Friday, August 19, 2022

Tendentious Reasoning

 Some reviewed studies appear to have started with the conclusion that poverty causes disability and substance abuse.  After opening paragraphs demonstrating that poverty and disability are strongly correlated, and an acknowledgment that “research suggests why disability may cause poverty, it then posits how, “The Poverty Disability Model (PDM) provides an explanation of the process through which an individual who starts in poverty increases the likelihood that he or she will acquire a disability and may, in fact, become disabled.”[1]  While the article presents a series of possible mechanisms to explain how poverty causes disability, it does not even attempt to demonstrate that poverty precedes disability. 

The size of Social Security Disability checks should be a clue.  The average Social Security Disability check in July 2022, was $1362.03.[2]  Disability benefits are determined based on taxes paid into the system through payroll withholding.  Those disabled with high incomes over their years of employment receive checks substantially larger than the average; those who had low working incomes often receive substantially less, with some receiving less than $100 per month, and a large fraction receiving less than $1000 per month.[3]

[2] Social Security Administration, “Number of Social Security recipients
—time series for selected benefit type
Selected benefit type(s):
Disabled worker,”, last accessed August 18, 2022.

[3] Social Security Administration, “Disabled worker beneficiaries in current payment status at the end of
June 2019, distributed by benefit level, sex, and age group,”, last accessed August 18, 2022.

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