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Kansas Ranks Low in Moocher Index

By   /   June 17, 2010  /   No Comments

Kansas ranks 40th on the Moocher index, and that’s a good thing — unless you think it’s good for people to live off the efforts of others  if they’re not truly needy.

The Cato Institute’s Daniel Mitchell created the Moocher Index to compare the variations in government dependency among the states. CLICK HERE OR ON CHART TO SEE FULL INDEX

He used a Center for Immigration Studies study examine how many people in California were receiving some form of welfare compared to other states. He subtracted each state’s poverty rate to get a measure of how many non-poor people are signed up for income-redistribution programs — the Moocher Index.

New England states dominate the big moocher end of the index while midwestern and western states dominate the more self-reliant end. Mitchell says he doesn’t know why.

Why is Vermont (by far) the state with the largest proportion of non-poor people signed up for welfare programs? I have no idea, but maybe this explains why they elect people like Bernie Sanders. But it’s not just Vermont. Four of the top five states on the Moocher Index are from the Northeast, as are six of the top nine. Mississippi also scores poorly, coming in second, but many other southern states do well. Indeed, if we reversed the ranking and did a Self-Reliance Index, Virginia, Florida, and Georgia would score in the top 10. Nevada, arguably the nation’s most libertarian state, is the state with the lowest number of non-poor people signed up for welfare.

Anyone have an explanation?

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During his 28-year journalism career Soutar worked for the Associated Press, the Detroit Free Press, Detroit News and Knight Ridder Newspapers in Washington, D.C. From 1990 to 2008 he worked for the Wichita Eagle as a photo and graphics editor, producing special sections and writing stories on various subjects. He has received numerous international, national and regional journalism and design awards. Before his journalism career Soutar served in the U.S. Navy photographing and writing about events in the Western Pacific and Indian oceans.