Here’s another measure of a permanently lethargic economy – one this is built upon disincentives to work. The number of people taking disability insurance relative to those finding new jobs is alarming. And no, there is no epidemic of more people getting hurt on the job. Here is what Michael Barone writes based on Michael Eberstadt’s “A Nation of Takers: America’s Entitlement Epidemic.”
Between January 2010 and December 2011, there were 1,730,000 new jobs and 790,000 new people collecting disability. This is not just a matter of laid-off workers in their 50s or early 60s qualifying for disability in the years before they become eligible for Social Security old age benefits. In 2011, 15 percent of disability recipients were in their 30s or early 40s.
Don’t expect reform of the disability program to be part of any entitlement reforms in the so-called fiscal cliff negotiations.
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