Daily Digest

Daily Digest 8/21 - The Unemployed Speak, India's Functioning Anarchy, Rethinking Government

Sunday, August 21, 2011, 9:41 AM
  • What You Don't Get About The Job Search: The Unemployed Speak
  • Biden Says China, US Share Global Responsibilities
  • Libya's Gaddafi Scorns Rebel 'Rats', Blames France
  • India's Functioning Anarchy
  • Treasury Rally Pushes Yields to Record Lows
  • In Silicon Valley, the Night Is Still Young
  • Rethinking Government: A Smarter Way to Put Out Fires
  • Laser Advances in Nuclear Fuel Stir Terror Fear

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What You Don't Get About The Job Search: The Unemployed Speak (jdargis)

As your job search drags on, even your friends and family are going to wonder what is "wrong" with you. Of course this is mostly motivated by sheer terror that they are going to be in the same position, despite their assurances that they are too smart or good at their job to be in your position. They may be right in some instances, but the upshot is that no one has real job security anymore, and it is devastating to many people to find out that they are totally disposable in a game they thought they could win. At least the currently unemployed know there is no winning anymore, just damage control.

Biden Says China, US Share Global Responsibilities (jdargis)

Vice President Joe Biden says the United States and China need to recognize their mutual global concerns and responsibilities and ensure greater fairness in trade and investment conditions.

Libya's Gaddafi Scorns Rebel 'Rats', Blames France (jdargis)

Gaddafi made the remarks in a live audio broadcast over state television early on Sunday, adding the rebels were "bent on the destruction of the Libyan people."

India's Functioning Anarchy (jdargis)

Many of India's new MPs - several of whom had been educated in England and observed British parliamentary traditions with admiration - revelled in the authenticity of their ways. Indian MPs still thump their desks, rather than clap their hands, in approbation. When bills are put to a vote, an affirmative call is still "aye", rather than "yes". An Anglophile Communist MP, Hiren Mukherjee, boasted in the 1950s that British Prime Minister Anthony Eden had commented to him that the Indian parliament was in every respect like the British one. Even for a Communist, it was a proud moment.

Treasury Rally Pushes Yields to Record Lows (jdargis)

“Clearly growth continues to be extremely weak,” said Larry Milstein, managing director of government and agency debt trading in New York at R.W. Pressprich & Co., a fixed-income broker and dealer for institutional investors. “There’s still concern for what’s going on in Europe. Despite the downgrade by S&P, investors are looking for safety, and that’s clearly in the Treasury market.”

In Silicon Valley, the Night Is Still Young (jdargis)

Yet, for all the outward optimism, even before the recent gyrations on Wall Street, old fears have been creeping in, nagging memories of the dot-com bust. You can sense it at cocktail parties in Menlo Park, at business conferences in Redwood City, inside the hipper-than-thou offices of young Web companies in San Francisco. Maybe, just maybe, these good times won’t last, and it will all come crashing down again.

Rethinking Government: A Smarter Way to Put Out Fires (jdargis)

Believe it or not, there was a time when government ran a surplus. Even today, in this economy, there are municipalities that consistently close out their annual budgets with a surplus. Somewhere along the road of good government, the concept of a "profit" became a bad idea. Most taxpayers would argue that government is not a business, but in the same vein they would like to see government operated more like a business.


Laser Advances in Nuclear Fuel Stir Terror Fear (jdargis)

Iran has already succeeded with laser enrichment in the lab, and nuclear experts worry that G.E.’s accomplishment might inspire Tehran to build a plant easily hidden from the world’s eyes.

Backers of the laser plan call those fears unwarranted and praise the technology as a windfall for a world increasingly leery of fossil fuels that produce greenhouse gases.

Article suggestions for the Daily Digest can be sent to [email protected]. All suggestions are filtered by the Daily Digest team and preference is given to those that are in alignment with the message of the Crash Course and the "3 Es."


saxplayer00o1's picture
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jul 30 2009
Posts: 4235
Social Security disability on verge of insolvency


"Laid-off workers and aging baby boomers are flooding Social Security's disability program with benefit claims, pushing the financially strapped system toward the brink of insolvency.

Applications are up nearly 50 percent over a decade ago as people with disabilities lose their jobs and can't find new ones in an economy that has shed nearly 7 million jobs.

The stampede for benefits is adding to a growing backlog of applicants — many wait two years or more before their cases are resolved — and worsening the financial problems of a program that's been running in the red for years.

New congressional estimates say the trust fund that supports Social Security disability will run out of money by 2017, leaving the program unable to pay full benefits, unless Congress acts. About two decades later, Social Security's much larger retirement fund is projected to run dry as well."


Doug's picture
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 1 2008
Posts: 3200
SS Disability

The initial claims for SS Disability Insurance and SSI are usually resolved within three months.  The log jam is at the appeals level.  If a claim is denied initially, it goes to the first appeal stage, a process that may indeed take a couple years.  This step has administrative law judges who hold hearings in mini-courtrooms following a quasi legal procedure.  At this stage the claimants are usually lawyered up, frequently with lawyers from the local welfare office who have been hired specifically to shift the burden from state and local welfare rolls onto federal disability rolls.  There are also law firms who do nothing but SS disability law.  There is one more administrative appeal stage before a case goes to US District Court, where the cases are frequently sent back because US attorneys who know little about SS law and cannot care less just want to get it off their desks.  They may either stipulate to a reversal of the administrative decisions outright, stipulate to a remand for further consideration or affirm the administrative decision.  The latter is the most difficult and time consuming, so probably isn't done that often.  At every stage, the cards are increasingly stacked against SSA, and hence the trust fund and SSI, because its just easier to grant benefits.  And, Social Security attorneys are not allowed to appear in court to represent SS Admin.


Quercus bicolor's picture
Quercus bicolor
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 19 2008
Posts: 470
 I just finished reading

 I just finished reading Anatomy of an Epidemic by Robert Whittaker.  It offers a partial explanation for the swelling of the Social Security Disability roles over the past 20 years: prescribing long-term psychiatric drugs to millions of patients who would have had much better outcomes if they had taken no drugs or taken them only for a limited time.  It was quite an emotional read for me given that I have a family member who has been on such drugs since 1984.  Thanks to Arthur Robey (I believe - correct me if I'm wrong) who made the original post that led me to the book.

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