April 8, 2013

The mysterious epidemic of worker disabilty


Via Kevin Drum, the Wall Street Journal says:
Michael Feroli, chief U.S. economist for J.P. Morgan, estimates that since the recession, the worker flight to the Social Security Disability Insurance program accounts for as much as a quarter of the puzzling drop in participation rates, a labor exodus with far-reaching economic consequences.

Thank goodness we let in all those illegal immigrants to do the jobs Americans are just too disabled these days to do. Who knew that working class Americans would suffer an epidemic of vague back pain and balky knees after decades of business, political, and economist elites conspiring to hammer down their wages through non-enforcement of immigration laws? Fortunately, our political, economic, intellectual, and moral betters somehow sensed that their fellow citizens would be getting more disabled in the future (apparently, arthroscopic surgery has been disinvented, or something), so our leaders brilliantly took action ahead of time to make sure America had an ample supply of unskilled foreign laborers to replace the Americans overwhelmed by this mysterious epidemic of disability. 

65 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for all that you do Steve.

x said...

another creative ways to disguise the fact that theres just no jobs out there. here we raised the legal age of school leaving up one year to do that.

Anonymous said...

No comment on Thatcher's death?

Dave Pinsen said...

CATO's immigration policy analyst, <a href="http://twitter.com/alexnowrasteh> Alex Nowrasteh</a< tells me restricting immigration is bad economics. You should engage with guys like this on Twitter so their followers see the folly of the libertarian wing's policy ideas.

Power Child said...

Wasn't this something Charles Murray talked about in Coming Apart?

Anonymous said...

The terrible, awful truth about SSDI from The Last Psychiatrist.

http://thelastpsychiatrist.com/2013/04/the_terrible_awful_truth_about_5.html

Anonymous said...

Looks like I botched the HTML on that CATO guy's Twitter account. Let's try this: AlexNowrasteh.

Anonymous said...

Even if there were no immigration, if you offer easy freebie stuff and there's no more culture of shame, a lot of people will take it.

Anonymous said...

Have you ever driven through West Virginia? I believe in Charleston there is a billboard for a disability/social security lawyer every 2 or 3 miles broken up by billboards trumpeting coal power.

West Virginia and Puerto Rico have the highest levels of disability usage by all measures. The Southwest will explode in this metric pretty soon.

Anonymous said...

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/netherlands/9719247/Amsterdam-to-create-scum-villages.html

Liberalism comes full circle to fascism. Hehe.

Anonymous said...

It's part of the culture. I can't say I wouldn't do it if I had the chance.

My guess is you are going to see some pressure to investigate some of these situations, as was done with the Long Island RR.

LIRR Disability Scam - A $1 Billion Tragedy
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2989947/posts

The various government disability schemes, including veterans, are becoming welfare for White people. My guess is it will result in the same as it did for black people. Maybe not as bad, but you see whole communities of Whites with multi generational dependence of welfare schemes. With America's productive elite becoming increasingly non European, and working class becoming increasingly Hispanic while the military remains White, expect there to be trouble.

Anonymous said...

An interesting study that will never be done would be to ask the average age of the mother at the time of the birth of these disabled folks in 2013 and compare it to the average age of mothers at the time of the births of those disabled in the 1980's. If the ages of the mothers at the time of births are similar, then, with a greater fraction of all people being born to ever older women, then our declining teen pregnancy rates may have lasting negative effects on public health. Younger mothers have healthier kids who are healthier all of their lives. Sorry, dear sisters. Men prefer younger women for good biological reasons.

Anonymous said...

With America's productive elite becoming increasingly non European,

productive elite?

Isn't that a contradiction in terms?

Anonymous said...

Even if there were no immigration, if you offer easy freebie stuff and there's no more culture of shame, a lot of people will take it.

Some may take it even in a reasonable job market, but it would become relatively less appealing in light of the income and dignity of regular employment.

Because fewer people would take it, banning immigration still makes sense.

Anonymous said...

Libertarians are shills for greedy businessmen hungry for cheap labor.

Anonymous said...

The various government disability schemes, including veterans, are becoming welfare for White people. My guess is it will result in the same as it did for black people. Maybe not as bad, but you see whole communities of Whites with multi generational dependence of welfare schemes. With America's productive elite becoming increasingly non European, and working class becoming increasingly Hispanic while the military remains White, expect there to be trouble.

