Nearly 5% of the US population is on disability

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Nearly 5% of the US population is on disability

Postby emceng » Tue Apr 02, 2013 1:52 pm UTC

http://apps.npr.org/unfit-for-work/

An interesting article about the rise in disability in the US, and how many times it is a replacement for unemployment.

I find this quote to be quite disheartening.

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Re: Nearly 5% of the US population is on disability

Postby Chen » Tue Apr 02, 2013 3:27 pm UTC

What is the intent of the child disability payments? Is it to provide money so that parents can treat the disability (therapy and the like)? I suppose it could also be to allow parents to have to work less so they can take more care of their child. Having it NEEDED to support their lifestyle is certainly a problem and definitely has a perverse incentive to NOT help their child which is terrible.

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Re: Nearly 5% of the US population is on disability

Postby snow5379 » Tue Apr 02, 2013 3:45 pm UTC

I'm pretty sure anyone can get disability if they push for it even if they're in perfect health.

I once dated a girl who was getting a free ride for being bipolar (really she was just moody), and I knew another person who got it for staying up every night playing WOW and then complaining he had a sleeping disorder and couldn't work. Back pains? Sure, it doesn't matter if you have a degree in computer science or something, you get a free ride too!

5% seems about right from what I see every day.

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Re: Nearly 5% of the US population is on disability

Postby Mordus » Tue Apr 02, 2013 3:50 pm UTC

That's quite the article. I am actually surprised that it's only 5% as the area I live in seems to be much higher. It is very disheartening and there is no real fix. Lawmakers would never cut back on disability, that would cause such a backlash that they would never get elected again. As long as the programs are still there people are going to take advantage of them, whether they deserve it or not.

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Re: Nearly 5% of the US population is on disability

Postby ShortChelsea » Tue Apr 02, 2013 3:55 pm UTC

snow5379 wrote:I'm pretty sure anyone can get disability if they push for it even if they're in perfect health.

I once dated a girl who was getting a free ride for being bipolar (really she was just moody), and I knew another person who got it for staying up every night playing WOW and then complaining he had a sleeping disorder and couldn't work. Back pains? Sure, it doesn't matter if you have a degree in computer science or something, you get a free ride too!

5% seems about right from what I see every day.

You sure she wasn't bipolar? Did she tell you that she was lying to get disability? Are you a psychologist? A psychiatrist? Because it sounds like you're talking out your butt.

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Re: Nearly 5% of the US population is on disability

Postby sardia » Tue Apr 02, 2013 3:58 pm UTC

snow5379 wrote:I'm pretty sure anyone can get disability if they push for it even if they're in perfect health.

I once dated a girl who was getting a free ride for being bipolar (really she was just moody), and I knew another person who got it for staying up every night playing WOW and then complaining he had a sleeping disorder and couldn't work. Back pains? Sure, it doesn't matter if you have a degree in computer science or something, you get a free ride too!

5% seems about right from what I see every day.
Oh yea, look at all them leaches, I bet 47% of americans are nothing but takers from the job creators. How dare they not "starve", they could collapse our economy...you know like the wealthy did 4 years ago. You're buying into the demagogery about welfare queens. It's not a good life, don't think they drive in cadillacs and sip champagne.

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Re: Nearly 5% of the US population is on disability

Postby leady » Tue Apr 02, 2013 4:12 pm UTC

Be thankful you aren't british, the combination of incapacity and disability benefits is over 10%.

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Re: Nearly 5% of the US population is on disability

Postby felltir » Tue Apr 02, 2013 4:35 pm UTC

leady wrote:Be thankful you aren't british, the combination of incapacity and disability benefits is over 10%.


And that's the we we'd like to fucking keep it, thanks.

The current british government can go fuck itself.
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Re: Nearly 5% of the US population is on disability

Postby Роберт » Tue Apr 02, 2013 4:51 pm UTC

ShortChelsea wrote:
snow5379 wrote:I'm pretty sure anyone can get disability if they push for it even if they're in perfect health.

I once dated a girl who was getting a free ride for being bipolar (really she was just moody), and I knew another person who got it for staying up every night playing WOW and then complaining he had a sleeping disorder and couldn't work. Back pains? Sure, it doesn't matter if you have a degree in computer science or something, you get a free ride too!

