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About the Nothing Store
As Obama and crew print and borrow more and more money, the U.S. dollar faces an uncertain future.
But three cheers for our Unmighty Dollars -- print as many as you like. They're already worth Nothing, so they can't go down in value.
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THE CARE GIVERS
I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.
If Mr. McMurphy doesn't want to take his medication orally, I'm sure we can arrange that he can have it some other way. But I don't think that he would like it.
-Nurse Ratched in One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest.
We are becoming a nation of mental patients.
Sixteen years ago, the third edition of the psychiatric profession's manual for diagnosing mental illness contained 300 behaviors deemed not normal. A diagnosis of many of these "disabilities," granted the sufferer the right to free medical care, drugs, even payments from the Feds in the form of early Social Security.
All courtesy of those taxpayers still crazy enough to work.
And now, conveniently in time for Obamacare, the draft fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) is being shopped around. Let the lobbying begin. If someone can make a case that a behavior isn't "normal," and if they can make a buck on it, you can be certain that it will have its advocates.
"Anything you put in that book, any little change you make, has huge implications not only for psychiatry but for pharmaceutical marketing, research, for the legal system, for who's considered to be normal or not, for who's considered disabled," said Dr. Michael First, a professor of psychiatry at Columbia University. Dr First would seem to know whereof he speaks, since he was an editor of current edition of the DSM.
Yep, there's money in the booby hatch. Are you shocked?
The shrinks make a nice living, the drug companies sell to a captive market, the politicians get reelected by using campaign donations from the drug companies and the medical societies. And nobody pays until some unspecified time in the future when the bills come due. What's not to like?
It's all borrowed against future taxes. The more delusional, depressed, and anxious people the system produces, the more others make money. Welcome to the loony bin. It's lunacy squared.
As pointed out by George Will in a recent column, some of the proposed "disorders" are pretty funny.. One of our favorites is Appositional Defiant Disorder," which is defined as a pattern of "negativistic, defiant, disobedient and hostile behavior toward authority figures." Mmmm. Reminds us of those deranged signers of the Declaration of Independence . Symptoms include "often deliberately annoys people." I wonder if King George III was sufficiently annoyed by those wackos demanding freedom. Maybe he should have skipped the Redcoats and sent in the white coats.
The psychiatric profession has always been medicine's off-kilter cousin, hidden away, dreaming of respect, and conjuring up endless theories of mental illness We all know how people once blamed the moon, hence the word "lunatic." Consider also why we call some people "nuts." At one time, illnesses were treated by their resemblance to things in the natural world. Since the human brain looks like the crumbled surface of a walnut, disturbed inmates in Europe were often forced to wear head wrappings soaked in walnut oil. They were the original "nut cases."
And from there, with many a twist and turn, we get to Freud, who probably should have had his head wrapped. Then to electro-shock "therapy." What a good idea that was. How about lobotomies, where somebody opened your head and sliced away with a scalpel? That gruesome "treatment" was pretty popular not too long ago.
But we do not disparage all the treatments of the mentally ill. Now we have the convenience of chemical therapies, and we know people who have been helped tremendously by these new drugs. But we are suspicious of expanding the customer base by government action. The old cliche is true: Whatever is subsidized by government, increases. Whatever is taxed, decreases.
Obamacare will increase numbers of all illnesses, and mental illnesses most of all. But for somebody to get paid, first you have to be diagnosed
If the categories are sufficiently broad--if they can take in behaviors that were once just considered personality quirks or character flaws--then fortunes will be made, and shrinks will be able to hold their heads up at family gatherings.
We are amused by the new Antisocial Personality Disorder, which is defined as "a pervasive pattern of disregard for . . . the rights of others . . . callous, cynical . . . an inflated and arrogant self-appraisal." Heck, we know a President or two who might fit that category.
And then there's Histrionic Personality Disorder. Symptoms include "excessive emotionality and attention-seeking." Congress perhaps? Some of our politicians may have even won the daily double. According to the draft DSM, those with Narcissistic Personality Disorder display "grandiosity, need for admiration" and are "boastful and pretentious." Maybe somebody should throw a net over Biden.
At this point we should remind our readers: We are not making this up.
We don't disagree with some of the new categories. Temper Disregulation Disorder With Dysphoria sure sounds like what's wrong with the kids throwing tantrums over tuition increases in California. We do have a better idea for their treatment, however. A simple bonk on the head would probably work wonders.
According to Will, the revised DSM may include Binge Eating Disorder.
How well we understand this one. Whenever we think that all this madness is being forced on future taxpayers "for our own good," which is the excuse always proffered by scoundrels who seek power, we get anxious, angry, and depressed. We know the government is bankrupt, and we worry that we do not have enough gold, silver and energy to protect ourselves and our families from the Nurse Ratcheds controlling the purse strings.
But we don't reach for the chemicals; a big bowl of ice cream is all the medicine we need. A little Binge Eating goes a long way. We're not crazy, at least not yet.