Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Income from govt - US vs NZ

Americans depended more on government assistance in 2010 than at any other time in the nation's history, a USA Today analysis of federal data finds. The trend shows few signs of easing, even though the economic recovery is nearly two years old.

* A record 18.3 percent of the nation's total personal income was a payment from the government for Social Security, Medicare, food stamps, unemployment benefits and other programs in 2010.
* Wages accounted for the lowest share of income -- 51.0 percent -- since the government began keeping track in 1929.

In NZ 12.6 percent of personal income comes from government transfers. I can't factor in Medicare equivalent which would push up the NZ percentage but it is interesting that....

From 1980 to 2000, government aid was roughly constant at 12.5 percent.

(Hat tip Welfare State We're In, who points out that many people incorrectly believe there is no welfare state in the US.James Bartholemew has, by the way, been conracted to write a new book comparing welfare states around the world. I look forward to that. Big job.)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

In NZ 12.6 percent of personal income comes from government transfers.

Please. That's far, far too low. Not only health spending but also education, student loans, WFF, and all the rest - including the income for the entire state sector, which is around 50% of the economy.

I think 60% is a much more realistic figure, probably higher.

Thankfully that will be heading downwards very quickly indeed come November!