5% seems about right from what I see every day.

You sure she wasn't bipolar? Did she tell you that she was lying to get disability? Are you a psychologist? A psychiatrist? Because it sounds like you're talking out your butt.

Seconded.
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Re: Nearly 5% of the US population is on disability

Postby morriswalters » Tue Apr 02, 2013 5:20 pm UTC

I doubt that anyone can support that. On the other hand it doesn't mean that it isn't true. Pain and back problems and psychiatric problems are ephemeral by definition.

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Re: Nearly 5% of the US population is on disability

Postby Роберт » Tue Apr 02, 2013 5:27 pm UTC

morriswalters wrote:I doubt that anyone can support that. On the other hand it doesn't mean that it isn't true. Pain and back problems and psychiatric problems are ephemeral by definition.

Not really. Unless you're using a different definition of ephemeral than I am.
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Re: Nearly 5% of the US population is on disability

Postby Heisenberg » Tue Apr 02, 2013 5:48 pm UTC

snow5379 wrote:Back pains? Sure, it doesn't matter if you have a degree in computer science or something, you get a free ride too!

If you read the article, it appears the problem is the rising number of people who are disabled to the point that they cannot do manual labor, and are not qualified to get a job in, say, computer science.

When a janitor loses cartilage in his knees, he can no longer work, and since he can no longer work, he qualifies as disabled. An IT manager with the same affliction doesn't lose his ability to work, and therefore doesn't qualify as disabled.
Mordus wrote:It is very disheartening and there is no real fix. Lawmakers would never cut back on disability, that would cause such a backlash that they would never get elected again.

Cutting disability payments across the board certainly isn't going to help anyone. It may be prudent to do a more thorough investigation of fraud, but I think the real issue is that this is a dead-end. Once on disability, there is no way out. Perhaps we should look into some sort of training program for the disabled in order to encourage them to start a new career and help match them to available positions.

It may even be beneficial to offer an incentive to employers to hire people off of the disability rolls.

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Re: Nearly 5% of the US population is on disability

Postby Zamfir » Tue Apr 02, 2013 5:54 pm UTC

Lawmakers would never cut back on disability, that would cause such a backlash that they would never get elected again. As long as the programs are still there people are going to take advantage of them, whether they deserve it or not.

The Netherlands had a similar problem, with disability benefits taking on a growing role as alternative unemployment benefits. It took 10 years of careful negotiations and sometimes painful reforms, but eventually the growth was halted and eventually reversed. The peak around 2000 was similar to these American numbers, relative to the population, it's now down by a third or so and still falling despite the recession.

So it's politically possible to tackle, but it's hard. It entered the political agenda as a worry in the late 80s, to give an idea of the tine it took. And there are other programs that appear to grow in response to the stricter disability programs. It's a sensitive topic. Pretty much any cut, no matter how well thought-out, will hit tragic cases. You can't leave it right wingers who will do unacceptable damage, nor to left wingers who can't sell even wise cuts.

And yeah, as Heisenberg says, some of it is fundamental. Unhealthy work is usually a last resort for people on the edge of the job market, once they lose that capability it's often a tossup whether you call it disability or structural unemployment.

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Re: Nearly 5% of the US population is on disability

Postby Chen » Tue Apr 02, 2013 5:58 pm UTC

Heisenberg wrote:If you read the article, it appears the problem is the rising number of people who are disabled to the point that they cannot do manual labor, and are not qualified to get a job in, say, computer science.

When a janitor loses cartilage in his knees, he can no longer work, and since he can no longer work, he qualifies as disabled. An IT manager with the same affliction doesn't lose his ability to work, and therefore doesn't qualify as disabled.


Seems like a better way would be to increase the disability payments but make them contingent upon getting extra job training or the like. Right now all we're doing is giving money to people so they can survive and be stuck in poverty for the rest of their lives.

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Re: Nearly 5% of the US population is on disability

Postby Heisenberg » Tue Apr 02, 2013 6:22 pm UTC

We're also hiding the problem.

Currently we can say "Unemployment is down! Welfare is down!" while ignoring the fact that fewer people are working and more people are depending on government checks. This is also important to the health care debate, since the ballooning Medicare and Medicaid numbers do not include the growing number of people the government is caring for via Disability.

