"A study by Michael Tanner, Stephen Moore, and David Hartman of the Cato Institute has revealed that in 40 states, it pays more for one to be on welfare than to accept a job at $8.00 per hour; in 17 states, welfare pays more than work at $10.00 per hour; and in six states plus the District of Columbia, welfare totals more than working for $12.00 hourly. The study also showed that in 29 states, welfare benefits are worth more than the average secretary's pay; in nine states, such benefits are equal to more than the average starting salary for a teacher; and in six states, welfare pays more than an entry-level position for a computer programmer. When the entire package is computed, welfare amounts to the (pretax) equivalent of a $30,500 wage in Massachusetts, $32,200 in Alaska, and $36,400 in Hawaii."
The Right Answers, The New American, P. 42, June 10, 1996.
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Reader comments about this quote:
Why dredge up this ancient history and present it as though it were presently relevant? Clinton destroyed the welfare state. There is no more "welfare". Now there is Welfare to Work, which is the program enacted by Clinton which requires that you apply for jobs and take any job that accepts you. Being poor in America is not a choice because it pays better than working. Being poor in America is imposed by the billionaire swine that own the government and all major industry and who care not at all about poor people, in fact these billionaires have made strides to murder people by poverty, malnutrition, homelessness, medical neglect, pollution, housing hazards like mold. They were doing all these same things in 1996 also. Colombia University has done a yearly study since more than a decade back. Their study revealed that in 1999 more than three quarters of a million people died due to conditions related to their poverty. In 2010 it was upto 1.4 million people who died due to conditions related to their poverty. Suicide is more common now than car accidents. You can be sure extreme poverty is a factor in that boost of suicide that was seen in recent years. This is an obnoxious quote to disperse while seeming to relate historical knowledge to present conundrum. This notion that the poor are choosing to soak up welfare rather than accept jobs is bunk on it's face.
 -- DanielVincentKelleyOnYT, Newport Vermont     
    Daniel, I don't know what bubble you live under but I travel the country for my work and I've personally found choosing to soak up welfare rather than accepting jobs is the norm. Clinton only made socialist patrons ostensibly sad for the camera - new and bigger programs took the place of any changes. With the Democrats and Republicans making it almost impossible for business to exist, those that would prefer jobs are finding it almost impossible to find them. Government is trying hard to kill a work hard ethic with socialism's theocratic dogmas. An impoverished populous is directly proportional to government's involvement. If poverty is financed it will grow. If business is unlawfully and otherwise over regulated it will die. Businesses that do survive or thrive fall into 2 categories - Those that are willing to take the chances, put in a gazillion hours, find the financing, and stay creative enough to out-wit government road blocks (these do it on their own); and the other category consists of, those that finance politicians (insurance company's for example, explaining the high cost of medical care).
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
    So, is the author's complaint that welfare pays too much, or that secretaries, entry level teachers, and computer programmers get paid too little ?
     -- TheMANwithNoName, Tampa     
    Individual welfare payments? Or do these numbers reflect AID TO DEPENDENT CHILDREN? Disraeli: "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics." Statistics are always used, generally sideways, to shore up weak arguments. The weaker the argument the 'louder' the statistical claims. Regarding the divisive, reactionary Cato BS above, one only needs to perceive the swiftly climbing millions of homeless found everywhere in the US these days Why aren't they drawing "welfare" in the $25 - $35k range, if the 'problem' is so pervasive and costly? Tax receipts should benefit people and provide sound infrastructure instead of being used for foreign invasions, organized murder and empire-building land grabs. I'd much prefer that taxes be used for insuring basic human dignity. I'd much prefer that taxes be used to pay for a superb educational system. Instead, productive citizens are forced to finance global hegemonic adventure pushed by murderous psychopaths, and a geometrically-expanding police/surveillance state too. Thank you, Newport. Well stated. Norwalk: How would you characterize the Fed's QE-3? It's their current "strategy", by which $40 billion PER MONTH is to be printed/handed to the banksters - so they don't run out of cash from servicing the mistakes of their own stinking, deregulated 'business' practices. I call it naked corporate welfare - and judge it as a whole lot more damaging to the nation and basic economy than 'traditional' welfare has ever been.
