Who's a bum? Who's a slacker? Who's a parasite? The answer Charles Murray would like you to think is those evil 8% unemployed young white males. The reality of the numbers comes to a different conclusion: almost everyone.
Here we learn that the top 20% of Americans earn 59.1% of America's GDP and pay 64.3% of total government taxes. We know from the previous article that 40% of USA's GDP is spent by the government on all levels. From this we can derive everything we need to know about parasitism.
The top 20% of Americans produced 9.31 trillion dollars last year, of which they paid 4.051 trillion dollars in taxes. If government redistributes income evenly between all groups, the top 20% of Americans would have received 1/5 of 40% of America's GDP, or 1.26 trillion dollars last year. Of course, they received far less than this but let's just pretend the government treats everyone equally for simplicity's sake. This means the top 20% of Americans are paying more than their share in taxes. So far so good. They can safely be called productive, non-parasitic, non-scum.
What about the next 20%? They earn 18.9% of USA GDP and 18.9% of taxes are collected from them. This means they earned 2.98 trillion dollars, of which 1.191 trillion dollars were collected in taxes. (This isn't actually true, since the government spends far more than it collects in taxes, so people are actually paying for far less than their fair share of government benefits, but again we must strive for simplicity.) As we can see above though, 20% of US government spending, assuming money is spent equally on all Americans, amounts to 1.26 trillion dollars a year. Therefore Americans in the top 60-80% earnings bracket are receiving more money in government benefits than they are paying in taxes. To look at it another way, the 60-80% income bracket has an average earnings per capita of $46,951.89. But government spending on a family of four is $80,000 per capita. Even if both Mom and Pop made 46k a year, since taxes are below 44% for even the highest earners (80-100%), they wouldn't be paying enough in taxes to cover their government costs.
For every other group the numbers are even worse. Even if we assume that people earning 60-80% income brackets don't receive as many government goods as others, the numbers don't work out as well for the next group, those earning 40-60% of average USA income. These people earn 11.6% of total USA GDP and pay 10.2% of total USA taxes. This amounts to 1.827 trillion dollars in income and 643 billion dollars in taxes. Meanwhile, the government is spending 40% of GDP on government services, multiplied by 1/5 to address this income quintile, and we're talking $1.26 trillion in government spending. This is almost exactly twice as much as they're paying in taxes. Even if they are missing out on food stamps or the like, the majority of the US budget is not dedicated to handouts to the poor. It is dedicated to programs that help all groups, including middle income earners: Medicare, Social Security, the military, roads, universities, schools, police, firemen, the post office, sewers, garbage, so on and so forth. There's no way in hell over half of government spending is guided directly to poor-only programs like Medicaid or welfare, which means there's no way in hell the 40-60% income bracket is paying as much in taxes as they are receiving in government spending.
Reasonably, we can assume that the bottom 80% of Americans are tax parasites. (Federal taxes last year were only 15% of GDP whereas spending was 25% of GDP, so I generously inflated everyone's taxes to the 25% level, which is almost doubling the taxes they actually paid, however, I didn't break government spending down by quintile and the poor do receive more than the rich in government spending, which probably means it evens out and the 60-80 bracket, as calculated, receives more money in taxes than they pay, but I can't be certain.)
By the most conservative estimate, the bottom 60% of Americans are tax parasites. The framing of this debate is incredibly skewed. We have proud, independent Americans who fancy themselves Republicans complaining about the poor stealing their 'hard-earned' tax dollars, when in fact they themselves aren't even paying their own way in taxes. They ARE the poor and THEY'RE stealing the tax dollars of the producer-class above them. However, because they're 'middle class,' they see fit to spit venom at their comrades and compatriots, the lower class, who are tax parasites JUST LIKE THEM.
This isn't some issue of degree either, we don't look down on thieves of 100 dollars 1/10th as badly as a thief of 1,000 dollars. The issue is a qualitative one, not a quantitative one, so nobody can escape the noose by saying "Sure we're all parasites, but the unemployed soak up more money than me so I still have the right to call them awful names and look down on them." Morality doesn't work that way. A serial killer and a murderer are both virtually as bad people. They both have no excuses and both don't get any reprieve from the law. Why then should thieves of SOME tax dollars be excused just because there is a group that steals even MORE tax dollars? Morality is morality.
If you want to be a libertarian who says taxation is theft and government handouts are an injustice, then do like the Quran says and chop off your own hands before you go around chopping off anyone else's. You have no right to complain about the mote in other peoples' eyes so long as you keep the beam in your own.
