Review: 'Through the Shadowlands’ describes Julie Rehmeyer's ME/CFS Odyssey
I should note at the outset that this review is based on an audio version of the galleys and the epilogue from the finished work. Julie Rehmeyer sent me the final version as a PDF, but for some reason my text to voice software (Kurzweil) had issues with it. I understand that it is...
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Demos (UNUM) report on welfare policies.

Discussion in 'Other Health News and Research' started by Esther12, Sep 20, 2012.

  1. Esther12

    Esther12 Senior Member

    Funny stuff. They barely bother to hide the fact that they're producing a puff piece for private insurance companies. Demos is also where James Purnell went, the Labour minister who kicked off the biopsychosocial reforms to welfare that UNUM wanted.

    Surely those who work for Demos should be ashamed of themselves.

    I wanted to pick out quotes to highlight, but just found the whole thing hilarious. I did add a couple of comments in bold.

    Max Wind-Cowie (the writer) seems to be a bit of a twat generally, and the sort of person who should fit right in with the London establishment.

    Executive summary

    Incapacity welfare is a much misunderstood, and much
    maligned, area of huge government spend. Successive efforts to
    reform the way in which incapacity benefits are assessed and
    paid in the UK have played on a suspicion that many who claim
    them are ‘scroungers’ and ‘benefit cheats’ to justify increased
    conditionality and more stringent testing. But the truth is that
    incapacity benefits in the UK are not only low but also
    insufficient for most people’s financial needs. They may be
    hugely expensive overall, but they are relatively ungenerous at
    the individual and household level. This is particularly problematic
    for those who find themselves unable to work having
    previously earned at or above the average UK wage. This group
    will experience a significant financial shock, long-term hardship
    and steep reduction in living standards if they fall victim to a
    severe illness or disability that leaves them unable to work. The
    relentless emphasis on managing the existing benefits system to
    ensure that cheats do not receive benefits fails to address the
    inadequacy of our incapacity benefit system in dealing with the
    UK’s ‘squeezed middle’.

    This report sets out to address two interlinked deficiencies
    in public policy: the inadequacy of welfare coverage in
    protecting the squeezed middle when they are unable to work,
    and the huge cost to the taxpayer of disability benefits. It might
    appear that solving the former implies worsening the latter – that
    better standards of living for those unable to work necessarily
    means a more expensive benefits system. This report
    demonstrates that this is not the case. By encouraging individual
    responsibility and engaging with the insurance industry the UK
    can simultaneously lift the level of financial protection available
    to the squeezed middle while reducing the cost on the state. The
    key is income protection.

    In order to understand how our incapacity benefits system
    works, how it is perceived and how it compares with other
    countries we have engaged in a two-stage research process. We
    have spoken to the squeezed middle – those earning between
    £16,000 and £50,000 – through focus groups to understand what
    they know about welfare in the UK and how they feel about it.1
    At the same time we have developed an Index of Financial
    Protection, which compares the UK with peer countries in
    Europe, North America and Australasia – comparing the
    coverage from state benefits and the coverage from private
    insurance (including income protection, pecuniary loss and
    related health benefits), while controlling for factors such as
    different healthcare markets.

    Taken together, this research tells a compelling story about
    UK incapacity benefits. They are neither adequate for the
    financial needs of the squeezed middle nor particularly generous
    when compared with other countries. Our overwhelming reliance
    on the state in the UK may, in fact, be a contributing factor to
    our relatively ungenerous state offer. The UK’s tiny market
    density for income protection – just 11 per cent of the labour
    force are covered by an income protection policy – leaves people
    overwhelmingly dependent on the state if they are unable to
    work.2 What is more, the squeezed middle understand and resent
    their vulnerabilities. They believe the benefits system is unfair
    because it lacks reciprocity and that it fails them because it does
    not take their financial commitments and needs into account.
    They know they would be unable to sustain their standard of
    living – or indeed their home if they are mortgage payers – in the
    event of being left unable to work by accident or sickness. While
    they are keen to engage with alternatives, and to be better
    protected, they believe that this would mean ‘paying twice’ and
    are angry that government does not recognise personal
    responsibility in this area.