     -- Mann, Kalamazoo     
    Mann, no question; as you so artfully described it, the QE-1, 2, & 3 + and naked corporate welfare are FAR more destructive (more than just damaging) to the economy than 'traditional' welfare. That is a separate issue though. 'Traditional' welfare is a theocratic socialism dogma that is destructive to individual character. One of the results of 'traditional' welfare is the recipient becomes a controlled helot turning a blind eye to his/her benefactor's actions (such as QE-3, etc.) and demanding that someone else pay their bills. Charitable relief is a moral measure of the religious man and, has no lawful place in secular government. I don't know if you've been around long enough to read my history but during my young married life I didn't have as much as a car for my young family to sleep in. I took no government welfare or assistance in any way. I found any jobs I could. The job at the fast food helped feed the family. I eventually started my own business. I've had a couple of set backs (as would be expected) but am doing fine. To do what I did would be even harder today; not because of the economy but, because there are so many more government road blocks (taxes, regulation, hostile environment, a reliance on bank mentality, etc.)
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
    Daniel, hate to burst your bubble....this is a video of welfare recipients lined up on a New York street waiting for their Obamabucks. They are lined up in front of a job office. No one has any intention of looking for a job. NYC Democrats at their finest - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mno1SqjmQ0g - and 5 stars for the quote pointing out the absurdity of the welfare plantation.
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
    Ever notice how much politicians talk about creating 'jobs'? What jobs? What about businesses themselves? Aren't they really saying they want to grow big business and stifle the competition of small businesses? Self-employment is the number one growing 'business' these days, yet regulations make it very expensive and thus difficult for newcomers to enter the game. This whole misnomer of 'jobs' is based still on someone else creating a business for which will be needed labor -- jobs. Why not promote ingenuity, innovation, and most importantly PRODUCTION? America needs to PRODUCE and from there jobs will appear. If all we are talking about is 'jobs' then we are merely talking about being servants of others, not masters of our own destiny. Mann's argument against corporate welfare is good, but his argument for 'entitlements' to the poor is not. Americans are the most generous in the world, and before the federal government gave itself the power to tax everyone and save everyone, the people at large took care of their local impoverished. If the benefits of government 'entitlements' exceed those of having to work for the same benefits, there is little incentive to get off the dole.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
    And really folks, when the government talks about creating jobs they REALLY mean hiring more government employees to enforce their claims on the rest of the populace's labors and property. Hire more teachers to indoctrinate children into the system of dependence and debt, hire more police to stifle the resulting unrest, hire more IRS agents to seize properties, hire more mercenaries so that they can seize the properties of foreign nations, hire more brown shirts for the DHS, TSA, DEA. ATF, border guards (not just international, now even domestically), hire more 'czars' and their legions. And pay them more than the private sector will. Enough about jobs -- we need to return to production and trade, not to more dependency and control.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
    Daniel, is Vermont part of the U.S. or another planet. If food stamps, aid to dependent children, Section 8 Housing, (un)earned income. etc are not welfare, please tell me what they are. Sure sounds like welfare to me but maybe not on your planet.
     -- jim k, Austin, Tx     
    Daniel, there are those that find it necessary to participate in welfare, then extending sufficient (a great deal of) energy, effort, and creativity advance themselves economically, and in all ways, beyond the dole. I believe those are the exception. I was on a business trip with one of my children a short time ago in Las Vegas. My rental car was having problems so I took it in to have it looked at. While waiting, my child and I walked to a restaurant. At the entrance, there were some people asking for change. I gave one of them a few dollars. On the way out, another ask for money also. I told him I gave money to a certain gentleman there. After giving a brief glance to the individual and getting an affirmative head nod he said "oh, thanks" and then broke into a conversation. He referenced when Obama threatened to cut off SS and, other disparaging attempts to limit differing government hand-out programs, He mentioned the homeless and other government recipients were ready to reek havoc if "THEIR" money was ever cut off. I've also found others that supplement their incomes with food stamps, etc. to maintain an acceptable minimum standard of living (-; now complete with Obama phones;-) Such welfare recipient mind set is to settle into a life style as the government (other people's money) will support. Such freedom, liberty, inalienable right, individual sovereignty, personal responsibility and soul destroying mind set is diametrically opposed to the greatness that is the noble being - man. The ability to receive charity is as noble as giving charity. Most people find themselves in need and require assistance at one time or another. My reference above to religious man had nothing to do with a god but rather, the innate moral essence that is the quintessence of the being - man. As Bouvier's law dictionary defines it, religion is "Real piety in practice, consisting in the performance of all known duties to . . . our fellow men.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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