man chooses to wait for retirement in prison

18 10 2006

Last night I heard about a 62-year-old man from Ohio who had lost his job but was unable to find a job that paid more than minimum wage.  He needed a job until he was 65, when he could draw Social Security.  So he came up with a very odd “financial plan” : he robbed a bank, then handed the money to a guard and waited for the police to show up and arrest him.  The defense attorney described him as “a charming old man”.  The judge granted him his request — three years in prison.  (You can read more here or here.)

I’d like to think this wasn’t really his best option.  After all, this is the land of opportunity, and there really are a lot of options for making a living.  But I do think that older people in our society aren’t respected enough.  Our elderly are likely to have lots of insight into life from years of experience, which should be considered valuable.  I’ve read of cultures like China where the elderly are revered, yet it seems like the opposite in America.  There’s a trend in our culture to ignore history, to think we know better than those who came before us and that their wisdom and insight is antiquated.  (Numerous times I’ve heard people say this is the smartest generation ever, but I don’t think it’s necessarily true on a per-person basis.)  I think this is a bad road to be on.  But I’m not sure how we turn it around, though…

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4 responses

18 10 2006
rhelynn

Very interesting story about the old man – I hadn’t seen it until just now. Your name Beppo reminds me of a character in a book I once read – strange coincidence.

18 10 2006
Fab

It is a strange coincidence because this “Beppo” is a character as well.

18 10 2006
Beppo

Some say I’m a “character”, yes. But I don’t think I’m in any book. You must be thinking of someone else. I’ve thought about publishing an autobiography, detailing the crazy adventures I’ve been on when in superhero mode. It would be stuff like rescuing kittens from trees, stopping evil mad scientists, saving the world before bedtime, solving the black hole unitarity paradox, preventing the heat death of the universe, etc. It’s really exciting stuff, but, alas, I must often return to my alias of mild-mannered computer programmer by day. But it’s not the right time to reveal my secret identity yet. Superheroes are quite popular these days, and I would be swarmed by legions of ladyfans when I go to Walmart, and my wife definitely does not approve of such things. Although I would get to go to lots of nerdy conventions, which would be cool, but for now I have to attend incognito. It’s all okay, really. I don’t mind being relatively unknown. At least I have this blog in the corner of the blogosphere. (Actually, I have two corners, because I have another blog.)

* (Yes, this rambling would be more appropriate on my other blog, but sometimes they may overlap. It happens, deal with it. Thank you, drive thru…)

18 10 2006
Fab

I’ll take a large order of random, hold the pickles and a small side order of seriousness.

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