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86M Full-Time Private-Sector Workers Sustain 148M Benefit Takers

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Alan C.

Alan C.
  • 5486 posts

86M Full-Time Private-Sector Workers Sustain 148M Benefit Takers


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. The 86,429,000 Americans who worked full-time, year-round in the private sector, included 77,392,000 employed as wage and salary workers for private-sector enterprises and 9,037,000 who worked for themselves. (There were also approximately 52,000 who worked full-time, year-round without pay in a family enterprise.) . . . In the last quarter of 2011, according to the Census Bureau, approximately 82,457,000 people lived in households where one or more people were on Medicaid. 49,073,000 lived in households were someone got food stamps. 23,228,000 lived in households where one or more got WIC. 20,223,000 lived in households where one or more got SSI. 13,433,000 lived in public or government-subsidized housing. Of course, it stands to reason that some people lived in households that received more than one welfare benefit at a time. To account for this, the Census Bureau published a neat composite statistic: There were 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." Those 108,592,000 outnumbered the 86,429,000 full-time private-sector workers who inhabited the United States in 2012 by almost 1.3 to 1. This brings us to the first category of benefit receivers. There were 49,901,000 people receiving Social Security in the fourth quarter of 2011, and 46,440,000 receiving Medicare. There were also 5,098,000 getting unemployment compensation. And there were also, 3,178,000 veterans receiving benefits and 34,000 veterans getting educational assistance. All told, including both the welfare recipients and the non-welfare beneficiaries, there were 151,014,000 who "received benefits from one or more programs" in the fourth quarter of 2011. Subtract the 3,212,000 veterans, who served their country in the most profound way possible, and that leaves 147,802,000 non-veteran benefit takers. The 147,802,000 non-veteran benefit takers outnumbered the 86,429,000 full-time private sector workers 1.7 to 1.





  • 953 posts
That's amazing. Not surprising, but still illuminating to see it summarized that way. I'm going to look for information about the private economy -- an analysis of the productivity of those 86 million non-government full-time year-round workers. The government's statistics always seem to count government work as though it's a form of productivity, rather than the uselessness (or active detriment) that it really is.


  • 20 posts

Well, the US civilian labor force stands at roughly 156 million people. This includes legal adults who are not imprisoned or going to school, and not of retirement age.


The current labor force participation rate is roughly 63%, or in real numbers - around 98 million people.


State, local, and Federal government employs 22 million of those people directly. This isn't including contractors, which is estimated to be around 2 million at the Federal level, and unknown at the State and local levels (think of all the road construction crews and the like). We can probably estimate 26 million people work for some local, state, and federal agency.


So, the private sector is roughly 72 million people. That means there is roughly 23% of the population producing private wealth, and around 31% employed when you throw in the government employees. So, whatever way you look at it, less than a third to a quarter of the US is working for the other portion in some form or another (and I contend that government workers provide dubious, if not outright harmful, services).


Now - the US GDP is roughly $16.4 Trillion, as reported by the Federal government. What most don't realize is that this includes Federal, State, and Local government expenditures - which comprises 40% of the GDP. If you simply cut that off of the GDP, you're looking at a $9.9 Trillion Private Domestic Product. but wait -  where did the government get the money for that 40%? They take it from the Private sector, which is, in the end, left with around $3.3 Trillion, or about $45k per private sector employee. That's not a lot when you want to grow a business and/or feed a family.


Add into all of this that the American economy is largely based on selling each other shit the Chinese make, and banks playing with numbers, you can see we're pretty screwed.