Do you really expect anybody to have sympathy for a pizza delivery guy living in a multi-million dollar home? The first segment of your show tonight (3/20/09) was insanely stupid! Portraying this family as some type of victims to a horrible economy is as much of a fantasy as pretending the moon is made of cheese and we can fly there on happy thoughts and candy canes.
Most Americans have never even stepped foot in such a luxurious house, let alone spent a night in one or owned it. While everyone can appreciate how courageous it was for him to pursue the American dream of personal success by managing his own hedge fund, that doesn't mean we want to cover the risk on his behalf. When his personal hedge fund failed, he should have recognized the signal that it's time to come back to reality. How irresponsible was it for him to go about acquiring so much excess and extravagance while business was good but not back off when business failed?
This kind of lunatic behavior deserves scorn rather than sympathy, and his acceptance of food stamps is tantamount to theft. The people paying for his food stamps (the American taxpayers) didn't volunteer to support his lavish household by giving him a $500 monthly allowance. That money was taken from them unwillingly by a government that forgot its true purpose decades ago. A majority of the people paying for his food stamps can't even imagine the abundance he still lives in and he should be shamed to tears that he's accepting government handouts paid for by people living in far worse conditions than him. I can't fault friends of his for choosing to pay his kids' tuitions - it's their money (at least I assume it is), but let's put it in perspective.
The same government paying for this guy's food stamps also attempts to fairly compensate the soldiers who defend our freedom. A Sergeant in the US Army with over 6 years of service makes $29,988 per year (before taxes). While that Sergeant may have never managed any great hedge fund, he or she most likely did spend at least three of the last years living away from family in a hostile environment defending freedom and liberty on behalf of America while people tried to kill him/her daily . The other three were spent undergoing rigorous physical and academic training, working 12- to16-hour days Monday through Friday, most Sundays and almost every Saturday. That Sergeant is responsible for at least a dozen other young troops - clearly more significant than being responsible for a dozen pizzas. However, I've never heard of a Sergeant who lives in a mansion with an indoor pool, an outdoor living room and a closet full of so many clothes that nobody could wear them all in 5 years (you want us to cry for his wife who might have to get rid of some clothes if they move to a smaller house? She'll never even wear half of that stuff). It's far more common to hear the story of a Sergeant who lives in a nearly condemned 1300 square foot manufactured house on the outskirts of the base with backed up sewers, intermittent power and peeling paint. The difference between the Sergeant and the hedge fund pizza guy is that the Sergeant deserves more but accepts less. I use an Army Sergeant because it's a convenient example and anyone can verify the salary figure I quoted, but the concept extends to almost every working-class American. They work hard, live within their means and give something back to society.
If the guy in the first segment of tonight's 20/20 wanted to be even 10% as honorable as the majority of working people in this country, he'd sell his house. With the money that gave him, he could buy living accomodations he can afford, start a savings fund that would support a reasonable lifestyle for several years and still have some money left over to give to charity...and before some genius decides to point out that he probably doesn't own the house and likely has no equity in it, I'd like to point out that if he owes more on the house than it's worth it only gives him that much more reason to get rid of it. He's clearly living far beyond his means and dragging the rest of us down.
This guy is so far out to lunch he's acting like he's entitled to all this stuff because he did something six years ago and now he's a martyr because he 'reduced' himself to the lowly profession of a pizza delivery man. His problem isn't that he can't find reasonable employment, his problem is that he is unwilling to adjust his lifestyle to his income. He was more than happy to ride the wave when it was up, but now that it's down he's the victim and life is unfair, the market's just too tough. Join us here in reality! If you want to be the guy who gets to live in that mansion just because the market is strong, you also have to be willing to live in a regular house like the rest of us when the market pops.
While I'm clearly dumbfounded by this entire article and how anyone could depict his circumstance as anything but the natural consequence of his irresponsibility and stupidity, I did see one gilmmer of hope. When he recognized the tremendous generosity of his friend who pays his kids' tuitions, he said that he hoped to someday do the same for somebody else. That's right, buddy - you owe a whole lot to a whole lot of people and I hope 20/20 follows up on you when the market comes back to see how many swimming pools and manisions you are buying for all the people who carried your sorry carcass while you continued living the lifestyle most of us only dream of.
I was equally appalled that ABC would even run such a WORTHLESS story - I'm disgusted!!
I totally agree, I was in outrage when I saw that story. I wanted to know why would 20/20 be wasting time interviewing them when, there are families that lost there homes, not mansions. Some of who had to take there families to shelters for a place to sleep. I'm supposed to fell sorry for these people? I have a sister with two kids and, MS. She is in pain on a daily basis but has no choice but to work through her pain, to be sure that she keeps her home. She, doesn't even qualify for food stamps and, has nothing that she could sell for cash, and I'm supposed to cry for them? I don't think so, I laughed when I saw that there Mercedes was in need of repair that they could not afford on his pizza man salary.
Maybe I'm wrong for taking pleasure in there pain. But, I can't help but notice he was in the business that is to blame for the current economic situation. I don't think it is a far stretch to say that he probably benefited from some of the risky dealing It's high time that people like him suffer as I have been suffering all my adult life, it's time to pay the piper!!