ATHENS, Greece (AP) -- Greek disability groups expressed anger Monday at a government decision to expand a list of state-recognized disability categories to include pedophiles, exhibitionists and kleptomaniacs.
The National Confederation of Disabled People called the action "incomprehensible," and said pedophiles are now awarded a higher government disability pay than some people who have received organ transplants.
Also included: "pyromaniacs, compulsive gamblers, fetishists and sadomasochists," i.e. Greeks.
It sounds crazy, it is crazy. Why would they do this?
The government is also battling widespread abuse in the welfare system, forcing tens of thousands of disabled people to be reassessed.
But this isn't abuse of the system, this is the system abusing you. What the hell is going on over there?
FYI: The Illuminati have decided that 2012 is the year the Dow is going to 14000.
Politicians threwout [no sic] the world have a single problem, only one: how to convey the appearance of financial stability until someone discovers cold fusion. Marx was one step off: all costs boil down to energy costs, i.e. oil costs. Fix that problem and the deficits will follow.
The problem of the problem is that the cost of oil has to be high enough for someone to want to discover cold fusion; but if it is high, though not high enough, then simultaneously it will be too expensive for most economies yet too cheap to replace-- or even to extract more of it. Hence shortages. And the cycle repeats.
In the meantime, politicians try to kick that ball as hard as they can down the road. A generation, two, three, far enough out that you don't feel it now.
Social Security and Medicare represent 640% of the U.S. budget. I looked it up. We can pretend that other things matter, but really, they don't. Cold fusion and Social Security. Can't have one or the other, it's both, or neither.
2012 will see an American election between Mitt Romney and President Obama, and the winner will be whichever one of them manages to best avoid questions about Social Security. Unless by November we are finally at war with Iran, Social Security will be the only topic worth discussing, which means we'll be discussing gay marriage.
If you want your generational conflict, that's it. The "old" and their 437 elected representatives will block any attempts to mess with Social Security, or even mention it, and will use welfare and disability-- e.g. SSI-- as a diversion; but they must present the ills of SSI in such a repulsive way that it captures the young's disgust, to distract them from the behemoth that is eating them.
Hence stories about pedophilia. Hence pictures of black people abusing the system. There's one now. He has an XBox. And weed. There's always weed.
The story that comes out of Greece is a prolegomena to any future diversion that will be able to present itself as a news story. For the next year, expect to hear how the disability system is corrupt, corrupting, socialist.
All of those things are true, but irrelevant. The "young" should not fall for this. My track record on criticizing SSI is unassailable, but what is wrong with it isn't the $, but the way the $ are dispensed, i.e through the pretense of medical illness. Almost everyone can work, even a little, at something; imagine if we could get all those SSI recipients to spend 1 hour a day clicking on Google ads. We could be as rich as astronauts.
No. The real problem, the one after oil, is Social Security. Throw in Medicare.
Without real numbers we are not going to solve real problems, so here they are, memorize them:
SSI is $50B. That's it. You could double it, triple it, it wouldn't make any difference. I'm sure the people getting SSI wish the payments were higher, but they aren't not because we don't have the money, but because people hate you. On principle. And it is that hate that both Democrats and Republicans will cultivate; because it reflexively produces a delicious narrative: SSI recipients don't deserve it because they never worked, therefore-- and your mind cannot help but make this a therefore-- Social Security recipients do because they did. I am not saying either of these propositions are right or wrong, I am making the link explicit so you can see what is being done to you. Keep your eye on the black and brown SSI while the government smuggles the old folks to heaven. "Wouldn't this be easier if we had euthanasia?" Done.
SSDI is $124B. SSDI is funded from Social Security taxes (1.8% payroll tax) and represents credits the individual earned while working, i.e. it is disability insurance. But in oral arguments, whether the ex-worker "deserves" it or not will overshadow the fact that he did indeed "pay into it" in some capacity. Look for SSI and SSDI to be conflated into a gigantic "fiscal black hole."
Social Security is $712B. It is funded through FICA, which in 2010 brought in $780B, i.e. $68B surplus, i.e. more than all of SSI. Of course eventually the ABC demo will turn the channel to CBS, and the payouts will exceed the income.
Cold fusion, cold fusion. You gotta have hope.
No one is interested in knowing that in Greece pedophilia is a "disability," but not one you can get any money for. The AP should really talk to some pedophiles before it makes these crazy statements about how much they can earn. (The correct number is zero.) This doesn't mean the Greek government put this law there on purpose so that people could get angry about it; it means the government found it there on purpose so that people could get angry about it.
And no one is interested in knowing that SSI is but a tiny blip on our budgetary concerns, the equivalent of penny pinching to 89 octane when you fill your Escalade. Won't that damage the engine? "What do I care, I'm leasing." That's the most American sentence I have ever written.
What does interest people is "abuse of the system." That, and gay marriage. Romney and Obama will never tire of telling you precisely how the SSI system should be reformed to prevent "fraud and waste", and the press will be happy to report on it. All of those reforms will be financial, i.e. less; none of them fundamental, i.e. more.
"Look over here, everybody. We're protecting your interests. Don't look over there, we're protecting someone else's interests."
Distraction, misdirection. Keep it up until November, or cold fusion, whichever comes last.