The majority of kids in this country under 18 years old are living in households where one or more people is receiving means-tested government assistance. That's up from 36.9 percent just 20 years ago.

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According to Terrance P. Jeffrey, the Editor in Chief of CNSnews.com this assistance could be SNAP (food stamps), Medicaid, public housing, Supplemental Security Income, the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and the National School Lunch Program.

People living in intact families are less likely to be on government assistance than people living in broken families.

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Jeffrey says Census Bureau figures for 2016 indicate 52.1 percent or 38,365,000 kids under 18 live in homes where some government assistance is provided. He questions whether they will be referred to as "The Welfare Generation."

Jeffrey cites the Bureau's Current Population Survey Detailed Tables for Poverty, which indicates that as of 2016, there were approximately 319,911,000 people living in the U.S. Out of that number, 114,793,000, or 35.9 percent, lived in a household that received means-tested assistance.

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You wonder where the appeal for Socialism comes from? There it is. We have generations of people who know of no other way than to reach out their hand to the government for survival. We have created a dependency on government programs.

Politicians like Bernie Sanders (D-Vermont) run on platforms promising free college, free medical, guaranteed government employment, and it all sounds so wonderful to people who are used to getting free stuff.

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As the Trump Administration begins to address entitlements and create an environment that encourages private sector job development, we have begun to see that dependency ease slightly. Government dependency is a dreadful way to live. It saps incentive and creativity from its victims. It has been a way to control some people politically for generations.

Many minorities, particularly African-Americans, have fallen prey to the endless cycle of government dependency. Black unemployment is at an all-time low and more blacks are beginning to find meaningful employment and break that dependency. This is true of other minority groups, including Hispanics. Black business ownership is up 400 percent over last year, according to blackenterprise.com and smallbiztrends.com.

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It is evident that we must continue to move forward by continuing to lower taxes and reduce the regulatory burden on business. I believe that most Americans prefer a good job to government dependency, and given the opportunity would thrive if the government would get out of their way. But we have to continue to retrain folks to take care of themselves and their families by obtaining an education and jobs skills that make them employable.

The government cannot create private sector jobs, but can encourage the private sector to do so by creating the proper conditions for economic growth. And that is the best and quickest way to reduce government dependency.

Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at barry@wbsm.com and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.