A new career option in America

“What do you want to be when you grow up, Junior.”

“Well dad, I plan to live on the Social Security Disability Program.”

In 1960, some 455,000 workers were receiving disability payments. In 2011, the number was 8,600,000. In 1960, the percentage of the economically active 18-to-64 population receiving disability benefits was 0.65%. In 2010, it was 5.6%.

Things have changed. Americans have grown healthier, and significantly lower numbers die before 65 than was the case a half-century ago. Nevertheless, the disability rolls have ballooned.

One reason is that the government seems to have gotten more openhanded with those claiming vague ailments. Eberstadt points out that in 1960, only one-fifth of disability benefits went to those with “mood disorders” and “musculoskeletal” problems. In 2011, nearly half of those on disability voiced such complaints.

The cool thing about “mood disorders” and “musculoskeletal” problems is that nobody can prove whether you have these problems or not. They are undetectable. It is all based on claims of the recipient of disability recipient. Voilà! A new lifetime career!

Of course the Social Security Administration knows that a significant portion of claims of disability are fraudulent. They don’t really care. Food stamps aren’t really about food and SSDI isn’t really about disability. See Mr. Cloward and Ms. Piven, they will explain.

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11 Responses to A new career option in America

  1. fubar says:

    just had a lengthy conversation about this with our tool guy. ADHD is now an acceptable slacker excuse to get out of working.

    I shouldn’t say “now”. he knows a 29 yr old guy never worked a day in his life because he’s ADHD, because some elem. school teacher said he couldn’t sit still in class.

  2. Uke says:

    According to this survey, at 8.6 million people, that makes “being disabled” the most popular profession in America. By a landslide.

    Even beats out the next most popular, retail salesperson at 4.2 million.

  3. Jim22 says:

    How to go Galt and get paid for it.

  4. R.D. Walker says:

    Well, maybe. I would argue, however, that “going Galt” implies that you have been Atlas carrying the world on your shoulders and now are going to shrug it off. Most of the people scamming SSDI never carried their own weight, let alone the world.

  5. Notamobster says:

    People get disability for ADHD, huh? Well that just seems – oooh, butterfly… 🙂

  6. R.D. Walker says:


  7. ray davies says:

    Hey, I’m a conservative,Republican,White,Male, who’s long married. I guess that makes me crazy enough for disability

  8. CaptainAmericaRules says:

    While I believe there are way too many people on disability, one of the things not considered is the impact medical science has had on psychological disorders. An example was that bipolar disorder usually relegated the individual to a state run facility whereas nowadays most of these patients can live better lives through pharmaceuticals. There is no “test” as of yet but the disease affects many people.

    I also think that these numbers are a bit skewed in that back in the day the state had the majority of the responsibility if care. That changed when old LBJ took over the program and made it a federal liability. It’s just robbing Peter to pay Paul.

  9. Notamobster says:


    I understand your point and agree. I think that federal control of this vast medical funding has led to a dramatic increase in diagnosis. Over-diagnosing “unprovable”medical conditions keeps doctors supplied with a constituent group of patients who keep the checks rolling in. A great many of these recent “disability”cases are also unprovable conditions like “angry black man” syndrome which affords young, able bodied black Americans the ability to collect a “crazy check”.

  10. CaptainAmericaRules says:

    Where can I get me one of those “crazy checks” I think I am uniquely qualified.