The Evolution of a National Burden – Part 2/7

Do not confuse living in poverty with not working.

For example, in April, 2012, The Huffington Post reported., “In 2010, the number of working poor Americans climbed to its highest level in the last two decades, the Department of Labor reported last week . About 10.5 million Americans, or 7.2 percent of the labor force in 2010, weren’t earning enough to stay out of poverty, according to a Department of Labor report released last week. That’s the highest rate since the Labor Department started reporting the statistic in 1987.”

“To provide broader picture of 2010, during that year, 46.2 million Americans or 15.1 percent of the population were earning below the official poverty line—an annual income of $10,830 for a single person and $22,050 for a family of four, according to the Census Bureau.”

In the CRS overview of federal welfare spending even the $55.6 Billion refundable earned income tax credit was counted as welfare.  Another $164 Million listed as welfare went to fund programs for Breast/Cervical Cancer Early Detection in addition to $5.54 Billion for Indian Health Services (Do you remember the treaties the US signed with defeated American native tribes back in the 19th century?)

Also listed as welfare was the $353 Million the federal government spent for Transitional Cash and Medical Services for Refugees in addition to $6.594 Billion in temporary cash aid for needy families.

This one may surprise you—it surprised me: Water and Water Disposal for Rural Communities was listed as welfare, and that service cost the federal government $121 million in 2011.

There is also $2 Billion in nutrition assistance for Puerto Rico and another $848 million in nutritional programs for the elderly.

In fact, there are ten food assistance programs listed as welfare that add up to $101.28 Billion (not cash but food).

Then there is education assistance that is counted as welfare. For example, paying for the education of American natives living on indian reservations (those 19th century treaties again) cost the US $753 million and that is but one of sixteen active education programs that cost $65.7 Billion but is listed as welfare.

In addition, “Those receiving benefits through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program numbered 46.37 million …” but “the average monthly benefit per person has declined modestly to $132.96.” Source:

Can you survive on $132.96 a month? Many of Wal-Mart workers can’t! reported, “As many as 80% of Wal-Mart employees use food stamps.… ‘Wal-Mart’s poverty wages force employees to rely on $2.66 billion in government help every year, or about $420,000 per store. In state after state, Wal-Mart employees are the top recipients of Medicaid.

“Wal-Mart workers’ reliance on public assistance due to substandard wages and benefits has become a form of indirect public subsidy to the company. In effect, Wal-Mart is shifting part of its labor costs onto the (tax-paying) public.'”

The Walton family is one of the richest families in the world and their wealth was inherited from Bud and Sam Walton, founders of the world’s largest retailer, Wal-Mart. The Walton family controls 48% of the company and are worth a combined total of $102.7 Billion (as of 2012).

And Wal-Mart is not alone. reported, “There’s a disturbing irony within the food industry: Many of its employees rely on food stamps … and 86% of workers are earning either subminimum, poverty or low wages.”

On October 15, 2012, Statistic reported that the total number of Americans on Welfare was 4.3 million and 38.8% (1.67 million) were white; 39.8% black (1.7 million); 15.7% Hispanic (675 thousand); 2.4% Asian (103.2 thousand) and 3.3% other.

However, there are 40.34 million blacks and 47.4 million Hispanics in the US.

In addition, “A household must earn $37,105 a year to afford the national average two-bedroom fair-market rent of $928 a month. A full-time worker would have to make $17.84 an hour to afford the average 2 bedroom if no more than the recommended guideline of 30 percent of income is spent on housing.”

“A household must earn over $66,000 to afford a 2-bedroom in San Francisco or Honolulu, but only $24,800 for a 2br apt in Fargo, North Dakota.” Source: The World Time News Report

However, Wal-Mart’s average sale Associate makes $8.81 per hour, according to IBIS World, an independent market research group. This translates to annual pay of $15,576, based upon Wal-Mart’s full-time status of 34 hours per week. This is significantly below the 2010 Federal Poverty Level of $22,050 for a family of four, and the median expected salary for a typical Combined Food Preparation and Service Worker in the United States is $23,153.

The US Census Reported that 41 million working men and 60 million women earn less than $25,000 annually, and/or the income of 30 million households is less than $25,000.

If you hear a blame-everything-on-welfare critic claim that nonworking deadbeats in addition to most blacks and Hispanics are living off welfare, now you know the facts and cannot be fooled.

