Mitt’s Dependency Blunder. It’s not what you’d think!

News headlines in recent days have included a video released that shows Mitt Romney talking to a group of supporters at some private function.  His words which have become controversal are the statements he made accusing

47% of Americans as being dependent on government and therefore automatically going to vote for Obama. (Read the NY Times article here) Many other things were said that you may or may not agree with. Here I would like to focus on this 47% number for a moment. While Mitt and others may believe 47% are dependent on government, I would argue the number is a much higher. How high? How many people are dependent on government? How about 100%? That’s right, 100% of Americans are dependent on government.

100% of us depend on the security government provides

100% of us drive on roads maintained by the government

100% of us may need to call 911 at anytime

100% of us, regardless of how hard we work, may fall ill or lose a job where we may require assistance to help pick us back up.

100% of us depend on or profit from technological innovations that was developed in full or in part by the government.

100% of us depend on society’s infrastructure

100% of us have either been educated in public schools or depend on others (such as employees) who have be educated in public schools.

100% of us may get stuck in a flood, fire, or earthquake. Is this the best time to search through the Yellow Pages looking for the best company to come help you? “Will you be using Visa or Mastercard to purchase this rescue?”

Now I know Mitt was thinking of and referring to programs such as food stamps, welfare and unemployment insurance. But his 47% figure includes those who receive Social Security and Medicare which all workers have paid for, regardless if they pay federal income tax or not. (More on this argument in my book Social Capitalism). However, these aren’t the only things we spend money on. In 2010 we spent about 720 billion dollars on the military which we all depend on.  Another 400 billion was spent in 2010 on other government functions, infrastructure and R&D, not including entitlements.

I have never been on food stamps, collected welfare or unemployment. I’m lucky enough that I’ve never needed to. But I am still glad that these systems are in place if I were to ever have a spur of bad luck. So, while I’m not part of Mitt’s 47% who he believes is dependent on government, I am part of Social Capitalism’s 100% that is dependent on government for a long list of other services.

Can you recognize yourself as part of the 100% that is dependent on government?


5 thoughts on “Mitt’s Dependency Blunder. It’s not what you’d think!

    • Robby. Thanks for reading. If I may elaborate on your comment. Government provides what we need. We are supposed to pay for it, but many have chosen not to.

  1. The “Government” provides what we as tax payers are willing to fund. Plus the Government is not responsible in full or in part for all technological innovations. Vast majorities of companies use profits from their operations to fund future business using innovation.

    • Karlson. Thanks for your comments. You are correct in that government provides what we the taxpayers are willing to fund. It just seems we are in an age where many are unwilling to help fund. As for innovation, I did not right government was responsible for all technological innovations. I wrote that 100% of us depend on innovations that were fully or partly developed by the government. (GPS, computers, internet) The gov’t didn’t develop all these things themselves, but the government’s contributions to these technologies cannot be denied.