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Re: Nearly 5% of the US population is on disability

Postby addams » Tue Apr 02, 2013 6:27 pm UTC

It is better for a people to be too generous with one another than not generous enough.

Better by far.
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Re: Nearly 5% of the US population is on disability

Postby EMTP » Tue Apr 02, 2013 6:32 pm UTC

Chen wrote:Seems like a better way would be to increase the disability payments but make them contingent upon getting extra job training or the like. Right now all we're doing is giving money to people so they can survive and be stuck in poverty for the rest of their lives.


I would go the other way with it. If you guarantee basic (not luxurious) food, shelter, and healthcare to everyone, then you can get the state completely out of the business of trying to separate the "worthy" poor from the "unworthy" poor. So a few people are willing to live in the projects off government cheese their whole lives. Do you think we'll lose the next Bill Gates that way? I doubt it.

Let's stop trying to figure out whose mentally or physically disabled and who's an entitled asshole. There's more overlap between them than you might think. If we could just accept that even assholes have to eat, we could have a normal level of social support for an advanced democracy and just get on with our lives.
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Re: Nearly 5% of the US population is on disability

Postby mosc » Tue Apr 02, 2013 9:29 pm UTC

1) we don't like employing people with substantial physical and mental impairments even if they can do the job so lots of people can't work
2) we don't let people sit on wellfare forever anymore. Chronic unemployment becomes a disability
3) lots of people who could get disability benefits DO NOT get them because they don't want them.

The actual number of people who are disabled is quite high. 5% sounds about right. It's probably not the exact 5% I would want to give money to, but it's not a completely evil system filled with people abusing it.

All that said, I agree it's a serious issue when a child's disability payments are the primary income of a family. If the guardian(s) are not disabled, that makes no sense. I would rather the state employ them to take care of their child if that's really what we want to call it so it was more easily tracked and understood. The state then would be able to audit and show that taking care of the child was the sole use of the federal money.

We seem to be still struggling as a society with what to do with people who do not want to work. The problem is not going to go away. As survival is increasingly not tied to career, the social ailment seems to grow. Science fiction writers love talking about a growing subclass (even sometimes a majority) of people who survive solely on government money. I think for the most part it's an exaggeration meant to highlight the point. I do think that we need to look for other ways of motivating people to work and be productive members of society outside of survival. I would favor support mechanisms that make survival for all assured, but purposely make that survival unfulfilling as a lifestyle.

Speaking more from a management perspective, the motivation to survive is the strongest but we are rightfully uncomfortable with using that as a societal driver as our technology to feed and care for every human on earth has emerged. We don't want socially non-functional people to be effectively sentenced to death anymore. The next strongest motivator is typically power, which works for most people. We want to get a job to exert influence. Find purpose in our specialization and contribution that others are generally less capable or less suited to do. There are many people however who are anti-social by nature and some of those folks will not want to live within the system. We need to respectfully deal with this as a choice.
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Re: Nearly 5% of the US population is on disability

Postby J Thomas » Wed Apr 03, 2013 3:11 am UTC

I think that industrial automation is more important than it gets attention for. Marx thought the proletariat was the most important class, that could take over when they noticed their strength. Now we can eliminate the proletariat almost completely. Computer vision is good enough that any job where you can tell people just what you want them to do, you can program. We basicly have minimum wage jobs, particularly meet-the-public jobs for customers who don't want to buy over the internet, and we have management jobs (including the jobs programming robots). The main thing that stops us from eliminating the first group entirely is that you have to buy robots, but you can rent people and fire them whenever you don't need them any longer. Machines are faster, cleaner, more precise, etc. But they are often not cheaper.

The cheapest people are in the third world, but that can be a good place to put automated factories too.

So in the USA our lower class is getting poorer. They live on food stamps. Some of them get by selling drugs to each other, and some get jobs as prison guards to watch the arrested drug dealers. They have no political power because everybody thinks they are losers, including themselves. If they were worthy they would get good jobs and make a lot of money.

