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Playing With Words (Thomas Sowell)
Creators Syndicate ^ | June 5, 2012 | Thomas Sowell

Posted on 06/04/2012 1:32:44 PM PDT by jazusamo

Would anyone work to support themselves or their families — and then turn over a chunk of that hard-earned money to somebody else, just because of the words used by that somebody else?

A few people may be taken in by the words of con men, here and there, but the larger tragedy is that millions more are taken in by the words of politicians, the top-of-the-line con men.

How do politicians con people out of their money? One example can be found in a recent article titled "The Autism-Welfare Nexus" by Paul Sperry in "Investor's Business Daily."

Genuine autism is a truly tragic condition, both for those afflicted by it and for their parents. Few people would have any problem with the idea that both voluntary donations and government expenditures are well spent to help those suffering from autism.

"Autism," however, has been sweepingly redefined over the years. What was discovered and defined as autism back in 1943 is just one of a number of conditions now included as being part of "the autism spectrum." Many, if not most, of these conditions are nowhere near as severe as autism, or even as clearly defined.

The growing number of children encompassed by a wider and looser definition of autism has been trumpeted across the land through the media as an "epidemic" of increasing numbers of cases of autism. Before 1990, 1 child out of 2,500 was said to be autistic. This year, it is said to be 1 out of 88.

As Paul Sperry points out in IBD, "the number of language disorder cases have fallen as autism cases have risen, suggesting one disorder has simply been substituted for another."

Having heard, over the years, from many parents of late-talking children that they have been urged to let their children be diagnosed as autistic, in order to get either government money or insurance money to pay for language problems, I am not the least bit surprised by Sperry's findings.

Every dollar spent on children falsely labelled autistic is a dollar lost — and urgently needed — in dealing with the severe problems of genuinely autistic children. But money added to the federal budget for autism is money that can be given to people, in the expectation of getting their vote at election time.

Another example of words substituting for realities was a front page story in the May 24th issue of USA Today, showing that the official statistics on the national debt only count about one-fourth of what the federal government actually owes. Even the staggering official national debt is literally not half the story.

Under ordinary accounting rules and laws, the money promised to people as pensions when they retire has to be counted as part of the debts of a business or other organization. But, since Congress makes the laws, the trillions of dollars owed to people who have paid into Social Security do not have to be counted as part of the federal government's debts.

When you or I owe money, we are in debt — and face consequences if we don't pay up. But we are not the federal government and cannot write our own accounting laws.

Perhaps the biggest frauds committed by redefining words are the many fraudulent uses of the word "poor."

For most of the history of the human race, there was no problem in defining who were "the poor." They were people without enough to eat, often without adequate clothing to protect them from the elements, and usually people who lived packed in like sardines in living quarters without adequate ventilation in the summer or adequate heat in the winter, and perhaps also lacking in such things as electricity or adequate sewage disposal.

Today, most of the officially defined "poor" have none of these problems, and most today have amenities such as air conditioning, a car or truck, a microwave oven and many other things that once defined a middle class lifestyle. Americans in poverty today have more living space than the average European.

Why are they called "poor" then?

For the same reason that autism, the national debt and many other things are redefined in completely misleading ways — namely, to justify draining more money from the public in taxes, expanding the government, and allowing politicians to give handouts to people who are expected to vote for their reelection.

If we keep buying it, politicians will keep selling it.



TOPICS: Business/Economy; Editorial; Government; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: autism; definitions; meanings; sowell; thomassowell; words

1 posted on 06/04/2012 1:32:48 PM PDT by jazusamo
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To: abigail2; Amalie; American Quilter; arthurus; awelliott; Bahbah; bamahead; Battle Axe; ...
*PING*
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2 posted on 06/04/2012 1:36:06 PM PDT by jazusamo ("Intellect is not wisdom" -- Thomas Sowell)
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To: jazusamo

” A few people may be taken in by the words of con men, here and there, but the larger tragedy is that millions more are taken in by the words of politicians, “

No self-respecting con man would sink to the level of “Politician”...

There *are* standards, y’know...


