Skip to comments.Which State Has the Most Self-Reliant People?
Posted on 07/25/2013 8:03:18 AM PDT by Kaslin
Back in 2010, I put together a “Moocher Index” as a rough measure of which states had the highest levels of welfare dependency after adjusting for poverty rates.
My goal was to answer this question.
Is there a greater willingness to sign up for income redistribution programs, all other things being equal, from one state to another?
It turned out that there were huge differences among states. Nearly 18 percent of non-poor Vermont residents were utilizing one or more welfare programs, putting them at the top of the Moocher Index.
In Nevada, by contrast, less the 4 percent of non-poor residents had their snouts in the public trough.
Does this mean Nevada residents are more self-reliant and Vermont residents are culturally statist?
To be perfectly frank, I don’t know, in part because the Moocher Index was an indirect measure of attitudes about dependency.
So I was very interested when I came across some state-by-state numbersfrom the Department of Agriculture showing food stamp participation compared to food stamp eligibility.
There are some clear similarities between these food stamp numbers and the Moocher Index. Maine and Vermont are in the top 3 of both lists, which doesn’t reflect well on people from that part of the country.
And Nevada and Colorado are in the bottom 10 of both lists.
But there’s no consistent pattern. Mississippi and Hawaii are in the top 10 of the Moocher Index but bottom 10 for food stamp utilization.
What really stands out, though, is that the people of California win the prize for self reliance, at least with regard to food stamps. Only 55 percent of eligible people from the Golden State have signed up for the program. Doesn’t make sense when you look at some of the crazy things that are approved by California voters, but I assume the numbers are accurate.
I’m also surprised that folks from New Jersey are relatively unlikely to utilize food stamps.
On the other hand, why are Tennessee residents so willing to use my wallet to buy food?
As you can see from the map, they not only have a very high participation/eligibility rate, but also have one of the highest overall levels of food stamp dependency.
Oregon, not surprisingly, always does poorly, whether we’re looking at a map or a list.
Let’s close with a few real-world examples of what we’re getting in exchange for the tens of billions of dollars that are being spent each year for food stamps.
With stories like this, I’m surprised my head didn’t explode during this debate I did on Larry Kudlow’s show.
Well this blows a hole in the left’s assertion that Red states are the moochers. Often states like Alabama (toothless rednecks like me) are blamed as being welfare queens (and Kings).
My rub I have with this is the amount of illegals that will skew the numbers. Maine does not have the illegal problem that say Texas or other more southern states have that add to this index. You remove the illegals and their citizen anchor family the numbers would be a lot different in some states.
Had a vendor from Massachusetts treat me to lunch a couple of months ago. If you think mooching in your state is bad, he told me about a lady there who broke down a machine which returned cash for aluminum cans. Seems she was too lazy to even drink the contents of the cans first. At least our slackards in Pennsylvania will do that much.
What about the terrorists who sneak in with the illegals through the tunnels from Mexico? Does that not concern you?
‘What really stands out, though, is that the people of California win the prize for self reliance, at least with regard to food stamps. Only 55 percent of eligible people from the Golden State have signed up for the program. Doesnt make sense when you look at some of the crazy things that are approved by California voters, but I assume the numbers are accurate.”
Actually you have to read all the foot notes on all pages. Then you learn that Calif gives out state food funds to 1.3 million and those people were not included in the numbers since they receive state food stamps and not USDA food stamps.
I was happy and surprised to see Texas ranked so low. I can tell you, from an observational point people are starving here.
But I am guessing 0dumbo, who HATES Texas will spend money advertising here to get more people/ votes signed up
I get what this guy is trying to do, but, quite frankly, his methodology for the “Moocher Index” is rubbish. All he did was subtract the percentage of a state’s population that is below the poverty line from the percentage of the state’s population that receives public benefits. The obvious problem with this approach is that, while the official “poverty line” is uniform accross the country, the eligibility rules for public benefits are often adjusted to account for cost-of-living differences between certain areas. The failure of the “Moocher Index” calculation to adjust for this effect renders the number essentially meaningless.
What’s the state Motto,,”Live for Free or die”?
I mean people are NOT starving in Texas
I’m thinking, to explain California’s relatively fewer moochers, that maybe the rural poor don’t do food stamps as much because it is not as easy to get over to wherever you sign up?
Also, good produce and staples are not that expensive, compared to some place like Maine that is nowhere near where it is actually grown.
We’d have a lot less poverty in California if the farmers were allowed some water again. The last time I drove on I-5 in the central valley, there were acres and acres of dead orchards.
Yes, but I don’t see your correlation. I am speaking of not counting illegals when tallying welfare recipients since they are here illegally anyway, in the context of labeling a state a moocher state or not.
All of them do...outside any city.
Whew - I was just going to ask you about that - the other reason that I don’t see mentioned anywhere is that people are no longer asked to prove their income to qualify.
Is that why they keep electing Reid?
Read an article about a dead beat dad who resides in TN. He has 22 children by 14 women ... costing TN over $7,000 a month.
I was just wondering if union membership is factored into charts like this? Unions mooch in other ways than EBT cards. There’s a great article on Am Thinker about Detroit that is very different than many of the articles I’ve read about why it’s going under. Worth the read - How Detroit Almost Killed My Business - if you haven’t done so.
I don't know if either New Mexico or Tennessee might be in the high 40's (45-48) for education.
Having an educational system that is considered one of the worst in the country (Louisiana and Mississippi) is never a good sign.
Louisiana has suffered for political corruption for decades... So it will take time to overcame that as well.
The number of illegals in Texas is multiplying every day. We’re having to build new school campuses constantly resulting in higher school tax. Our senior in HS kid stopped by his middle school one day and was shocked at how many more Mexicans were there just since he’d been there.
The dead beat dad of 22 kids is getting his own tv show. Maybe he’ll be able to get off the dole. BTW, I will NOT be watching.
With gladness, I note that Indiana is WAY down the list!
With sadness, I note that NO state is LESS THAN 50%.
Well; it was fun while it lasted; but pull the lever a second time so this thing will finally flush.