The middle class is getting poorer and they are very very worried. They hang onto their jobs and work hard and worry. Many of their jobs are only there to give their bosses status. Somebody who manages 1000 employees is more important than somebody who manages only 100 employees. So they create reports for each other to work on.... But stockholders think the companies are worth more when they downsize. Private-sector make-work jobs are melting away. It doesn't matter how hard you work. "If a job is not worth doing at all, then it is not worth doing well."

There aren't that many young people to take the bad jobs, and there are lots of retired people who are relatively rich -- but only rich while the economy holds up. Their wealth evaporates with each stock market decline and each bout of inflation. They are worried too. Will the economy be stable long enough for them to die before it falls apart?

And then we also must struggle with the issue of what to do with the people who just plain don't want to work. There are all these wonderful jobs waiting for them, but they just do not want to perform those jobs. They prefer not to have money. What can you do with people like that?
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Re: Nearly 5% of the US population is on disability

Postby Iulus Cofield » Wed Apr 03, 2013 3:38 am UTC

This article makes me think that a negative income tax isn't such a crazy idea after all.

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Re: Nearly 5% of the US population is on disability

Postby Cleverbeans » Wed Apr 03, 2013 4:40 am UTC

snow5379 wrote:I once dated a girl who was getting a free ride for being bipolar


Mental illness is a free ride, I mean I'm so happy I have one and get a giant check from the government because I can't work. Not like it it's completely ruined every relationship and job I've ever had or anything. Asshole.
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Re: Nearly 5% of the US population is on disability

Postby Carnildo » Wed Apr 03, 2013 7:22 am UTC

snow5379 wrote:and I knew another person who got it for staying up every night playing WOW and then complaining he had a sleeping disorder and couldn't work.

Are you sure you're not getting cause and effect backwards here? If he's got a sleeping disorder (from your description, it's most likely delayed sleep phase disorder), he's playing WOW because he needs something to do during the nighttime hours when he can't sleep. It is possible to work if you've got DSPD, but you need to find one of the few jobs that lets you work hours other than the traditional 9 to 5.

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Re: Nearly 5% of the US population is on disability

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed Apr 03, 2013 3:26 pm UTC

Carnildo wrote:
snow5379 wrote:and I knew another person who got it for staying up every night playing WOW and then complaining he had a sleeping disorder and couldn't work.

Are you sure you're not getting cause and effect backwards here? If he's got a sleeping disorder (from your description, it's most likely delayed sleep phase disorder), he's playing WOW because he needs something to do during the nighttime hours when he can't sleep. It is possible to work if you've got DSPD, but you need to find one of the few jobs that lets you work hours other than the traditional 9 to 5.


I knew rather a lot of people that stayed up late and played WOW. The vast majority of them did not claim to have any sort of disorder. I do not think that the evidence given is a very strong suggestion of having a disorder at all...

Incidentally, at the time, I was doing some strange schedules, including 12 hour mid shifts. Yeah, swapping to shifts outside your preferred sleeping hours does suck(rotating schedules are the worst, every coupla weeks you've got to resync. Hate them), but working in your sleep hours does not actually mean you have a disability. Someone working during the day who prefers to sleep them will be as miserable as someone working mids who prefers to sleep then, but the latter isn't described as a disability, it's just a crap schedule.

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Re: Nearly 5% of the US population is on disability

Postby addams » Wed Apr 03, 2013 3:43 pm UTC

Carnildo wrote:
snow5379 wrote:and I knew another person who got it for staying up every night playing WOW and then complaining he had a sleeping disorder and couldn't work.

Are you sure you're not getting cause and effect backwards here? If he's got a sleeping disorder (from your description, it's most likely delayed sleep phase disorder), he's playing WOW because he needs something to do during the nighttime hours when he can't sleep. It is possible to work if you've got DSPD, but you need to find one of the few jobs that lets you work hours other than the traditional 9 to 5.

Yeah. Weird jobs.
Cleaning Labs is one of those jobs.

Have you ever done it?
I have. Weird place to be in the middle of the night.


Working in 24 hour places, too.
Like Hospitals, Police Stations, US fuel stations, All Night Drive-Thru Starbucks Coffee Shops.
I know! That last one is so weird. But; I have seen it.

