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THREAD: I need to write something in-depth on this, but one of the strongest justifications of all for an unconditional basic income is the way existing disability programs work. To see a group of disabled people publish an anti-UBI report is upsetting.

In Ontario's basic income experiment, it was making a huge difference in the lives of all those in the experiment with disabilities. In the India UBI experiment, those with disabilities disproportionately benefited. The UBI helped them more because they were in most need of help.
Existing disability programs treat people with disabilities as being binary. You're either disabled or you aren't. You're either fit for work, or you can't possibly work. It's black and white with no gray. There are hugely harmful and even fatal ramifications because of this.
First, because these benefits treat people as "disabled" or "abled," a line must be drawn. Tests must be invented and applied, and as a result, the majority of people with a disability are excluded from receiving any assistance because they aren't "disabled enough" to qualify.
As another result of such tests, those who are judged as being "disabled enough" live in constant fear of the line being moved. At any point people can lose their disability benefits, and that can lead to horrible results beyond stress and suffering, including death and suicide.
I covered this using true and tragic stories of real people in my article "Fit For Work and Fit to Die." When you lose your disability assistance, or don't qualify in the first place, and are told to "just go get a job," that can be a death sentence.

The process itself is a nightmare. In the US, over a million people wait on average 2 years to prove they're "disabled enough" in court. In 2017, 10k people died while waiting to prove they need assistance. UBI would've prevented how many of those deaths?

Once people prove they're "disabled enough," they are then actively locked into poverty with an income ceiling. If they earn about $2,000 in one month, say they sell a painting, the system sees them as no longer in need of assistance and drops their benefits.
In essence, the disability system is built to help people who can't work, which is already bullshit because of the way we look at unpaid work as not being "real" work. The system says those with disabilities can't create value, and thus actively prevents them from earning income.
Ironically, the very system that exists for people who can't work, results in people who CAN'T WORK, at least in a way where money changes hands that's on the books instead of off them. The system actively prohibits those with disabilities from earning additional income.
Unconditional basic income, because of its unconditionality is an absolute game-changer for people with disabilities. There are no tests. Everyone gets the same financial floor above the poverty line, and then it's about trying to get ADDITIONAL assistance, not ANY assistance.
That means someone waiting two years to prove they're sufficiently disabled to need extra assistance has $1,000 per month for that entire duration, automatically, instead of $0, and they're waiting for an extra $500/mo instead of $1,500. They have something instead of nothing.
For that same person who starts getting an additional $500 in disability income, if they sell a $2,000 painting, they fall to $1,000 instead of $0 and thus end up netting $3,000 instead of $2,000. Having UBI as a floor removes the ceiling constructed over those with disabilities!
I urge you to READ THIS ESSAY, which is why I'm even using painting as an example. It's a real example, inspired by an impaired woman who absolutely nails how the need for fundamental reform intersects with our need to recognize "the right not to work."

What she means by the right not to work is not the right to be lazy. It's about our fundamental need to question the notion that paid work is the only way to create value, and that being dependent as someone with impairments is relative, because we're all dependent on each other.
All of us if we live long enough will be physically or mentally impaired someday. Disability on the other hand, is the political and social repression of impaired people through economic and social isolation. UBI reduces that isolation through its universality & unconditionality.
The entire idea of drawing an arbitrary line whereby people on one side are disabled and the other side isn't, is fundamentally flawed to its core. The way we perceive and treat people with impairments has a lot to do with our fears, and the messed up way we worship paid labor.
The fight for unconditional basic income is a fight that requires really looking at our society in the mirror, and questioning fundamental tenets we take for granted. The way disability programs work provide a lens that can help clarify just how many assumptions we need to shake.
We ALL deserve an unconditional financial floor of economic security and thus the ability to be in control of and make decisions about our own lives. We have a right to freedom and dignity and the expression of that right requires the right to refuse to work for someone to exist.
We cannot continue deciding who is "fit" or "unfit" to work, and we cannot continue perceiving paid work as the only way of contributing value to society. Yes, impaired individuals will need more than just UBI, but they, like everyone else, need prove NOTHING for basic EXISTENCE.
We need those fighting for those with disabilities to fight for UBI. It's an absolute moral imperative to fight for unconditionality. The report that inspired this thread is a report based on fear, and born within the status quo viewpoint of zero-sum thinking.
The logic goes that there's a limited amount of resources to provide people their basic needs, and thus what little resources are available should be tightly targeted only to those seen as being in most need, but aside from targeting being counterproductive, it's unnecessary.
WE HAVE ENOUGH TO END POVERTY. Not just for some people, but for everyone. We don't need to divide our society into the deserving and undeserving. Everyone deserves to live a life free of poverty. The only thing preventing us from that is a collective lack of will, not resources.
Neoliberalism has been eroding safety nets for decades, largely because of this mistaken belief that we must be divided. It thrives on division. Stop dividing! Strive for universality. Strive to recognize that prosperity is not a game of winners & losers.

United, we can ALL win.
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