As with blacks, it's to keep them pacified while their country is stolen from them--until the process has gone far enough to completion that whites (or blacks, for that matter) would be powerless to put up any kind of meaningful resistance.

Anonymous said...

Americans on food stamps now at record 48 million. Remind me why we are talking about a guest worker program?

http://www.businessinsider.com/food-stamps-are-the-new-normal-2013-4

Anonymous said...

"Even if there were no immigration, if you offer easy freebie stuff and there's no more culture of shame, a lot of people will take it."

Make job openings at living wages or stfu.

Mark said...

While Paul C Roberts bemoans the export of manufacturing jobs to China during the last couple of decades - otherwise known as wage arbitrage - the service sector jobs were being wage arbitraged by importing Mexicans. Knocks the shit out of jobs and wages but so what - corporate profits boomed and assets bubbles made everyone rich. But who cares about poor white folk. We'll put 'em on benefits and keep 'em in beer, smokes, and I-phones.

The US government sure looks out for the best interest of their citizens, don't they?

Whiskey said...

All the bread and circuses are coming undone. To quote Duran Duran. The ratio of taxpayers in the private sector to welfare recipients and government workers is 110 to 88 million.

Think: Cyprus. Greece. Italy. Spain. Portugal. It just doesn't work. Anymore than the USSR could pay its goons (which is why it collapsed). Blacks sensibly want as much goodies as possible since their ability to earn money is pretty much zero even in the service/manufacturing jobs that require literacy and skill development. Even sous chefs must read, and doubly so for CNC operators.

Anonymous said...

http://www.news.com.au/world-news/margaret-thatcher-dead-at-87-after-stroke/story-fndir2ev-1226615270685

Freudian slip?

Thatcher was seen as tireless and unshakeable as she fought her own cabinet let alone half the workers in Britain to change the work ethnic and industrial landscape before resigning as prime minister in November 1990.

Although I thought that most of the changing of the "work ethnic" came after Thatcher, it is surprising how much Asian immigration there was during her tenure. See the graph here:

http://notasheepmaybeagoat.blogspot.com.au/2012/06/ed-miliband-and-immigration.html

It would be interesting to see the graph extending back into the years when there was basically no immigration to the UK.

FWG said...

I know a bunch of young women on disability because of psychological reasons. I think these gals could work, but them again they're really flakey so if I ran a business I'm not sure I'd want to hire them. In many cases I think they just don't want to work.

Pink Arrow Gal said...

steve sailer wrote:
"Who knew that working class Americans would suffer an epidemic of vague back pain and balky knees after decades of business, political, and economist elites conspiring to hammer down their wages through non-enforcement of immigration laws?"
===========================



I agree completely.

Will you admit however that this battle between the rich and the rest of us is not limited to just mass immigration and not just limited to recent times? Will you admit that this battle is the true central fight of industrial society and that it has been going on for hundreds of years and that both sides of the american political stage are part of this battle?

Will you admit that it is not just the liberal yuppies that are on 'the other side' but also the multi millionaires, the zillionaires and the billionaires that are our
enemies?

Will you please admit this, steve?

Anonymous said...

There was actually a fairly decent episode of This American Life about this issue a couple of weeks ago (except without ever mentioning immigration, of course):

http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/490/trends-with-benefits

Anonymous said...

Who has a better quality of life? The person who works full time as a Walmart Greeter or the person who is pretending to be disabled?

There is a strong case to be made that the fake disabled person has a much better quality of life, especially if he has certain personality types.

There is a lot of cheap entertainment out there, but time is a precious commodity. Neither person will have a lot of disposable income.

jody said...

obama has driven the US labor force participation rate all the way back to where it was in 1979! now that's a recovery - of women back to the kitchen. make me a sandwich!

some analysts i have been reading are suggesting that the disability explosion is where all the welfare people starting heading after the 1994 welfare reform legislation. after that passed, the number of people on welfare dropped until it hit about 2 million and that's where it's stayed since. meanwhile, the number of people on disability has grown steadily to about 9 million.

how many people who ran out of obama's generous 99 weeks of unemployment then made their way onto disability? more than a few.

FWG said...

Nice to see Desert Lady make a comeback.

x said...