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Re: Nearly 5% of the US population is on disability

Postby Belial » Wed Apr 03, 2013 5:07 pm UTC

As always, if you think people with "made up disabilities" have it so incredibly easy in our society, I urge you to make up a disability and get on that comfy, comfy train.

The fact that you are not doing so indicates that you know, on some level, that you are actually full of shit.
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Re: Nearly 5% of the US population is on disability

Postby snow5379 » Wed Apr 03, 2013 5:13 pm UTC

Let's be serious here.

A lot of people with "mental disabilities" are just taking advantage of the system while a lot of people who actually do have serious problems don't seek help at all, just put in extra effort, and overcome it/succeed in life. Life isn't fair and those who bitch and cry and blame everything on their "problems" are the trash. How can someone with a sleeping order really justify getting a free ride in life when there are blind people, people in wheel chairs, and so on actively trying to accomplish things in life, find work, and so on? Hell even the severely autistic contributing more to society.

I have my own problems too. I don't try to use them as a scapegoat to get free cash. Instead I work hard, adapt, and try my best like EVERYONE ELSE who succeeds in life.

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Re: Nearly 5% of the US population is on disability

Postby Zamfir » Wed Apr 03, 2013 5:16 pm UTC

Snow, life isn't fair. Stop bitching.

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Re: Nearly 5% of the US population is on disability

Postby J Thomas » Wed Apr 03, 2013 5:34 pm UTC

snow5379 wrote:Let's be serious here.

A lot of people with "mental disabilities" are just taking advantage of the system while a lot of people who actually do have serious problems don't seek help at all, just put in extra effort, and overcome it/succeed in life. Life isn't fair and those who bitch and cry and blame everything on their "problems" are the trash. How can someone with a sleeping order really justify getting a free ride in life when there are blind people, people in wheel chairs, and so on actively trying to accomplish things in life, find work, and so on? Hell even the severely autistic contributing more to society.

I have my own problems too. I don't try to use them as a scapegoat to get free cash. Instead I work hard, adapt, and try my best like EVERYONE ELSE who succeeds in life.


Snow, you are playing a game of musical chairs. You say you have no compassion for the people who didn't get a seat because you put in the extra effort it took to get a seat and you think they should have done the same thing. But think about it. The harder they compete for your seat, the less likely you get it. Do you really want them to try harder?

And when the music stops for the last round, and there is one job left in the nation, do you think it will be you who wins that seat? Have some compassion, man. The time will come that you will be one of the permanently unemployed too.
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Re: Nearly 5% of the US population is on disability

Postby addams » Wed Apr 03, 2013 5:48 pm UTC

Belial wrote:As always, if you think people with "made up disabilities" have it so incredibly easy in our society, I urge you to make up a disability and get on that comfy, comfy train.

The fact that you are not doing so indicates that you know, on some level, that you are actually full of shit.

What country is that, again?
It is quite difficult to impossible for the disabled to live.

I know a little about what The System does.
The truly disabled receive no help for so long many, if not most, die.

But; That is The US model.
I have no idea what is going on in Civilized Countries.

Family and Friends help, sometimes.
A good insurance policy is nice.
Some people have that.

Many of the insurance policies run out.

I was in a catch 22.
Many people are or were.

If I got sick, I was unable to work.
If I was unable to work, I could not pay the insurance.
If I did not pay the insurance, I did not have the insurance.

What a mess. The Larger Community keeping everyone safe is a better and more sane system.
Yet; In the US there are persons of great power and meanness.

The TV people? They are mean. Right?

The Outraged middle class?
Angry that the one eyed, one legged man is doing fine?
Well; I saw him a while ago. He was in a good mood and looking fine; For a one eyed, one legged man. That is nice.

Many with both eyes and both legs are not doing as well.
Many people in need. Need should be all a persons needs to receive help.

What do you really think? Now; Really, think.

Besides! That is All the emotional issue.
The Science says that the US economy was designed to have at least 5% non-productive Some Darned Thing.
There are Economists that Know that stuff.

The US economy may be acting funny. Like a big engine.
It is not surprising that many People turn to Religion.

The US economy is a big engine. If it blows up, other engines need to be kept at a distance.

It Is a Moral Issue! Let The People of The US be mean to one another?

Politics. I can't do Politics.
The most helpless have no political power.

