Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Valli Values

Values are important to me, and I'm often amazed at what other people value. I read a recent interview with Four Seasons singer Frankie Valli (not his real name), and he stated he was proud of the fact that he never took unemployment. On the other hand, he said that he had, in his youth, robbed grocery stores...

Let's see now-- a program that offers temporary assistance to workers who have had their work taken away (through no fault of their own) is somehow a bad thing in his mind. Hmm. Well, as a former recipient of a period or two of unemployment, I fail to see the inherent evil in being able to buy groceries for my family and keep a roof above our heads. Am I missing something? Is it so terrible to have a safety net for millions of workers who are victims of corporate greed, mismanagement, and/or a bad economy?

Yeah, I suppose so. Better to fall back on good old American self-reliance and pulling onesself up by one's own bootstraps. By Valli values, when one needs money, one just picks up a nearby gun and robs a guy trying to earn his living. Think of your fellow humans and those who work as your own private ATM. 'No evil unemployment for me, that's weakness-- when I need cash, I get it the old-fashioned way-- I steal it!'

So he won't take a payback for something earned, but he will rip the food from someone else's hand and leave them hungry. Oh, nice.

Imagine if we all felt like this twerp? Too stupid and proud to participate in getting by the rational way, we all start robbing each other. Given our current rates of joblessness, about 15-20% of us would soon be engaged in crimes against each other. Our civilisation would soon end.

Social programs like unemployment have been set up because modern life and our economic system have a way of hammering workers. We have a system that demands continuous employment, but all factors converge to constantly put people out of work! It is insane. One way of keeping us from attacking each other for basic necessities is to provide a stopgap method of easing us through crises.

But this dumb mook publicly disses that idea. Screw the social contract, it's a bad value for him. For me, a bad value is sticking a gun in someone's face to steal their money. I have no tolerance for those who would be stupid, and vicious, and prey upon their fellow man, when there's a smart, rational way of helping everyone.

What a concept. Walk Like a Man, indeed.

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