A recent study by Just Facts, an excellent source of factual information, shows that after accounting for income, charity and noncash welfare benefits such as subsidized health care, housing, food stamps and other assistance programs, “the poorest 20% of Americans consume more goods and services than the national averages for all people in the world’s most affluent countries.” This includes the majority of countries that are members of Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, including its European members. The Just Facts study concludes that if the U.S. “poor” were a nation, then it would be one of the world’s richest.
Hur kom man fram till detta? Läs Just Facts studie här.
Idag tänkte jag bara dela med mig av ett par slumpmässiga observationer, ur högen, som indikerar och konkretiserar välfärdsstatens pris—ett pris som många undviker att prata om och de få som ändå gör det tenderar att underskatta.
In 1965, the US net national saving was 15.6% of net national income. Last year, it was just 0.9%. And, according to Gokhale et al (1996) and Lee and Mason (2012), the secular demise in US saving has coincided with a spectacular rise in the consumption of older Americans relative to that of younger Americans.
As Feldstein and Horioka (1980) document, US net domestic saving tracks US net national saving. Hence, postwar intergenerational redistribution has not only lowered net national saving; it has also reduced net domestic investment, from 14.0% of national income in 1965 to just 3.6% in 2011. This decline in the rate of net domestic investment is, no doubt, playing a major role in the slow growth in US wages. Indeed, the level of private-sector average real earnings per hour, exclusive of fringe benefits, is lower today than it was 40 years ago.
En annan relaterad observation bidrar ekonomen Edgar K. Browning i Stealing From Each Other: How the Welfare State Robs Americans of Money and Spirit (2008):
We cannot know with certainty the exact magnitude, but the research discussed in this book suggests that the welfare state lowers the income of the average American by about 25 percent. Note that this does not refer to the direct tax burden of supporting these policies; the 25 percent loss is in before-tax income and is in addition to any taxes paid. Put somewhat differently, gross domestic product (GDP) is a quarter lower than it would have been without the welfare state. The loss ultimately reflects the reduced productivity of the economy that results from the myriad effects of welfare-state policies.
Skulle du tacka nej till en lönehöjning på 25%? Skulle du vara likgiltig inför en lönesänkning på 25%? Ändå är detta en konservativ uppskattning på hur mycket amerikanerna har gått miste om på grund av välfärdsstaten. Och ja, samma logik gäller för alla andra välfärdsstater.