I saw a TV documentay. US.
It showed a woman that was dying.
She was shuttled to a local Homeless Shelter from The Hospital.

She was in need of skilled nursing care.
Was it an advertisement for something?
Outrage? Is it true?

Could it happen to you?
Think. Think about it.

If you are English in Enlgland it could not happen to you.
If you are purple with little green spots and you have a humdoid form in England it could not happen to you.

What Nations fall below the acceptable standard in Care? The US is at the top of that list?
How did that happen? No! Don't answer that question.

It does not Have To be a mean system, staffed by mean spirited people that have been trained to 'Show No Mercy'.

Victims. There are a great many victims.
I see them. I may be one.
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Re: Nearly 5% of the US population is on disability

Postby (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻ » Wed Apr 03, 2013 6:00 pm UTC

snow5379 wrote:Let's be serious here.

A lot of people with "mental disabilities" are just taking advantage of the system while a lot of people who actually do have serious problems don't seek help at all, just put in extra effort, and overcome it/succeed in life. Life isn't fair and those who bitch and cry and blame everything on their "problems" are the trash. How can someone with a sleeping order really justify getting a free ride in life when there are blind people, people in wheel chairs, and so on actively trying to accomplish things in life, find work, and so on? Hell even the severely autistic contributing more to society.

I have my own problems too. I don't try to use them as a scapegoat to get free cash. Instead I work hard, adapt, and try my best like EVERYONE ELSE who succeeds in life.

You just fucking said that bolded part. Like it's not even terrible.
Seriously, go fuck yourself. As someone who's pulling a full-time job and has never even considered trying to get on disability, I'm working my ass off to do what I do. It's hard as fuck, because I have mood and anxiety disorders. (but I guess I'm just moody?) But when I meet people who honestly can't do the things that I do, I don't refer to them as trash. You're comparing one disability to another and declaring it invalid. You have your own problems, too. Whatever they are, they sure do allow you to speak from a position of priviledge and posit that anyone who isn't acheiving what you achieve is just being a loaf who isn't trying.
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Re: Nearly 5% of the US population is on disability

Postby Роберт » Wed Apr 03, 2013 6:01 pm UTC

snow5379 wrote:Let's be serious here.

A lot of people with "mental disabilities" are just taking advantage of the system while a lot of people who actually do have serious problems don't seek help at all, just put in extra effort, and overcome it/succeed in life. Life isn't fair and those who bitch and cry and blame everything on their "problems" are the trash. How can someone with a sleeping order really justify getting a free ride in life when there are blind people, people in wheel chairs, and so on actively trying to accomplish things in life, find work, and so on? Hell even the severely autistic contributing more to society.

I have my own problems too. I don't try to use them as a scapegoat to get free cash. Instead I work hard, adapt, and try my best like EVERYONE ELSE who succeeds in life.

You have yet to present your reasoning for why you asserted the girl you dated didn't really have bipolar.

I'm assuming is because it came from your Apathetic Selfish Syndrome.
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Re: Nearly 5% of the US population is on disability

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed Apr 03, 2013 9:14 pm UTC

Belial wrote:As always, if you think people with "made up disabilities" have it so incredibly easy in our society, I urge you to make up a disability and get on that comfy, comfy train.

The fact that you are not doing so indicates that you know, on some level, that you are actually full of shit.


That's not necessarily the case. Not everyone does things simply because they are easy. I, for one, would have severe moral objections to doing such a thing. I won't pretend that everyone is like me, but it's a valid position.

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Re: Nearly 5% of the US population is on disability

Postby Heisenberg » Wed Apr 03, 2013 9:31 pm UTC

snow5379 wrote:I have my own problems too. I don't try to use them as a scapegoat to get free cash.
The disability program is hardly free cash. First of all, it's not free, the price is surrendering yourself to poverty for the rest of your life. Secondly, the payouts are a pittance. $13,000 a year is hardly a king's ransom. You'd need to double that to get above the poverty line.

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Re: Nearly 5% of the US population is on disability

Postby omgryebread » Wed Apr 03, 2013 9:51 pm UTC

Oh hey, someone calling a bipolar person "just moody". Almost there, just need one more...


snow5379 wrote:A lot of people with "mental disabilities" are just taking advantage of the system while a lot of people who actually do have serious problems don't seek help at all, just put in extra effort, and overcome it/succeed in life.


