But today's society judges people as deserving to exist or not depending on their capacity to turn up at an office and put in eight hours. If you've got a disability that gets between you and paid employment, you're seen as a parasite, taking up resources but not contributing.
That, gentle reader, is ballocks.
For a start the actual amount of money spent on people with disabilities isn't, per head, really that massive. Let's crunch some numbers. (It won't happen often around here, so don't get used to it.)
In 2010-2011, 314,000 Aussies accessed disability support services according to the offical figures. The total cost was $6.2 billion. This gives us an average cost per head of $19,745.22. That's the price of a reasonable secondhand Honda Accord.
But, according to one academic, each of our gold medals at the London games set the Aussie taxpayer back around $17 million. Rounding the disability figure up to $20,000 for the sake of neatness, you could fund full services for 850 people with one gold medal.
I'm not arguing that we should stop sports funding immediately - rather, that we should spend on our needy with as much willingness and as open a heart as we do people who wear alarming lycra onesies.
The other argument is that you can't define someone's worth by their take-home pay. The contribution a person makes to their community, their family, their sphere of influence - be it sport, fandom, a hobby, the arts, or a pub trivia team - can't be weighed up against their bank balance.
There are more things on heaven and earth and in the hearts or men than are dreamed of in that philosophy.
Disability figures from here, sport figures from here.