The Greek government does not cease to beg the EU and international institutions for spare change in order to help the country dig itself out of its debt debacle. But, as it turns out, the Greek government evidently really has too much spare budgetary funds, money it is desperate to find a way to waste.
Indeed that is the only plausible explanation for the decision by the government of Greece a few days ago to start funding pedophiles. No, that is not a spoof and not a misprint. According to the Associated Press, the Greek government has just recognized pedophiles as a population of the “disabled,” entitled under law to governmental disability compensation and added to the country’s welfare roll. The children who are the victims of those pedophiles evidently are not.
Pedophiles are not the only folks being added to the growing lists of those who may enjoy free handouts and disability income from the Greek government. (Notice I did not say benefits “paid for by the Greek taxpayer,” since so much of the Greek national budget is not covered by them these days.) Exhibitionists and kleptomaniacs were also just added to the welfare roll list that already includes pyromaniacs, compulsive gamblers, fetishists and sadomasochists. Under the new Greek “disability” rules and categories, pedophiles will get larger welfare checks than people who have undergone organ transplants. Peeping Toms will enjoy a higher level of support than diabetics.
The additions to the welfare roll were denounced by the Greek National Confederation of Disabled People and its leader Yiannis Vardakastanis, who is blind. They are concerned that all the additions will lead to the reduction in support levels for people with real disabilities. Now almost the only people in Greece who will not be recognized as “disabled” are those who abide by the law. Under the circumstances, those law abiders should really be the first group to be acknowledged as disabled, because they are clearly insane.
What is one to make of all this?
The first conclusion is that this new set of insane “disability” policies serves as a perfect demonstration of what led Greece to the debtors dog house in the first place. For many years the Greek governments of both the leading parties have handled their finances like the cartoon king in the Wizard of Id, handing out massive wide-scale exemptions from payment of taxes while ladling out populist largess with a soup spoon so large that it could quench the thirst of mythological Greek gods.
The second conclusion is that what we observe in Greece is political correctness on crack and steroids. Here is the ultimate and natural culmination of the attempts to subject society to the idiocies of political correctness. When “approval” becomes a universal entitlement, when all condemnation of all forms of behavior is a reactionary manifestation of intolerance and bigotry, why should not pedophilia and kleptomania be added to the lists of behavior about which one must never ever be judgmental?
But perhaps the most important lesson from the Greek policies is that there seem to be no limits to the “medicalization” of misbehavior. For decades now, growing numbers of evil, destructive, anti-social, and deviant behavior have been “medicalized,” converted into medical conditions. Once they are classified as medical conditions, those who engage in such behavior get an automatic “pass” from society. They often also get money. While not quite as insane as the Greek policies, the United States has digested a huge bowl of similar idiocy within the framework of the Americans with Disabilities Act, first passed in 1990.
Definitions of disabilities are getting sillier and sillier in many parts of the world. In the United States, the current version of the Americans with Disabilities Act defines the term "disability" with respect to an individual as: (A) a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities of such individual; (B) a record of such an impairment; or (C) being regarded as having such an impairment.
From the start, public safety was not considered valid grounds for “discriminating” against people with “disabilities.” So a group of near-sighted people sued when they were denied jobs as airline pilots. People with serious psychiatric problems have sued when denied various jobs and positions in which the public could be placed in harm’s way as a result of their employment. People with contagious diseases like hepatitis cannot be denied jobs in which they may infect others, since that would be discrimination against the disabled. It is even more difficult to deny positions to those with AIDS or HIV.
But that is just the tip of the disability iceberg. There are oodles of court cases that illustrate the absurdities. An Orange County school district was ordered to pay for private schooling for a pupil expelled for violence, plus 360,000 dollars in reparations to him. A violent schizophrenic received reparations when he was fired from his post office job for threatening other employees and also threatening to murder the president of the United States. A guidance counselor in a school in Hartford, Connecticut won compensation after being fired for possession of cocaine, because addiction is a disability. A Boston professor won compensation after being fired for sexually harassing students, claiming that his medication was responsible for his “disability.” A man, who suffers from diabetes and frequently passes out, successfully sued when he was turned down for a job as a bus driver in Maryland. A subway employee in New York sued when he was fired from a job that required him to crawl under trains and into narrow passages; he weighed more than 400 pounds. A Kansas driver sued when he was ticketed for not wearing a seat belt; he claimed it violated his rights as a claustrophobe. A strip club in Bellevue, Washington was sued because it did not have a lift that would allow women in wheel chairs to do erotic dancing on the stage. Students who are penalized when late for tests and class are suing all over, on grounds that they suffer from a narcolepsy disability. Almost anyone with “depression” can also get recognized as disabled.
Obesity, alcoholism, and addiction can all be considered disabilities. A Michigan jury granted $610,000 to an employee who fell asleep on the job, on grounds that narcolepsy is a disability. Courts have ruled that potential employees have the “right to lie” about any previous behavior that might represent manifestations of “disabilities,” including stealing. Truckloads of misbehavior are protected because virtually all psychiatric problems get counted as disabilities, and so even those engaged in insubordination with superiors, disruptive behavior, and theft may enjoy protection.
Costs of course are also a matter that “Disabilities Protection” laws generally disregard and insist be ignored. In many places, every single person incapable of boarding a bus or train could be transported at public expense by taxi for a tiny fraction of what it costs to implement all those lifts and special assistance devices on vehicles, not taking into account the capacity of the vehicle lost because of their space.
There are also other implications to this. Once pedophiles and the other misfits and perverts have been added by Greece and others to the list of the “disabled,” those who engage in violence towards them or mere criticism, mocking, or denunciations of such people could find themselves prosecuted as perpetrators of hate crimes. A minor ruckus arose two years back in the US when TV commentator Bill O’Reilly predicted that someday those who attack pedophiles will be prosecuted for hate crimes. Pedophilia is not a recognized disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Yet. Neither is being a “transgendered” person, although there is a lot of lobbying to get its exclusion from “disability” status dropped.
Where will it all end? Perhaps when taxpaying is recognized as a symptom of mental illness and so all who agree to pay their taxes get an automatic disabilities discharge from paying them.
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