Economics for One

Never Have So Few Supported So Many…

Another great analysis by USA Today popped up last week: the fraction of individual income earned from private business (as opposed to government wages and programs) sank to the lowest level in the history of the United States.  According to their analysis, just 41.9% of US personal income was derived from private wages and salaries in Q1–down from 44.6% in December 2007 and 47.6% in Q1, 2000.

At the same time, government wages and benefits have dramatically increased.

Why is this significant?  Because all government payments come from taxes, which are ultimately derived from productivity in the private sector.  So as the private sector shrinks relative to the public sector, the burden on the private sector increases, and the overall stability and sustainability of the system decreases.

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