The recession is driving the safety net of government benefits to a historic high, as 1 of every 6 dollars of Americans' income is now coming in the form of a federal or state check or voucher, says USA Today.
This prompted me to wonder how New Zealand compares. The best way to find out is through the NZ Income Survey. Unfortunately is only publishes yearly and the latest is last June 2008 - nearly a year ago. So the following will all have risen;
Of the average weekly income of all people aged 15 and over, one in 9 dollars ($8.88 to be specific) came from government transfers.
For Maori it climbs to one in six ($5.72)
For Pacific, one in six ($5.74)
For females, one in six ($5.65)
For males, one in fourteen ($14.07)
For one parent with dependent child(ren) only, one in three ($2.62)
So without the "bad economy" and high unemployment the US has experienced, our average female, Maori, or Pacific person matches their crisis-created one in six dollars welfare income. And single parents double it.