by Jeff Berwick, Dollar Vigilante

The US has a culture of dependency.  As the WSJ reported, approximately 50% of people in the US survive with the help of welfare. CNN wonders itself, “Why the US has a culture of dependency.” Spending on federal programs like food stamps have “exploded.”

In August, US government employees outnumbered manufacturing employees by nearly 1.8 to 1, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, underscoring how big the US government has become.  21,995,000 work for federal, state and local government in the US in August, while merely 12,329,000 worked in the manufacturing sector. That’s too many bureaucrats for an economy to prosper and grow… far too mTDV Dollar Vigilante Jeff Berwick Welfare Dependency Shemitahany.  The optimal number of bureaucrats for a prosperous economy is zero.

For the first 50 years of monthly employment numbers, manufacturing had more jobs than government, the sign of a healthy economy. In August 1989, however, this flipped as 17,989,000 worked for government with 17,964,000 in manufacturing.

Today 1 in 5 Americans rely upon government assistance each month, according to US Census Bureau data. 1 in 5 children rely upon food stamps. “Approximately 52.2 million (or 21.3 percent) people in the U.S. participated in major means-tested government assistance programs each month in 2012,” the Census Bureau reported. “Means-tested” means you have to apply and qualify to receive. “Non-means tested,” which I go into a bit later in this article, are for “guaranteed” welfare programs people can opt into after a certain age and similar programs.

The number of US citizens dependent upon such programs has increased over the past decade. In 2004 nearly 42 million monthly welfare recipients lived off the government. By 2012, monthly participation had increased by 24.9 percent. 109,631,000 Americans reside in households on welfare in 2012, according to the Census Bureau. That’s 35.4 percent of US citizens.

There are plenty of non-means tested federal programs that are not included here, like Social Security, Medicare, unemployment and veterans benefits. When these are included in the mix, 153,323,000 by the end of 2012.

As CNSNews journalist Terence Jeffrey writes:

Subtract the 3,297,000 who were receiving veterans’ benefits from the total, and that leaves 150,026,000 people receiving non-veterans’ benefits.

The 153,323,000 total benefit-takers at the end of 2012, said the Census Bureau, equaled 49.5 percent of the population. The 150,026,000 taking benefits other than veterans’ benefits equaled about 48.5 percent of the population.

When America re-elected President Barack Obama in 2012, we had not quite reached the point where more than half the country was taking benefits from the federal government.

It is a reasonable bet, however, that with the implementation of Obamacare — with its provisions expanding Medicaid and providing health-insurance subsidies to people earning up to 400 percent of poverty — that if we have not already surpassed that point (not counting those getting veterans benefits) we soon will.

Here is how the numbers broke down in 2012:

Medicaid: 82,769,000

Food stamps: 51,471,000

Women, Infants and Children: 22,526,000

Supplemental Security Income: 20,355,000

Temporary Assistance Needy Families: 4,517,000

What does this sort of welfare reliance mean for the US? He explains:

Well, the CIA World Factbook says there are 142,470,272 people in Russia. So, the 150,026,000 people getting non-veterans federal benefits in the United States at the end of 2012 outnumbered all the people in Russia.

63,742,977 people live in the United Kingdom and 44,291,413 live in the Ukraine, says the CIA. So, the combined 108,034,390 people in these two nations was about 1,596,610 less than 109,631,000 collecting welfare in the United States.

The biggest welfare programs were Medicaid (15.3% participation rate) and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or food stamps (13.4%).

The Dollar Vigilante does not believe these people should be allowed to starve. The truth couldn’t be farther from that. We want people who are struggling in the US and all over the world to succeed and prosper. That’s why I started The Dollar Vigilante five years ago – to alert people to the lack of sustainability of the system. When the dollar collapses, so will these programs. Not just in the US, by the way, but throughout the Western world.

Welfare systems can teach people that certain things come for free. With abysmal public education, people are not taught about economics.

