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“Social Darwinist” of the Day


Chuck Lane.

Of course, we should force sick and disabled people back to work so we can focus on real rights — you know, the right not to pay a tax penalty if you free ride in the health care market, your right against nonexistent requirements to purchase brocolli, stuff like that there.

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  • DrDick

    But, but, but, FREE MARKETS!

  • TT

    Lane is the living, breathing definition of a self-hating liberal. The male Ruth Marcus.

    • Surreal American

      I disagree that he’s self-hating. If Chuck Lane really hates himself, he’ll be in good company.

    • John

      On what basis can it be said that Lane is a liberal at all?

  • Malaclypse

    One of my close friends has a severely autistic 19-year-old son. Completely non-vocal, with a host of other physical and cognitive impairments, such that my six-year-old would certainly have a better ability to function in a work environment at age six than this young man will ever have.

    It took them two rejections and hiring a lawyer to get SSDI.

    So fuck Chuck Lane with large jagged rusty pointed objects.

    • rm

      I have the impression that they only approve disability benefits for some of those who have found the resources and energy to get lawyers to fight for it. So, the more disabled you are, the less likely you’ll be able to do that.

    • Hogan

      It took them two rejections and hiring a lawyer to get SSDI.

      That became policy under Reagan: deny them until they have to go to court. It still happens way too often, to the point where you pretty much can’t get SSDI without hiring a lawyer, ideally a lawyer with expertise in SSDI claims.

    • rea

      I’ve been helping a family member deal with social security disability for years. The remarkable thing about social security disability determinations is how many literally make no sense, as if they are generated by some computer program with no factual input.

      • timb

        I read them almost everyday and, in my opinion, they are a legal fiction with barely any basis in the law or reality.

    • Jim

      I don’t know your friend, so I can’t specifically disagree. However, based on your description, it’s much more likely that he receives SSI, rather than SSDI.

      SSI (Supplemental Security Income) is provided to people with disabilities that make them incapable of engaging in susbstantial meaningful activity. It is paid to people who have disabilities that prevent them from working altogether.

      SSDI (Supplemental Security Disability Income) is for people with disabilities who used to work, but are no longer able to engage in substantial meaningful activity. You also have to have worked enough “quarters” in the past 10 years to be eligible.

      None of this would affect the ridiculous administrative hurdles you described – the system for SSDI seems to be designed to be a bit more skeptical than the SSI system, but the two-denials-then-you’re-in often applies to both.

      I do think that they have designed the system to minimize the need for an attorney, but with most things in life, it helps to be able to afford one.

      • Anonymous

        Social Security regulations prohibit registered representatives from accepting payment in any way except contingency.

        Secondly, SSI and SSDI have the same medical criteria. The difference, I find, is that Judges and SSA employees have a ton more respect for people who have worked regularly (SSDI) than people who have never or rarely worked (SSI).

        • Jim

          It was my understanding that the SSDI guidelines allowed for a little more earned income than SSI. My dealings have generally been with SSI – generally successful, but many of the clients who apply have been kind of “slam dunks.”

          • Jim

            I also know of the representative contingency guidelines – however, in many cases, people may seek legal advice before beginning the process that means they don’t need an attorney in actually pursuing the benefits.

            In also found the legal guidelines on the representative payment issue rather confusing, but I don’t practice in the SSDI administrative proceedings.

          • Timb

            Jim, my bad, the medical determinations are the same, but SSI does have slightly different rules.

            Ps I was the anonymous above

      • Malaclypse

        It is quite possible I got the distinction between SSI and SSDI wrong.

    • David M. Nieporent

      a host of other physical and cognitive impairments, such that my six-year-old would certainly have a better ability to function in a work environment at age six than this young man will ever have.

      Sounds like about 75% of the commenters here.

      Which explains the enthusiasm for the welfare state.

      Lane made a very simple point: despite the fact that “antidiscrimination” laws have been passed to benefit the disabled [which we were told would help integrate the disabled into the workforce], we’re actually seeing more people rather than fewer claiming they need disability benefits in lieu of work.

      • Anonymous

        The two points have no relation. I mean, I understand two different shiny objects attract your attention, Dave, but one is a quarter and one is a mirror.

        Being disabled for a 56 year bricklayer with a 9th grade education and no ability to lay bricks any more means he cannot work (generally after a damn through and onerous process of Federal admin law).

