Let’s take a close look at how many deadbeats there are in the United States living off welfare

October 13, 2014

If you live in China and you think the streets in America are paved in gold, take a close look at how many deadbeats there are in the United States living off welfare, and you might be surprised who the real welfare queens are.

First, a few numbers to get started: there are more than 316 million Americans and 150.8 million are between the ages of 18 to 65—the primary working years for adults. In 2013, 47.1 million Americans lived below the poverty level; 73.6 million were under the age of 18, and 44.6 million were age 65 or older.

Wow, and in September 2014, there were 146.6 million Americans who were working at paid jobs.

But, a few, far-right billionaire oligarchs—for instance, the Walton family and the Koch brothers, and the fools who swallow their propaganda—think that more people in the United States are on welfare and are deadbeats than those who are working and supporting them.

I think it is arguable and safe to say that it would be a misleading lie that the majority of the Americans who are not working are deadbeats on welfare. Only a fool could think that. Is it possible that there are only 4.2 million Americans—who could be deadbeats—between 18 and 65 who do not have a paying job—that’s only 1.328% of the total population? I bet most of those 4.2 million are probably disabled and can’t work or are a stay at home parent.

Did you know ABC reported that Americans work more than anyone in the industrialized world—more than the English, the French, the Germans or Norwegians and even, recently, more than the Japanese?

In addition, according to the OECD, in the United States 67% [that is almost 70%] of people aged 15 to 64 [the working class years] have a paid job. … And having a good education is an important requisite for finding a job. In the United States, 89% of adults aged 25-64 have earned the equivalent of a high-school degree, higher than the OECD average of 75%—and yet some billionaires, including Bill Gates [worth almost $80 billion], the Koch brothers and the Walton family, would have you believe that the public education system in the United States is failing and must be reformed.

20 Something Finance even says “The U.S. is the Most Overworked Developed Nation in the World.” And Business Insider says the average person spends 90,000 hours at work over their lifetime—based on a 5 day 8 hour workweek with a two week vacation annually, that equals 45 years. I worked 45 years, starting at 15 and I retired at 60.  My retirement check comes from CalSTRS, and I paid 8% of my gross income into CalSTRS for the 30 years I was a classroom teacher.

But a Houston based billionaire, according to the Democratic Underground, is attacking public pensions with a goal to kill the guaranteed-benefit plans that are run by teacher retirement systems in every state. This billionaire’s name is John Arnold, who is worth $2.9 billion dollars. Arnold runs a Houston-based hedge fund, and before that he worked for Enron, and it is said that he earned $750 million for Enron the year it went out of business. Huh, how do you earn $750 million for a company that goes out of business the same year?

Contrary to the popular thinking of fools, Social Security is not a form of welfare because workers and employers pay into that program for their entire working life, and in 2013, there were 38 million retired workers—nine out of ten individuals age 65 or older—who collected an average monthly benefit of $1,294. There were 4.9 million dependents; 8.8 million disabled workers, who were paid an average of $1,145 a month, and 6.2 million survivors—survivors are young children and a surviving spouse who cares for the children.

What about food stamps—a real welfare program?

From Media Matters.org we learn that nearly half (47% or 23 million), who get food stamps, were under the age of 18, and another 8 percent (3.9 million) were 60 or older; 41% (more than 20 million) lived in a household with earnings from a job. These workers are known as the “working poor”, and the average household on food stamps received a monthly benefit of $287.

And, these so-called deadbeats—that a few billionaires and a lot of fools think outnumber working Americans—are allegedly robbing us blind while they sit around drinking beer, eating popcorn and watching TV or having sex 18-hours a day to make more babies so they can collect more food stamps. If you believe that, then you might want to look in a mirror to see a fool.

If these billionaires succeed, what will replace progressive era plans like CalSTRS, Social Security, Medicare, unemployment and food stamps?

If we look back at history, we might discover the answer to that question. In 1900, before Presidents Theodore Roosevelt, Taft, Wilson, FDR, Kennedy and LBJ, ushered in the progressive era, 40-percent of Americans lived in poverty with only a 5% unemployment rate, and up until 1938, in some states, children could be sold as young as five to factories, coal mines and whorehouses. Imagine your five-year old child working as a prostitute, because boys and girls were sold into prostitution back then when the U.S. was ruled by capitalist Robber Barons.

Is this the America a few billionaires, with help from some fools, are fighting to get back?

By the way, did you watch the video that comes with this post? It really is an educational eye opener.

