Welfare - Poverty Category. Something to think about. Parks & zoos in this country usually have signs that ask us "Please Do Not Feed the Animals." The stated reason for this policy is because "The animals will grow dependent on handouts and will not learn to take care of themselves."

Unrigging the Poverty Trap

from The Wall Street Journal,

What do struggling workers lose when they make an extra buck?

Critics of the welfare state sometimes call it a “poverty trap,” and here’s what that means in practice. “One in four low-wage workers,” according to a new study, “face lifetime marginal net tax rates above 70 percent, effectively locking them into poverty.” Incentives matter, and bad ones sap the motivation to climb the opportunity ladder.

“The U.S. has a plethora of federal and state tax and benefit programs, each with its own work incentives and disincentives,” they write. These policies were “adopted with apparently no regard to their collective impact.” Social Security, for example, “has 2,728 primary rules governing the receipt of its 12 benefits, plus tens of thousands of secondary rules.” A person who earns an extra buck, they continue, might lose 22 cents from the earned-income tax credit, or forfeit thousands in Medicaid benefits, or face almost $800 in higher Medicare premiums, “and the list goes on.”

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