    Government should engage in ‘supply side’ reform of
    incapacity welfare structures and expectations. Only by better
    protecting the squeezed middle from risk can it hope to
    maintain their support for welfare more broadly – average
    earners are particularly concerned about their financial
    vulnerability and want government to help them better protect
    themselves against the risks of disability and severe illness. But
    reform is not simply necessary to ensure welfare’s continued
    appeal to average earners – it is a source of huge potential
    savings for the Exchequer too.

    Cost benefit analysis of the recommendations in this report
    show that by reforming the way in which statutory sick pay is
    managed and providing incentives to those who opt to protect
    themselves, government could save £2.24 billion of taxpayers’
    money a year. These savings emerge without any additional
    reform to the welfare system – they are recouped simply through
    the existing means testing framework. The potential savings will
    increase further as government normalises means testing across
    other benefits such as DLA.

    Reform to encourage individual responsibility and income
    protection is genuinely of mutual benefit. Individuals, households
    and families would be more secure, less vulnerable to
    financial shocks and able to maintain their standard of living in
    the face of personal tragedies. The Exchequer would save
    billions of pounds in benefits expenditure and free up resources
    that could be used to target help and interventions much more

    The approach laid out in this report builds on the theory
    and practice of ‘libertarian paternalism’ or ‘nudge’. Nudge is not
    a panacea for policy makers and it cannot replace existing levers
    of influence at the disposal of government. However, there is a
    clear use for its methods in the area of personal finance and
    welfare. First, it has a precedent in this area – the ‘opt out’
    reforms to pensions are a classically libertarian paternalist
    intervention aimed at encouraging pension take-up while
    allowing people independence and choice over their personal
    finances. The UK has taken an approach which dictates that
    where there are existing compulsory demands on employers –
    such as in statutory sick pay – it is fair and reasonable to
    maintain the settlement and continue to regulate, but where
    there are no existing provisions incentives and ‘nudge’
    interventions would be used rather than create a burdensome
    new layer of bureaucracy at this difficult time for employers.

    Welfare provision in the UK has been perceived as being
    solely the province of the state –a norm this paper explores and
    seeks to refute. It outlines recommendations that suggest
    ‘nudge’-type interventions may allow policymakers to change
    this norm without dictating change to citizens.


    Reform statutory sick pay
    Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) is the basic living allowance paid to
    those who are too unwell to continue in their job but who have
    not yet become unemployed. It is paid by the employer and
    serves to ensure that those who face a new disability, sickness or
    health problem are not left without an income as they discover
    whether it is possible for them to return to their job. But SSP is
    dead money. It does nothing other than provide a bridge
    between employment and benefits. We urge the government to
    change the requirements placed on employers – to compel
    employers to insure their employees against sickness, ill heath
    and accidents so that an insurance company, rather than
    employers themselves, will be responsible for paying SSP. The
    reason for this is straightforward – by insuring employees, rather
    than paying out a flat cost whenever an employee becomes too
    unwell to work, employers will benefit from the extensive
    rehabilitation and return to work schemes that insurers offer.
    And insurers, driven by a financial incentive as well as broad
    experience in successful return-to-work programmes, will be
    incentivised to intervene early and effectively. This brings a net
    benefit to the employer – currently employee absence costs
    employers an average of £517 per employee per year in lost
    production, SSP and extra overtime costs.3

    But it would also bring a substantial benefit to the
    government. Research has demonstrated that the types of
    intervention offered by insurers to assist people who return to
    work are 43 per cent more effective than non-intervention (which
    is the status quo).4 Considering that 644,000 people flow onto
    Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) every year (of whom
    around 300,000 are estimated to flow from SSP) there are
    substantial opportunities for intervention before people ever
    encounter the benefits system.5 That is where the interventions
    offered by insurance schemes have a place – a reduction by 43
    per cent of the flow through from SSP to ESA would save the
    state £139 million a year.

