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January 25, 2004

The Recipient Class

Randall Parker of ParaPundit linked to an interesting (and troubling) article called "The Recipient Class."

Troubling is the fact that single mothers (in addition to unskilled immigrants and the elderly[1]) are a growing population and a substantial net drain on the tax system, and their being a net drain goes beyond that they are more likely to be uneducated, poor, and have low IQs.

Interestingly, Asians contribute more in terms of taxes paid minus benefits received ($1730 per capita) than whites ($651 per capita), in spite of lower per capita incomes[2] and only marginally higher household incomes. The main reason for this seems to be that Asians are less likely to be single mothers than whites, in spite of having slightly lower incomes.

To me, our whole system seems unsustainable. In addition to importing huge numbers of dependent unskilled workers (and GWB wants to import more), we are subsidizing unwed motherhood and promoting its growth, and Congress just passed a Prescription Drug bill when we already know that taking care of the elderly is likely to be a major burden down the road even without any new benefits.

[1]I am not bashing old people here or suggesting that there should be major cuts in benefits, but old people are a growing portion of the population and are dependent. Also, Bush and Congress have made the problem worse with the Prescription Drug bill. I think old age benefits, and our welfare state in general, would be perfectly bearable were it not for the constant expansion of benefits, as well as mass unskilled immigration and perverse incentives such as rewarding unwed motherhood. Unfortunately, George W. Bush has been spending irresponsibly, promoting mass unskilled immigration, and has vastly expanded old age benefits...and the Democrats want to spend even more than Bush does and want an even more liberal illegal alien amnesty plan than Bush's plan.

[2]It is often stated that Asians have higher incomes than whites, but their per capita income is lower than that of whites.

Posted by bb at 01:15 PM