Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Longing to be a Victim ^ | October 16, 2013 | John Stossel

Posted on 10/16/2013 4:23:01 AM PDT by Kaslin

These days, being seen as a victim can be useful. You immediately claim the moral high ground. Some people want to help you. Lawyers and politicians brag that they force others to help you.

This turns some people into whiners with little sense of responsibility.

Joe Biden's niece was arrested recently for throwing a punch at a cop. The New York Post says she's addicted to alcohol and pills, but rather than take responsibility for her actions, she blamed them on the "pressure she faces" because her uncle is vice president.

Give me a break. America was founded by people who were the opposite of victims, by people with grit. Overcoming obstacles is the route to prosperity -- and happiness, too.

I had to overcome stuttering to work as a TV reporter. Had today's disability laws existed when I began work, would I have overcome my stuttering problem? Maybe not. I might have demanded my employer "accommodate" my disability by providing me a job that didn't demand being on-air.

Now that the laws exist, it's no coincidence that more Americans say they are disabled.

Tad DeHaven of the Cato Institute writes that this is part of a disability-industrial complex : collusion between specialty law firms, doctors vouching for applicants with dubious claims and federal administrative law judges awarding benefits.

It changes the way people calculate their options.

Despite improved medical care and the workforce's dramatic shift from physical to mental labor, the number of Americans claiming disability keeps growing. You start to feel like a sucker if you're not one of them.

On my TV show, DeHaven said today even poor parents "try to get their kids on psychotropic medications in hopes of qualifying for a check that goes to Dad and Mom."

Since the 80s, there has been a 300 percent increase in disability claims for hard-to-prove illnesses like back pain, stress and other "non-exertional restrictions." Over the past two decades, the number of people receiving Social Security disability benefits grew from 4 million to 11 million.

"It's like any other government program," says DeHaven. "You start off with good intentions and then it becomes something that it was never supposed to be."

We all want to help the genuinely disabled, but a wide range of subjective ailments are affected by attitude. Labeling people victims, telling them they need help, teaches some to think like victims. Social scientists call that "learned helplessness."

Private charities are pretty good at separating real victims from malingerers. But government is not. Its one-size-fits-all rules encourage people to act like victims.

Whether people have real physical ailments or just see the economic deck stacked against them, the most damaging thing say to them is: Give up. You can't make it on your own. Wait for help.

Pessimism changes what we think is possible. It shrinks our horizons.

We in the media keep an eye out for people who are victimized. Sometimes that's a valuable service. But it often means looking for victims when they really aren't there. This makes reporters feel like heroes -- noble sentries protecting the powerless.

Even the newly crowned Miss America, Nina Davuluri, who sure seems like a winner by conventional standards, was portrayed as a victim in many news stories. Since she's the first Miss America of Indian descent, some trolls on Twitter made racist remarks.

But skeptical writer Gavin McInnes did a little digging. He found those racist Twitter users were almost certainly just irresponsible little kids. One of the media's most quoted tweets, "You look like a terrorist," was sent by a Twitter user with zero followers.

If millions of people are familiar with that remark now -- and some Americans grow up a little bit more frightened that they will be victimized -- it will be largely because media hyped racism rather than because of the handful of racists themselves.

America is full of success stories. But if we obsess over stories about victimhood, that is what we'll get.

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial
KEYWORDS: disability; liberalmedia; ssdi; ssi; stossel; twitter; victimhood; victimmentality

1 posted on 10/16/2013 4:23:02 AM PDT by Kaslin
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Kaslin

Meanwhile, my 93 year old, arthritic mother refuses to ride in an electric cart while shopping. She says she “doesn’t want people to think she’s lazy”.

2 posted on 10/16/2013 4:30:26 AM PDT by Graybeard58 (_.. ._. .. _. _._ __ ___ ._. . ___ ..._ ._ ._.. _ .. _. .)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Graybeard58
I have to use a cane for walking because I also have arthritis. Plus I have degenerative disc disease. I have used an electric shopping cart for about a month, but then stopped using them, because I found they were more of a bother. Besides I can use my cane to get an item that I need from a higher shelf if there is no one around I can ask. I am only 5.6.

I watch people who use those electronic shopping carts and found most of them are just obese.

A few month ago I was in our commissary at Fort Campbell, Ky, and a soldier is civilian clothes came in the same isle with his elderly mother who had trouble walking. I asked him, my gawd why don't you get her an electric cart. He replied she wants to walk, to which she nodded.

3 posted on 10/16/2013 4:48:48 AM PDT by Kaslin (He needed the ignorant to reelect him, and he got them. Now we all have to pay the consequenses)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin
My grandparents came here to escape being victims.

