The steady rise in disability claims presents something of a puzzle. Medicine has improved substantially. Far fewer of us labor in dangerous industrial jobs like the ones that originally motivated disability insurance. The rate of deaths due to injuries has plummeted. Behavior that can cause disability, such as alcohol use and smoking, has declined substantially. American age-adjusted mortality rates are far lower than in the past. [Emph. added]The government gives away free money and people take it. What a puzzle!
Later on in the article, it is explained that the government no longer requires disability recipients to have any "easily verifiable ailment."
The economists say the most important cause of the increasing number of recipients is the loosening of eligibility criteria. In 1984, Congress “shifted the criteria for DI eligibility from a list of specific impairments to a more general consideration of a person’s medical condition and ability to work.” As a result, the typical disability recipient today is far less likely to have an easily verifiable ailment.
PREVIOUSLY on the paradoxes that vex liberal minds:
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•Paradox: "Despite" having the most generous benefits for homelessness, homeless flock to San Francisco
•Paradox: gun sales up despite politicians' threats to ban gun sales
•Paradox: student test scores improve despite school funding decrease
•News report: Gun crime down "despite" increase in gun sales
•It's a paradox: Congress unpopular "despite record"
•"Ironically," conservatives and their children are happier
•It's a paradox!: Crime down when criminals are in jail.
•Paradox: crime is down despite criminals being in prison
•Paradox: few fraudulent voters if voters are required to have IDs