Shameless Behavior

W.E. Heasley, of the Last Embassy, points to a troubling study on recipients of the Social Security Disability benefit.

One excerpt from a survey of 2,300 that I hope is not representative of the 11 million SSDI recipients:

Returning to work is not a goal for 71 percent of the SSDI recipients, 60 percent of the SSI recipients.

Here and here I wrote about feedback loops that use to keep such behavior to a minimum. I think those feedback loops are broken.

Update: In the comments, Mike states it well:

Not only is the old negative feedback loop – shame – broken, a new positive feedback loop – pride in gaming the system – has taken over.

He also pointed out that, in this case, ‘gaming the system’ means ‘pulling one over on their fellow citizens.’

This reminds me of a point that Daniel Hannan made about localism of welfare in his book, The New Road to Serfdom, which I wrote about here (in the last part of the post). His point is that the more local a welfare program is made, the more likely it is to retain the shame feedbacks and the less likely it is to pick up the ‘pulling one over on the system’ feedback.

Why? Because, now instead of pulling one over on some faceless and distant third parties spread across the country (Federal taxpayers), they’re pulling one over on their more direct neighbors and they a bit more incentive to speak up about being taken for granted.

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