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  #101  
Old 11-01-2019, 02:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Oredigger77 View Post
Why? I don't see a reason the disabled should lead a better life than the lazy. The idea here is to create a floor that gives people an acceptable minimum life. That means that some people, either through their own fault or through no fault of their own, will live at the floor level. After that most people will work to create a better life for themselves than that floor level not everyone will or will want to do that and that is OK.

It is a reasonable argument where to set that minimum acceptable living standard. I guess it is also reasonable argument that we should provide a better lifestyle to those who are at the minimum through no fault of there own though once we get to the point of deciding who is there through their own fault or not were back to a higher level of government intervention that I would prefer.

On the other hand you seem to want to keep the current saftey net in full force and then add UBI on top of it and that is just silly since it doubles (at least) the expenditures in the system. I guess silly is the wrong term but it does seem you'd be better off arguing that the floor for UBI needs to be raised if it's enacted since it would accomplish the same thing.
Fair enough, just don't lie to the American people when trying to sell your plan. That is what Yang is doing, imo. Also, the difference between disability payments for the disabled and a UBI for the lazy is that the UBI provides *additional* options to what those lazy yet fully capable adults have. The lazy get 12,000/year without lifting a finger. If they are content with that lifestyle, ok, more power to them. But if living in abject poverty (which is what 12 grand/year falls in, if im not mistaken), they *can* earn money on top of that guaranteed UBI, in order to better their quality of life and provide better security.

Not so with the disabled. The disability payments, lets say 12 grand a year, are all they will ever receive. They cant *decide* not to be disabled and become employed on top of that disability payment. And even if they could, anything more than a small, part time low paying job would cut them off from those payments, which is very much different than what UBI would mean for every other citizen.
  #102  
Old 11-01-2019, 03:30 PM
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OK. So how do we get doctors to stop ordering the tests that the gov't pays for. And keep patients from demanding them?
Why do you not want doctors to order tests for their patients? Isn't that part of diagnostic health care?
  #103  
Old 11-01-2019, 03:40 PM
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Here's a great article for the "pay for it" crowd from someone who knows his stuff. It's specifically addressing issues around AOC's Green New Deal (which is also Bernie's policy proposal as well) but the underlying principles are the same for any sort of social benefit spending--and the bit about "Citizen Accounts" is pretty cool and the first time I've seen that idea floated.
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Old 11-01-2019, 03:41 PM
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Why do you not want doctors to order tests for their patients? Isn't that part of diagnostic health care?
Sorry - prior posts suggest an implied "unnecessary".
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  #105  
Old 11-01-2019, 03:56 PM
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No. While everyone has an extra $1,000 UBI check only the lower income bracket will have a net increase in their income after taxes. Those in the middle income bracket will about break even and the upper income will be worse off--they will be paying more than $1,000 extra each month in taxes.

A federal jobs guarantee would be a horrendous bureaucratic mess to implement.
I think you're missing my point. What I'm saying is that if everyone has another $12k (for example) added to their income, grocery stores, gas stations, restaurants, etc... are all going to raise their prices because they can, and because they know people have that extra cash to pay for stuff. What the market will bear and all that. And because people will have more money, the market will bear more in terms of higher prices.
  #106  
Old 11-01-2019, 04:01 PM
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Fair enough, just don't lie to the American people when trying to sell your plan. That is what Yang is doing, imo. Also, the difference between disability payments for the disabled and a UBI for the lazy is that the UBI provides *additional* options to what those lazy yet fully capable adults have. The lazy get 12,000/year without lifting a finger. If they are content with that lifestyle, ok, more power to them. But if living in abject poverty (which is what 12 grand/year falls in, if im not mistaken), they *can* earn money on top of that guaranteed UBI, in order to better their quality of life and provide better security.

Not so with the disabled. The disability payments, lets say 12 grand a year, are all they will ever receive. They cant *decide* not to be disabled and become employed on top of that disability payment. And even if they could, anything more than a small, part time low paying job would cut them off from those payments, which is very much different than what UBI would mean for every other citizen.
I haven't looked it up for a single person but I developed the $12k per year for myself by taking poverty level for a family of 4 and dividing it by two. So two adults receiving their benefits even with two kids would be at the federal poverty level and doing anything would life them out of poverty. You could bump the amount by $1,000 per year per person so they would be above today's poverty levels without working if you wanted to.

Just to be clear getting a part time low paying job would not cut a disabled person off from anything in the UBI world. They would have to pay taxes on any income they earned but they won't lose their disabled status because they won't have a disabled status they can earn as much money as they are able with no penalty. There is no difference between them and any other citizen. You are correct that the profoundly disabled who cannot earn any month would receive only UBI (which has to be paired with universal healthcare to work) but again you should be arguing for a hire floor if that's what you believe in UBI itself doesn't seem to cause the problems you're seeing.
  #107  
Old 11-01-2019, 04:05 PM
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I guess just to continue off of that thought one of the reasons I like UBI is that it can encourage risk taking by socializing some of the risk. If you are going to start a business and it takes 3 years to get to the point you can draw a salary that's fine because you can still put a roof icer your head, food on the table and deal with getting sick. A UBI world should see more start ups and more small business which in the long term should grow the middle class. It will do that with the minimum amount of government intervention which is a good thing.
  #108  
Old 11-01-2019, 05:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Wrenching Spanners View Post
Right. Because planned economies and government programs that mandate personal behaviour have such a great history of success. But hey, go ahead and let the government decide how much food you can buy. I'm sure they won't expand that into other areas of control such as how often you can fly, or whether you can decide to send your kid to a private school. Never mind who you can sleep with, what books you can read, or if the brands you like have been approved by the state consumer oversight committee.
Odd how the free enterprise paradise of the 19th century so loved by the right today had a lot more restrictions on personal freedom than any actual proposal today. I'm not sure how you get from making sure the poor have enough to eat from controlling what everyone eats. Care to show your work?
  #109  
Old 11-03-2019, 03:35 AM
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I think you're missing my point. What I'm saying is that if everyone has another $12k (for example) added to their income, grocery stores, gas stations, restaurants, etc... are all going to raise their prices because they can, and because they know people have that extra cash to pay for stuff. What the market will bear and all that. And because people will have more money, the market will bear more in terms of higher prices.
It largely depends on where the money comes from. If the excess spending power is sucked up via taxes, average price inflation might be zero.

