Follow by Email

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Ability work

As I was driving to work today, I saw a billboard for MRDD that showed a smiling man working and the caption was "ability work."

Why do liberals think that all of their ideas are new?  With their policies they have destroyed ability work.  But, now it is popular again and so they think that they have a new idea "ability work."  Which we have known all along.

Let me explain.

As you know, I grew up in the sticks.  The small town close to our home was the location of the state mental hospital.  (It was called a lunatic asylum, not very PC.) The hospital was built as a solution to bedlam in Europe.  It was a beautiful, antibellum-style mansion and was built that way intentionally to provide a comforting home.  It was a place of peace for people in need.

The entire operation was completely self sufficient.  Patients were fed, housed and given medicine.  Beautiful flower and vegetable gardens were kept and tended by the patients.

The patients made furniture.  There was a dairy farm which provided milk for the patients.  There was a hog farm, patients collected refuse from the local university to feed the pigs.

In short, people were given work to their ability.

People would picnic on the grounds.  People even got married on the ornamental lake.

(Ok, let me be quick to say - it was not all bucolic and serene.  Some patients were seriously ill.  In graduate school, I was working at the facility, which has been turned into a museum. An elderly man came by to look at the building, he had been an orderly at the lunatic asylum in his teens.  He remembered putting people in straight jackets.  One patient was hoeing in the garden and just reached over and slashed open another patient's leg with the hoe.)

So, this completely self-sufficient operation was chugging along and in the 60s, people decided that what was going on at the state mental hospital was cruel.  It was mean to force those poor people to work.  "How can they do that?" the liberals cried.  The patients must be paid for their work.

So, the patients had to get paid for their work.  And, the state mental hospital went under because it couldn't afford to house, feed, medicate and pay the patients.

Here is the best part.  When the hospital closed, the mentally ill were released into the streets.  And, that is where they remain today.  Poor, helpless, in need of care.  It is argued that our recent epidemic in shooting sprees can be blamed by our lack of care for the mentally ill.

So, who was right?  Was it cruel to provide a home, food an work for mentally ill patients?  Or is it a good idea for people to work, according to his or her abilities?

Ability work.  A bold, fresh, new concept by liberals.