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What drives the rise in disability?
I don't know about the disability increases, but the author does make sense about the human capital factors. Both President Bush and President Obama put many millions of dollars towards community colleges to help workers re-train or build skill sets that would move them forward in a different job market. I have been back to school three times in the past thirty years to insure that I could remain employed in the marketplace I chose to work in. Some jobs are not coming back and it's very important for Americans to understand the need to look ahead and get the needed training to stay employed. People have to be willing to both go to where the jobs are and also be willing to learn to be better in their field.
Re: "People have to be willing to both go to where the jobs are ..." Capital's more mobile than labor.
Re: "I have been back to school three times in the past thirty years to insure that I could remain employed in the marketplace I chose to work in." Goes to show ... going to school for maintaining and/or learning new skills is a whole lot easier than predicting the future.
Harrumph, if I wasn't prematurely put out to pasture by the fresh-out-of-college minions who screen resumes and blithely assume I'm old-school and old-hat, I'd gladly work another fifteen or so years. But if I can't get a job because of age discrimination, I'll go on social security and disability and those very same young persons that spurned me, can support me!
Disability isn't all it's cracked up to be. I think the SSI payment for folks that don't have a good work history is under $700/month. For folks that paid into the system while employed (like my brother), the SSDI payment might be $1400 a month. One problem that I see with these programs is that there is an incentive not to work. It is hard to get on in the first place and then once you are on, if you work to much, you go off and you may not qualify again. We really should eyeball the incentives.
So in a nut shell, the author is saying that people have run out of unemployment insurance and turned to social disability for their government payments. He is also saying that ease of obtaining the benefits and lack of scrutiny and the ability to audit is causing fraud, thus a reform into the SS Disability process eligibility is needed.
Jarimn, I'm one of the minions you seem to despise. When I was fresh out of college five years ago, I offloaded work from a tenured employee, but then again I was only earning half of the wage as they were. As someone said before, some jobs are going away and not coming back. Understand that it doesn't happen overnight, but technology turns every skill from a specialty into a commodity into an mechanized process until it becomes obsolete. Case in point: see Banks, Restaurants, Manufacturing, Education, Politics. It's sad, but that's life. The supply of a job is always in line with the demand for it. If screening resumes yields similar results whether it's done by a veteran or a rookie, there's no reason for the employer to subsidize the job market. If you didn't see it coming, by all means use the safety net until you can move upward in your field, or sideways to a field that can afford your unique experience. The tab's on me. If you picked up on the trend at work but did nothing about it until it was too late, then understand my lack of sympathy.
What is the percentage of jobs outsourced since 1982? Also, as far as "employment incentives" - how about fulltime, living wage jobs with decent healthcare options? Sounds as if many of these claiming disability are basically between a rock and a hard place.
Is the author being real with us here? If there's any trend in America that is easy to understand, it's the rising tide of SSI claims. Any 50-year-old blue-collar guy whose job disappears will never be employed again, at least not at anything more rewarding than making pizzas part-time at the gas station. Hard as it would be for these guys to find work elsewhere in the world given their situation, it's even harder in America where the employer is on the hook for his higher health care premium. Getting on the SSI bandwagon is his only path to survival until he gets to Medicare age. Doesn't seem like it should take a Harvard economist to figure this out.
bluedevil101, "Both President Bush and President Obama put many millions of dollars towards community colleges to help workers re-train or build skill sets that would move them forward in a different job market. I have been back to school three times in the past thirty years to insure that I could remain employed in the marketplace I chose to work in."......Most people going on disability are blue-collar males over 50, at least based on everything I've read. Sending them back to school to get new degrees will have a negligible effect on their employment prospects since few employers are likely to take on a 55-year-old rookie in any given field, investing disproportionately in his or her employment due to their health insurance premium only to replace them again in a few years when they're retirement age. This is a silent crisis in America that even the author fails to appreciate. For all the talk of raising the retirement age to 67 or 71 or whatever the latest fantasy is, we have millions of workers 10-15 years younger than that who no employer will ever hire.
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