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Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran,
who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

His third book is Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposé, a memoir. “Lofthouse presents us with grungy classrooms, kids who don’t want to be in school, and the consequences of growing up in a hardscrabble world. While some parents support his efforts, many sabotage them—and isolated administrators make the work of Lofthouse and his peers even more difficult.” – Bruce Reeves

lloydlofthouse_crazyisnormal_web2_5

Lofthouse’s first novel was the award winning historical fiction My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. His second novel was the award winning thriller Running with the Enemy. His short story A Night at the “Well of Purity” was named a finalist of the 2007 Chicago Literary Awards. His wife is Anchee Min, the international, best-selling, award winning author of Red Azalea, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year (1992).

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Scapegoating China and Manipulating the Opinions of Americans – Part 4/4

November 8, 2012

In conclusion, how many ignorant adult voters are there in America that a presidential candidate can fool to gain votes? I think the answer may be found from the number of adult Americans that do not read books and watch too much reality TV.

According to Mental Floss, Where Knowledge Junkies Get Their Fix, in the United States:

1. One-third of high school graduates never read another book for the rest of their lives.

2. Forty-Two percent of college graduates never read another book after college.

3. Eighty percent of U.S. families did not buy or read a book last year.

4. Seventy percent of U.S., adults have not been in a bookstore in the last five years.

5. Children who watch four or more hours of TV per day spend less time on school work, have poorer reading skills, play less with friends, and have fewer hobbies than children who watch less TV. Source for #5: Reading.org

However, according to A. C. Nielsen Co., the average American watches more than 4 hours of TV each day, and the number of hours per day that TV is on in an average U.S. home: 6 hours, 47 minutes. Source: csun.edu

No matter what we hear from an American politician running for election, the Bureau of Labor Statistics proves that education/literacy pays, because the unemployment rate for adult Americans with less than a high school diploma is 14.1% (medium weekly earnings in 2011 was $451) while unemployment for workers with a college BA degree is 4.9% (medium weekly earnings in 2011 was $1,053).

In fact, about 39% of voters ages 18 and older that do not have a high school degree vote, while 77% of college graduates vote. In addition, you may suspect that low-income voters would vote Democratic, but the top sixteen states with very high or high level of persons living below poverty (43% of adults with low literacy skills live in poverty), twelve  of these states vote solidly Republican. Source: Election 2012 Factors: Poverty Level Households by State

Answer this question: If you cannot read or understand what you read, where do you get information to help decide how to vote or what to think about China?

A. talk radio (dominated by conservative talk shows such as Rush Limbaugh)

B. television

C. reading informative Blogs such as this one

D. reading newspaper, books, and magazines to become better informed

E. other sources – for example, the barber shop or a bar

I think that Abraham Lincoln should have also said, “It is easier to fool someone that is uneducated and does not read than someone that is educated and reads.”

Note: If you want to learn about the impact of watching too much TV, I suggest you read TV Turns Kids Into Zombies, Retards Development, and eventually, these children grow up to be adults that vote.

Return to Scapegoating China … Part 3 or start with Part 1

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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Wage Thieves in the Private Sector

August 20, 2011

Tom Carter, the author of China: Portrait of a People, sent me a link to a forum on political and social change in China that I found interesting. The forum was published in the Boston Review.

One in particular that I agreed with was China’s Other Revolution by Edward S. Steinfeld.

Steinfeld points out that “patterns of inequity are unfortunately not unique to the Chinese experience”, and then he makes a strong point when he writes, “One need look no further than the United States and Western Europe for developmental histories replete with exploitation, abuse, violence, and environmental degradation.”

By coincidence, the same day Carter sent me the link to this forum in the Boston Review, I read Wage theft a scourge for low-income workers by John Coté, a staff writer for the San Francisco Chronicle.

It seems while many Americans and the Western media often criticize China for exploitation of migrants, low-skilled wage laborers, and the rural poor, the same practice is alive and well in the United States.

Coté writes, “It’s part of a national scourge known as wage theft. More than two-thirds of low-wage workers (in the United States) reported some type of pay-related law violation…”

The piece Coté wrote for SFGate was on two pages and ends with six facts.  One says, “$56.4 million is stolen every week from (low-wage) workers in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago.”

In addition, Poverty News reports, “Low-wage workers in the United States are gripped by increasing financial insecurity as they inch along an economic tightrope made riskier by pervasive job losses and rising prices. Many struggle to pay for life’s basics—housing, food and health care—and most report having virtually no financial cushion should they stumble.”

How many Americans are considered low-wage workers?

According to the Sloan Work and Family Research Network at Boston College, “The U.S. Census Bureau reported that in 2008, 39.8 million people (13.2 percent of the U.S. population) lived at or below the Federal Poverty Level (DeNavas-Walt, Proctor, & Smith, 2009).”


