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When the price of coal falls we see coal miners significantly increase their applications for unemployment disability insurance. By the way there is a theory that might explain this, but it falls apart when one looks at disability take-up data and finds out that:

Guest: Actually, there are two dimensions to this that are counterintuitive. One is actually there is a very small percentage of people who go on SSDI actually transition from Worker’s Compensation (Worker’s Comp) or acute workplace injury. It’s certainly not, it was never the case and even less the case now that people are getting hurt on the job and going on disability. That’s definitely not occurring. And the other thing, is jobs have gotten safer. They are more sedentary. Medical care has greatly improved. And of course ability to provide so-called workplace accommodations–technology that allows people with work limitations to still be productive on the job. Those things have all improved dramatically in the 50 years since the SSDI program was introduced. Even if population health were holding constant, there ought to be fewer and fewer people who are effectively disabled because of course the types of jobs they need to do require less and less physical capability. So, it is indeed quite surprising from that perspective that we should see an epidemic of disability. And I should say there really is no evidence that there is an overall downward trend in population health. In fact, quite the reverse. Lifespans have increased considerably in the last 50 years. Russ:And quality of life. People have artificial knees, hips. Guest: Exactly.

Much more here.

2 Responses to “Fun Facts to Know and Tell: Disabling Prices Edition”

  1. Well, please do not call me an “anarcho-capitalist” because that would be simplistic labeling. We have government for a reason, several reasons, actually, just as we have religions of many kinds. Both meet basic needs. That said, government in the future may look very different from government today, just as our modern government would take some serious explaining to the citizens of ancient Athens c. 450 BCE or Rome c. 100 BC. That applies also, to Locke’s world of 1688. Locke posited three branches of government: legislative, executive, and diplomatic. He saw the judiciary not as a branch of government but as an institution of the community to protect individuals against government. The king’s men needed a writ from a court of competent jurisdiction and often were accompanied by a sworn officer of the court to ensure that the rights of the accused were not violated. It is just another theory, applied.

    In the future, government may be synonymous with the Legislature of All that passes objective laws every so decade or so to define what Law is. Within that framework, arbitrators, negotiators and adjudicators would work. Within that framework protection agencies from guard services and personal companions would also operate. Would… should… could… These are not “is” and “will.” That error, committed by both the Tannehills,Wollstein, and Friedman, is glaring. The anarcho-capitalist libertarians of the 1970s knew nothing about the actual workings of private enterprise alternatives in defense and adjudication. They supposed… then they glided gently from “could” to “will” and posited futures that never will be.

    Be that as it may… In fact, there is factual precedence for a market in law (“markets in everything”): the Uniform Commercial Code.

  2. uh… hmm… that should have gone into the replies to the post antecedent to this one, Philosophy Friday. (Sorry).

    (Maybe there is a tie-in. If all that existed were contractual law, then claim for “disability” among coal miners would not rise during times of lessened demand for coal…)

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