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August 1, 2013 at 7:06 PM
Extra benefits amount to socialism
Something is wrong with this picture. [“Extra help if Boing lays you off,” page one, August 1.]
So the unions got together and persuaded the federal government to offer these extra benefits to workers who may be laid off. To justify this by saying the loss may be from outsourcing is ridiculous.
You used to save with a rainy-day fund; but now when jobs are lost, it’s no problem, with extended unemployment assistance plus the unmanaged food-stamp agency, to name a few.
What that means is the average American taxpayer gets to foot that bill while those on limited income and our returning vets who often wait for meager benefits to come their way continue to spiral downward.
We are becoming more and more socialistic and that does not bode well for this country.
Roberta Tarr, Clinton, Island County
June 20, 2013 at 7:00 AM
Bill is hypocritical, dangerous
As a part-time teacher, I read the story about the state Senate’s health-care proposal with great interest. [“Part-time school, college staff may lose state health benefits,” NW Thursday, June 13.]
Sen. Andy Hill’s specious proposal for a $2 per hour “raise” could never begin to cover the actual costs of even a single minor health emergency. I searched in vain for another aspect of the story; namely, the health-care benefits enjoyed by each of our state’s part-time legislators.
Supporters of Senate Bill (SB) 5905 are also part-time state employees, yet they brazenly expect to receive their full health-care allocation, which is substantially more than that of even full-time school district employees.
Whether or not SB 5905 becomes actionable in the overall and ongoing budget negotiations, The Times should further investigate this aspect of the story. The passage of a bill like this would be a deal-breaker for the continued service of many of our state’s part-time educators.
John Mellana, Seattle
May 6, 2013 at 6:32 AM
Disabilities are not always obvious
Many disabilities are not visible and the disabled do not have to be wheelchair bound to prevent them from working [“Free America’s ‘work beasts’ from disability scammers,” Opinion, April 26.
It’s peevish to chastise the disabled Froma Harrop surmises are able to work, refuse minimal-wage jobs and prefer to “scam” the government with their doctor’s assistance.
The disability application process alone is daunting and most disability recipients require an attorney’s expertise in order to even have their cases considered by Social Security. And her reference to the intellectually disabled busboy, employed by her nearby diner, who was even loved by everyone, is akin to the prejudicial saying: “I even live next door to a black person.”
Geri Daily, Bellingham
May 2, 2013 at 7:31 AM
Depression is misunderstood
Froma Harrop does not understand the challenge of dealing with severe depression [“Free America’s ‘work beasts’ from disability scammers,” Opinion, April 26]. The mental incapacity of depression is real and sometimes leads to suicide. True depression is not merely a “low mood”; it comes with an inability to bounce back to normalcy.
Harrop ridicules a young woman’s effort to recover from this serious illness. The woman shamelessly went to the beach and a party. She maybe even smiled once or twice! Didn’t she know she should cower in a dark room, under a blanket, and never, never be caught smiling? In fact, fresh air, sunshine and social contact with others is an essential part of recovery.
Let us sincerely hope that the next wall of prejudice to crumble and fall will be the one surrounding mental illness.
David Warner, Seattle
Stop blaming the ill for the nation’s economic problems
Froma Harrop begrudges the disabled a cup of coffee [“Free America’s ‘work beasts’ from disability scammers,” Opinion, April 26]. She writes with disgust that she sees people on Social Security disability benefits “at the coffee shop, refilling their cups in leisure …” How dare they!
I am a Social Security disability attorney. My clients frequently ask me if they will be judged on the way they look. Because epilepsy, multiple sclerosis and a vast array of other chronic illnesses are invisible, my client’s worry that they will be judged on their looks, not their medical records. I explain that the judge will base the decision on the medical records. Harrop has a better system, the “she will know it when she sees it” system.
The ability to drink coffee does not translate into to the ability to work. While someone with epilepsy may be able to go to a coffee shop on a good day, they cannot go on the days they are having seizures.
Unfortunately, there are very few employers who allow their employees to take as many sick days as they like and come in on their good days.
Ms. Harrop also perpetuates another myth that people who receive Social Security disability benefits are living lives of luxury and ease. Social Security disability provides an important safety net that prevents homelessness and starvation, but provides very little beyond the essentials.
It is time to stop blaming the chronically ill for our economic problems. Let them drink coffee!
Anna Kysar, Social Security disability attorney, Shcroeter Goldmark & Bender, Seattle
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