Man Robs $1 From Bank To Get Medical Treatment
A North Carolina man robbed $1 from a bank in his hometown yesterday with the intention of being jailed and receiving necessary medical treatment in jail. The man, James Verone, had worked for Coca-Cola for 17 years before being laid off three years ago at the age of 56. Finding it difficult to secure new work at his age, Verone eventually ran out of money. With no health coverage, he began to suffer back problems and felt he had no other choice but jail to have his medical conditions treated. Charged with larceny, he plans to continue robbing banks for $1 at a time to accrue a sentence of about three years. At this point, he will become eligible to receive Social Security and hopes to retire to the beach after he has served his time.
I feel like there’s nothing much to say about this except the obvious. Our nation, our economy, our very system is so completely broken sometimes it doesn’t seem like it will ever recover. Economically, Verone is somewhat selfish. Yes, it’s true that prison inmates are often treated better than everyday citizens. That is a huge problem that we must address. Where I find Verone selfish is his assumption that he’s somehow worse off than millions of the rest of us. We taxpayers are now funding not just his healthcare, Medicare, or surgical bills. We are also providing him free room and board, free meals, and whatever other perks might come along with being incarcerated wherever he ends up.
Socially and humanly though, I can’t say I blame him at all. What he did was, in its own way, courageous. I hope it brings about awareness to the dire situation the average middle-class American finds himself in every day. I hope it wakes up the government workers, the politicians, the president, and enables them all to see how their (in)actions directly harm those of us who have chosen them to do right by us.
There has been some halfway serious talk about copycat bank robberies to achieve similar goals. Something about the idea of seeing this develop into a national movement would make me extremely proud of the American people. It sounds wrong to even say that, but if somebody voluntarily chooses jail over the outside world it’s indicative of some very major problems in our society that we need to address sooner than later. Verone, in this sense, becomes something more akin to an activist than a criminal or a societal leech, and we should applaud him. Then demand that Congress takes a pay cut and pays his total incarceration cost out of their own pockets not out of the taxpayers’. While they’re at it, since they have decided to award illegal immigrants and criminals better benefits than the average American, it’s they who should be responsible for footing the bill of their recklessly expensive policies that are bankrupting our nation.