3 posted on 06/04/2012 1:36:29 PM PDT by Uncle Ike (Rope is cheap, and there are lots of trees...)
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To: jazusamo

I’ve heard that it’s a common tactic shared among welfare moms to encourage their kids to act up in school in order to get them diagnosed with ADD so that the mom can get an additional “crazy check” for their “disabled” child.


4 posted on 06/04/2012 1:38:47 PM PDT by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter knows whom he's working for)
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To: Uncle Ike
politicians, the top-of-the-line con men.

I love the above phrase by Dr. Sowell.

Though they're top of the line con men only because they can pass laws to support their thievery.

5 posted on 06/04/2012 1:45:11 PM PDT by jazusamo ("Intellect is not wisdom" -- Thomas Sowell)
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To: jazusamo

Thanks for the ping jaz.


6 posted on 06/04/2012 1:47:25 PM PDT by rockinqsranch (Dems, Libs, Socialists, call 'em what you will, they ALL have fairies livin' in their trees.)
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To: jazusamo

” The growing number of children encompassed by a wider and looser definition of autism has been trumpeted across the land through the media as an “epidemic” of increasing numbers of cases of autism. Before 1990, 1 child out of 2,500 was said to be autistic. This year, it is said to be 1 out of 88. “

Follow the money.


7 posted on 06/04/2012 1:49:31 PM PDT by stephenjohnbanker (God, family, country, mom, apple pie, the girl next door and a Ford F250 to pull my boat.)
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To: MrB

Wouldn’t be surprised. With as many people on the dole as there are they have a lot of time to think up such scams.


8 posted on 06/04/2012 1:50:13 PM PDT by jazusamo ("Intellect is not wisdom" -- Thomas Sowell)
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To: jazusamo
I have read that the hardest part of prosecuting a Conman is convincing the victim that they actually were victimized - or in getting them to ADMIT that they were victimized.

They still tend to think that if they just send another $1,000 to Nigeria - their MILLIONS will be ‘in the bank’. The woman who shotgunned her pastor husband in bed was a TWICE victim of this scam - and was mad at her husband for forbidding her to send more money!

Politicians are Conmen - and we need to first set out on the difficult task of convincing the electorate they were conned.

Look at Greece! The math doesn't add up - yet the people are poised to elect a man promising no austerity, national pride, full employment, sunshine and rainbow pooping unicorns for ALL!!!!

9 posted on 06/04/2012 1:54:35 PM PDT by allmendream (Tea Party did not send GOP to D.C. to negotiate the terms of our surrender to socialism)
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To: jazusamo

Thanks for the ping and as usual Dr Sowell hit the nail square on the head


10 posted on 06/04/2012 1:55:27 PM PDT by Kaslin (Acronym for OBAMA: One Big Ass Mistake America)
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To: allmendream
we need to first set out on the difficult task of convincing the electorate they were conned.

Amen to that...Sadly there are far too many that are just too ignorant to ever understand that.

11 posted on 06/04/2012 2:05:36 PM PDT by jazusamo ("Intellect is not wisdom" -- Thomas Sowell)
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To: jazusamo

There’s no legal contract with social security.

Congress can change the law at will.

Congress can simply say all payments stop tomorrow. Social security taxes are just that taxes. Government collects the tax and spends it on whatever they please.

That’s the hard cold reality of it.


12 posted on 06/04/2012 2:09:15 PM PDT by DB
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To: DB
That’s the hard cold reality of it.

One other "hard cold reality" about that deal.....

The hard cold look in the eyes of all those shotgun-packin', blue-haired grandmas.

(I've drawn SS checks for five years now, I'm still a bit surprised when the money actually shows up and the day that it doesn't will just be yet another Gotcha moment. Does seem to be a bit of an oversupply of that sh** lately, though.)

13 posted on 06/04/2012 2:21:33 PM PDT by Unrepentant VN Vet ((228 and a wakeup) Truth, I know, always resides wherever brave men still have ammunition.)
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To: jazusamo

14 posted on 06/04/2012 2:31:12 PM PDT by smoothsailing
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To: jazusamo
Before 1990, 1 child out of 2,500 was said to be autistic. This year, it is said to be 1 out of 88.

My daughter worked in a social service agency whose main mission was to work with autistic kids as a therapeutic support specialist.