"Libertarians are shills for greedy businessmen hungry for cheap labor.
"

and the funniest thing is is that libertarians aren't even those businessmen themselves. they're a bunch of techies with jobs poised to be replaced by some h1-b visa cooly and engineering students. the actual super rich don't seem to want anything to do with libertarianism or ayn rand, though they probably do appreciate the cheer-leading. "thanks steve, it's great to hear all this support from you about not having to pay 5% higher tax rates down there in IT. oh by the way this is rajesh, he's our new you, you're being made redundant cya"

Matthew said...

Yep, this is policy drummed up to a) hand out all sorts of good bennies to disproportionately Democratic constituencies; b) mask the real unemployment rate.

Anonymous said...

Morrissey, "Margaret on the Guilotine"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hsq3H_6XuFA

Listen, at the end, to what is intended to be the sound of the guilotine falling

And another perfect Northern England During Thatcher Anthem: The Smith's "Still Ill"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g8b3UkqTQNI

It begins, in a phrase isteve readers might appreciate vis-a-vis citizen-ism:
"I decree today that Life is simply taking and not giving. England is mine! It owes me a living!"

elvisd said...

Have you ever driven through West Virginia? I believe in Charleston there is a billboard for a disability/social security lawyer every 2 or 3 miles broken up by billboards trumpeting coal power.
e in this metric pretty soon.


When I taught in Mississippi, a full fifth of the student body was on SSI. I'll never forget the bigmama cussing out the principal trying to talk to her about the absenteeism of her rowdy youths,which she got ticked about because it meant a threat to her gravy train: "Don't f... with my check, motherf....!"

Anonymous said...

Jodi 6:11 has it right, I think, about disability being the new, improved welfare. Think of it, they cannot prove you are not bipolar or depressed. No pesky social workers bothering you.. great! Just to add icing on the taxpayer funded cake, I predict that fourteen (14) seconds after the illegal immigrants are legalized, they will be making a beeline for Binder and Binder attorneys to make SSI claims. Mexicans will wind up not willing to do the work Americans will not do.

FWG said...

I should also add I know some middle-aged to older whites who are gaming the disability system. Most of them being Obama supporters.

Mr. Anon said...

"Pink Arrow Gal said...

Will you admit that it is not just the liberal yuppies that are on 'the other side' but also the multi millionaires, the zillionaires and the billionaires that are our enemies?

Will you please admit this, steve?"

Do you actually read any of Steve's posts? Or do you just drop by to post your uninteresting drivel? Steve writes about that very topic all the time. So, give it a rest, fake-woman man.

agnostic said...

I took a look at this topic here. Doesn't look like it has much to do with immigration, as the eastern half of the country is worse than the western half.

http://akinokure.blogspot.com/2012/12/milking-social-security-disability.html

It looks more like it's a breakdown in social cohesion, not necessarily caused by immigration. SSDI applications per capita actually declined from the mid-'70s through the late '80s, despite upward immigration after the '60s.

But the mid-'70s through the late '80s was the most recent peak of social cohesion, so people didn't feel like applying for phony disability claims. It was shameful to game the system.

Jeff W. said...

A couple of unrelated points:

- The chart linked to by agnostic 9:19

http://akinokure.blogspot.com/2012/12/milking-social-security-disability.html

shows a lot of interest in social security disability coming from economically depressed white people's areas such as upstate New York (no jobs there).

- The last 40 years of wage suppression engineered by global capitalists and money printers maneuvering to suppress inflation has not only worked to suppress wages, it has also made working conditions worse: bosses are meaner, employees are much more replaceable. So naturally people are dropping out of a crappy job market any way they can.

Chicago said...

Very depressing picture where so many people in this country have decided that their current and future best prospect is to go on disability. Not much to look forward to for the rest of one's life, just waiting for a once-a-month check in the amount of between $750-1200. Sure, some might try their hand in the unofficial cash economy but there's a lot of competition from the illegals who are usually younger and haven't shot their backs and knees yet.

Anonymous said...

Have you ever driven through West Virginia? I believe in Charleston there is a billboard for a disability/social security lawyer every 2 or 3 miles broken up by billboards trumpeting coal power.
e in this metric pretty soon.
Well, at least there white, I bet the whites in West Virginia work jobs more than the kids of illegal immirgants in California or Texas that are members of gangs. In fact in both Ca and Tx Hispanics are over 50 percent of welfare receipts conservaitves complain that Ca has 30 percnet of welfare cases guess who they are second and third generation Hispanics.

Commander Banes said...

