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Dr. Keith Ablow's Phony Right-Wing "Diagnosis:" Extended Unemployment Benefits Causes "Major Depression"

Reported by Ellen - July 21, 2011 -

Our own Aunty Em recently catalogued a number of Fox News' "Medical A-Team" member psychiatrist Keith Ablow's dubious diagnoses that just so happen to coincide with Fox's right-wing talking points. Now, Ablow has come up with a new one. Extended unemployment benefits causes major depression. For extra GOP points, Ablow specifically blamed the Obama administration. Except that the minute you read his article on FoxNews.com, it's clear that Ablow is saying it's really the fault of the individuals for using unemployment benefits as an excuse not to take a job paying less than they're used to. (H/T John C.)

Ablow's article begins by focusing its attack on President Obama:

This Administration's policies are making some of my patients sicker.

But two paragraphs later, Ablow says:

In my practice alone, several individuals have found it much harder to overcome symptoms of major depression and anxiety because they can't rationalize giving up their unemployment checks and taking jobs that would pay them less (sometimes far less) than what they were used to earning.

Ablow goes on to suggest that those on unemployment were earning $100,000 a year and, thanks to President Obama's designs to make all Americans dependent on him, now refuse to take a job earning, say, $30,000.

Is it better psychologically for someone who once earned $100,000 to collect unemployment for 99 weeks because he or she can't find another job with a six-figure salary? Or is it better for that person to take a job for $30,000, or earn that as a freelancer, always striving to recapture a higher income? The answer is that the lower paying job is the real safety net, in terms of mood and self-esteem.

While he's at it, Ablow psychoanalyzes Obama for having such a policy:

Too many people are lost in this web of 99 weeks of unemployment benefits, and I am not certain that it is not part and parcel of the Administration's intent. Encouraging people to stay home and not work (like allowing adults to remain on their parents' health insurance for protracted periods) ultimately promotes dependency on the state. And dependency on the state seems to be part of the emotional/psychological/sociological DNA of this Administration.

Having this guy as a member of any news organization's "medical A -Team?" Now, THAT'S depressing.



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