    The workplace is the right environment to promote income
    protection. It is the place where employees are most prepared to
    discuss their finances, and it provides the right space for
    discussions of financial protection. When employers contribute
    to schemes on behalf of, or in conjunction with, employees it
    lessens the overall cost and the cost to the individual

    Reciprocate responsibility

    In the qualitative work that we conducted with the squeezed
    middle a recurring theme was their sense that the welfare system
    lacks reciprocity and, therefore, fairness. Their concern for the
    fact that they would be unable to survive financially on
    incapacity benefits was not enough, alone, to motivate them to
    protect themselves. They thought it essential that there should be
    some form of incentive to encourage them to address the issue of
    income protection and to seek coverage. We recommend that
    government recognises the personal responsibility – and savings
    to the Exchequer – that underpins income protection. A
    suggested incentive of £100 per policy – paid from National
    Insurance to those individuals who purchased an income
    protection plan – could save the state as much as £2.24 billion a
    year in unemployment benefits.

    Build the market

    Income protection is not a norm in the UK. In countries where
    there is greater density of financial protection – and of income
    protection specifically – the labour force is better protected
    against the risk of disability, sickness or ill health, and these
    countries tend to have more generous state cover as well.
    Government should look to build the market overall so that UK
    workers benefit from the more robust, generous and secure levels
    of overall protection prevalent in countries with a greater density
    of financial protection coverage. We recommend it does this by
    offering subsidised income protection policies to public sector
    employees and sharing the National Insurance rebate available
    with employers who choose to subsidise coverage for their
    workforce. These measures could be introduced over time and
    would serve to encourage the development of market capacity
    and the establishment of a new norm for employers and
    employees alike.

    Reform the £16,000 savings means test

    [Actually, this bit isn't so bad. I don't think their solution is that good, but there is a problem here. I think it would be better to just make the means testing of benefits much more gradual]
    The £16,000 savings means test forces those who become
    unemployed to spend any savings above £16,000 before
    receiving state assistance. This policy is counterproductive as it
    penalises responsible, future-orientated behaviour and
    exacerbates the financial shock of unemployment for the
    squeezed middle. Analysis of the government’s proposed welfare
    reforms has shown that families will be strongly incentivised by
    the new structures to keep savings below £16,000. This was a
    cause of deep resentment and anger in our focus groups and
    undermines efforts to encourage more responsible financial

    We recommend that government turns this policy on its
    head, so that savings are left untouched by the state for the first
    six months of unemployment and can only be brought into the
    means testing framework after that time. In implementing this
    reform government can not only encourage saving and send a
    clear signal that it supports financially responsible behaviour,
    but also directly incentivise those who have savings to return to
    work. Rather than depleting their savings from the moment they
    become unemployed, the deadline of six months would provide a
    clear financial incentive for these people to return to work as
    swiftly as possible.

    The welfare landscape

    Welfare is the single biggest area of government expenditure.
    When we add up the cost to the taxpayer of unemployment
    benefits, tax credits, pension benefits and other entitlements, the
    huge cost that welfare places on the Exchequer is clear. The
    public spends £135.7 billion a year on welfare – an unsustainable
    amount in periods of wealth, and an unaffordable bill in an age
    of austerity.6

    Reform to welfare is a priority for this government – as it
    was for the previous administration – and solving the complex
    and interrelated social problems associated with unemployment
    will take time and systemic change to the benefits system. The
    focus of this report is deliberately restricted to examining how
    people who lose their jobs as a result of accident, disability or a
    long-term health problem fare under our current welfare system,
    how that compares with international comparators and how we
    can both improve their financial health and reduce the cost to
    the state.

