Tuesday, April 23, 2013

What's Wrong With "Disability?" Part 2: Maybe Nothing!

This discussion about the recent NPR radio programs on Social Security Disability's programs suggest that there may be little or nothing wrong with Disability at all. They still don't mention Social Security Work Incentives, but it does seem like an example of cooler heads prevailing.

Incidentally, anyone who wants to understand economics and politics beyond moral denunciations and partisanship should make the Washington Post's Wonkblog a daily visit.

I also recommend these two other, less panicky views of Disability:

Leave Disability Insurance Alone!
Matthew Yglesias, Slate.com

Yes, Disability Payments Are Up, But It's Nothing To Be Surprised About
Kevin Drum, Mother Jones

Extra! Protest at the White House

ADAPT, (American Disabled for Attendant Programs Today), is protesting at the White House today, criticizing the Obama Administration's disability policy record. Apparently, people are being arrested.

I'm not a fan of most political protests. I approve of them; I just don't personally like them. However, ADAPT almost always knows what its doing. They have a knack for street theater, and they keep it fresh. ADAPT's demonstrations never seem like dusty Vietnam retreads. Most importantly, ADAPT always makes it crystal clear exactly what they want, publishing detailed position papers for each protest. The position papers themselves are specific, never vague or airy. What they propose is always not only symbolic, but useful.

Read ADAPT's position paper for today's protest at the White House. I don't claim to understand every policy reference, but overall it seems like an ambitious but realistic set of demands that the Obama Administration could, conceivably agree to.

Notice that none of the demands include legislation that would have to be voted on by Congress. They are all things the Administration could do on its own, without having to corral votes. After recent defeats and stalemates on gun control and the budget, here's a policy area where the Administration could make actual progress, and actually please a large, diverse political constituency ... people with disabilities.