The Coming Civil War: Producers Vs. Parasites
By BRADLEY HARRINGTON
“The task of defining ideas and goals is not the province of politicians and is not accomplished at election time: elections are merely consequences. The task belongs to the intellectuals. The need is more urgent than ever.”
- Ayn Rand, “The Wreckage of the Consensus,” 1967 -
When Ayn Rand wrote the above words 43 years ago, the country was still stocked with a large majority of producers. Yes, the so-called “welfare” state and interventionist economics were on the rise, and had been for decades, but many more people than not supported themselves and their families by their own efforts.
If you still think that’s true, you had better think again.
In that year of 1967, for instance, the United States had a population of 198 million, a GDP of $825 billion, a federal budget of $157 billion and federal “social welfare” expenses of $26 billion. This placed “social welfare” spending at $131.30 per capita, 3.1 percent of GDP and 16.6 percent of federal outlays.
In 2010, the United States has a population of 308 million, a GDP of $13.3 trillion, a federal budget of $3.6 trillion and federal “social welfare” expenses of $2.1 trillion. This places “social welfare” spending at $6,818.18 per capita, 16.1 percent of GDP and 59 percent of federal outlays.
In the light of such figures, it’s pretty clear that our “social welfare” outlays have skyrocketed. And that’s just federal spending, folks – that doesn’t count the state and local outlays.
Given such data, I don’t think it’s too far of a stretch to say that fully half of our population is receiving government aid of some sort and amount from the other half.
And this guess, while a guess, is at least close, for the tax figures bear it out: In 2008, IRS figures show that the top 50 percent of the country’s adult population (with incomes greater than $33,000) paid 97.3 percent of collected taxes, while the bottom 50 percent paid the other piddling 2.7 percent.