Collis P Huntington, President of the Southern Pacific Railroad (among others) is reputed to have said

Whatever is not nailed down is mine.  What I can pry loose is not nailed down.

Via Spirit of Enterprise comes this AEIDeas article of charts illustrating the attitude from a different perspective.  Below, some of those charts.

The rate of entitlement growth per capita has been nearly twice as fast as per capita income growth for the last fifty years

Note: Derived by author on the basis of data on official transfers, price changes, and population change. Sources: US Bureau of Economic Analysis, US Dept. of Labor, US Census International Data Base


In the 1960s, the federal government spent $2 on governing for each $1 it spent on entitlement transfers. Today that ratio has completely flipped:

Sources: Derived from: Federal government entitlement transfers: Bureau of Economic Analysis, Federal Budget Outlays: White House Fiscal Year 2012 Historical Tables


Here’s where the money goes:

Sources: Bureau of Economic Analysis, US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, consumer price index


As the Welfare State has expanded, Americans are working less.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, One Screen database, Labor Force Statistics, Series “LNU01300001”, “LNS12300001”

And there’s this from The Daily Caller: