Full Time Earners in America are a Minority

Suggest the welfare system could be reformed to include less waste and fraud, and you will be accused of being selfish and hating poor people. I’ve read multiple articles over the last few days that mention how little waste and fraud actually exist in the welfare system… without providing any sources or reasoning for their remark. I like to look at the numbers, and see what can be deduced. According to CNSNews, using Census Bureau figures, the number of people working full time jobs in the private sector is substantially lower than the number of people receiving means tested welfare (not earned Social Security, nor earned Veteran benefits).

In 2012, according to the Census Bureau, approximately 103,087,000 people worked full-time, year-round in the United States. “A full-time, year-round worker is a person who worked 35 or more hours per week (full time) and 50 or more weeks during the previous calendar year (year round),” said the Census Bureau. “For school personnel, summer vacation is counted as weeks worked if they are scheduled to return to their job in the fall.” 

Of the 103,087,000 full-time, year-round workers, 16,606,000 worked for the government. That included 12,597,000 who worked for state and local government and 4,009,000 who worked for the federal government.

So the grand total of full time private sector workers in the USA comes to 86,429,000. These are the people that create all the wealth America has, because all the money the government spends (brought in through taxes) come first from the private sector. With that in mind, this is what the situation in America looks like:

  • 86,429,000 full time private sector workers
  • “108,592,000 people in the fourth quarter of 2011 who lived in a household that included people on “one or more means-tested program.”” (again, means-tested does not include earned benefits like Social Security of Veteran assistance).
  • 151,014,000 individuals received benefits from the government (not just one individual in their household)
  • Subtract the 3,212,000 Veterans who earned their assistance, subtract the 49,901,000 people on Social Security and…
  • 97,901,000 people in the USA receive means tested, non Veteran, non Social Security welfare from the government
  • Approximately 9 people work full time in the private sector for every 10 that receive unearned government benefits
  • Every 9 full time private sector workers must also provide the tax revenue to pay for 2 government jobs

These numbers are even more disturbing when you consider that 50 million Americans live below the poverty line (a high mark, hit during the Obama administration). Yet people who advocate reforming the welfare system will still be called heartless, despite twice as many people receiving welfare than people living in poverty. So why do people still try to appeal to emotion to argue that taxes need to be raised, or to argue that we should throw ever more money at the problem to “solve poverty”?

The money is there, the proper method of assisting the truly poor and disadvantaged is not. It is absurd to think that more burden should be placed on the minority of people in the US who are earners, who support a higher number of welfare recipients. It is crazy that people will claim there is no waste of fraud in the system, and will lecture you about the disabled or single moms who need the welfare assistance. Guess what, one third of America is not disabled or a single mom. We need to approach these issues from logical reasonable standpoints, and not pretend that everyone who wants to eliminate waste and encourage production is a heartless monster.

3 thoughts on “Full Time Earners in America are a Minority

  1. Well written,Joe. It especially rings true for me after last Tuesady when both Bob and I had to write hefty (and I do mean hefty) checks to the federal government. This is despite the income taxes we paid all year long, the sales taxes, the use taxes, the admin fees, and the payroll taxes we paid on the 200 people we employ. Tax someone like Bob out of business and there are 200 more people unemployed, not to mention all the local businesses that will suffer from 200 people who now can’t go out to eat, or get a pedicure, or buy those home improvement supplies, etc, etc. Sorry to rant, but it took working capital to pay the 2013 tax bill – capital that I KNOW Bob is more successful using to employ people than any federal bureaucrat.

  2. PS. And since I’m on a rant … Bob – who I feel the current administration targets (started in earlier admins, but is reaching a crescendo) is one of the most, personally, generous people I have ever met. He has done more to help the “poor” or “less fortunate” then anyone I know. I did say personally, in that it comes directly out of his pocket in many cases (cars given, mortgages paid, utility bills caught up) and through his “evil capitalist empire” where he gives people the dignity of earning a paycheck

    • Thank you for sharing that because I don’t think people hear that side of it enough. We are supposed to think of the government as the only ones capable of supposed charity, yet providing sustainable, useful jobs is demonized. And what people don’t realize is that the government going after business owners hurts the employees and other benefactors of the business and personak charity as much as it hurts the owners. Very sad when the ones who truly carry this country on their shoulders are outnumbered and abused.

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