We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Advocates for the "disabled," however defined, want them "mainstreamed" and "normalized" while, at the same time, they advocate for special treatment and "accommodations" for the disabilities. How can you have it both ways?
In the UK, the Disabilities Discrimination laws define "disability" as:
‘A physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on a person’s ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities’.
Everybody has strengths and serious weaknesses, and deserves respect for their efforts and for their humanity despite their frailities or unappealing characteristics. A nice cheerful young gal with Downs bags my groceries every week at my market. Meanwhile, I have patients with reasonably-controlled bipolar disorder who hire lawyers to help them get on Social Security Disability. (I do not approve of that one bit. I do not approve of "working the system," nor do I think it is good for them: it is terrible for them and for their dignity.)
Anyway, you may read a short essay at Spiked here which addresses these issues.
Dr. Bliss' post leads to a typically-fine post by David Thompson on modern socialistic ideals titled Details, Details. Quoted by Thompson in his post:
Well, I’m not aware of a British political party that wants to abandon the welfare safety net – the “social state” as Bauman prefers to call it – let alone abandon “human solidarity,” and the arguments I’ve heard tend to centre on whether long-term welfare dependency is a desirable state of affairs for any human being. It’s one thing to rail against the “rule of capitalism” in abstract and fanciful terms; it’s something else entirely to address particulars – such as those of a soused, if amiable, woman drinking beer by the road. Is Bauman suggesting that this woman should be steered away from her morning refreshments? These do, after all, affect her employment prospects, finances and health, and thus make her one of society’s “weakest members”. Or does the professor believe that she should be compensated indefinitely by the state for being an unemployable alcoholic and not terribly bright? How, I wonder, is her life to be brought closer into line with mine or yours? Does she have a say in the matter? Do those of us who would have to pick up the tab?
I do not enjoy picking up her tab, but I would never leave her to die in the gutter. I'd be inclined to give her an educational kick in the butt and a few weeks in a drunk tank. Still, such questions keep life interesting, and force us to clarify our thinking.
However, I have yet to be convinced that government is the best agency for human mercy. Small "d" democratic government is about votes, jobs, money, perks and power - regardless of the virtue or venality of its practioners.
Advocates for the "disabled," however defined, want them "mainstreamed" and "normalized" while, at the same time, they advocate for special treatment and "accommodations" for the disabilities.
Right, I don't see a thing wrong with that. It's a good thing to integrate folks into society as much as possible--the disabled greeter at Wal-Mart, for instance--at the same time mandating, say, a wheel chair ramp on the fisrt floor of a three story apartment building, as is the rule here now. Only a grinch hard heart would oppose such things.
The alcoholic, the drug user, those that have put themelves in a pickle by their own actions, that is something else.
And by the way, every farmer in America "works the system." Having done it for years, and paying plenty of taxes along the way too, a man is a fool not to.
Coming down with a form of narcolepsy due to a problem with a prescription medicine had me going out at multiple times a day and a severe loss of stamina... medications have helped curb the attacks to the odd one every so often, but my stamina is shot...
Trying to go through the mountain of Social Security paperwork when disoriented, lethargic and having your body go under on you at odd moments was not a pleasing thing to do. Of course having one's license to drive suspended, being unable to sustain a walk past a block and having no energy to work a full day means one can, indeed, find a full time job according to SSN.
Luckily I never planned on SSN for a damned thing in life, and I already had Type I diabetes so knew I would run into other problems as a possibility and planned for those early on. My plans worked... the government agency failed while another part of the government that I worked for agreed I was disabled for my job.
Do not depend on the government for your personal health or safety. And if you get a disabling condition, they will do anything, say anything, absolutely anything to deny you benefits. That is their job.