    This area of welfare policy is, in itself, complex. People who
    are unable to work as a result of accident or ill health face huge
    challenges recovering from or managing their condition. They
    are unable to return to the workforce swiftly, if ever. Their
    financial situation is often precarious – particularly if they have
    limited savings or personal assets – and, currently, they are overwhelmingly
    dependent on the state for income. There are only
    3.6 million active income protection policies in the UK; the rest
    of the workforce is covered for accident or serious ill health only
    by the state and whatever personal savings they might have.7

    It is often imagined that those claiming benefits due to
    disability are mainly either suffering from congenital problems
    that have always prevented them from working or are older
    people who have become less able to work over time.8 In fact,
    the largest category of new claimants for ESA – those moving
    from the workplace and onto benefits because they are unable to
    work – are those aged between 35 and 54.9

    Figure 1 shows that 32 per cent of ESA claimants are aged
    16–34 years compared with 15 per cent of Incapacity Benefit (IB)
    or Severe Disablement Allowance (SDA) claimants in this age
    group. The reverse can be seen in the older age group: 18 per
    cent of ESA claimants are 55 years old and over; 33 per cent of
    IB/SDA claimants fall into this age group. This tells us that
    those transferring to ESA because they are unable, for the time
    being, to work because of accidents or ill health – and those who
    are claiming IB because they are severely disabled – are
    predominantly adults aged between 16 and 54. These are the
    individuals most likely still to be paying mortgages, and have
    dependent children and high fixed outgoings. This category is
    also further away from pensionable age, therefore facing a
    potentially longer period of dependency on state benefits.

    ESA payments are between £51 and £65 a week –
    depending on whether you are over 25 and have dependants –
    for the first 16 weeks, followed by payments of an average of
    around £70 per week. You may receive assistance towards
    housing costs – full rent or a contribution towards your
    mortgage – but this assistance depends on a labyrinthine set of
    means-testing rules governing your savings and assets. It is little
    wonder that as many as 60 per cent of people with disabilities or
    long-term debilitating health needs live in poverty in the UK.10
    Research has also shown that 61 per cent of working adults
    would be unable to cope financially if they were unable to work
    as a result of sickness or disability.11

    For individuals, the hardship of disability and ill health is
    often exacerbated by poor financial protection. For the state,
    taken as a whole, claimants of incapability benefits are an
    enormous net cost on an already struggling welfare infrastructure.
    There are around 2.61 million recipients of state
    incapability benefits with around 684,000 new claims every
    year.12 The total cost to the taxpayer, of providing incomes to
    those unable to work, excluding housing and carer costs, is
    around £16.9 billion a year.13 That figure represents an enormous
    cost for the taxpayer – it is, annually, a fifth of the five-year
    spending reduction target of this government.

    The UK’s income support for individuals who are unable
    to work suffers a double fault. It is too expensive for the taxpayer
    while, simultaneously, being ungenerous to the individual. [This sums up the report really - what we need is the magic money that appears when private insurance companies get involved! We definitely shouldn't use the tax system to raise revenue in order to allow the sick and disabled to have access to funds which they can use to improve their quality of life - that traps them in dependency, and allows even those scum who started to suffer from health problems/disability before they started to earn a good salary to have access to support. Only when much of the money goes to insurance companies share-holders can we know that we have a truly efficient system]
    This observation is borne out by both the qualitative findings of
    our focus groups with average earners and by our Index of
    Financial Protection; these are explored in the following
    chapters. The truth is that our welfare state does not score well
    compared with those of peer nations in its generosity to average
    earners who find themselves unable to work, and our system is
    also hugely expensive to the taxpayer. There are other factors
    that should be considered when considering whether reform is
    necessary to our system for looking after those who cannot work,
    for example, the dependency created by our welfare system and
    the lack of perceived fairness and reciprocity in the system. But
    whatever one’s political or moral beliefs about welfare there is a
    simple and stark fact that should drive us to examine how reform
    might be achieved: our disability benefits system is too expensive
    and burdensome for the taxpayer while failing even adequately
    to support those who find themselves unable to work. [Is this a fact? They've not done much to show it is, other than repeatedly stating it.] It is
    neither cost-effective nor generous.