She told me that about 1 in 25 of her clients was genuinely autistic. The other 24 basically just had poor parenting and/or home environment.

Every one of these homes (the 24/25th) had televisions going at full blast, often multiple sets. The kids had all the latest in video games, X-boxes and the like. But the parents had no time to help them with their homework, get outside tutoring or even turn off the televisions or video games long enough to actually talk to the kids.

It didn't matter if the family was black or white.

A small number of them would actually take her advice and start spending some time with the kids reading books, playing a board game, tossing baseballs in a local park or anything which didn't involve electronics and funky techno sounds. Every one of these kids improved. As a side benefit, so did their non-autistic siblings and the parents.

But the majority of them just tolerated her visits as a condition to keep their government checks coming.

Damn, I just multiplied 88 x 25 and came up with 2,200. Why is that so close to the 1 in 2500 diagnosed in 1990?

15 posted on 06/04/2012 2:39:56 PM PDT by Vigilanteman (Obama: Fake black man. Fake Messiah. Fake American. How many fakes can you fit in one Zer0?)
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To: smoothsailing
A most appropriate graphic for “The Won” and his union thug supporters such as Trumka. It's past time those Socialist, Marxist, Fascist turkeys are wearing those chains.
16 posted on 06/04/2012 2:47:27 PM PDT by jazusamo ("Intellect is not wisdom" -- Thomas Sowell)
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To: Vigilanteman
Thanks for relating that. It's really sad and those 24 that aren't autistic are being penalized during the start of their lives, hopefully the majority of them can overcome it later in life.

It is good to see there are some in social services like your daughter that are genuinely trying to help and at least getting some results.

17 posted on 06/04/2012 2:55:50 PM PDT by jazusamo ("Intellect is not wisdom" -- Thomas Sowell)
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To: jazusamo
Why is it called [inappropriate, misleading word]?

FR word for the day logomachy . . . an argument or debate marked by the reckless or incorrect use of words; meaningless battle of words . . . .

Loh gom uh key

I think of what Pothead Barry does as Obamachy.

18 posted on 06/04/2012 2:56:26 PM PDT by WilliamofCarmichael (If modern America's Man on Horseback is out there, Get on the damn horse already!)
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To: allmendream

That would be unicorns pooping rainbows of skittles ... well, it was, until Traytable gave the candies a whole new identity.


19 posted on 06/04/2012 3:41:32 PM PDT by MHGinTN (Being deceived can be cured.)
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To: jazusamo
When you or I owe money, we are in debt — and face consequences if we don't pay up. But we are not the federal government and cannot write our own accounting laws.

Or print our own money.

20 posted on 06/04/2012 4:18:17 PM PDT by Graybeard58 (Obama versus Romney? Cyanide versus arsenic.)
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To: MrB

I have known a number of “autism spectrum” people and am old enough to remember when almost all like them were just part of the range of normal. Once upon a time it was permitted for people once wereto bet eccentric, which just made them more interesting or “a little odd” but were normal functional human beings. Now the range of normal is being narrowed by psychologists and politicians and bureaucrats until only socially identical people with a very narrow range of thoughts will be officially “normal.”


21 posted on 06/04/2012 5:19:30 PM PDT by arthurus ( Read Henry hazlitt's "Economics In One Lesson")
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To: jazusamo
Every dollar spent on children falsely labelled autistic is a dollar lost — and urgently needed — in dealing with the severe problems of genuinely autistic children.

'Disability' scams have the feel of evil...

22 posted on 06/04/2012 7:49:42 PM PDT by GOPJ ( "A Dog In Every Pot" - freeper ETL)
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To: arthurus

When you can get that extra “crazy check”, there are huge incentives for being “crazy”.


23 posted on 06/05/2012 5:19:18 AM PDT by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter knows whom he's working for)
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To: MrB
When you can get that extra “crazy check”, there are huge incentives for being “crazy”.

Or at least be able to convincingly act crazy in front of appropriate government employees. And when being "retarded" is a "get out of prison" card, there is a disincentive to display intelligence in school if you plan on being a gang banger anyway.

24 posted on 06/05/2012 7:20:34 AM PDT by PapaBear3625 (If I can't be persuasive, I at least hope to be fun.)
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