A lot of times, I don't like getting involved with politics - especially when it comes to discussing it online. I know that it can get really messy really fast. However, I had to put my foot down when I saw this image and it's message. I am literally disturbed by the message that is being portrayed here.
It has been a while since I have so passionate written about a socio-political topic, let alone blogged about it - so I hope you get something out of this one!
A friend posted this on his facebook wall and I am not going to assume if he agrees or disagrees with the message - I just stared at it - dumbfounded. I looked at the page from where it originated (at least as far as I could tell, and it comes from the "Conservative Patriots of America's" facebook page ( http://www.facebook.com/ConservativePatriotsofAmerica ). I don't really think there is a ton of validity to the page overall - the overall vibe of the page is more opinion than fact. And who's to say that the manager of the page is the one that created this image with the text - we can't immediately know that - so instead of continuing to share my opinion about the page from where I think it originated, I want to give my response to the image and the text alone.
My first thought is that he is not sharing a clear message or accounting for other variables. The people who were not on disability income in the past probably didn't have a job, or if they did, it was probably minimal income or short hours.
Or, this could be a sad commentary on employers who wrongfully disqualify prospective employees from working because of their disability which then pushes people to apply for government funding.
It's important to understand the impacts of social movements, laws, culture, and the economy, among other things - you cannot draw conclusions as Maher (supposedly) has based upon numbers alone.
I'm not saying that there isn't SOME validity to his statement. I know there are those people who take advantage of the system. I also think it's wrong to apply for government income if you won't apply yourself first. (Get my drift?)
I am just saying that this cannot be generalized to the entire population of people who are dependent upon disability income. Plenty of good people utilize disability income and they make their lives better, they contribute to society - sometimes they grow so much that they do more than we ever think they can.
Some of the comments & opinions made on the original post are important to understand too. A few of theses I agree with and there are a few that I don't agree with, but I can't make this be entirely about my view - we have to consider other viewpoints, such as these. There are, currently, over 400 comments on the photo alone - I have chosen a select few to represent the greater part of the perspectives being shared.
Cathy Cleary Disability is part of Social Security and it is paid into. Welfare a different thing. I would love to see some of these people that don't know the difference have to apply for disability while not being ABLE to work or pay bills, that does NOT mean not willing. Even some who are disabled have to apply for welfare due to some rule or another, they did not get the SSD or SSI.
Barry Perkins Maybe the wagon will break, more likely the people will. We're already seeing this. It's demoralizing to work when you see friends, neighbors, and family living off your dime while doing nothing. How long before you decide they were right all along, and just climb onto the gravy train with them?
Karen Dunn This Dip-S**t is part of the problem! He supported the POS getting re-elected, heck, he campaigned for it! Now "Opie" is finally getting a clue?
Kirk Matthew Spencer I'll just keep pulling the wagon.......no real complaints.
Violet Hanson What he don't get is that the funds put away (paid by us) for Scoial Security have been raided for every little government program that the left has decided they absolutely have to have and they see that- 'Wow look at that we can borrow some of that money to make up for the lack here, they won't even notice it is missing. Besides how else can we get the money we want?' This has been the attitude of both houses and the previous administrations and everyone having a seat at the spending table except for us, the one's who paid into this fund. By the time I retire I will receive maybe, maybe 50% of what I have been promised, and that only if a miracle happens. Bill you can take your attitude towards those of us who work and you can kiss my curvy white woman's a**.
Bill Wanner "... there are some of us who would love to be able to go back to work, but due to the fact that there has been a war going on for the last 10+ years, some of us, cant ever go back to work. First time in my life I haven't worked 14-18 hrs a day. I would love to be back out there, but I'll gladly trade you places any freakin' day! You take one of mine and I'll take one of yours, and lets see then. Did you forget there is a reason why the number has gone up some! I'm not saying there are not lazy bastards out there who don't want to work and are plenty capable of doing it. That's why we send all the illegals back and tell all those who are capable of working here's a job take it, because your not living off the people anymore!!"
Michael Withrow Leaving the military 13 years ago, I had 2 knee's that needed replacements due to injuries, both my hands were in casts, and I couldn't bear to be around people i didn't know. i could easily have joined that list of unemployeed. Instead, I found a job I could do. Answering phones. Today... after a car accident, I can add a bad back that shoots pain through my legs at various times, and super sharp pain's into my lower back. I'm still working, a reduced schedule, and I know i'll eventually have to quit, but only when and IF I can't find some other way to work. I was taught not to depend on anyone, and to make my own way in the world. This is what is missing from people. they are all to willing to sponge off someone else. I say, call up a draft of those who won't find work, send them Alaska to learn to fish, or build roads.