Meanwhile we're forgetting that anyone employed in a job counts as being productive, but this includes people employed by the government in order to give benefits to the poor. If you consider this illegitimate, then you must also consider all of their jobs illegitimate and the service providers to be thieves too. This includes at least half the medical industry and almost all schools. I don't see anyone calling nurses and teachers "scum", nor do I see Charles Murray encouraging his followers to spit on nurses and teachers as they pass by on the street. It's pure hypocrisy to single out the unemployed when your logic behind hating the unemployed would actually encompass almost everyone. Like a wolfpack, Murray is simply singling out the weakest of the herd and hunting them first. But his greedy slavering jaws and flashing eyes would honestly like to hunt down and kill the entire herd, weak and strong alike. His hunger for blood has no actual end.
The dishonesty of the debate extends everywhere. If the poor are evil for not paying their way in life, then so is everyone who facilitates them, and everyone else who doesn't pay their way in life, which is around 80% of Americans. We have come a long way since Mao, who only felt the need to purge 1/10 of China's population. According to Murray, Mao was far too soft, even the Cambodians who killed 1/3 of their population were far too soft. Only by killing off 80% of Americans can the scum parasites be purged, and a truly free, libertarian society of producers emerge into the sunlight. Make no mistake, insulting someone and dehumanizing them, calling them evildoers and scum, and encouraging others to view them as the same, in the Wall Street Journal, the most mainstream newspaper in the country, could serve no other purpose than to label an entire group as 'undesirables.' This public calling out of a class has no other desire than liquidation of said class. Stalin would have been proud. For him it's kulaks, and for Murray it's bums. The Wall Street Journal is no different from Pravda before the Holodomor.
Are we really to believe that Murray thinks that, just by calling people names, they can go get a job? When there are six people applying for every job opening in the country? When IQ means most people are unsuited to the jobs that are available in this country and could never do them no matter how hard they tried? Of course not. He too is a race realist, so he knows better than to think that just by trying hard, people can get employment, much less employment that pays more in taxes than they receive in government benefits. The sole purpose of calling the lower class names isn't to inspire them to work harder, which he knows full well is pointless and can achieve nothing, it's simply to dehumanize them and spread hatred in the remainder of Americans, it's simply an attempt to scapegoat the economic malaise on the backs of its primary victims. When we have public incitement to hatred and scapegoating of a chosen, innocent class, what else are we talking about other than Stalin's kulak conspiracy?
Libertarians are a bunch of psychopaths. This is what it always comes down to. They feel no sympathy for others and refuse to value anything other than money. If someone is not monetarily beneficial to them, they consider them less than human and want them dead. This includes the vast majority of mankind and at least 60%, if not 80% of Americans. Libertarians have no solution for the underclass. Their only solution is to stop supporting them, which by the laws of physics means they would all starve to death and die in the streets, because they certainly can't support themselves. They never mention this second half of the equation, but they know full well it would happen, and they simply don't care. They want it to happen, because they despise 'parasites' and 'bums' like cockroaches. They see no human value to a poor person's life, they don't consider anyone's happiness but their own to be of any worth at all. If they read Moby Dick and enjoy it, they're awesome, because they also make $100,000 a year, which sanctifies their life in the pure light of heavenly self-sufficiency. However, if another person who earns $40,000 a year reads that very same Moby Dick and enjoys it, he's just a writhing cockroach that must be stamped out, because he isn't self-sufficient, he's just a thief. Nothing else enters the equation. Nothing else matters. Only earnings vs. taxes vs. government receipts. They're just a bunch of cold, calculating machines who live by one, and only one, number, their weekly paycheck. They know with certainty that a poor person is a 'bum,' there's no need to find out anything more about them, and they know with certainty that he should be ridiculed, criticized, and dehumanized by the entire public, regardless of anything else about his life. Why? Because he isn't earning enough money.
That's the true face of evil. Not the unemployed. But the people who would deny any value to life outside of employment. Not the bottom 80%, but the hypocrites and fools who believe they belong to the top 20% of income earners and thus can sneer at everyone else for receiving government handouts(when they usually don't and are in the same boat as everyone else), or actually do belong to the top 20% of income earners, but have never experienced any other field of achievement in their lives -- (Like, say, love, art, philosophy, religion, sports, friendship, zest, zeal, or anything at all.)