BINGO.
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Re: Nearly 5% of the US population is on disability

Postby (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻ » Wed Apr 03, 2013 9:56 pm UTC

From here on out I think we're going to have to wordfilter 'mental disibilities' to include those quotation marks so everyone knows that they're not real.
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Re: Nearly 5% of the US population is on disability

Postby J Thomas » Thu Apr 04, 2013 1:56 am UTC

Fantastic Idea wrote:From here on out I think we're going to have to wordfilter 'mental disibilities' to include those quotation marks so everyone knows that they're not real.


But they are real. They are at least as real as software errors that cause computers to behave incorrectly.

The question that snow brings up is, how much of mental disabilities are illnesses that deserve our compassion, and how big a part of them are really moral disabilities that should instead be treated by punishment.

It's just plain common sense that if somebody has a mental disability we should be nice to them and get them what treatment we can. But if they are morally handicapped, then after sufficient punishment they will decide that being morally handicapped doesn't pay well enough and they will cure themselves. Almost everybody believes this.
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Re: Nearly 5% of the US population is on disability

Postby Belial » Thu Apr 04, 2013 3:35 am UTC

Almost everybody believes a lot of stupid shit.
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They/them

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Re: Nearly 5% of the US population is on disability

Postby J Thomas » Thu Apr 04, 2013 5:18 am UTC

Belial wrote:Almost everybody believes a lot of stupid shit.


Yes, indeed.
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Re: Nearly 5% of the US population is on disability

Postby Zamfir » Thu Apr 04, 2013 6:01 am UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:
Belial wrote:As always, if you think people with "made up disabilities" have it so incredibly easy in our society, I urge you to make up a disability and get on that comfy, comfy train.

The fact that you are not doing so indicates that you know, on some level, that you are actually full of shit.


That's not necessarily the case. Not everyone does things simply because they are easy. I, for one, would have severe moral objections to doing such a thing. I won't pretend that everyone is like me, but it's a valid position.

I can't speak for you, but I know that I cannot trust my own moral objections on this. I have got more attractive options than telling people that I have a mental disorder in order to bum around on a small amount of money.

I can tell myself that I have severe moral objections. That would give me a warm feeling of righteousness, but it's silly. I cannot know what I would do, if I was in a situation where a mental disability pension looked like an attractive option.

I don't approve of cheating a system that is supposdd to help people in need. But at the same time, I am not going to throw around terms like 'morally handicapped', like J Thomas above. Coming from me, that would be sheer arrogance. A judgement on difficult choices that I don't have to face myself.

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Re: Nearly 5% of the US population is on disability

Postby folkhero » Thu Apr 04, 2013 7:19 am UTC

Saying that people are faking mental illness isn't good obviously, and we shouldn't accuse people of it unless we are trained in the relevant field and have given the person in question a full work up. But let's look at it from a demographic point of view: almost 5% of the US population is on disability and almost 20% of those are getting disability for mental illness. Another third are getting disability for back and other muscle pain (and related conditions). Is it really a coincidence that over half of disability claims are in the categories of medical conditions that are hardest to diagnose? There is an incentive to fake (it's not a king's ransom for sure, but it ain't nothing, especially if you are getting pushed off welfare) so I find it hard to imagine that their isn't a significant number of people faking. Now faking can be anything from outright fabrication to a slight exaggeration to a doctor of a fairly serious condition.

I listened to the This American Life piece and what I found most interesting was the industries that sprung up around disability. You have the television ad lawyers who promise to fight for you if you were denied a disability claim and then when they go to court, their is no one their to argue the government's case that a person shouldn't be getting disability. Then their are the agencies that states bring in to push people off their welfare rolls and into disability. Good for the state's budget since they have to pay a percentage of welfare but not disability. Bad for the federal government for the same reason. Probably bad for the person in question and society overall since, from what I gathered, disability is a lot deeper of a welfare trap than most welfare programs.

One thing I hope we can agree on is that we need to consider the large number of people on disability when we talk about unemployment and welfare numbers instead of pretending the people on disability aren't a significant part of the issue.
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