painted effect over photo of crosswalk at sidewalk cutout

Economics of Disability

As taxpayers, we pay for lots of stuff. Our taxpayer dollars pay for teachers and firefighters and road repairs and mayors and tanks and bombs and surveillance and food and shelter. And our non-taxpayer dollars also pay for lots of stuff: tickets to concerts and football games, subscriptions to Netflix and Hulu, prom dresses and books and phones and shoes. 

I used to think it was unfair to ask other people to pay for the care of my child. I felt a little squeamish about the number of people committed to Penny’s education. I wondered about the efficiency of having 6-8 faculty and staff members seated around a table to talk about her goals and needs. 

Economics of Disability

Over the years, though, I’ve come to think about it all differently. I’ve come to believe that just as my taxpayer dollars go to pay for other kids’ educations, and go toward national defense, and go towards hundreds of things that may seem to have no clear bearing on my personal life—so too should we commit as a society to the education and care and support for children and adults with disabilities. 

Just as our individual checkbooks offer a ledger of what matters most to us, so too our collective checkbook tells us what matters—who matters—to us as a society. 

I believe more than ever that it is worth it to pay for each other to receive education, housing, food, shelter, health care, and employment. I believe more than ever that we all benefit from the diverse lives we live alongside one another.

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