Friday, October 4, 2013

Robert Wilkerson: JeffCo bankruptcy plan hits poor the hardest

  "It isn’t fair, daddy. It isn’t fair." That’s what my children said to me on several occasions while they were growing up and facing certain situations. "I’m sorry, but life isn’t fair" has been my standard reply. I said it, I believe it, but I don’t like it, and sometimes, I don’t accept it.

  The residents of Jefferson County are being treated unfairly in order to get the county out of bankruptcy. Bankruptcy is bad business and has many bad consequences. While we appreciate the work of David Carrington and several other commissioners, their solution is not fair to everyone involved.

  One-fourth of the people living in Jefferson County live in poverty. They survive on small fixed incomes. Any kind of increase in expenses, no matter how small, makes their lives more difficult.

  The residents of Jefferson County didn’t manage the sewer system. They didn’t borrow four billion dollars to build a Taj Mahal sewer system. They didn’t hire expensive consultants, lawyers, engineering firms, and contractors. More importantly, they did not defraud or steal from the county—others did.

  Some of these others have gone to jail for their criminal acts, but many have avoided punishment by filing appeals. Appeals irk me because justice delayed is often justice avoided. While criminals are out on appeal, they go home to their luxurious houses, drive expensive cars and dine in expensive restaurants. They carry on their business and social lives as if nothing ever happened.

  The proposed settlement of Jefferson County’s case will not hurt the rich or the middle class. However, it will increase the misery and suffering of the poor, the disabled and the elderly. They didn’t do the crime, but they will do the time. They will pay higher and higher fees for a long time to come.

  In the future, current homeowners and prospective home buyers may choose to live in other counties.

  No children, it isn’t fair, but it is the way the world is.

  About the author: Dr. Robert Wilkerson is a minister, writer, and founder of People for the Christian Way, an organization whose mission is to encourage all people to practice Christian principles in business, politics, and every area of life. drbobwilkerson[at],

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