And, in any event, any price inflation will be limited: someone with $12,000 in new income will pay far FAR less than $12,000 in price hikes.

Present company excepted of course, it gets tiresome to cope with innumeracy about economics. "Increase minimum wage by 10% and prices will rise 10%." WRONG. "Increase taxes on the rich by 10% and (out of spite?) the rich will deliberately earn 10% less." WRONG.
  #110  
Old 11-03-2019, 05:36 AM
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This again.

Those who do not make enough money to pay Federal income tax STILL have to pay Medicare and Social Security taxes. So, in fact, those poor folks DO pay into the social safety net (even as they might be using it) even if they get out of contributing to the general fund, military, etc. In addition, they also pay State and local taxes, which contribute to Medicaid and state-funded safety net programs. So they do in fact "contribute to the payment".

Poor people do NOT get a free ride unless they are so destitute as to have absolutely no income at all and exclusively eat in soup kitchens. Even then, any purchase on their part of, say, toilet paper or socks involves a tax.

So stop pushing the notion that poor people don't pay taxes. They do. It is factually incorrect and you have a better grasp of logic and reason than that.
  #111  
Old 11-03-2019, 05:50 AM
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Rather than giving them $1,000 in cold, hard cash, we provide them things like food stamps, and heating fuel assu]istance, and give them Section 8 housing, etc. In other words, it looks a lot more like the safety net we have today (less cash, more goods and services) than Yang's envisioned UBI.
How about we fully fund Section 8 so it's actually useful?

In my area there is a ten year waiting list for Section 8. And the list is closed so if you aren't already on it you can't even get in line. How the hell is that a "safety net" or in any way useful to someone who lost their livelihood last Tuesday?

Why do you think we have so many goddamned working homeless even though Section 8 exists? It's because in most places if you weren't on the program a decade ago you aren't able to get on it now.

How about we remove some of the stupid-ass restrictions on food stamps? Are you aware that if you EVER had a felony conviction for drugs you can not get food stamps? But if your felony was assault with a deadly weapon, or bank robbery, or ponzi scheme targeting rich people or freakin' murder you can? WTF? Don't former drug addicts need food, too? And there's no time limit - convicted of drug dealing because you sold pot in college in 1979? You can't get food stamps in 2019 forty years later (A few states have loosened the rules a bit but in my state it's zero tolerance - any drug conviction ever and you can never get food stamps, ever, no matter how many years you've been a good citizen since.)

Fuel assistance? To be honest, that's one I haven't researched much. The only thing I'm sure about is that the utility companies in this area can't cut you off mid-winter. Of course, if you were cut off in summer and it's going into winter you're screwed, in that case they don't have to turn on the heat.

The social safety net is a joke - it's underfunded and getting (and sometimes keeping) access is nightmare for most.

Last edited by Broomstick; 11-03-2019 at 05:52 AM.
  #112  
Old 11-03-2019, 07:02 AM
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I can't speak for Yang but in my ideal implementation, yes. We minimize the government's intervention in people's life, no telling them to buy brocolli instead of beer or live in a particular section of town, or don't donate it to your church rather we let people decide what makes their lives better while giving them enough money to meet their basic needs. The nice thing about the monthly check is you always have the opportunity to do something different next month. Though I am intrigued by the daily payments though the administration costs may out weight the benefits.
Right now, in order to qualify for benefits you have to be approved and that requires a case worker to look over evidence you provide. You have to re-certify for programs periodically (3 months, 6 months, yearly, etc.) which means going through a similar process over and over. Remove the need to qualify and you eliminate that part of the process and salaries for those folks (who may then need Universal Benefit or UB themselves). So yes, administration costs will go down.

And if either monthly or daily payments don't suit we could do every two weeks or weekly - employers find paying people on weekly, fortnight, or monthly schedules to work out OK so I don't see why there would be a problem with UB.

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Don't you understand that with food stamps these type people don't spend those food stamps on food; they sell them at a discount for cash so they can go and buy booze or drugs or whatever?
While SNAP/WIC fraud are not impossible it's a lot harder than it used to be. Speaking as someone who has been on the program in the past decade and is now on the other side of the cash register serving customers who use those benefits.

I confess I'm a bit conflicted over the folks who, say, purchase $50 in beverages with the intent to resell them at a profit. On the one hand, that's not allowed under the rules. On the other hand, it does show a capitalist, entrepreneurial spirit that is generally applauded in this country except, of course, if the entrepreneur is poor, then it's bad.

The fact that we provide the poor a means to purchase food but NOT the means to purchase the toilet paper they'll eventually need as a consequence of eating is also a flaw in the system. While I'm sure there's some nefarious use of such ill-gotten profit there's also buying of basics like soap, toilet paper, and deodorant coming out of it, too.

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It's precisely because SS & Medicare are funded by a separate payroll tax that most people seem to have more of a sense of having "earned" their SS. They DID pay into it (well, many of us did anyways) and it's not really a "free" giveaway to them. WIC, SNAP, etc, and the other more traditional "welfare" components of the social safety net? The people taking advantage of them often haven't paid for them.
Given that 2/3 of the types of people who qualify for WIC (you know, Women, Infants, and Children) are minors and far too young to hold a job that "they don't pay for it" is entirely unfair.

This also plays to the myth that the majority of people on WIC, SNAP, etc. are lifetime welfare recipients, and that is also untrue. MOST people do not stay on those programs more than a year or two, before and after they most certainly DO pay into the system. Did I pay Federal Income tax the four years I collected SNAP? No. But I sure as hell paid them before AND I'm back to paying them now. I view my taxes that go towards the social safety net as premiums on an insurance policy, and in that frame of mind I want good social safety net benefits in case I ever need them (again).

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Well that's the thing, yes we should provide housing BUT, does it have to be in an expensive area like Portland?
That depends.

Is the intention to encourage people to work? If so, that's a problem because the places where there's work tend to have a higher cost of living. (A lot of that has to do with housing costs, but even with available housing cities tend to cost more to live in.)

If you don't care about encouraging work then providing housing, food, and medical care in the boondocks might be more cost-effective, but don't be surprised if there's little employment in those areas.

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Yes, we should provide basic medical care, BUT, does that cover every medical test, drug, procedure and hospital stay a doctor or a person wants? (sidenote - my cousin in Denmark had to pay to take his wife to a private hospital for surgery when the government wait list was too long.)
How about what is medically necessary based on current medical science/evidence based medicine?

