Things We Read Today (39), Thursday

Critical thinking sexism in Providence schools; a masculine career in disability; indoctrination; gambling on the law; an earnest pun.
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11 years ago

Autor gave a good podcast interview on Social Security Disability Insurance (aka new welfare) on EconTalk. It’s available for free here:
To call the rise in claims an explosion borders on an understatement. It is a tidal wave of new recipients that threatens to bankrupt the entire safety net system. Progressives are content to ignore the problem, but reality has a way of catching up with us all. Few of these individuals are legitimately disabled and the benefits are very generous – far more than a minimum wage job. Just doctor shop until you find one who will say you have anxiety disorder or back pain and you’re in. Even if you’re somehow rejected, there are now boutique law firms who specialize in getting your case reversed for a cut.
I’m sorry to say I have a family member who went on SSDI a few years ago and will almost assuredly be on for the rest of his life. He was always complacent doing construction work, abused his body with poor nutrition and alcohol, never exercised, never made much of an effort in anything. Now severely addicted to painkillers. It was only a matter of time before he figured out a doctor could get him put on the SSDI welfare payroll to watch TV, go to the shooting range, and visit pawn shops every day. He spends most of his time in casinos and eats out 7 nights a week. There is no legitimate reason whatsoever why he couldn’t get a job. The government tolerates and incentivizes this.

11 years ago

“Linda Borg has an article out, today, on an intensive “seminar” teaching critical thinking to students at Providence’s Jorge Alvarez High School”
Bad journalism meets bad education. “Critical thinking” usually means: “Let’s talk about our opinions.” In education, it’s rarely done after developing content knowledge, as in history. The rigor of the Socratic method and critical thinking end up being used as cover for low expectations. Opinion replaces content knowledge and mastery of skills.

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