It’s an upside-down world we live in.
That word used to mean stay away.
Nowadays, I think it means come closer.
The news is full of people who climb where they are not supposed to climb, hike where they are not supposed to hike, sail where they’re not supposed to sail, leap where they’re not supposed to leap …
And because these folks are doing what they are not supposed to be doing, dangerous things, a lot of them have to be rescued.
One famous example was a couple who took their two little kids on a sailing trip around the world. They had to be rescued at a cost of $663,000. The rescue operation included a Navy warship.
Rescues aren’t free.
Each year, the National Park Service spends more than $5 million on rescues, not counting the cost of man hours.
The Coast Guard spends millions, too, often saving people from their own folly.
And who pays?
You and I do. Though some states have started charging the rescued if they have been negligent.
There is irony at work here.
If I get hurt or lost doing something stupid, I may —or may not — have to pay to be rescued.
But if I have a heart attack, or am run over by a negligent driver — happenings that are not my fault — most municipalities will charge me plenty for paramedic help.
Welcome to the Mad Hatter’s tea party.
What would make sense is to somehow charge people with too much time and money who do stupid things and have to be rescued. Kind of like eliminating welfare for the well-to-do.
Then put this money in a fund to aid the non-stupid injured and ill.
—Let’s offer aid to all non-stupid injured, ill–