And I don't see a problem with folks who can afford to pay out of pocket going to a private hospital to evade long waiting lines - they have the option and it reduces the waiting line for those who can't afford to pay. The important thing is that everyone can get into line. At present in the US if you don't have insurance you don't even get to the waiting list. Your wait is forever.

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Yes, we can provide free college, BUT, does that mean a person can stay in college for 10 years while only keeping a C average? Do we have to pay for every field of study? Do we have to pay for the most expensive colleges around including private? Do we hold colleges responsible for holding the line on spending?
You know, those questions really deserve their own thread. Care to start one?

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And — though I've been booed down for this opinion in the past — some of UBI benefits should be delivered in kind rather than in cash: access to cheap food and housing, education, healthcare, childcare. This approach would reduce the total cost to taxpayers of UBI while increasing the benefit to the needy.
Um... yes and no.

The US used to distribute actual food. But, honestly, the current grocery infrastructure is already pretty efficient. The US moved to food stamps because providing an account to people so they could access the already-efficient grocery industry has worked out pretty well. No need for a parallel distribution system. Grocers also benefit from the system. I see no reason to change that. The government taking on food distribution is NOT likely to be cheaper or more efficient.

Healthcare? There are literally hundreds of countries to look at for a distribution system that works. Time to stop saying the US is "exceptional" and learn something from other people.

Childcare? Sure, let's do government sponsored childcare the way we do government sponsored public education. Paid professionals, oversight, everyone has access to childcare. The private sector providers will likely be luxurious but parents who work will have a place to take their kids that is safe and won't cost more than what they're earning from their job(s).

Housing... I've worked for landlords. Section 8 has issues. In order for that to really work it has to work for both sides. Landlords need to be able to make at least a modest profit from the buildings they rent and all too often I've heard they can't, Section 8 means they lose money. Under a subsidized housing system there has to be regular payments (locally, aside from Section 8 local county housing aid around here is notorious for late payments. MONTHS late payments.), maybe some other incentives. Reduced property taxes? Some sort of insurance policy regarding damage by renters? Certainly, having the government as the landlord has resulted in some epic disasters as well. This is another topic that deserves its own thread.

I dunno - maybe a plastic card (like is already used for many benefits) with accounts for 1) food (like current SNAP/WIC), 2) housing, and 3) weekly or month cash stipend?

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Originally Posted by iiandyiiii View Post
This doesn't actually conflict with what I said. The "bare minumum" food, shelter, and medical care could be prison-quality rations, a tiny concrete room with a small bed and a toilet, and prison-quality health care.
The sad thing is that "prison-quality health care" is superior to what millions of American citizens currently have access to...

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Originally Posted by msmith537 View Post
Of course it sounds good to you. You get to replace your job of processing paperwork for poor people receiving benefits or whatever with a check for doing essentially nothing.

For someone like me, I just see having to work harder because more hands are in my pocket.
I think you're ignoring that the "check for doing nothing" will likely be considerably smaller than his current salary.

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Originally Posted by Oredigger77 View Post
Why? I don't see a reason the disabled should lead a better life than the lazy. The idea here is to create a floor that gives people an acceptable minimum life. That means that some people, either through their own fault or through no fault of their own, will live at the floor level. After that most people will work to create a better life for themselves than that floor level not everyone will or will want to do that and that is OK.

It is a reasonable argument where to set that minimum acceptable living standard. I guess it is also reasonable argument that we should provide a better lifestyle to those who are at the minimum through no fault of there own though once we get to the point of deciding who is there through their own fault or not were back to a higher level of government intervention that I would prefer.
While that argument seems to make sense on the surface it ignores something most able-bodied people never consider:

It costs more to be disabled.

If you need accessible housing your housing options are more limited - my late spouse in his later years had trouble with stairs so we had a first-floor residence. Someone who needs an interior space able to accommodate a wheelchair has fewer housing options. Just two examples.

My late spouse would have had problems with my current residence - a flight and a half of stairs would be a problem. Ambivalid might, because he's in good shape and that stubborn, be able to pull himself up the stairs and into my apartment (guess I'd have to carry his chair up the stairs behind him) but I don't see him doing that on a regular basis and there's no elevator. The doorways aren't wide enough for a wheelchair. Two sharp right angles would make getting into the bathroom somewhere between extremely difficult and impossible. Not that I'm expecting him to visit the area, but if Ambivalid did pass through Northwest Indiana we might meet up at a restaurant but he will never visit my living space because it's not accessible. In looking for alternative living spaces I did look at places more accessible - they uniformly cost $500-1000 more per month. This difference is further exacerbated because, as an able-bodied adult, I can opt for a less expensive residence with stairs instead of an elevator, narrow doors and hallways, and a cramped bathroom to keep my housing costs down and a disabled person may not have that option.

My late spouse, with his typical bluntness and dark humor, called that the "gimp tax".

That's just the housing. The disabled often have medical costs the rest of us don't (it costs me nothing to pee. The late spouse needed a catheter and associated paraphernalia to keep things clean. As just one example.) Now, if we had universal medical coverage that took care of those on-going costs - catheters for the bladder impaired, daily insulin for those diabetics needing it, etc. - it would be less of an issue. There are also more episodic costs - those that can't walk need wheelchairs. Those missing a limb might need a prosthesis. Hearing aids. Aids for the vision impaired. These cost money above the base costs of being a living human being.

So... I would say that the disabled should have these basic costs covered, if you're covering basic needed costs for everyone else. Because those costs aren't really optional for the disabled.

