Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Disability Program Hides True Unemployment Level

The latest This American Life is devoted to an examination of why beneficiaries of the Social Security Disability program have exploded over the past couple decades. It turns out that, in large measure, this is how states have offloaded the cost of supporting people for whom capitalism can't actually provide living-wage employment by transferring them from state-financed welfare programs to the federal Social Security system. While this keeps these people from starving or becoming homeless, it has the big disadvantage of not doing anything to assist them in getting out of poverty -- at the same time it erases them from unemployment statistics by no longer counting them as "looking for work."

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