        Being disabled with a rare set of skills and education who cannot climb stairs or read files without an accomodation is a completely different issue. For instance, there is a Federal Admin Judge who is blind and needs documents printed in Braille. Is your solution to tell him not to work and collect his 1200/month or to tell the bricklayer to go to law school?

        In a nimble mind (eg, not yours), one can recogonize the societal interest in one working and the other not living on the street.

        Conflating them in attempt to gut one of the few worker protections still safe from your glibertarian war on the poor is pretty silly.

        • David M. Nieporent

          Obviously not all disabled people can benefit from the ADA, and neither Lane nor I said otherwise. But that explains why some people still get SSDI despite the passage of ADA, not why the number of people who get SSDI is increasing. Especially given that the ratio in the economy of jobs involving bricklaying to the jobs involving paper shuffling has been decreasing. That was Lane’s point.

      • Anonymous

        Sounds like about 75% of the commenters here.

        You know, it is perhaps the case that, if there were a hypothetical smug, arrogant, condescending libertarian, and that that person thinks that leaving all of his Facebook settings wide open to “make everything public, because I trust Facebook” then that particular person should perhaps never ever again call other people stupid.

        Hypothetically speaking, of course.

        • Holden Pattern

          The market will sort all of that out. One way or the other.

          • BigHank53

            “Eat or be eaten?”

        • David M. Nieporent

          Hypothetically, unlike the vast majority of the hypothetical people here, perhaps some people don’t have anything to be embarrassed about, and so “trusting Facebook” isn’t really at issue one way or the other. Whereas, hypothetically, some people seem to be so ashamed of their words and actions that they will only do things anonymously. Hypothetically.

      • rosmar

        Way to use disabled as a synonym for worthless or at least inferior. That makes you seem like a really good and smart person.

      • jb

        Sounds like about 75% of the commenters here.

        Which explains the enthusiasm for the welfare state.

        Fuck you.

  • Manta

    Did you forget the asterisk?

    “But I probably will include an asterisk with a link to SEK’s post every time I use it here in the future.”

    • Malaclypse

      At this blog, we are aware of all internet traditions.

      • Manta

        It was only 2 posts ago: hardly a tradition (even by internet standards…)

      • cpinva

        conceivably, congress could pass legislation such as this:

        your right against nonexistent requirements to purchase brocolli,

        and it might actually fly under the commerce clause. personally, i happen to like brocolli, especially with a lovely cheese sauce on it. most congresspersons want to be re-elected, passing legislation such as this would almost surely guarantee they wouldn’t be. same with raising marginal tax rates to 100%. they could, but probably won’t.

    • Scott Lemieux

      I am not bound by Erik’s commitments.

      • Manta

        Oh, my mistake, then.

      • elm

        Very wise choice!

      • So you’re not picking up his bar tab?

        • Anonymous

          I may have forgotten to mention that I left my tab in your name….feel terribly about it, but Loomis and Scott weren’t gonna pay

      • SEK

        And you scare-quoted “Social Darwinist,” which I think is sufficient.

  • timb

    Charles is, of course, wrong. The increase in recipients was planned by SSA.

    Meanwhile, poor Chuck likes to distinguish between the pain of cancer which keeps one from working, but not the pain from degenerative arthritis or the mental anguish from schizophrenia.

    He also quote that penis, Autor, who is to the disabled what Charles Murray is to the poor.

    Finally, I think the highlight for me was the fact that well over 90+% of the people applying for disability have medical conditions whether those medical conditions are severe enough to receive benefits, but Charles is angry that people determined disabled by the Federal government have the balls to use Medicare! Shorter Charles (and David Nieporent): “We’re giving you sad sacks 1100 dollars! Buy a policy or just go to the ER.”

  • he right not to pay a tax penalty if you free ride in the health care market

    You do realize that uninsured people receive far less medical care than people with insurance?

    You do realize that people who do receive care while uninsured are aggressively billed by hospitals?

    You do realize that under PPACA people’s individual contributions or health insurance will be less, not more, linked to their expected medical costs — i.e. that a main goal of the bill is precisely to increase the number of “free riders”?

    You do realize that under PPACA tens of millions of Americans will remain uninsured, and that your argument here suggests that they should be denied medical care?

    You do realize that once upon a time liberals thought the goal of health care reform was to improve access to health care for poor people, rather than to punish them for not paying enough for it?

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