You'd basically say "everyone gets these basic needs covered. And if you have an additional basic need - like needing a wheelchair - you will also have that covered".
  #113  
Old 11-03-2019, 08:41 AM
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How about people in need because of circumstances beyond their control? How about we take care of them first and then try to figure out what an acceptable level of laziness and non-criminal foolishness is.
A little bit of laziness is tolerable; by far the most destructive acts of foolishness are committed by those with disproportionate wealth and power. Your average street-dwelling drug addict didn't cause the Great Recession, for instance. Nor is he responsible for the trillion dollar deficits that will inevitably bankrupt entitlement programs.
  #114  
Old 11-03-2019, 09:25 AM
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I don't see a reason the disabled should lead a better life than the lazy.
And the rest of us do. And we don't need to convince you. I want a program that helps maintain *my* standard of living should I become disabled. Not one that takes money away from working me and gives it to people who choose not to work.
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Old 11-03-2019, 09:30 AM
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Broomstick I do understand that there are increased costs for being disabled which is why I mentioned that UBI needs to be paired with universal healthcare. $12,000/year isn't going to be meeting the medical expenses of a woman who is pregnant let alone someone in a persistent vegetative state. In my mind UBI is for daily life of a "normal" person if you have a medical necessity for a guide dog (with food and car of the dog) or a wheelchair or special housing that needs to come out of the healthcare fund. The healthcare system is also going to have to have administrative costs that aren't there on the UBI side. We need to make sure you need a wheelchair or a power chair and that doctors aren't prescribing wider hallways because you want a bigger house (accessible house need more sqft in hallways and bathrooms than is standard which tends to mean larger sqft overall).

I think how to handle people with expensive medical care is an important conversation in the implementation of universal healthcare care but I haven't come up with a good solution aside from being in favor of Death Panels.
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Old 11-03-2019, 09:50 AM
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And the rest of us do. And we don't need to convince you. I want a program that helps maintain *my* standard of living should I become disabled. Not one that takes money away from working me and gives it to people who choose not to work.
Do the rest of us, whomever that may be? From what I can tell currently society is ok with you being driven out of your home if you become disabled to die penny less on the street. While the lazy are just forced to work crappy jobs and be fired on a regular basis.
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Old 11-03-2019, 09:54 AM
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Do the rest of us, whomever that may be?
The paucity of support for UBI is consistent with that conclusion.
  #118  
Old 11-03-2019, 10:51 AM
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The paucity of support for UBI is consistent with that conclusion.
Ahh, rectally derived. I hope you're all comfortable up there.
  #119  
Old 11-03-2019, 11:00 AM
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Ahh, rectally derived. I hope you're all comfortable up there.
Again, we don't have to convince you of anything. You're the one advocating a system that will leave me with $12k instead of $30k. So that people who don't want to work can get the money instead. If you can make a strong enough argument, people will support your plan. We haven't seen that yet.
  #120  
Old 11-03-2019, 02:48 PM
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So am i correct in my understanding that a disabled person currently receiving approximately $1,000/month now in disability payments would, under a UBI program, not only not see any additional money, or even break even, but would be actually hit with a tax bill for that heretofore untaxed $12,000/year?
  #121  
Old 11-03-2019, 03:01 PM
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So am i correct in my understanding that a disabled person currently receiving approximately $1,000/month now in disability payments would, under a UBI program, not only not see any additional money, or even break even, but would be actually hit with a tax bill for that heretofore untaxed $12,000/year?
That can't be right, can it? I must be confusing something here
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Old 11-03-2019, 06:14 PM
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That can't be right, can it? I must be confusing something here
I'm not up on the various universal income schemes, but I'm not sure you are off. At least in my understanding.

One huge benefit of universal income is not needing the administrative bureaucracy to figure out who is deserving/in need of assistance, and who isn't. Think if the savings, if we could drastically reduce SSA expenditures - not just on the disability side. (Of course, then all THOSE folk - including me - would be out of work!)

I imagine a primary reason most disabled people would receive a payment (at least social Security - VA impresses me as something else) is because the disabled person is considered to be in need because they are presumably incapable of performing most work.

Are they more in need than just some poor person who has difficulty competing in today's economy? Or what do you think the reason for making payments to a disabled person?

I'm assuming the disabled person's health care would be subsidized in some manner as well.

Do you think a disabled person ought to receive twice the income other needy people are receiving? If so, why?
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  #123  
Old 11-03-2019, 07:48 PM
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So am i correct in my understanding that a disabled person currently receiving approximately $1,000/month now in disability payments would, under a UBI program, not only not see any additional money, or even break even, but would be actually hit with a tax bill for that heretofore untaxed $12,000/year?
Nope in most UBI schemes the payments is untaxed. Any additional money earned is taxed at a higher rate than it is now.
  #124  
Old 11-03-2019, 08:05 PM
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Opportunity. Or lack thereof. The disabled are afforded no opportunity to improve their lives with a UBI. And what are we defining as other "needy" people? Poor people certainly deserve *an additional* $1,000/month, on top of anything whatsoever they may be bringing in as income now.

Necessity. The poor are poor without a UBI, which is administered in order to, in part, help lift them out of poverty. The disabled, without disability payments, are penniless and destitute and on a fast track to death, frankly. Those payments arent an adequate means to support a decent life. They are just better the alternative of letting them die in the streets.

And not only would a UBI do absolutely nothing to improve the lives of the disabled (unlike any other group or demographic of "needy" people)...

ETA: i see that evidently the UBI is generally untaxed. I think taxes re this issue are confusing and not at all worked out yet.

Last edited by Ambivalid; 11-03-2019 at 08:09 PM.
  #125  
Old 11-03-2019, 08:25 PM
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Do you think a disabled person ought to receive twice the income other needy people are receiving? If so, why?
https://basicincome.org/news/2016/04...d-individuals/

This article addresses criticisms similar to my own by suggesting that the truly disabled be provided with an additional supplemental payment in addition to the basic income to handle much of those costs that are unique to those disabled people.

[Quote/]For instance, an additional supplement for the disabled could be granted based on the severity of the disability. The current structure and eligibility requirements for disability insurance from the U.S. Social Service Administration could be utilized to determine the amount of additional aid.

There are three potential options for such a supplement:

Provide a simple cash transfer that will allow the individual to spend the money accordingly.
Provide a cash transfer to an account modeled on the Health Savings Account (HAS) structure. HSAs restrict account purchases to medicinal goods and services, but an individual can generally purchase these goods and services from any provider they see fit. This structure may capture the best of both worlds; it would prevent fraud given that those who are not truly disabled would be unlikely to apply for a supplement that is restricted to purchasing goods and services needed for disabled individuals, while also retaining account holders’ flexibility in choice of private providers.
Expand in-kind services that cater to disabled individuals. While specific in-kind services that should be expanded are beyond the scope of this article, it is almost certain that existing federal and state services for the disabled would not be altered if a UBI was implemented.[Quote/]
  #126  
Old 11-04-2019, 08:00 AM
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I'll step out of this discussion. My experience w/ disability benefits has strongly colored my opinions in ways that might likely interfere w/ polite discussion.