Kenneth Damborg The other side of coin is that back then the ways and ability of society to identify and understand (even treat) disabilities were (literally) decades behind where modern medicine and psychology are today. It is an important point to remember when looking at those stats, though that isn't to say that it isn't something to view with concern.
Steven Sloane i served my country, and worked for over 30 years before being injured on the job, which forced me to be placed on s.s. disability. if you think i like making less than a third of what i took home before you are crazy! somtimes people on disability really are there legitimetly.
Betsey Jung Owens Too many children are getting SSI for being hyper or having autism or other problems that wasn't even considered back in 1971 when I started in mental health. This is a shame so that people who are getting TANF and their 60 months are running out, apply for each child, one at a time for disability so that the family continues getting TANF until their application is either accepted or the appeals are denied. They can count on about a year for each child for extra TANF benefits. They get housing, medical, food stamps. No wonder the government is broke.
RE: Mental Health
Betsey's comment in particular really bothers me... if she is working in mental health then she should have a better understanding of the bigger picture. And if she is in the field and considering things like Autism to not be an issue... wow... What she isn't saying is that some of these "newer" problems are things that have possibly been caused due to the lifestyle that the majority of the American population is living. Some of the other problems that weren't addressed in the past were not addressed because no one wanted to cope or deal with it - they would rather not talk about it, and sweep the problem under the rug and pretend it isn't there - yeah, that's helpful... I suppose I feel more passionate in my response to her comment because there are problems that have existed since the beginning of time that STILL are not being fully addressed today. Problem? Yes. Will it affect things like government funding for disabled persons. Definitely. Is the answer to the issue pointing the finger at a minority group - that taking their support away will solve all of the deficit?
No? People are just playing the blame game here - and it isn't ok. We all need to take responsibility for our own lives, decisions, money, lifestyle etc - and when we can all be responsible we can also be there to support each other as compassionate human beings with heart and soul - not just greed and lust.
Lisa D Wetherbee-Todd where do these stats come from? why does the right eat this garbage up without any thought? there are how many mills of american workers? there are even people on disability working legally, this is just to feed the hate...and it works quite well
Stephanie Kelly I found nothing to support his statement anywhere. Is he including recent veterans ? Does anyone no where he got these statistics or do you just take him at his word?
Stephanie Kelly 1 out of 3 people on disability are over the age of 65 . This is mainly reflecting our aging population nothing more.
Travis Walton You can thank technology for part of that. Medicine has come a long way where people who would have been dead 50 years ago because we lacked the knowledge, the skill and technology to save them are now alive. One of many topics where there is no easy answer that Political jockeys like to throw out massive numbers without looking at the people behind them.
Jacki Dunham Tice "... 'Why does the right eat this up..?' It's called researching statistics Your statement that there are millions of working people in this country is irrelevant to your point bc this is a ratio stat, so out of those millions it's still a 13 to 1 ratio genius You talk about the right eating this up to fuel hate but what about the sheep on the left that take Obama at his word when he reads his teleprompter and says he wants to take care of you, he wants to do all this stuff but the right won't let him bc they're a bunch a greedy rich people... how about that for fueling hate?? The left believe any and all lies that come from this mans mouth w/out ever actually researching his statements bc if you did you will see that 90% of the time he's either lying or contradicting himself from a statement he had made in the past.
Stephanie Kelly The more I read the more of a lie this statement becomes. I wonder what the slacker numbers actually are. If you have given birth you have been on disability. This statement includes temporary claims of people who got hurt at work and our veterans . 1 out of 3 are claims are people over the age of 65. It always amazes me how very few of you want to know the whole truth.
Lori Skees We also had a baby boom in the 40s, 50s, and 60s. Then we started aborting babies legally in the 70s. Do you think there is a connection?
Barbara Rosel Clingan Taken out of context. Search the reasons that so many are not working... Simply search the reasons...
Vladimir Lojko What constitutes "Disablity"? It takes years of effort with specialized Disability lawyers to be granted a "Disability" status.... if your lucky....
RE: Comments - original comments
Wow... it's really interesting to read these thoughts, opinions, and otherwise various perspectives. Everybody has their own experiences and they have their own thoughts... but sometimes people make me wonder. What has happened to logical thought and common sense? Here is the continuation and short conclusion of my perspective.
Do we all understand that for many people government funding actually results in putting citizens in an terrible cycle of near-poverty? That is really hard to get out of, once you are in it, I don't know why someone would WANT to live an impoverished life if they truly are not disabled and are taking advantage of the system.
So, the overall response I have to this is while the numbers may be factual, the statement created around the numbers is not valid - more context and understanding of other variables involved is necessary before drawing such a conclusion.
My question is this... have we all become so selfish that we are not happy to see others be helped, or better yet, help and influence others within our own ability? Really?