Two months ago we demonstrated one of the biggest paradoxes of the current iteration of the US welfare state, in which a single mom earning gross income of $29,000 has the same disposable income after all net benefits as a worker who has gross income of $69,000. The same logic is applicable to all those who instead of working, opt to receive foodstamps, disability payments, and the occasional Obama phone, all the while dropping out of the labor force and making the BLS’ job of indicating a dropping unemployment rate a little easier. And while the US is fully intent on converting an ever rising portion of the population into these “comfortably poor” zombies who no longer have any marketable skills, and are completely unqualified to be competitive in an increasingly more specialized workforce, one place where such welfare handouts will no longer be tolerated is Japan, of all places.
As Japan Times reports, “welfare benefits will be slashed by ¥74 billion over a three-year period starting from fiscal 2013, after a government panel found that some people are making more on the dole than the average low-income person who is not spends on living costs, it was learned Sunday.” We await with eager amusement as this attempt to impose austerity on the comfortably poor takes place in the US next. Considering there was nearly a revolution in California a few weeks back when EBT cards malfunctioned for a few brief hours, the outcome of a comparable belt-tightening in the US would have truly hilarious, not to mention lethal, consequences.