I suggest, tho, assessing "the severity of [one's] disability" would likely be a less than straightforward matter. Or, if you know a straightforward way to assess the severity of people alleging migraines, fibromyalgia, depression, anxiety, PTSD ... - please let me know.
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  #127  
Old 11-04-2019, 09:20 AM
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Perhaps, if people had a means to survive in a legal manner that didn't require them to claim disability to get help we'd see fewer people attempting to get such a label, meaning there would be a lot less work to determine who is actually suffering from a problem, and what sort, which would make appropriate treatment easier to determine.
  #128  
Old 11-04-2019, 09:56 AM
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Perhaps, if people had a means to survive in a legal manner that didn't require them to claim disability to get help we'd see fewer people attempting to get such a label, meaning there would be a lot less work to determine who is actually suffering from a problem, and what sort, which would make appropriate treatment easier to determine.
We already have that - it's called "getting a job if you aren't 'really' disabled".

Plus it kind of misses the point - if I don't want to give money to people who aren't disabled, then giving money to people whether they are disabled or not doesn't address the issue, because I am giving them money anyway.

I have no objection to giving money to people who are really disabled and can't work. The problem in my view is people who are sort of on the margin - they don't want to work, but they aren't disabled enough that they couldn't work if they had to. It's like the dire predictions we heard during welfare reform back in 1996. It certainly wasn't perfect, but
Quote:
Welfare and poverty rates both declined during the late 1990s, leading many commentators to declare that the legislation was a success. One editorial in The New Republic opined, "A broad consensus now holds that welfare reform was certainly not a disaster—and that it may, in fact, have worked much as its designers had hoped".
Cite.


Of course there was criticism and it didn't help everybody
Quote:
From 1996 to 2000, employment rates among never-married mothers shot from 63% to 76%, according to the non-partisan Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP). Additionally, both poverty rates among families with single mothers and overall poverty rates dropped.

"The welfare reform legislation moved us in the right direction by being much more aggressive about employment for the single mother population," said Robert Doar, a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute who was formerly the commissioner of welfare in New York City.

Employment and poverty rates have leveled off in the long term, which has resulted in disagreement among policy experts about just how effective TANF has been in increasing employment, though most agree that it at least helped move the needle.

Where the law has failed, experts say, is by leaving behind those at the very bottom — the group of people in deep poverty who typically haven’t been able to find work, like McCray.
I expect UBI would be much the same except in the opposite direction, depending on how it is implemented.

Regards,
Shodan
  #129  
Old 11-04-2019, 10:35 AM
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We already have that - it's called "getting a job if you aren't 'really' disabled".
I'd be more willing to buy into that if discrimination against the disabled didn't exist - and it very much does. The main reason my late spouse went into business for himself was because, despite a master's degree and 15 years experience in the work world (back in the 1980's when the economy was better, and let's just ignore the years of abuse and harassment he endured from a bigotted asshole boss) no one in this area would hire him. A man who started his own business and worked 12-14 hours days for years can hardly be accused of being lazy, wouldn't you agree? Yet no one in this area would hire him even part time. Hence, forced to go into business for himself. Getting financing was also a nightmare - he was flat out told by more than one potential lender that they couldn't risk lending money to someone disabled (yes, I know that's illegal. It still very much happens and that was only the two willing to say it to his face).

It is hard to start your own business. It is even harder if you're disabled.

So, yes, there can be people, shall we say, partially disabled, able to do some types of work but they fight discrimination. And if (as an example) the only sort of work you can do is "Wal-Mart greeter" and they aren't hiring greeters you're screwed - deemed able to work, but no jobs are available for you. Sure, Stephen Hawking managed to work and have a career despite being completely physically disabled, but there's only one Lucasian Chair for Mathematics so that's not going to help other other kajillion quadriplegics out there, never mind the paucity of people with the academic and intellectual qualifications for the job.

Then there are ways of excluding the disabled from the hiring process - such as mandating all employees without exception be able to lift 50 pounds, even if they work desk jobs where that will not ever actually be required. Restrictions on bathroom breaks, which makes things very difficult for those with disabilities that affect bladder and bowel control even if they can walk and use their hands and brains. Requiring all employees to be able to make and receive phone calls even if their position does not have a phone and would never require it (excludes the deaf very nicely)

So if the playing field actually was level we'd see a lot more partially disabled people employed (perhaps even fully employed).

Part of the disagreement between you and me is that you have a very negative view of people - your assumption is that they're lazy fakers until proved otherwise. I, on the other hand, am much more open to the notion that the disabled actually do exist.

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I have no objection to giving money to people who are really disabled and can't work. The problem in my view is people who are sort of on the margin - they don't want to work, but they aren't disabled enough that they couldn't work if they had to.
IF they can find non-biased places to interview.

IF there are job openings for jobs they can actually do.

We saw this in my are in 2007-2008 - even the able-bodied with years of solid work experience were laid off and could not find work There were 5-6 job seekers for every open position for several years. In that situation, if an employer has a choice between hiring someone able-bodied or someone disabled which do you think they're going to choose, in reality?

Surprise, surprise - claims of disability shot up. What a surprise - since adults without dependent children did NOT qualify for any sort of cash aid or housing assistance, and even the bare-bones Medicaid health insurance required premiums and copays from the poor, the ONLY way for these people with physical problems to have any hope of keeping a roof overhead was to try to get classified as "disabled". And meanwhile the population in homeless shelters and people sleeping in cars or crashing on other peoples' couches jumped up, because for awhile no matter how hard to tried it was extremely difficult to get hired.

Incentivizing people to work ONLY works if there are jobs to be had.

With increasing automation this will only get worse.

Last edited by Broomstick; 11-04-2019 at 10:38 AM.
  #130  
Old 11-04-2019, 11:04 AM
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Odd how the free enterprise paradise of the 19th century so loved by the right today had a lot more restrictions on personal freedom than any actual proposal today. I'm not sure how you get from making sure the poor have enough to eat from controlling what everyone eats. Care to show your work?
Sure. Go to your local supermarket. You’ll find thousands of different items for sale. The vast majority of them are going to be competitively priced. Many of them will actually be underpriced as they’re used as loss leaders to get people in the door, while the supermarket tries to entice consumers into buying goods with higher profit margins. Prices in supermarkets aren’t high due to a demand curve based on excess consumption and waste. Generally, they’re not high in the first place. The free market is working fine when it comes to the distribution and sales of food.
  #131  
Old 11-04-2019, 11:05 AM
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... Incentivizing people to work ONLY works if there are jobs to be had.