    Income protection can be a tool for individuals and the
    state in meeting these challenges. That is not to say that there are
    significant challenges in using the insurance market to meet the
    needs of those who find themselves unable to work. The UK
    public has a poor understanding of what income protection
    actually is – they associate these products very strongly with
    payment protection products (which have received a great deal
    of negative publicity) and are nervous about involving the
    private sector in welfare.14 But personal income protection –
    properly regulated and sold responsibly – can increase the
    income of those who find themselves out of work, reduce the
    burden on the state to pay for the needs of those who are
    unemployed through accident or ill health, and all in a fully costed
    and self-sustaining way. [So the problem is that the public don't want Unum involved, but UNUM are paying for the 'expert' policy analysis, so deserve a return on their investment?]

    What is income protection?

    It is worth establishing what income protection is and how it
    differs from other products, such as payment protection and
    critical injury protection. Like any insurance product, beneficiaries
    of income protection pay a premium to cover themselves
    against the risk of disability or serious ill health and are then
    covered if that risk (which affects us all) becomes a reality for
    them. Income protection is cheaper for individuals when it is
    bought through their employer – known as ‘group cover’. Where
    employers offer group cover many also choose to contribute
    towards protection on behalf of their employees.

    Income protection is designed to give people an income if
    they find themselves unable to work as a result of an accident,
    sickness or ill health. In that sense it works a little like state
    benefits – claimants receive an income if they are incapacitated
    and unable to work. But there are significant differences. Income
    protection relates the income received by an individual to the
    income that they have lost – paying out at between 50 and 75 per
    cent of their previous salary. This means that for those who are
    covered by an income protection scheme the financial shock of
    losing work following impairment is significantly reduced.
    Income protection, in effect, functions as a safety net to
    prevent people slipping into poverty in the event of being
    unable to work. Because it is related to prior income the sum of
    money received is relevant to an individual’s outgoings and
    current standard of living, which makes those covered less likely
    to suffer additional financial problems such as potential loss of
    their home or being suddenly unable to pay bills. But it also
    functions as a parallel support mechanism to help people return
    to the workplace if and when able, and to return to relative
    health. Most income protection plans include rehabilitation
    services to help people recover and re-enter the workplace.
    These interventions are hugely successful – in fact they lie
    at the centre of government’s efforts to shift claimants out of
    ESA and onto Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) so they can return
    to work. [That has been hugely successful!]

    Income protection policies – therefore – can serve to
    answer the concerns about the relatively ungenerous nature of
    incapacity and employment support benefits. What is more,
    these products do so without greater expenditure from the state.
    Why then are income protection products relatively unpopular in
    the UK? There are only 3.6 million income protection policies
    active in the UK at the moment – from a labour force of almost
    32 million people.

    Later in this report we will analyse more closely what can
    be done to encourage greater awareness and take-up of income
    protection products – and outline the potential savings to the
    state – but it is abundantly clear that beneficiaries of income
    protection products are themselves better off and better
    supported than those who do not have this coverage. That fact
    alone should encourage us to look at how the income protection
    market can be bolstered and encouraged in order to better
    protect more and more people from the financial consequences
    of disability and sickness.

    Reform of pensions

    We should not forget that welfare in the UK shares a
    governmental home with pensions. And it is from new policy
    initiatives in the area of pension reform that this report draws
    some of its lessons and insights for unemployment and accident
    and sickness provision. From 2012, unless employers are already
    operating a pension scheme that meets the required criteria (or
    set one up), employers will have to enrol each eligible employee
    into the NEST pension scheme.

    The NEST scheme (formerly known as the Personal
    Accounts scheme) becomes compulsory for employers in 2012. It
    is designed to ensure that those who work, who do the right
    thing day-in, day-out, are provided for at an acceptable level
    when they come to retirement, and that employers and
    employees are aware of their responsibility to plan ahead.

    NEST is simpler than an individual company pension
    scheme and it pushes employers and employees into doing the
    right thing. But it is not draconian. Employers and employees do
    not have to take the option provided by the Government and are
    encouraged to shop around. It is surely only possible to
    introduce this model of pension provision because of the steps
    towards inducement and incentivisation that were taken
    previously – encouraging personal responsibility for pensions
    and creating a positive norm whereby most employers offer
    private protection as a matter of course. We start in welfare a
    long way behind the position on pensions, but a start can be
    made. The long-term aim of this report is not necessarily a
    NEST equivalent for employees’ income protection, but it is to
    reproduce the norms and expectations around pensions in how
    we regard accident and sickness coverage.

