Monday, July 1, 2013

Integrity And Dishonour On Display

If there were two people in a room, a politician and a private citizen, and you were told that one was deeply dishonourable and one very principled, you would naturally assume that the mantle of dishonour would be worn by the politician. In the following case, you would be completely wrong, as the video and the accompanying story, which you might want to read first, make abundantly clear:


  1. I’ve got mixed feelings on this one. I don’t like a situation where comparison of relative severity becomes the focus for persons with work-related injuries. Of course, I don’t know anything about the football player besides what is presented in the story. But I would rather draw attention to the system that allowed the disparity to occur than attack a claimant for having taken what it offered him. If he committed a fraud, then the system should deal with it.

    I’ve known all sorts of people injured to varying degrees of severity in the military and in other workplaces. I’ve met soldiers who disparage mental and psychological injury claimants as vehemently as the speaker does the football player. In my experience, industrial workers generally bear utter contempt for the white-collar workers who have made claims to workers’ compensation boards for work-related stress. If we were to restrict the discussion to physical injuries we would hear similar complaints. While it would be foolish to fail to acknowledge injustice in a case where a person who has lost the use of a limb is considered to have suffered a less disabling injury than someone who has sprained his ankle, I’ll point the finger at the system that made the decisions.

    Of course, in the ideal libertarian world anyone with a work-related non-catastrophic or non-critical injury would be embarrassed to make a claim lest he be derided as a slacker in comparison to those who have suffered more severe injuries. As long as we occupy ourselves sniping at each other when we perceive that superior consideration has been conferred on someone less worthy we are headed in the right direction to achieve that world.

    1. Thanks for your well-considered comments, John. While I agree with your comments about the folly in assessing injuries relativistically, the issue for me in this story and video is that Castillo, with the assistance of his friend in the IRS, was in fact perpetrating a fraud by attempting to win government contracts through a program designed to help vets who had been injured while serving in the military. Castillo was never in the military, but only a military prep school where he hurt his ankle playing football.

      I agree with you that the system that allowed this fraud to be perpetrated needs to be investigated; I also hope there was/will be an investigation of the friend in the IRS who somehow helped facilitate this deception.


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