With increasing automation this will only get worse.
Unemployment is 3.6%. Lack of available jobs might become a problem in the future, but it's certainly not one today.
  #132  
Old 11-04-2019, 11:31 AM
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No. The 3.6% figure depends entirely on how it is measured. For example a lot of people give up looking for work if they keep trying and trying but are unsuccessful. For an alternative measure of unemployment look at:
http://www.shadowstats.com/alternate...loyment-charts
  #133  
Old 11-04-2019, 11:48 AM
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No. The 3.6% figure depends entirely on how it is measured. For example a lot of people give up looking for work if they keep trying and trying but are unsuccessful. For an alternative measure of unemployment look at:
http://www.shadowstats.com/alternate...loyment-charts
With all due respect to John Williams' "Shadow Government Statistics" CT-looking website and the "SGS Alternate Unemployment Rate", the BLS measures the labor force participation rate too (which, consequently, has been on a slight upward trend during President Trump's administration, after a precipitous decline during the two previous administrations.
  #134  
Old 11-04-2019, 12:04 PM
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Of course there was criticism and it didn't help everybody I expect UBI would be much the same except in the opposite direction, depending on how it is implemented.
Right now the poor can get from zero to several social safety net programs (for example if you respond "anyone can get food stamps if the have no income"--that is false. Lots of people have used up their eligibility). But if you get multiple benefits you can easily run into a situation while a limited increase a year in income can cost you much more in lost benefits--when you are getting Medicaid, child care for your children, food stamps, family assistance program, public housing, etc. These are poverty traps. Or suppose you are on SSI. Do you take a job? But what if you lose it? Remember the difficulty you had getting on in the first place? Better safe than sorry, so you don't take that job.

Conversely with a combination of UBI and universal health care you don't have poverty traps, you don't have these risks.
  #135  
Old 11-04-2019, 12:09 PM
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Perhaps, if people had a means to survive in a legal manner that didn't require them to claim disability to get help we'd see fewer people attempting to get such a label, meaning there would be a lot less work to determine who is actually suffering from a problem, and what sort, which would make appropriate treatment easier to determine.
Is your assertion that a substantial number of people who choose to receive disability payments, if they became eligible for UBI plus disability, would decline the disability payments because they believed the UBI was sufficient for their needs? With no "stick" involved to discourage them from applying for disability plus UBI? Either I'm misunderstanding your post, or I believe you're underestimating how many disability recipients believe a disability payment is an entitlement.
  #136  
Old 11-04-2019, 12:11 PM
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Is your assertion that a substantial number of people who choose to receive disability payments, if they became eligible for UBI plus disability, would decline the disability payments because they believed the UBI was sufficient for their needs? With no "stick" involved to discourage them from applying for disability plus UBI? Either I'm misunderstanding your post, or I believe you're underestimating how many disability recipients believe a disability payment is an entitlement.
The UBI wouldn't go away if they took a job. Disability goes away, even if you only had the job for a week.
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  #137  
Old 11-04-2019, 12:14 PM
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With all due respect to John Williams' "Shadow Government Statistics" CT-looking website and the "SGS Alternate Unemployment Rate", the BLS measures the labor force participation rate too (which, consequently, has been on a slight upward trend during President Trump's administration, after a precipitous decline during the two previous administrations.
There has been no significant change in the social safety net during the Trump administration. The Democrats have blocked Trump proposals. Any increase in labor force participation are a result of the continuation of the Obama recovery and Trump's massive budget deficits.
  #138  
Old 11-04-2019, 12:17 PM
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I think that there is a group of people here who think that people on disability like being on disability.

My experience in talking to those on disability is that they would love to be able to work when they can but can't guarantee that they can keep the job up, even if its a part time thing.

I worked with a guy at Wal-Mart when I was in college that had fucked himself in similar fashion. He had some sort of disease, but he could work sporadically. He thought he was getting better, but relapsed and had to call out. Wal-Mart, being themselves, fired his ass because he couldn't get into his doctor to get a note that said "Homey's disease flared up, he can't work today". That doctor's note would have cost him $215, since he didn't have health insurance (went off of disability). Since he took the job in he first place, he was off of disability. That guy had to sell everything he owned. I know this because I bought a few records off of him so he could keep his lights on.

He told me he regretted trying to work again, should have stayed on disability. I can't for the life of me remember what he had, it was something that made him dizzy when he was standing up.
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  #139  
Old 11-04-2019, 12:25 PM
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There has been no significant change in the social safety net during the Trump administration. The Democrats have blocked Trump proposals. Any increase in labor force participation are a result of the continuation of the Obama recovery and Trump's massive budget deficits.
The unemployment rate, and the labor force participation rate, hinge on economic performance, not the social safety net. During Obama, the economy did badly, and so labor force participation rate declined and unemployment was high. During President Trump's administration, the economy has been doing very well, so labor force participation rate has increased and unemployment is low. I credit at least some of that to the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act that President Trump and Republicans in Congress passed (over strident dem opposition).

Last edited by HurricaneDitka; 11-04-2019 at 12:27 PM.
  #140  
Old 11-04-2019, 12:37 PM
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Sure. Go to your local supermarket. You’ll find thousands of different items for sale. The vast majority of them are going to be competitively priced. Many of them will actually be underpriced as they’re used as loss leaders to get people in the door, while the supermarket tries to entice consumers into buying goods with higher profit margins. Prices in supermarkets aren’t high due to a demand curve based on excess consumption and waste. Generally, they’re not high in the first place. The free market is working fine when it comes to the distribution and sales of food.
So, how are the liberal elite going to reduce the choice in supermarkets and/or increase prices again? And BTW, urban groceries have less choice and higher prices than suburban ones do, and I've never heard the liberal elite consider that as a plus.
  #141  
Old 11-04-2019, 01:05 PM
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Present company excepted of course, it gets tiresome to cope with innumeracy about economics. "Increase minimum wage by 10% and prices will rise 10%." WRONG. "Increase taxes on the rich by 10% and (out of spite?) the rich will deliberately earn 10% less." WRONG.
Partially funding a $12,000 per adult "basic income" with a flat 10% value-added tax could conceivably raise prices by 10% across the board.

