The poor are being
robbed, pure and
simple. That's why
they work as hard as
everyone else but
can't make ends meet.
The American Spark
About 70% Of Welfare Recipients Are Full-Time Workers
By Cliff Montgomery - Nov. 28th, 2020
“Millions of American adults who earn low wages rely on federal programs to meet basic needs, such as
Medicaid for health care and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program for food,” according to a recently
released study from the Government Accountability Office (GAO).
The GAO “analyzed employment data from 11 states and Census data,” and discovered these facts about
- About 70% worked full time
- Most worked for private sector employers in places like restaurants, department stores, and grocery stores
- Others worked for state governments, public universities, or non-profit organizations
- Some employers in selected states had thousands of beneficiaries in their workforces
This study alone puts to rest the conservative misrepresentation of welfare recipients as lazy individuals who
are being given property they did not earn, and money they did nothing to deserve.
But it also destroys the liberal misrepresentation of such people as mere ‘poor unfortunates’, who - during a
trying time in their lives - need the patronizing guidance and assistance of thoughtful wealthy individuals.
And let’s add here that “over the past 50 years, the highest-earning 20% of U.S. households have steadily
brought in a larger share of the country’s total income,” according to the Pew Research Center.
“In 2018, households in the top fifth of earners (with incomes of $130,001 or more that year) brought in 52%
of all U.S. income,” which was “more than the lower four-fifths combined, according to Census Bureau data,”
adds Pew Research.
So when poor people in the U.S. are working as hard as they can and are still not able to feed themselves
and their families, they are not lazy. They are not unfortunate. They are not being paid a full wage for their
work.That money is simply being kept by those who are already wealthy. That’s why the U.S. has such a
malignant growth in income inequality.
The poor are being robbed, pure and simple. That’s why they work as hard as everyone else but can’t make
Refusing to pay a laborer less than he or she has earned has been recognized as a crime for thousands of years:
“Woe to him who builds his house without righteousness
And his upper rooms without justice,
Who uses his neighbor’s services without pay
And does not give him his wages.”
- Jeremiah 22:13
So welfare simply takes from the big thieves and gives the property back to its rightful owners. It is an
economic right, not a charity. That’s why most modern nations - including the U.S. - have a progressive
tax system, which taxes the wealthy more than the average worker.
It’s something of an open secret that capitalism has an odd but proven habit of rewarding privilege
and punishing work. Hence the welfare state, socialism and other socio-economic responses.
Below, the American Spark quotes the “Highlights” from this informative GAO report:
Why GAO Did This Study
“Each year millions of wage-earning adults participate in federally funded social safety net programs to help
pay for basic needs including health care and food assistance. These individuals may work for employers in
the private, public, and nonprofit sectors, or be self-employed. They also may work full-time or part-time
schedules. GAO was asked to review several aspects of this population.
“This report examines (1) what is known about the labor characteristics of working adult Medicaid enrollees
and SNAP [Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program] recipients and (2) what is known about where adult
Medicaid enrollees and SNAP recipients work.
“To answer these questions, GAO analyzed recent Census Bureau data on the labor characteristics of
working adults in the two programs. GAO also analyzed recent (Feb. 2020) non-generalizable data on the
employers of working adult Medicaid enrollees and SNAP recipients obtained from 15 state agencies across
“GAO selected state agencies that (1) collected, verified, and updated the names of Medicaid enrollees’ and
SNAP recipients’ employers; and (2) could extract reliable data.
What GAO Found
“The 12 million wage-earning adults (ages 19 to 64) enrolled in Medicaid—a joint federal-state program that
finances health care for low-income individuals—and the 9 million wage-earning adults in households receiving
food assistance from the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) shared a range of
common labor characteristics.
“For example, approximately 70 percent of adult wage earners in both programs worked full-time hours (i.e.,
35 hours or more) on a weekly basis and about one-half of them worked full-time hours annually.
“In addition, 90 percent of wage-earning adults participating in each program worked in the private sector
(compared to 81 percent of non-participants) and 72 percent worked in one of five industries, according to
GAO’s analysis of program participation data included in the Census Bureau’s 2019 Current Population Survey.
“When compared to adult wage earners not participating in the programs, wage-earning adult Medicaid
enrollees and SNAP recipients in the private sector were more likely to work in the leisure and hospitality
industry and in food service and food preparation occupations.
“GAO’s analysis of February 2020 program data from 15 agencies—six Medicaid agencies and nine SNAP
agencies—across 11 states shows that a majority of working adult Medicaid enrollees and SNAP recipients in
these states worked for private sector employers.
“GAO’s analysis also shows that the percentage of working adult Medicaid enrollees and SNAP recipients
working for any one employer did not exceed 4 percent in any state that provided data.
“Most working adults in the programs worked for private sector employers concentrated in certain industries,
including restaurants, department stores, and grocery stores. Smaller percentages of working adults in each
program in these states worked outside the private sector.
“For example, less than 10 percent worked for public sector employers, such as state governments, the U.S.
Postal Service, or public universities; others worked for non-profit organizations, such as charities, hospitals,
and health care networks, or were self-employed.”
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