Graphs like this are really misleading. A casual viewing (which is all that most people in zombieland would give it) gives the impression of a massive drop, whereas if you look at the numbers its quite modest, from ~67 to 63 or so. A graph showing the entire plot 1-100, or even let' say 1-70 to capture the workforce, would barely look like a small dip.

Anonymous said...


Libertarians are shills for greedy businessmen hungry for cheap labor.
"

and the funniest thing is is that libertarians aren't even those businessmen themselves. they're a bunch of techies with jobs poised to be replaced by some h1-b visa cooly and engineering students. the actual super rich don't seem to want anything to do with libertarianism or ayn rand, though they probably do appreciate the cheer-leading. "thanks steve, it's great to hear all this support from you about not having to pay 5% higher tax rates down there in IT. oh by the way this is rajesh, he's our new you, you're being made redundant cya"
4/8/13, 6:34 PM Well, there are rich libertarians the Koch brothers, most are into oil. Just because the richest are Dems doesn't mean in the billionaire club there are not libertarians or Republicans. The richest man in Southern California is Don Bren who is a moderate Republican that pushed Mittens. Addesion who gave Gringrich and Romeny money is one of the richest men in Nevada.

Anonymous said...

Well, I work in a a factory 20 years ago and you didn't make big bucks there like Pat Buchanan states. Mainly the factory had Mexican women since they have skills with their hands. Granted, retail can be parttime but factory jobs in Arizona don't pay any better than call center jobs. And actually there is more deamnd for call center jobs.

Anonymous said...

But even though Senator Graham has been a long-time amnesty supporter, the amnesty groups were not impressed. ”We’re very concerned about what we’re hearing,” said Mee Moua, president of the Asian American Justice Center. (NBCnews.com, Apr.3, 2013)”The elimination of any of the categories, particularly the sibling or married children categories, is going to have a disproportionate impact on the Asian American community, in addition to the Latino community and the African-Caribbean community as we’re striving to allow those groups to reunite with their families.” (Id.)

Cail Corishev said...

1) Buchanan obviously is talking about factory jobs before they filled up with Mexican women. Obviously that happened sooner in some places than others.

2) Working in a call center has to be destructive to one's soul. I try to be polite to telemarketers, I really do -- I know they're just doing their jobs and trying to make a living like the rest of us -- but it's hard to sometimes. Usually it means saying, "No thanks, goodbye," and hanging up on them. I can't imagine sitting there annoying people for eight hours a day. Taking incoming calls, as in customer service, would be better, but then you're dealing with people who are already irritated. A factory job may not be exciting, but I'd take it over manning a phone any day.

Cail Corishev said...

Oh, and the high demand for call center workers comes from extremely high turnover. Combine low wages, a soul-destroying job, the fact that it requires no skill so anyone can try it, and the fact that the workers are predominately people who change jobs often for various reasons -- women, young people, and immigrants -- and you have a job that's as easy to drop as it is to pick up.

I don't know about you, but when a business has had a "help wanted" sign in the window for so long it's getting faded, I don't see that as a sign of health or a good place to work.

Anonymous said...

Whiskley you live in Orange County about 50 percent of manufactoring jobs there are done by Hispanics thee and Mexico goes a lot of car manufactoing so Blacks do have the skills to do manufactoring.

Anonymous said...

Our client, a major Lotion and fragrance Manufacturer located in Huntington Beach is seeking Assemblers who can do repetitive
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Previous experience working in a production environment is important.
Will be putting caps on bottles and packaging products off of an assembly line.
Must be able to speak and understand directions in English.
Bilingual in English and Spanish is preferred but not required.

Qualified applicants should be able to work while standing, complete repetitive hand movements and have a sense of urgency and
initiative. Being on-time and dependable is a MUST.

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•Please, no phone calls about this job!
•Please do not contact job poster about other services, products or commercial interests.


Posting ID: 3725692834

Posted: 2013-04-05, 5:13PM PDT


Lots of Mexicans for the job need some engligh but if they can't always get english they will get spanish.

Anonymous said...

Graphs like this are really misleading. A casual viewing (which is all that most people in zombieland would give it) gives the impression of a massive drop, whereas if you look at the numbers its quite modest, from ~67 to 63 or so. A graph showing the entire plot 1-100, or even let' say 1-70 to capture the workforce, would barely look like a small dip.

Is a 15-year downward trend merely a "blip"? Is a four percentage point exodus from the labor force--amounting to 12-14 million people--really "quite modest"?