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  #142  
Old 11-04-2019, 01:08 PM
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Are you aware that if you EVER had a felony conviction for drugs you can not get food stamps? But if your felony was assault with a deadly weapon, or bank robbery, or ponzi scheme targeting rich people or freakin' murder you can? WTF? Don't former drug addicts need food, too? And there's no time limit - convicted of drug dealing because you sold pot in college in 1979? You can't get food stamps in 2019 forty years later (A few states have loosened the rules a bit but in my state it's zero tolerance - any drug conviction ever and you can never get food stamps, ever, no matter how many years you've been a good citizen since.)
Yeah, that's pretty dumb. To say the least.

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  #143  
Old 11-04-2019, 01:20 PM
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Right, well, so much for my intention to stay out of this.

Deciding what ought to be done WRT disabled persons is HUGELY complicated. For one thing, people (and organizations) have countless different understandings of what the term "disabled" means.

Also, as with any group of individuals, it is impossible to think of "the disabled" as some group that shares certain attributes. What is the commonalty between some person who worked all of their life before they got paralyzed in an accident, and a younger person who has never worked, but claims they are depressed? I'm not making any judgments about either example - just observing that their conditions/needs/motivations are likely quite dissimilar.

Having worked with SS disability programs for 30+ years, I assure you that there are SOME persons who are very much NOT interested in working, and who perceive disability benefits as only free money. We can debate the percentage of various populations that are like this, but if you deny that such people exist, well, we probably cannot discuss any aspect of this. Unless you deal with people living on the margins of society, you may be unaware of the thousands and thousands of people who are living in unconventional arrangements, where a number of people are subsisting off of one or more individuals' benefit payments, possibly supplemented by temp or under-the-table work. Possibly workers' comp, SS or VA disability, child's SSI, unemployment, etc. To at least some of these people, a disability check is just $ - NOT a way to make themselves more productive, or to address costs related to physical or mental impairments.

Another factor - there are at least SOME "disabled" persons who consider themselves extremely entitled, and (IMO) desire an official designation of themselves as disabled to either afford them some preferential treatment, or excuse their personal shortcomings. AGAIN - this is DEFINITELY not all persons who consider themselves disabled. But if you deny that such people exist, well, we likely cannot communicate. And we haven't even mentioned the enablers...

Making it even more complicated, how are disability programs intertwined with the for-profit medical and insurance industries? Most doctors, psychologists, counselors are generally well-intentioned, but there ARE some bad actors, and MOST profit from diagnosing people as exhibiting treatable pathologies. Insurers wish to shift costs from their private insurance onto government programs...

Having done disability work for 30 years, I can assure you that claims are VERY much related to the economy. When manufacturing took a dive in the 80s-90s - guess what? Disability claims out of Ohio and Michigan SOARED! Do you think they just coincidentally became incapable of working at the same time the jobs disappeared? Today, with unemployment low, what is happening? Claims for SS disability benefits are WAY down.

Another thing that led to increased disability claims over the past couple of decades was the elimination of general welfare.

Another factor - at least w/ SS disability, "need" doesn't enter into it. You can be Bill Gates, and if you have a stroke or something such that you can't do ANY work, you get your disability payment.

Having worked in SS disability for 30 years I can honestly tell you that I HAVE NO IDEA what societal goals I am advancing. The disability programs clearly do not provide for the "neediest" (however I define it.) Nor do they assist people in becoming more productive. Essentially the only thing I am doing is figuring out where people fit within a complex bureaucratic framework. Terms like "disabled" are almost irrelevant.

With such experiences and opinions, I've decided that trying to figure out who is and isn't "disabled" is largely a fool's errand. It would be easier to provide a minimal cash payment to everyone, and provide some level of medical, educational, and vocational assistance as well.

Having said that, I'm currently handling a lot of cases out of Wisconsin. I am ASTOUNDED at the breadth of support programs indigent people in Wisconsin receive. From medical treatment to cash payments, rent and utility assistance, case managers, mentors, home care... Now I consider myself quite liberal. And as a career govt employee, I support the liberal provision of government services. However, it has caused me considerable distress, as I've seen countless cases where individuals eagerly accept ever increasing amounts of services, while making no visible effort to improve their situation. And many of the services are provided by contractors, who benefit from the situation.

Really a complicated situation which defies any simple solution.

Sorry, I imagine this does not advance the discussion any. But it is frustrating when so many posters (advancing various views) make statements as tho this is a simple situation, in which everyone shares certain traits. No - not every person seeking disability benefits is a noble individual who would work if only they weren't discriminated against. And no, not every such person is lazy and only seeking a handout.
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  #144  
Old 11-04-2019, 01:38 PM
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I believe you're underestimating how many disability recipients believe a disability payment is an entitlement.
Consider it an entitlement, or consider it a necessity, as in, 'without this I'm gonna die, or at best end up out on the street and die there a bit more slowly'?

Of course, it's true that not everyone thinks that people, even in an overall very rich country, have any entitlement to life. Let alone to the pursuit of happiness.


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During Obama, the economy did badly, and so labor force participation rate declined and unemployment was high. During President Trump's administration, the economy has been doing very well.
Obama, as I'll be really surprised if you don't already know, inherited an economy in a state of close to utter disaster. Under the Obama administration the economy improved to a very large extent. Trump inherited the benefits of the improvements under Obama, thereby landing, as far as the economy was concerned, with a large running start.

