Whose Planet Is It Anyway?

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Services Are Not a Zero-Sum Game

One of the classic tactics of greedy politicians, ever since ancient times, has been the divide-and-conquer strategy. Are your peasants getting surly? Not satisfied with the crumbs from their lord's table? Just convince the dolts that their real enemies are the peasants in the next valley, who are taking an unfair share of the crumbs. You can always make yourself look like a good guy with some bread and circuses, and keep the peasants distracted with a foreign war every now and again.

Although we're supposed to be smarter than that nowadays, the sad truth is, too many folks are still gulping the same old tired propaganda that the Caesars dished up to their conquered subjects. Today's politicians routinely play off various minority groups against one another, trying to make it look as if they're all competing for a tiny, fixed amount of resources and, if anybody ever gets something more, they're "stealing" it from the other groups.

Of course, that's a load of steaming bovine organic fertilizer; we're living in the wealthiest society in human history, and there would be plenty of resources to go around, if they weren't being slurped up by crooked politicians and their fat-cat CEO pals. The economy expands every year, creating more jobs and products and services. It's not a zero-sum game.

Most disability rights advocates understand that we shouldn't be fighting over crumbs, but there are some dumbasses like Lenny Schafer, who recently claimed that neurodiversity campaigners were "trying to steal autism from the disabled." In his narrow little warped view of the world, anyone who argues that there should be more respect and better services for everyone on the autistic spectrum is "stealing" a finite slice of resources from those with the greatest need.

I'm going to give Lenny the benefit of the doubt and assume that he is a genuinely misguided fool, rather than a traitor deliberately consorting with the enemy. But he does just as much damage either way. Our modern-day robber barons gleefully lick their big fat greasy chops when they see guys like Lenny swallowing every drop of their divisive propaganda. The crooked pols would like nothing better than to see most autistics redefined as not needing disability services, so that the pols could use more public money for their own purposes, such as handing out bloated no-bid contracts to their cronies.

Thankfully, we have some tough, determined folks on our side who are not going to let them get away with it.



  • ABFH,
    Clarification please:
    1)A person should not need to be considered disabled or low functioning to get support.
    2)Some people need more support and some need less. Thats not the point.
    3)There is plenty of support that could be made available to everyone who needs it and the method to prevent provision and/or accomodations is by creating the division between people who are asking for accomodations or services.
    4) Self esteem for all people is important but society can see autism in better ways that promotes self esteem in everyone.

    By Blogger Ed, at 2:36 PM  

  • Ed: Very well said. I agree with all your points.

    By Blogger abfh, at 3:25 PM  

  • Ed,

    "1)A person should not need to be considered disabled or low functioning to get support."

    You're right. But unfortunately in some countries you have to have a 'statement of special needs' to access the 'support facilities'. Which means your child has to have a 'label'.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:09 PM  

  • Anonymous,
    Maybe I was refering more to ideals than practical solutions.
    I was assuming (maybe wrongly) that this of ABHFs post was refering to politics in the U.S. I have seen the dynamics that I think she was refering to.
    Speaking idealistically, I believe that any country that does not have resources and make choices about them the way that the U.S. does, can see all of its citizens as having more value that leads to providing more and being more accomidating to everyone.
    In the U.S. for instance, even what the govrnment refuses to provide, can be provided by the community. However, this will not change as long as the publics perception of people who are seen as disabled are given the lack of respect and consideration as is now the case.

    By Blogger Ed, at 2:18 PM  

  • abfh-
    I cannot get the link to open!
    Maybe your post has led to unprecedented site traffic--let's hope so!

    By Blogger Random Mom, at 6:28 PM  

  • Soapbox Mom, I just checked again, and both of the links in the post are working now. :)

    By Blogger abfh, at 8:23 AM  

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