9-11 Fraud: Yes, If You Give Sick Free Money, More People Will “Get Sick”

I’m not against helping the poor or the sick, but we have got to admit that every time you add value to a class, more people will get into or stay in that class. If you want to help the needy you have to make sure that people aren’t faking a need or deliberately making themselves needy. Otherwise, you are robbing the genuinely needy of the help you claim you want to give them.

So when you want to help people “injured” by the 9-11 attacks, especially when you include psychological “injuries” you shouldn’t be surprised when this happens:

From ABC News: “Outrage Over Alleged Fraudulent Disability Claims That Stem From 9/11 Tragedy.”

More than 100 retired New York City cops, firefighters and correction officers were charged today with falsely claiming to be suffering from depression and anxiety as a result of the 9/11 terror attacks, New York prosecutors said today.

The alleged scam won awards up to $500,000 for the uniformed personnel and cost taxpayers millions of dollars, according to the indictment.

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance said the suspects “cynically manufactured claims of mental illness as a result of Sept 11th… dishonoring the first responders.”

Police Commissioner William Bratton said, “The retired members of the NYP indicted in this case have disgraced all first responders who perished during the search and rescue efforts on Sept. 11, 2001.”

The prosecution backed up its case with recorded phone calls of the suspects being coached on how to behave in front of a medical board and photos of the suspects doing vigorous activity like jet skiing, doing mixed martial arts, and going on cruises after convincing doctors they were unable to leave their homes.

Happily, at the ABC site, the video of this story was immediately followed by another story from April 23, 2012 regarding widespread disability scams:

But that news story only hints at the size of the problem and mostly distracts readers with a few cases. The way disability has been growing, there is no way to avoid the conviction that there is widespread fraud going on. Or it is even worse than fraud. Once people find they can get free money for reporting “persistent anxiety” they may actually grow to believe what puts money in their pockets so easily. These people aren’t committing self-conscious fraud because it is not fraud when you make yourself believe it.

If you don’t think that is realistic, all I can say is that, if people can convince themselves that there is a heavy metal disability, they are capable of anything. People are warping themselves into needy dependents rather than productive helpers of others.

So why do liberals so confidently claim that it is unrealistic to think that unemployment benefits increase unemployment? I’ll grant, of course, that many people lose their jobs and can’t find one right away. But when do you know you have really tried hardest? What effect does the option of not working, and getting money for not doing so, have on your will and your drive?

I don’t think a person can ever really know how much that “safety net” effects them.

Yes, I know, it is cruel to tell people to try harder “in this economy.” But Congressional action destroys the possibility of dealing with concrete cases. There is no way to rationally deny that making unemployment more pleasant increases unemployment in the aggregate. Traditionally, societies have relied on private charity to assist those in need. While this has problems, the fact remains that people giving their own money away have more incentive to make sure it goes where it is most genuinely needed.

Government aid has problems too.