In early 2009, Rob was laid off from his latest job and immediately began receiving unemployment benefits... He looked for work, but he looked less and less diligently with each passing week. Benefits were extended — then extended again. While unemployed, he lived a far more sedate lifestyle and quickly began gaining weight — eating foods purchased with government assistance — and as he gained weight, his health deteriorated. His joints ached, his blood pressure rose, and he became extremely anxious.
Knowing friends on disability — and realizing that the benefits were roughly equal to the pay he received at his last job — he applied, claiming that his muscular-skeletal problems combined with his anxiety prevented him from working. Within months, he was approved, and he stopped any effort to look for work, knowing that if he found a job his benefits would cease. His sedate lifestyle continued, his health deteriorated even further, and — soon enough — he was truly "disabled" by any objective medical measure.In the old America, Rob might have starved, but he'd have starved proudly and wouldn't be having no fat-people problems. And if Rob should get the diabeetus, I bet Big Gummint'll give him medicine for it, thus denying him a dignified early death.
In other words, we safety-netted Rob into chronic illness and long-term dependency.
As a liberal, I'd say Rob's sad case calls for federal Bowflex subsidies.