(NaturalNews) At a time in the not-too-distant past America was a nation that encouraged meaningful labor, rugged individualism and, most importantly, self-reliance. But more and more America is becoming a nation of welfare zombies, a European-style socialist nightmare where government largess is replacing a productive work ethic.
In fact, the number of Americans receiving some form of government assistance has exploded since 2000; those on food stamps alone have risen from 17 million at the turn of the 21st century to roughly 47 million today, an increase of about 150 percent (the fastest increase has occurred since President Obama took office).
Growing numbers of takers, shrinking number of makers
The "taker" society has spread all across the country, but it has manifested itself more in some states than in others, leading a writer a Forbes magazine to label them "death spiral states" because they have more takers than givers.
"For example, in California the ratio of 'takers versus makers' is bigger than one. If you own a software company that employs 100 people, you're supporting 139 other people in the state who are on the 'takers' list," Fox News Insider noted.
The other 10 states include: New Mexico (the worst of the bunch, with 153 takers to 100 workers), Illinois, Mississippi, Alabama, Kentucky, Ohio, New York, Maine and South Carolina.
"America is rapidly becoming a nation of takers. An increasing number of Americans expect the government to take care of them from the cradle to the grave, and they expect the government to dig into the pockets of others in order to pay for it all," noted one observer at The Economic Collapse website.
What happens when, nationally, there are more takers than makers? The answer is easy to see - just look across the Atlantic Ocean at Europe, where one nation after another is going bankrupt thanks to decades of cradle-to-grave social welfare programs.
-- As Republican candidate Mitt Romney correctly noted during his campaign, nearly half of Americans - 47 percent - "receive some government payment to which they feel morally entitled," writes Robert Samuelson for the Washington Post Writers Group, something that has become "a big part of our budget problem."
-- In all, more than 100 million Americans are receiving some form of government (i.e. taxpayer) assistance, including 54 million receiving Medicaid.
-- The number of Americans now receiving disability has topped 9 million and what's more, the pool of Social Security Administration money uses to pay the benefit is expected to run out by 2016. "Incoming payroll taxes only cover 79 percent of the benefit, which means families' monthly checks will decrease by 21 percent," Bloomberg Businessweek reported.
-- According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 49.1 percent of the population lives in a household where someone is receiving a government payment - up from 30 percent in the early 1980s and 44 percent as recently as 2008.
What does all of this mean? It likely means the country will wind up broke and desperate, like Greece, Spain, Portugal and, increasingly, France.
"The more people who receive benefits, the harder it's going to be to make cuts, and it's never popular to raise taxes," the Wall Street Journal noted.
"The administration refuses to address the causes of the problem--a plethora of economic ailments which include the government spending more than it takes in, tight regulations on business and energy, and the weakening of the dollar," writes St. Louis-based talk show host Dana Loesch, for Breitbart.com.