    Reform to our welfare system to embed and reward
    personal responsibility would help to alleviate some of the very
    real, and justified, concerns about the fairness of UK welfare.
    By expanding and supporting the private insurance market –
    to encourage personal responsibility and reward personal
    agency – government can diminish the trap of dependency
    while also leveraging some of the risks and costs of accident,
    sickness and disability away from the state. This means
    encouraging awareness and take-up of income protection, as
    well as creating new markets to allow the insurance industry to
    play a role in the rehabilitation and support of those who are
    unable to work.

    Making personal welfare work

    This pamphlet explains why personalised welfare systems are
    important – on the practical grounds of what individuals receive,
    the moral grounds of personal agency and resilience, and the
    economic and political grounds of a reduced cost to the
    Exchequer. In making the case for personal welfare we look at
    examples from around the world – exploring what works where,
    what we can learn from international examples and why some
    solutions simply aren’t applicable in the UK. We make a series of
    policy recommendations that are designed to encourage people
    to protect their incomes against accident and ill health –
    protecting their standard of living, alleviating the potential to
    fall into poverty, and reducing the cost to the taxpayer.
    In seeking to develop our recommendations for personalised
    welfare, we have premised our work on three principles,
    along whose lines welfare policy should be developed in order to
    reduce dependency, increase trust and win public support.

    First, reform must encourage future-orientated behaviour
    so that people understand and act on their personal responsibility
    for their financial futures. There is strong evidence that
    encouraging future-orientated behaviour in one area promotes it
    in others; this should be a key aspiration of welfare reform.15

    Second and third, reform should also focus on two
    interlinked concepts that were overwhelmingly important to our
    focus group participants – fairness and reciprocity. We have
    uncovered a growing sense among average earners that the
    welfare system fails the so-called squeezed middle because it does
    not compensate them adequately and does not recognise their
    contribution. Fairness and reciprocity must be at the heart of
    attempts to change the way the UK ‘does’ welfare and they
    underpin our recommendations in this report.

    These principles are reflected in the analysis and
    recommendations of this report. They are fundamentally
    conservative ideals with progressive underpinnings. We apply
    them to the current welfare settlement, finding that it is neither
    perceived as, nor in fact, ‘fair’ for low to middle earners and that
    many pay more into it than they would ever hope to receive,
    while also being actively discouraged from future-orientated,
    responsible financial behaviour. We apply these principles, as
    tests, to international case studies too – to demonstrate that it is
    possible to construct a more future-orientated, fair and reciprocal
    welfare system. Finally, we apply these tests to the
    recommendations we make for reform, so that people who invest
    against the risk of accident and ill health can be confident in the
    fairness and viability of the insurance products they buy.

    [That's the summary, so only 25 pages of a 100 page report.]
  2. user9876

    user9876 Senior Member

  3. currer

    currer Senior Member

    Interesting report esther thanks for putting it up. I havent time to read it properly now Ill try to later. Bump.
  4. Esther12

    Esther12 Senior Member

    Ugh... I was planning to go through the rest of it, but forgot. Curse your BUMP! I might try to sit outside instead today. It did seem terrifyingly bad. When reports like this are mentioned on the news, they give the impression that they're more impressive than one guy coming up with excusers for writing what his sponsors want. It was just so shamelessly driven by UNUM's interests that I'd have thought it would be counter--productive - everyone would dismiss it out of hand.
  5. SilverbladeTE

    SilverbladeTE Senior Member

    Somewhere near Glasgow, Scotland
    the Uk government bastards recently have been thinking about removing disability payment linkage to inflation...think about it.

    insurance companies for health, are PARASITES and some are guilty of mass murderer by encouraging methods to prevent legit claimaints from getting their pay outs thus not able ot get health care and thus...death.

