Does It Pay to Work? Not If You Earn Below-Average Wages.

Clifford F. Thies (Ludwig von Mises Institute): Between about $10,000 and $50,000, a family gets virtually nothing in return for working and earning more.


Comments (5)

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  1. Brian W. says:

    Families earning between $10,000 and $50,000 know what it must have been like to live in East Germany.

  2. Larry C. says:

    What could be clearer? It doesn’t pay to work.

  3. Bruce says:

    Interesting to see that our tax dollars are effectively paying people not to work.

  4. Devon Herrick says:

    I suspect a lot of people who fall into this income range have figure out that it doesn’t pay to work in the formal economy, but cash-based jobs (like a handyman, maid, shade tree mechanic) do not count against government subsidies if they cannot be tracked.

  5. Jennifer says:

    You know, our family of six, for the first time in 10 years will be making right at $45,000. When my husband landed this job, it got us off of Food Stamps and the children off of Medicaid. I was more than happy to let those programs go. We do not live any better than we did before, because we now pay for our own health insurance and our own food. I could not stand to be on the other programs, but I can see how easy it would be to not want to give them up.
    Please do not lump all low income people together. We do not all “want” to be on the gov. programs. We are happy at this pay rate because it does pay our bills. We live within our means, which is what a lot of people really should practice.
    We learned our lesson after 911 when we lost half our income in our self employment business. We no longer have that company and my husband spent a lot of years working any job he could land for any wage. I am happy where we are and do not want the government hand outs. But it really irritates me when people group ALL low wage earners together. Saying things like Bruce said that “his tax dollars are paying people to not work” I will tell you now that my 20 years of work and my husbands 20 years, paid for our own 2 years on food stamps and medicaid.
    Devon, yes, my husband did cash jobs too, but that is actually what put gas in the car to get back and forth to his minimum wage job (yes, white people will work the low paying jobs too) and helped while he was continuing to look for better work.
    Be careful not to put EVERYONE under the bus because a few have cheated the system. The system is set up to keep poor people poor. Once you are on the system it is very hard to get off of it. I was very happy to leave it, but I did feel like I was cutting my own life-line that first month.
    Thanks for reading