One of the things in Western society that I particularly dislike is the way illness is viewed as a form of deviant behaviour. In the strictest terms, it probably is in that an individual is unable to function to the best of his/her potential and that there are limitations which need to be observed by both the individual involved and the social surroundings.
The thing that really bothers me though, is the way that illness is viewed as a negative state in the present economic system... that the fact that an individual is unable to participate fully in the generation of products, services and profits is almost a criminal offence, needing to be deflected, waylaid and negated. At every turn, being ill means facing negative sanctions designed to get the unwilling and the feigning back into the workplace... come on, lets get real now, nobody gets to be sick or unable to function properly just for the fun of it.
Here in the Netherlands, which was up until recently a reasonably civilised welfare state, the sick, infirmed, incapacitated and handicapped are being faced with larger and larger hurdles which need to be faced whilst attempting to live a qualitatively full life. The overriding theme is that if one is not able to work fully for the "common" good (read "generating profits for the established elites and society in general as a secondary consideration") then one is a bludger, a profiteur, a malingerer and a social leach. All of which is total nonsense as far as I'm concerned.
Illness happens, you don't choose to be ill. People get old and are unable to function as effectively as the midlifers. Students need to study, a form of investment for the society they live in. The handicapped have no choice, they're the way they are for no reason or fault of their own.
Why punish them? Why put up prohibitive sanctions if they're unable to move into the socially accepted workspace on the proscribed terms? Why put the generation of profits ahead of personal worth, ahead of the personally particular input into society to the best of ones abilities?
Somehow, we've got it all wrong here. Putting profits ahead of people, maintaining boardroom imperatives and pushing in-group agendas whilst neglecting the needs of large sections of the population... this is to my mind the way to ruin, as much socially, economically as personally.