Of course, presidents aren't anywhere near as much in charge of the economy as many people seem to think they are.
  #145  
Old 11-04-2019, 02:02 PM
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Having worked with SS disability programs for 30+ years, I assure you that there are SOME persons who are very much NOT interested in working, and who perceive disability benefits as only free money. [. . . ]
Another factor - there are at least SOME "disabled" persons who consider themselves extremely entitled, and (IMO) desire an official designation of themselves as disabled to either afford them some preferential treatment, or excuse their personal shortcomings. AGAIN - this is DEFINITELY not all persons who consider themselves disabled. But if you deny that such people exist, well, we likely cannot communicate.
Of course there are some such people. The question is, are there actually effective methods of weeding out such people that are not unreasonably hard on those who are in genuine need -- bearing in mind that something that's easy for a person who's not in such need may be extraordinarily hard for someone who is? And, if so, are those the methods that are actually being used?
  #146  
Old 11-04-2019, 02:21 PM
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Of course there are some such people. The question is, are there actually effective methods of weeding out such people that are not unreasonably hard on those who are in genuine need -- bearing in mind that something that's easy for a person who's not in such need may be extraordinarily hard for someone who is? And, if so, are those the methods that are actually being used?
Offering my personal 33 years of full time experience trying to do that very thing, and working with and discussing this with MANY similar people, I do not know if such effective methods exist. I am not aware of any (tho I have not studied all such programs in depth.) But I am confident that the methods currently used by SS and VA disability programs do a piss poor job of doing that.
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  #147  
Old 11-04-2019, 02:21 PM
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Right, well, so much for my intention to stay out of this.

Deciding what ought to be done WRT disabled persons is HUGELY complicated. For one thing, people (and organizations) have countless different understandings of what the term "disabled" means.

Also, as with any group of individuals, it is impossible to think of "the disabled" as some group that shares certain attributes. What is the commonalty between some person who worked all of their life before they got paralyzed in an accident, and a younger person who has never worked, but claims they are depressed? I'm not making any judgments about either example - just observing that their conditions/needs/motivations are likely quite dissimilar.

Having worked with SS disability programs for 30+ years, I assure you that there are SOME persons who are very much NOT interested in working, and who perceive disability benefits as only free money. We can debate the percentage of various populations that are like this, but if you deny that such people exist, well, we probably cannot discuss any aspect of this. Unless you deal with people living on the margins of society, you may be unaware of the thousands and thousands of people who are living in unconventional arrangements, where a number of people are subsisting off of one or more individuals' benefit payments, possibly supplemented by temp or under-the-table work. Possibly workers' comp, SS or VA disability, child's SSI, unemployment, etc. To at least some of these people, a disability check is just $ - NOT a way to make themselves more productive, or to address costs related to physical or mental impairments.

Another factor - there are at least SOME "disabled" persons who consider themselves extremely entitled, and (IMO) desire an official designation of themselves as disabled to either afford them some preferential treatment, or excuse their personal shortcomings. AGAIN - this is DEFINITELY not all persons who consider themselves disabled. But if you deny that such people exist, well, we likely cannot communicate. And we haven't even mentioned the enablers...

Making it even more complicated, how are disability programs intertwined with the for-profit medical and insurance industries? Most doctors, psychologists, counselors are generally well-intentioned, but there ARE some bad actors, and MOST profit from diagnosing people as exhibiting treatable pathologies. Insurers wish to shift costs from their private insurance onto government programs...

Having done disability work for 30 years, I can assure you that claims are VERY much related to the economy. When manufacturing took a dive in the 80s-90s - guess what? Disability claims out of Ohio and Michigan SOARED! Do you think they just coincidentally became incapable of working at the same time the jobs disappeared? Today, with unemployment low, what is happening? Claims for SS disability benefits are WAY down.

Another thing that led to increased disability claims over the past couple of decades was the elimination of general welfare.

Another factor - at least w/ SS disability, "need" doesn't enter into it. You can be Bill Gates, and if you have a stroke or something such that you can't do ANY work, you get your disability payment.

Having worked in SS disability for 30 years I can honestly tell you that I HAVE NO IDEA what societal goals I am advancing. The disability programs clearly do not provide for the "neediest" (however I define it.) Nor do they assist people in becoming more productive. Essentially the only thing I am doing is figuring out where people fit within a complex bureaucratic framework. Terms like "disabled" are almost irrelevant.

With such experiences and opinions, I've decided that trying to figure out who is and isn't "disabled" is largely a fool's errand. It would be easier to provide a minimal cash payment to everyone, and provide some level of medical, educational, and vocational assistance as well.

Having said that, I'm currently handling a lot of cases out of Wisconsin. I am ASTOUNDED at the breadth of support programs indigent people in Wisconsin receive. From medical treatment to cash payments, rent and utility assistance, case managers, mentors, home care... Now I consider myself quite liberal. And as a career govt employee, I support the liberal provision of government services. However, it has caused me considerable distress, as I've seen countless cases where individuals eagerly accept ever increasing amounts of services, while making no visible effort to improve their situation. And many of the services are provided by contractors, who benefit from the situation.

Really a complicated situation which defies any simple solution.

Sorry, I imagine this does not advance the discussion any. But it is frustrating when so many posters (advancing various views) make statements as tho this is a simple situation, in which everyone shares certain traits. No - not every person seeking disability benefits is a noble individual who would work if only they weren't discriminated against. And no, not every such person is lazy and only seeking a handout.
Nice rant, i guess. Was their a fucking point buried in there somewhere? Seriously, with all your relevant government experience in this subject, you dont seem to add much of anything substantive to the conversation. You just seem bitter for choosing the wrong career decades ago.

So whats your proposal? Things are in need of major fixing, some people are always going to game the system, so just throw up your hands and say it's too hard so do nothing? Dude, just quit. You're burned out.

Last edited by Ambivalid; 11-04-2019 at 02:22 PM.
  #148  
Old 11-04-2019, 03:16 PM
HurricaneDitka is offline
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Originally Posted by thorny locust View Post
... Of course, presidents aren't anywhere near as much in charge of the economy as many people seem to think they are.
I agree.
  #149  
Old 11-04-2019, 03:17 PM
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Ambivalid - I'm not sure what I wrote in that - or any other post - that would warrant your ad hominen attack. But thanks for convincing me that I have no interest in revisiting this thread, or reading anything you post.
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  #150  
Old 11-04-2019, 03:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Dinsdale View Post
Ambivalid - I'm not sure what I wrote in that - or any other post - that would warrant your ad hominen attack. But thanks for convincing me that I have no interest in revisiting this thread, or reading anything you post.
I apologize. I was momentarily taken aback by your consistently sour disposition in any discussion involving federal benefits. I'm just not clear on why you enter these threads. If I've missed your major contributions to this conversation i apologize again. I let myself get personally invested in these threads sometimes. For the most part, I really do enjoy your contributions on this board.

ETA: And after rereading my response to you, I was out of line. I'm sorry. It wasnt deserved.

Last edited by Ambivalid; 11-04-2019 at 03:24 PM.
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