Anonymous said...

Once considered backwaters, these Sunbelt cities are quietly achieving a critical mass of well-educated residents. They are also becoming major magnets for immigrants. Over the past decade, the largest percentage growth in foreign-born population has occurred in sunbelt cities, led by Nashville, which has doubled its number of immigrants, as have Charlotte and Raleigh. During the first decade of the 21st century, Houston attracted the second-most new, foreign-born residents, some 400,000, of any American city—behind only much larger New York and slightly ahead of Dallas-Ft. Worth, but more than three times as many as Los Angeles. According to one recent Rice University study, Census data now shows that Houston has now surpassed New York as the country’s most racially and ethnically diverse metropo Another reason why Texas will have problems with the Republican Party in the future. Houston is the Los Angeles of the 1980's. And Texians blame liberal whites from California for their shifts when its a lot of foreign born heading to Houston.

Bill said...


Whiskey said...

To quote Duran Duran


Wow.

Bill said...


jody said...

obama has driven the US labor force participation rate all the way back to where it was in 1979! now that's a recovery - of women back to the kitchen. make me a sandwich!

Except the decline in participation has been concentrated among men, not women.

David said...

>Will you please admit this, steve?<

All kinds of people want Steve to like them.

>scum villages<

I want to move to Amsterdam now (read the linked story above). Why can't we have this idea in the US? Oh that's right. "Racism." The single most dispiriting word in any language.

Were other set-aside areas in history prompted by the same kind of problems?

FWG said...

Anonymous @7:23, that's exactly what I meant in the Margaret Thatcher thread.

pat said...

The most chilling book I've read recently is "Race Against the Machine". The authors present the case that the US economy is not in a cyclical recession but that we are at the beginning of a new and fundamentally different kind of economy.

They point out that the machines are producing much of the wealth today and have been for some thirty years. Corporations increasingly don't need human workers to produce products. So after the short sharp shock in 2007-8 we went into recovery but a jobless recovery. Companies bought new equipment but they did not hire new workers.

Recessions are valuable. During the good times, businesses invest in marginal activities. When the not-so-good times come they cut back on their mistakes.

Human labor may be a mistake.

Albertosaurus

Bill said...


Commander Banes said...

Graphs like this are really misleading. A casual viewing (which is all that most people in zombieland would give it) gives the impression of a massive drop, whereas if you look at the numbers its quite modest, from ~67 to 63 or so. A graph showing the entire plot 1-100, or even let' say 1-70 to capture the workforce, would barely look like a small dip.

Well, on the other hand, if you graphed unemployment like that, on a graph from 1-100%, an increase from 4% to 8% wouldn't look like much either. Only the Great Depression would look like much.

Labor force participation doesn't move around much, in general. But, relative to the amount it generally moves around, the drop in, say, prime age male labor force participation from 1970-today is huge. Though it would not look huge on a 1-100% chart.

rob said...

Pink Arrow Gal said...

Will you please admit this, steve?


Protip: Showing up with a misleading name and stock photo, then switching to another fake name and photo when you get called out, and then, after you get clocked the second time, making up another fake name and yet another stolen photo does not create a rock solid base from which to repeatedly accuse the blog host of dishonesty.

As to the actual post: there is a good chance that more people are disabled now. Diabetes, obesity, and sedentary lifestyles coupled with the occassional bout of high impact, high contact activity results in more acute injuries. Super expensive medical care means a lot of people can't get an injury treated just because they don't want to be crippled.

After getting crippled, jumping through all the hoops to get treatment is hard for healthy people. Doing it through constant, screaming pain is practically impossible.

Eric said...

The various government disability schemes, including veterans, are becoming welfare for White people.

Unfortunately when Congress goes to clean this up the pendulum will swing the other way. People who actually belong on disability won't be able to get it or will have to spend energy they don't have jumping though a lot of extra hoops.

Dutch Boy said...

Throw in the avalanche of autistics starting to hit 18 and you've got a real problem.

Anonymous said...


Will you admit that it is not just the liberal yuppies that are on 'the other side' but also the multi millionaires, the zillionaires and the billionaires that are our
enemies?


There is a word for those people, you know.

Democrat donors.

E. Rekshun said...

@Chicago: "Not much to look forward to for the rest of one's life, just waiting for a once-a-month check in the amount of between $750-1200."