They worked their a%$es off and tolerated a ton of bourgeois xenophobia on their way to assimilation. My grandfather retired at 67 THEN took a job at the local coke plant... that is 'COKE' as in steel plant... a dirty, dangerous and hard job. He WALKED to work daily and was well known to the police, who would give him a lift in bad weather!!!

Within a generation all the grandchildren were graduated from college and the whole family was on its feet.

The last thing any of us wants to do is revert to the status of ‘victim’. (BTW-bourgeois xenophobia dies real hard and it AIN'T a strictly American character flaw... it's all over the world.... !)

4 posted on 10/16/2013 4:52:59 AM PDT by SMARTY ("The test of every religious, political, or educational system is the man that it forms." H. Amiel)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin

I always enjoy Stossel.

5 posted on 10/16/2013 5:03:20 AM PDT by gattaca ("Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal." Thomas Jefferson)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin

Oh! I am a victim too! When I was young I was forced to play girls basketball by the old rules of divided floor, and exclusive roles either defense of offense. Since I played backyard BB with my brother, that was unfair. Can I claim to be a victim too? Boo Hoo, I WANT TO BE A VICTIM TOO.

6 posted on 10/16/2013 5:08:32 AM PDT by Gumdrop
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: gattaca

He’s one of my very view favorite Libertarians

7 posted on 10/16/2013 5:15:20 AM PDT by Kaslin (He needed the ignorant to reelect him, and he got them. Now we all have to pay the consequenses)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]


Great post! You speak for many.

8 posted on 10/16/2013 5:24:09 AM PDT by HomeAtLast (The original Tea Party entailed a willingness to do without some tea.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Graybeard58

She probably doesn’t want to be associated with those hogs under 40 who heave themselves out of their cars, waddle across the parking lot, and settle into the electric shopping carts that are meant for the elderly and disabled.

9 posted on 10/16/2013 5:42:08 AM PDT by jespasinthru (Proud member of the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: AuntB; Tennessee Nana; TADSLOS; sickoflibs; no-to-illegals; La Lydia; Grampa Dave; ...
....the rabid "disability-industrial complex" is thriving: collusion between shady law firms, dishonest doctors vouching for dubious claims and federal administrative law judges (taking kickbacks) awarding benefits to fakes and phonies ....

....parents connive to get their kids on psychotropic medications to qualify for a federal check that goes into their pockets.......

Coaching their kids to act loony to get ADD checks is how illegals pad their income. Talk about victims. These people use every trick in the book to get their greedy hands on our tax dollars.

Once over the border, they ride the gravy train using multiple identities ----and the looting and pillaging begins.

There's multiple EITC refunds for children they do not have, UI, SSI, disability payments, workmen's comp, food stamps, welfare, free medical care, sub-prime mtges---none of which they are entitled to.

Falsifying govt documents is routine (a felony that could involve forgery).

REFERENCE The US Dept of the Treasury Says Illegal Aliens Collecting Billions in EITC Tax Credits According to the US Dept of Treasury’s Inspector General, billions in additional child credits were paid out in 2010 to illegal immigrants. In 2005, the pay outs totaled a mere $924 million. This program allows low income earners to claim a $1,000 per child credit. $20 billion EITC is estimated to have been paid out to these cunning "impoverished" illegals. Most of them are collecting over and over again-----using multiple identities-----falsifying official apps---claiming several children they do not have and/or falsely stating kids are back in their homelands.


REFERENCE March 8, 2012 KENNER, La. -- Kenner police arrested illegal Marvin Baca who sold false W-2 forms to another illegal immigrant for $1,500. Baca sold fraudulent W-2 forms for $1,500 to other Hispanics here illegally.

Police said that on one of the forged W-2 forms had a STOLEN SS# of a person living in Virginia. Police said illegal Hispanics purchase fictitious W-2 forms and file false tax returns with the government to receive EITC refunds. Baca was charged with one count of ID theft and two counts of forgery.


Coached by Mexico and other Third Worlds, illegals undermine US ntl security and tear down democracy---as Mexico pushes North to begin Reconquista. The utter contempt for America and American law was never so virulent.

10 posted on 10/16/2013 7:08:33 AM PDT by Liz
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin

God doesnt make victims...

They will fight against you but will not overcome you, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the LORD. Jeremiah 1:19

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good Romans 12:21

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it John 1:5

God said His people are overcomers...

You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. 1 John 4:4

for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. 1 John 5:4

“I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.” The LORD Jesus Christ, Luke 10:19

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (The LORD Jesus Christ, John 16:33

and this one...

For I know the plans I have for you, Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future Jeremial 29:11

11 posted on 10/16/2013 1:26:59 PM PDT by Tennessee Nana
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794 is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson