The geography of federal dependency

Want to know why America is in trouble? Take a look at this interactive website provided by the New York Times. It maps which counties throughout the US rely disproportionately on federal largess as a percentage of personal income.

Of course, New Mexico has more than its share of government-dependent counties, but we knew that already. The really scary thing is to click by the year (this map is from 2009) in the top right corner. Go back to 1969 and Americans are less than half as dependent on the federal government (7.8%) as they are today (17.6%).

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4 Replies to “The geography of federal dependency”

  1. Those who live in the Albuquerque area should be grateful for the USAF Research Lab, Kirkland and of course, the Big Mother of Income Generation, Sandia National Labs. Without these Massive Federal Income Transfer Machines, the area would be like Las Cruces and about the same size.

  2. There is a big difference between people receiving money from the public purse with out earning it and people working at our national labs. People working at Sandia National Labs and Los Alamos National Lab are producing wealth through research and other benefits for our nation.

    1. You are absolutely right. For starters, private companies spring from an entrepreneurial mind-set. The Labs share some of these characteristics, but take people who might otherwise be coming up with the next great thing in their garages and gives them a secure, highly-constrained work environment. The proverbial “golden handcuffs.”

      1. The labs may “handcuff” entrepreneurs in the laboratory environment. However, they would not have access to the mechanical and computer tools present in the lab in their “garages”. I don’t believe the thinking of the Labs engineers and scientists are stifled by the “lab environment” If their thinking and creativity is stifled, it is probably due to the mindless bureaucracy that pervades our government at all levels.

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