs, according to a Gallup poll last year, but when the conversation turns to which programs to cut, the majorities are harder to find. For example, 56% of respondents oppose making significant changes to Social Security or Medicare.

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    Re: One Half of U.S. Households Getting Benefits

    Quote Originally Posted by K.Snyder View Post
    That tells you the monetary price, the actual cost is much more.
    I thought I knew more than this until I opened my mouth

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    Re: One Half of U.S. Households Getting Benefits

    I have been receiving Social Security for 15 years (since age 62) for which I contributed since I was age 14. My employer during those years also contributed on my behalf as required. The amount is insufficient to live on by it's self (was never mean't to be) and fortunately for me is supplemented with other private pension and savings/investment. I have already received way more than I and my various employers ever paid in on my behalf. Had all contributions from all Amercans been properly invested as was originally intended instead of borrowed and mis managed the Social Security System would be solvent and healthy.

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    Re: One Half of U.S. Households Getting Benefits

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruv View Post
    That tells you the monetary price, the actual cost is much more.
    No doubt about that.

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    Re: One Half of U.S. Households Getting Benefits

    To have a shot at the percentage of people in the UK on some sort of benefit, including medical treatment, pensions, unemployment, rent or rate subsidy and child allowance, I would hazard a guess close to if not exceeding 80%
    I thought I knew more than this until I opened my mouth

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    Re: One Half of U.S. Households Getting Benefits

    Quote Originally Posted by Lon View Post
    I have been receiving Social Security for 15 years (since age 62) for which I contributed since I was age 14. My employer during those years also contributed on my behalf as required. The amount is insufficient to live on by it's self (was never mean't to be) and fortunately for me is supplemented with other private pension and savings/investment. I have already received way more than I and my various employers ever paid in on my behalf. Had all contributions from all Amercans been properly invested as was originally intended instead of borrowed and mis managed the Social Security System would be solvent and healthy.
    I think you're right about the SS fund, but you're being too modest when you say "fortunately for me is supplemented with other private pension and savings/investment." You earned that money, either through negotiation or wise/savvy investment. It's not like you woke up and found it in the middle of the kitchen table.

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    Re: One Half of U.S. Households Getting Benefits

    Quote Originally Posted by Lon View Post
    Medicare, Medicaid, Unemployment Benefits, etc. etc.

    I wonder how this compares with the UK and other countries?




    Number of the Week: Half of U.S. Lives in Household Getting Benefits - Real Time Economics - WSJ


    Politicians give and give and give a little more to ensure reelection, but when we find ourselves overextended (ha ha) it will be very similar to Greece ... except there won't be anyone left to bail us out.

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    Re: One Half of U.S. Households Getting Benefits

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    Equal political voice and democratically responsive government are widely cherished American ideals. Indeed, the United States is vigorously promoting democracy abroad. Yet, what is happening to democracy at home? Our country’s ideals of equal citizenship and responsive government may be under growing threat in an era of persistent and rising inequalities. Disparities of income, wealth, and access to opportunity are growing more sharply in the United States than in many other nations, and gaps between races and ethnic groups persist. Progress toward realizing American ideals of democracy may have stalled, and in some arenas reversed.

    [...]

    Citizens with lower or moderate incomes speak with a whisper that is lost on the ears of inattentive government officials, while the advantaged roar with a clarity and consistency that policy-makers readily hear and routinely follow.

    [...]

    Contemporary Political Parties Exacerbate Inequalities

    Most interest groups are the tool of the few who want to press for particular benefits and breaks. Political parties, on the other hand, are the vehicle for reaching the broad public and mobilizing them into politics. Indeed, the United States invented political parties in the 19th century in order to mobilize ordinary citizens, and succeeded in ushering a far higher proportion of eligible voters to the polls than go today.

    The problem today is that this mechanism for a broad and inclusive democracy—political parties—caters to some of the same narrow segments of American society that also disproportionately deploy interest groups on their behalf. Advantage begets additional advantage.

    Both of the major political parties intensify the skewed participation in U.S. politics by targeting many of their resources on recruiting those who are already the most privileged and involved. Democrats and Republicans alike have become highly dependent on campaign contributors and activists, and have gotten used to competing for just over half of a shrinking universe of voters. What is more, political parties ignore parts of the electorate that have not turned out at high rates in past elections.

    [...]

    Political voice is also unequal because Americans who are very active in politics often have more intense or extreme views than average citizens who participate less or only sporadically. Extreme partisans and fringe activists have become more prominent in U.S. politics in recent times and may have significant consequences for American governance. The intense and unrelenting expression of “extreme voices” (combined with the proliferation of interest groups speaking for very specialized constituencies) makes it harder for government to work out broad compromises or to respond to average citizens who have more ambiguous or middle-of-the-road opinions about a range of important matters, ranging from abortion to tax cuts.

    Generations of reformers have understood a simple truth: What government officials hear influences what they do. What citizens do — or don’t do — in politics affects what happens in the halls of government. Because government officials today hear more clearly and more often from privileged and highly active citizens, policy-makers are unlikely to respond readily to the concerns of the majority. The skew in political participation toward the advantaged generates policies tilted toward maintaining the status quo and continuing to reward the organized and already well-off.
    www.apsanet.org/imgtest/taskforcereport.pdf

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