People with disabilities matter
Waterloo Region Record
Pair fights for disability support funds — June 1
I am moved by people like Subeer Bhandari and Cameron Dearlove who advocate for those who need government-funded services to radically improve their lives.
This is why we must not ignore the larger context in which this kind of struggle over funding is a struggle over those who matter.
The recent version of government austerity measures seeks to cut back education, health, and social services, as if there are no other government programs and ministries to consider.
But there are other government services that can be changed, depending on a person's values. These include: continuing to reduce taxes on corporations; ignoring tax havens for the rich and corporations; creating free trade agreements in which governments may have to pay fines to corporations through dispute settlement mechanisms; and allowing currency speculation.
Let's be clear — economic decisions are always political ones. There is always a choice to focus on one part of an issue, and always a choice not to focus on its other parts.
As traditional economic experts take over more public decisions, one question remains: Who matters in our society?
For one, people with disabilities matter. They matter as much as those securely wrapped in "the confidence of the markets" — those who are already provided with a remarkably extensive range of government services.