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By Nicholas Eberstadt

In A state of Takers: America’s Entitlement Epidemic, considered one of our country’s premiere demographers, Nicholas Eberstadt, information the exponential development in entitlement spending during the last fifty years. As he notes, in 1960, entitlement funds accounted for good lower than a 3rd of the federal government’s overall outlays. this day, entitlement spending debts for an entire two-thirds of the federal funds. Drawing on a powerful array of knowledge and using various effortless- to- learn, 4 colour charts, Eberstadt exhibits the unchecked spiral of spending on various entitlements, everything from medicare to incapacity funds.  But Eberstadt doesn't simply chart the dazzling progress of entitlement spending, he additionally information the big financial and cultural expenditures of this epidemic.   He powerfully argues that whereas this spending definitely drains our federal coffers, it additionally has a truly real,long-lasting, detrimental effect at the personality of our citizens. Also integrated within the publication is a reaction from one in all our prime political theorists, William Galston. In his incisive response, he questions Eberstadt’s conclusions concerning the corrosive impact of entitlements on personality and gives his personal research of the impression of yankee entitlement growth.  

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Extra resources for A Nation of Takers: America's Entitlement Epidemic

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Much as Ameriquest had been the centerpiece of the ACORN National Convention in Philadelphia in 2002, Wells Fargo was the main target of 1500 marching ACORN members in downtown Los Angeles during the ACORN National Convention in 2004. The demand made by ACORN President Maude Hurd on the sidewalk—in front of the Wells Fargo building, within sight of the newly opened Walt Disney Concert Hall designed by Frank Gehry—was not about negotiations. The demand was to stop its predatory practices and to meet ACORN in court, and 38 CREATING CITIZEN WEALTH she turned over to the highest Wells Fargo executive on the sidewalk a copy of a suit filed that same day challenging the bank’s predatory practices, as we had done with the Household Finance campaign.

We collected cases of what seemed to us to be predatory practices and turned them over to consumer advocates and attorneys general all over the country. We did study after study to try to document that Household Finance was up to no good. Lisa Donner, the head of the ACORN Financial Justice Center at that time, cultivated contacts among Wall Street ana- 36 CREATING CITIZEN WEALTH lysts and was constantly on the phone with them to make sure they understood the business practices of the company and the problems they might raise.

Reducing requirements for down payments for many of these mortgage products was a good thing. Even allowing some level of higher interest rate to offset the additional risk of a borrower’s credit history is defensible, because the huge benefits of building long-term citizen wealth justify accepting risk on both sides. ARMs The problems of adjustable rate mortgages and affordability, though, are central to the foreclosure crisis and less defensible. The fraudsters who misstated incomes and used bait-and-switch interest rates often blatantly ignored whether or not the loan was actually affordable by the family on a long-term basis independent of future refinancings premised on rising market values.

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