Note: The Inflation calculator used  for this series of posts may be found at Dave, and the primary source for government spending was US Government

Continued on December 4, 2012 in The Evolution of a National Burden – Part 3 or return to Part 1

Also discover Each President’s share of the US National Debt and learn more from the National Debt Info-Graphic by President 1945 – 2012


Lloyd Lofthouse, a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran, is the award winning author of The Concubine Saga.

His latest novel is Running with the Enemy. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was trained to hate and kill Americans.

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper left-hand column and click on “FOLLOW!”

Is the Average RICH person an Idiot?

I read a piece by Mandi Woodruff at Business Insider about 21 Ways Rich People Think Differently.

The first paragraph said, “World’s richest woman Gina Rinehart is enduring a media firestorm over an article in which she takes the ‘jealous’ middle class to task for ‘drinking, or smoking and socializing’ rather than working to earn their own fortune.”

I’m in the middle class. I don’t drink or smoke and I socialize only a little compared to the number of hours I work at what I enjoy, and I’m not jealous of the rich. I do not envy them either. What does that say about me?

Number ONE of the twenty-one ways rich people think differently says, “Average people think MONEY is the root of all evil. Rich people believe POVERTY is the root of all evil.”

I’m not RICH, and I don’t think money is the root of all evil and I also do not believe POVERTY is the root of all evil. Instead, I believe GREED is one of the causes of evil and POVERTY leads to suffering and some of those people living in poverty work long hours at jobs that pay little because some RICH person doesn’t offer a livable wage.

For example: the Walton family that continues to earn its wealth from the Wal-Mart stores. The NY Times says, “With most of Wal-Mart’s workers earning less than $19,000 a year, a number of community groups and lawmakers have recently teamed up with labor unions in mounting an intensive campaign aimed at prodding Wal-Mart into paying its 1.3 million employees higher wages.”

That NY Times report was in 2005, and little has changed at Wal-Mart. In fact, it may be worse. The CEO, Michael Duke, earned $35 million in 2010 while a new Walmart employee was paid $8.75 an hour for an annual salary of $13,650. Source: Jonathan Turley

In addition, the Walton family’s now holds as much wealth as the bottom 40 percent of Americans combined—about $90 billion.

Does that mean all RICH people are like the Waltons?  I don’t think so.  After all, two of the richest people in the world are planning to give all or most of their wealth away to worthy causes. I’m talking about Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffet with a combined net worth of $105 billion.

Woodruff also mentions a book, How Rich People Think, written by Steve Siebold. Siebold makes some wild claims such as, “The average person has been brainwashed to believe rich people are lucky or dishonest.” Usually, I leave a link when I mention a book, but I do not think this book deserves a link.

However, it’s common sense—something Siebold and Rinehart seem to be missing—that everyone cannot be RICH.

Before I finished reading the Business Insider piece, I had the impression that Siebold believes everyone could be rich and famous if they had not been brainwashed into thinking the way us AVERAGE middle class folks think.

Here’s my reply to Siebold:  Everyone cannot be a winner.  Imagine a horse race where every horse wins and no one loses. There is always a horse that comes in last.

Imagine all the football, baseball, basketball and soccer games ending in ties because everyone is an incredible, perfect athlete.

Imagine every person on the Earth each worth millions or billions. Who would be left to mow the lawns, cook, wait tables, etc.?

Imagine seven billion people with the talent of Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson, or Whitney Houston.

Some of what Siebold says about how the rich think makes sense but I’m sure there are many AVERAGE people in the MIDDLE CLASS that do not behave as Gina Rinehart claims and for sure, have not been brainwashed as Siebold says.

Here’s a thought: I suspect that the RICH people that caused the 2007-08 global financial crises are an excellent example of the AVERAGE rich person, and if you want to know what EVIL is, we do not need the opinions of RICH people such as Gina Rinehart with a net worth of $18.9 billion or  Steve Siebold, who charges $7,501 to $15,000 to speak to you about his opinions. We may turn to the BIBLE to find out that answer:

“For the love of money is the root of all evil …” Source: King James Bible: 1 Timothy 6:10, or there are passages in the Bible that also says it has to do with being judgmental, to think what is good and evil such as Isaiah 5:20 – “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!”

Discover The Face in the Glass


Lloyd Lofthouse, a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran, is the award winning author of The Concubine Saga.

His latest novel is Running with the Enemy. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was trained to hate and kill Americans.

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper left-hand column and click on “FOLLOW!”