Right, how do these people live? An old family friend has had debilitating arthritis in both hands her whole adult life. Her hands are curled up, crooked, and painful. She's been on SSDI her whole adult life. She collects a mere $400 per month.

It hardly seems worth it to scam SSDI, and it's a two+ year process of lawyers, hearings and denials before one gets accepted, if one gets accepted. The opportunity cost is pretty high, but I guess not for those with no better alternative. or that are just plain lazy.

Anonymous said...

Well factory work in both California and Arizona is mainly Mexican and few people speak that good of English. In fact call centers are more American few foreign born compared to working in a Factory. I got can from Factory work much faster because I don't have the ability to work with my hands. Seom Call centers make 40,000 if you work for the Telephone companies and are union.

Anonymous said...

The real scammer of SSI or SSDI are those who are also working under the table at the same time. Scamming taxpayers both ways.

So what percentage of SSI and SSDI are doing this?

Anonymous said...

A little late for this, but I just have to share.

I'm a Southern California lawyer, practicing in workers compensation law (employer (defense) side) for a little over a decade now. Social Security has a tremendous amount of overlap with my field, as you might expect. This is for a host of reasons too boring to list.

When a worker gets SS disability, it becomes much harder to settle the case, so we have to pay attention to it.

Even only ten years ago, Social Security disability was extraordinarily rare. We only saw it on cases with severely disabling conditions. Paralysis, amputations, etc.

These days, not so much. Carpal tunnel, minor neck injuries, "fibromyalgia" (an entirely fake disease you get by reading a pamphlet), allergies, hurt feelings, bruised knees. All of these can get you Social Security now if you stick to it long enough.

It's become clear to this insider that the main effect of Social Security (as well as workers comp), is not their respective original intents. It is to hide the real unemployment numbers. I am sure readers of this blog will be able to guess why successive administrations have wanted to hide the real unemployment rate.

elvisd said...

These days, not so much. Carpal tunnel, minor neck injuries, "fibromyalgia" (an entirely fake disease you get by reading a pamphlet), allergies, hurt feelings, bruised knees. All of these can get you Social Security now if you stick to it long enough.

It's like ADHD. Most times, kids who are "disabled" with that have been misdiagnosed. They often have BPS (Bad Parenting Syndrome).

Anonymous said...

SSDI is slated to run out of money in 2016. That's not a typo - it's 3 years from now, when I suspect the feds will raid the SS pot to keep it afloat.

Two stories.

I help folks who are new to Medicare, which you can get 24 months after being declared SSDI disabled. In 2012 I had 3 people getting Medicare who were so young that they were still on their parents' health insurance. One was 25, one 22, one 19 - all disabled none with any income to amount to anything other than a small SSDI check (though one did work a few hours a week) so that I suspect that the government paid for their Medicare as they certainly hadn't worked enough to qualify without buying it.

I know a local 30-something who got a MA-Ed but couldn't find a job that she considered worthy of her talents. Last I heard from her, she was helping her mother (stroke victim) and 19-yo kid brother (autism) get SSDI and applying for it herself.

I wouldn't bet that all 3 didn't get it.

David said...

In Tennessee, while there are supposedly many people on disability, it's common knowledge that getting on is almost impossible. The joke goes: Yes, we admit (after years of legal war) that you're a paraplegic. However, you can still hold a cup of pencils in your mouth and sell them on the street corner. Claim denied!

People do have an exaggerated sense of how much social programs do. For example, SNAP (food stamps) has a maximum benefit for a family of four of $500 per month. So the maximum is roughly $4 per day per person.

Yet corporate media tells us 24/7 that it's the disabled and the food stamp recipients who are bankrupting the nation...not the crooked and loser banks which needed $14 trillion in government handouts. Hey, the banks safeguard the free enterprise when they aren't destroying it and stealing depositors' money with both hands, so handouts to them are A-OK.

President B.O. blew through more taxpayer money during his re-election junket and second inauguration than any group of SSI fakers could ever hope to spend. But that's A-OK, too, because O-dog be de MAN, bro.

Meanwhile, when your back goes out for good, or your payroll tax (which skyrocketed on Jan. 1 thanks to O-dog) trips you up, or your Social Security check shrinks under chained CPI (or a similar scheme), there is a simple solution. Sell pencils on the street corner. Well that, or borrow a few grand to get a degree in video animation or blood-drawing at the local community college.