Poor shaming is a sure way to achieve nothing. Our issues are not that we provide welfare, our issues are that we do not promote work, we do not support a transition from welfare to work, and we do not offer a system which beneficially transitions those who choose to strive toward work from welfare.

 

We can do better than this. Maine can find a better way to transition from welfare to work and dumping people into poverty will not accomplish that. We have innovators and innovative ideas and yet the status quo is to ensure votes by either poor shaming or locking people into dependance. Incentives need to meet reality.

 

 


The following figures demonstrate the average benefits for housing, food, and healthcare per recipient (2009, 2014).

At $22,130 per recipient per year, the poorest Americans demonstrate living conditions and a supplemental income far beyond the global (and American) poverty level.

 

According to the census bureau, poverty for single persons under 65 years old is an income of under $11,344, while for persons 65 years and older the income level for poverty is $10,458.

http://www.npc.umich.edu/poverty/

 

So tell me, with poverty at just under 12,000 dollars per year, and welfare averaging 22,130 dollars per year, who in America is actually poor?

 

The answer should be simple:

The poorest people in America are the workers who make 12,000 to 22,000 dollars per year. These workers still pay taxes, pay rent, pay for food, pay for their healthcare, and pay for the non-earners.

 With the median wage in the US worker being $26,695 (the global median income is just $1,225 a year), this means nearly half of the workers in the U.S. make less in a year than the average welfare recipient while the average American welfare recipient receives 20 times the average global income in benefits.

If you wonder why people get upset at taxes, at welfare, at the State, and at DHHS…this is why.

 

Data:

Annual U.S. Healthcare Spending Hits $3.8 Trillion dollars in 2014; The Pine Tree State spent $8,521 per person, 25 percent more than the national average of $6,815.

Reference:  Dan Munro (2014) http://www.forbes.com/sites/danmunro/2014/02/02/annual-u-s-healthcare-spending-hits-3-8-trillion/

Reference:  Matthew Stone (2013) http://bangordailynews.com/2013/04/26/opinion/why-is-maine-5th-in-us-for-health-care-spending/

 

Americans report spending $151 on food per week on average (7,852$ per year).

Reference:  Elizabeth Mendes (2012) http://www.gallup.com/poll/156416/americans-spend-151-week-food-high-income-180.aspx

Average Monthly Food Stamp Benefits per Participant (United States) is $133.071, including Guam and the Virgin Islands (which American tax payers pay for),  for an average of $1596.852 per recipient.

Reference: United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP): Average Monthly Benefit per Person, as of November 7, 2014. Annual state level SNAP data accessed November 13, 2014 athttp://www.fns.usda.gov/pd/supplemental-nutrition-assistance-program-snap.

 

Median monthly gross residential rent in the United States was $905 in 2013 according to the Census ACS survey (10,860 per year).

Reference:  http://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/

 

Section 8 and subsidized housing cost tax payers $4.4 billion in 2009. Approximately 1.4 million households use these funds for an average of 2,857$ per household.

 

Reference: Edward L. Glaeser and Joseph Gyourko, Rethinking Federal Housing Policy (Washington: American Enterprise Institute, 2008), p. 103. - See more at: http://www.downsizinggovernment.org/hud/public-housing-rental-subsidies#_edn12