In order for welfare programs such as the above to exist money must be re-distributed from the people to the government which then loses a lot of money to corruption and inefficiency. By focusing on the local community, and stimulating trade between individuals and companies, communities can become more wealthy, and a free market social safety net can evolve.

This sort of system is crucial for the future. Command-and-control economies have proven too rigid, corrupt and vulnerable. We cover this regularly in our TDV blogs and in the TDV Newsletter, pointing out that current giveaways are not sustainable.

Markets are in the process of deteriorating further. August was rough and September may prove even more difficult.

Of course markets may rebound at some point but the larger trends militate against the US returning to the prosperity it once enjoyed. As the dollar continually debases, so will standards of living. Municipalities begin to resemble Detroit – where the situation has grown so grim that the city has returned large parts to wilderness. And what was not allowed to go to seed is being auctioned off for pennies on the dollar.

The mainstream media ignores disasters like Detroit – and there are plenty of others – where prosperous environments have been transformed into impoverished, grim settlements with citizens barely hanging on.

The US – the West in fact – is imploding. Monetary debasement and wealth redistribution is inevitably unsupportable. Ludwig von Mises wrote about this in his great book, Socialism.

Here at TDV we attempt to learn from history and the thoughts of great free-market economists. In fact, we’ve gathered together a great many resources to help you understand what’s going on and even to anticipate it.

Our recent, explosive coverage of Shemitah – and now Shemitah trends – puts the evolution of the US sociopolitical and economic crisis into perspective. In fact, we’re not afraid to elaborate on valid Austrian economic theory with “conspiratorial” fact. There is no doubt that there are forces at work in the US that want to further destroy society and prosperity and are doing a good job at it.

The Shemitah end-day is just ending now (and there is big breaking news we will be coming out with that just happened that is massive – that is how fast this is happening now) but the crises and market instability that have been unleashed will continue and resonate. Here at TDV, we intend to cover these trends with the same level of intensity and anticipation that we reported on Shemitah and the September 13th Shemitah end-day.

Our call regarding upcoming market volatility – made in mid-July – is only one of numerous events that shows we understand what’s taking place and are determined to help protect our subscribers.

For more on upcoming and dangerous Shemitah trends, please visit our website Here you will find our most up-to-date presentations, including a White Paper on Shemitah Trends, along with a book and a just-released video.

Please seriously consider subscribing to our TDV newsletter as thousands have since they became aware of the Shemitah crisis. For the near future, we are making it available for just US$39.95 – and to further make this a riskless purchase, we’re offering it with a money-back guarantee.

This is knowledge you NEED to know. It would be nice to think we can simply put Shemitah and the Shemitah end-day behind us, but the trends triggered by the Shemitah end-day are simply going to get worse over time. For a variety of reasons, these dates mark the BEGINNING not the END of a prolonged, Western economic and sociopolitical crisis.

There are other dates upcoming that we will want to pay special attention to in the near future. One is the UN’s 70th anniversary “jubilee session” on September 15th, the Fed’s meeting on September 16-17, September 23rd and another is the end of the month itself – and then various timelines in October running into November and the end of the year.  We’ll be saying more soon about these upcoming events.

My friends, I am deeply sorry to report that the West is at least partially in the hands of a ruthless cabal that uses occult numerical presentations to provide justifications for further destabilizations of all sorts. We are entering a critical “end game,” and if you want to emerge with your family and your wealth intact, you will need to pay special attention to what’s going on around you.

It would be nice to think all of this was some sort of exaggeration or joke. Unfortunately, based on what I can see and analyze, it’s not. Please join me in raising our level of consciousness about what it taking place in order to provide ourselves with maximum safety and prosperity in these tumultuous times.

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Jeff Berwick

Anarcho-Capitalist. Libertarian. Freedom fighter against mankind’s two biggest enemies, the State and the Central Banks. Jeff Berwick is the founder of The Dollar Vigilante, CEO of TDV Media & Services and host of the popular video podcast, Anarchast. Jeff is a prominent speaker at many of the world’s freedom, investment and gold conferences including his own, Anarchapulco, as well as regularly in the media including CNBC, CNN and Fox Business.