    Welfare cheats at the bottom are vaslty less coslty than the cheats higher up, but nice targets for the tabloids who in times/nations prior would have had such folk butchered.
    Fed up with all of it.

    Sooner the filthy Westminster government is destroyed, the better (not by bombs but by massive protest/voting).
    break it up, far more accountable smaller national/regional governments, and then hunt down a crap load of ex-MPs and ex-ministers in particular, put them through the police wringer and shake them until the money falls out.
    many of them you will find working for companies they had financial dealings with while in government, and come up with pathetic excuses to explain away their £250,000+ pay packets, usuaully with several companies at same time. All those SOBs should be jailed.
    Not gonna happen so best we cna hope for is Scottish independance to save lives/cultural moral integrity up here.
    Suggest North England and Wales do same, pronto. Sigh :(
  6. currer

    currer Senior Member

    I'm all for Scottish independence. Who would want to be linked to the current British government?
  7. SilverbladeTE

    SilverbladeTE Senior Member

    Somewhere near Glasgow, Scotland
    sorry mate :/
    as said, not anti-English, I'm anti Westminster/entire british "system" of megabullshit, sigh :(

    Look at the great things we can/have done together, like the Jodrell bank Radio telescope :)
    but as always they had to fight tooth and nail against the Whitehall "mandarins" and clueless politicians.
    now it's jsut a sick mess.

    and this is going to KILL people on welfare.

    ditch that gawd awful useless Trident missile system, save £25 billion for USEFUL stuff, like our USEFUL military and welfare systems
    fat chance though, they have ot appeal to the Daily mail voters, sigh
  8. Esther12

    Esther12 Senior Member

    alex3619 likes this.
  9. SilverbladeTE

    SilverbladeTE Senior Member

    Somewhere near Glasgow, Scotland
    what do you expect?
    corporations are truly evil.
    their think tanks and pundits and cynical pressure groups etc have been "poisoning the well" for decades
    currer likes this.
  10. Tito

    Tito Senior Member

    There is something I never understood:
    What don't they make a list with the most expensives illnesses in terms of incapacity benefits (such as ME, schizophrenia, and any diseases affecting people long term during their productive years) and invest massively into research for a cure or effective treatment allowing people to earn a decent earning again?
  11. SilverbladeTE

    SilverbladeTE Senior Member

    Somewhere near Glasgow, Scotland
    as Alex and I have spoken of, each bunch of assholes only sees/cares for their OWN agenda/little piece of the pie

    if Minion #1 tells his boss that this woll require research money, oh no that's bad!! becaue short term profit/loss and having ot move their asses is ALL they "see" and care about. they don't give a damn about long term issues.
    pass the buck to the next guy...

    similar lunacy has caused major accidents and disasters like Chernobyl, because it's a common Human failing

    the Boss always wants ot be in charge, doesn't want bothered, is often grossly unsuited for their role

    the Bosses direct minions (1st teir) are often brown nosing asshole bastards, or harrassed folk just waiting for retirement to get away from the maddness.
    It's quite ocmmon over time for such set ups to drive off the diligent people, who get fed up with the sychophants and crooks, and the sychophants and crooks go out of their way to backstab the decent minions who threaten to expose the fact the sychophants/crooks are indeed useless assholes!

    often problems are caused by the "direct minions" trying to do things to keep the boss happy or ignorant/asleep/quiet, even if the thing they are doing has not been sanctioned by the boss

    so, the Boss thinks ME/CFS is indeed, all about "malingering narccist wastes of time assholes", so screw them, he thinks
    because that's what his minions have told him! He genuinely doesn't know better
    you'd be surprised how often leaders end up seperated from the realities by such crap
  12. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

    Logan, Queensland, Australia
    Hi Tito, I have previously suggested that minimum (not maximum) spending on medical research for each disease should be 0.1% of what it costs a country. That would be $25,000,000 for the USA for CFS alone, or about four times current budget ... as a minimum. When research is under that, you have to ask why. However I think a more realistic figure for ME and CFS research would be on the order of a hundred million. Bye, Alex
    SilverbladeTE likes this.

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