“I’m really surprised people in this day and time would try to take advantage of the system that’s intended to help those in need” – statement by a relative of one of the 49 people arrested for filing fraudulent hurricane Katrina claims. Predictions to the total amount of illegally diverted money is between $300,000 to $400,000.
Why am I more surprised by the naivete of the relative than the criminal actions of the scammers? What universe do they live in?
“poor people have poor ways” is a saying I heard many years ago from someone who most likely would be considered “rich” based on most income scales. Their statement had to do with the observed actions and choices made by people they deemed “poor” believing it was useless to attempt changing a poor person’s habits. This same person also rationalized the choice to put their child in private school based on the assumption the other students in attendance would be of a higher “class” than children who went to public schools. What goes unsaid is that many rich folks have ways that could be considered poor in that no matter what mess they make in their lives they assume a poorer person will be there to clean up after them.
We seem to exist in a world where everything imaginable; government/politics, education, economics, religion, sports, entertainment, art, personal choices are governed by an “us versus them” attitude. Any type of information media (including blogs) contain an increasing amount of finger pointing. Wanting to believe “we” are right and anyone saying differently is wrong, and oh by the way, if they disagree with me I’ll just ignore them and hope they go away is leading to a constant splintering of society.(part of this I attribute to how easy it is now to disseminate a particular point of view to a mass audience) We only have to interact with those people like ourselves and avoid anyone who doesn’t meet the standard we hold for ourselves. Do we risk all those tiny fractures joining together into a number of larger chasms causing a breakdown in society?
Online shopping just came to mind as a way for certain people to avoid getting out in traffic, waiting in lines or having to interact with the riff-raff. Someone else will even deliver it to their home!
Speaking of that, between typing the previous line and this one I checked the mail. The copy of “Electric Music for the Mind and Body” by Country Joe & The Fish I ordered from Amazon arrived. Ah, if only I had something to go with it. Yes, I did inhale at one time but those days are long gone. Though I did save a several packs of papers and my Rizla “roller” in case things were ever legalized.(fat chance) Sure, I’d do it all again but these days I usually settle for something with a double or triple shot of espresso from Starbucks to provide the buzz.