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Recommended Reading : Who’s a Freeloader?

March 15, 2012

Freeloader Nation?I’m not sure how many of my readers regularly partake of the excellent economic blog The Baseline Scenario, but it is a favorite of mine as I daily go about curating  for Progressive Congress News.  At any rate, one of the authors there, James Kwak, posted an absolute must-read yesterday. Referring to a book review over at Democracy Journal, Kwak wrote:

Rodgers’s review is titled “‘Moocher Class’ Warfare,” picking up on one of their key findings: in general, Tea Party members like Medicare and Social Security, which they think they have earned through their work, but don’t like perceived freeloaders who live off of other peoples’ work.

He goes on to compare two imaginary, but typical, cases: Alice, who makes $30k per year until age 55, when she loses her job and ends up on Medicaid; and Beatrice, who makes the same, but suffers no job loss, retires at 65 and goes on Medicare. Kwak makes many calculations  for each, but the upshot is this:

The moral of the story is that if you follow the money, almost everyone is a freeloader; by this criterion, there’s no meaningful distinction between Social Security and Medicare, on the one hand, and welfare programs, on the other hand.

It’s a fascinating post, and I highly recommend you give it a read here.

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