Something to Think About

"I found it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love."
- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

Monday, November 7, 2011

A moral dilemma?

A little while back, the area I live in had a lot of rain from hurricane Irene.  Because the ground was already saturated from previous precipitation, there were areas that flooded which had "never" seen flooding. (or no one recalled a problem before)

The comptroller where I work was one of the unexpected victims.  He had water that washed into his finished basement.  His son's bedrooms are down there along with a rec room - all carpeted.  Of course the carpet needs to be replaced.  It sounds like little else was damaged to the extent of having to be replaced so he was fairly lucky.

Now, as most people know, one's regular homeowners insurance will not cover damage from flooding. He figured that he'd have to foot the bill for this himself and has since ordered new carpet to be installed.

He found out late last week that he was eligible for money from FEMA.  He had thought previously that he wouldn't have qualified because he was under the impression that it was an income-based aid program and his is not a low income household. (Well, he and his wife both work and she works for the state so yeah.  Surely they wouldn't qualify for anything for low income folks.)  But anyway, he's signed up to receive funds from FEMA.

For some reason, this bothers the heck out of me. No.  It actually offends me!  Here is a situation where a person is eligible for financial aid from the government but - given the shape the economy is in - is it right for him to accept the money?  He certainly would not suffer hardship from footing the bill himself, so maybe he shouldn't accept the money.  After all, there is a finite amount available and he is taking money that could be used to help less well-off individuals.

What do you think?  Is this a moral issue or am I off base?


  1. I can understand your point, but I also think that if he is eligible then why not gain from it? It's not his fault that he's eligble! I would like to think that even though there is a finite amount available, those people who would be in desperate need of it would always be found money from somewhere (although I may be wrong).

    Having said that, I don't know whether I would accept the help or not if I were ever in that situation myself.

  2. Yeah... I was "iffy" myself on whether it was truly wrong or not. I get your point, as well.

    I'd like to think that I wouldn't have asked for the aid if I were in his situation, but I'm not really sure I wouldn't. Hard to say as I'm not in that situation and I'll admit that it's easy to say I wouldn't since I'm not! ;-)