When it comes to poverty, America ranks 3rd worst among developed nations.

If two-thirds of these low-wage workers (and there may be more) in the U.S. are being cheated, that is about 26 million people that are not being paid what they earned.

It seems to me that the American media, the nation’s leaders and most Americans should focus on solving these types of problems in the U.S. before criticizing other countries.

Discover more from The India, China battle to eliminate poverty and illiteracy

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

To subscribe to “iLook China”, look for the “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar, click on it then follow directions.


China Moving – Part 1/2

January 4, 2011

To put this topic in perspective, I’ll start by talking about poverty in the United States.

Business Insider says that 45 million Americans lived in poverty in 2009, which saw the largest single year increase in the U.S. poverty rate since the U.S. government began calculating poverty figures back in 1959.

U.S. household participation in the food stamp program has increased 20.28% since last year, and in June, the number of Americans on food stamps surpassed 41 million for the first time.

One of every six Americans is now being served by at least one government anti-poverty program.

More than 50 million Americans are on Medicaid, the U.S. government health care program designed principally to help the poor, and 20% of children now live in poverty.

The poverty in China you will now read and/or see is not unique. Poverty is a global challenge.

In fact, the World Bank says the poverty rate in China fell from 85% in 1981 to 15.9% in 2005, while in India, 421 million live in poverty.

In this 2007 video, Al Jazeera reported that 150 million people left rural China to find jobs in the country’s rapidly growing cities.

On the outskirts of Shanghai is an illegal shantytown built by migrant laborers. Most migrant laborers are farmers who left their land to find work in the city.

The migrants in this Al Jazeera report collect debris from construction sites, which they sell to recycling centers. Even though these workers earn little, it is more than double what they earned at home.

However, the narrator “does not” mention that on the farm, there may not be much money to buy luxury goods but the home they lived in was rent-free and as farmers, they grew enough food to feed themselves.

The World Bank says that one percent of the world’s population survives by collecting valuable trash and debris as the men depicted in the Al Jazeera video do to earn enough money to survive.

Trash collecting represents the first tenuous step to escape the poverty of rural China.

Professor Shi Ming-zheng, Director of NYU in Shanghai, says the urban people have mixed feelings about the millions of migrant workers flooding into the city to improve their lives.

He says, “On one hand, the urban people feel the migrants are necessary to provide cheap labor. On the other hand, they also despise them because they come from uneducated, poor rural backgrounds.”

For most migrant labors, the only hope for the future is with the children and education is the key.

In fact, China’s government sees the importance of raising the education levels of children so they become useful people for China.

But, according to Al Jazeera, of China’s 20 million migrant children less than half attend school.

Part 2 of “China Moving” will focus on what happens in the countryside when so many people left to find work in the cities.

Learn more about The Urban-Rural Divide in China.

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

If you want to subscribe to iLook China, there is a “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar.


Risking Gold Mountain

November 27, 2010

China still has millions of poor people — poor by U.S. standards where many that live in poverty often drive cars and have TVs.

However, contrary to the belief of many gloating China bashers and Sinophobes, the Communist Party did not create this situation and has been working hard since the early 1980s to solve this challenge.

The Guardian.co.uk says, “The report, by authors from the China Institute for Reform and Development and other think tanks, describes the nation’s progress over the past 30 years of reform as a miracle in the history of poverty reduction….

In fact, in 1949, most of China still lived in an environment similar to Europe’s middle ages.

To escape this poverty, many Chinese still immigrate illegally to the US. The reason so many do this is because there is a myth in China that America is “Gold Mountain”.

Golden Venture, a documentary about the US immigration crises, says, “The first major waves of Chinese immigrants came to the U.S. after hearing of the “Golden Mountain” or “Gum Saan” when California’s Gold Rush began in 1848.”

However, the US is not the mythical Gold Mountain.

Steve Lendman says, “On September 16, the Census Bureau reported that US poverty rose to 43.6 million in 2009, an increase of 3.8 million in the past year – the largest total since the first 1959 estimates. It shows one in seven Americans are impoverished, the official 14.3% rate the highest since 1994, by the Bureau’s conservative measures.”

Of China, the United Nations says, “Both national and international indicators show that China has already achieved the goal of halving the number of people in extreme poverty by 2015 set by the UN as one of eight Millennium Development Goals.  Remaining poverty is however becoming increasingly difficult to address, as the rural poor are now concentrated in remote regions with difficult natural conditions.”

“China also accounts for nearly all the world’s reduction in poverty. Excluding China, (global) poverty fell only by around 10%.” Source: Global Issues

Discover China’s Stick People

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

If you want to subscribe to iLook China, there is a “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar.