A guy that we know went to New Orleans to help with the relief effort, assisting homeowners with rebuilding their homes.
One of the families that they assisted had a home that needed serious repairs; carpets destroyed by water, gaping holes in the roof, walls that were close to caving in. While doing a walk-through, one of the workers noticed a brand new plasma television in the living room. When he asked the family where they’d gotten the television, the father said that the ‘government paid for it.’
They had taken the disaster relief funds they had received (ostensibly for ‘disaster relief’) and bought a TV.
They complained to the workers, asking why they’d taken so long to get there, when were they going to be finished?
The next house, more of the same; the house was falling apart, but there was a new flat-screen TV, and more complaints about how long it was taking to complete repairs.
I’m sure for every example of this type of selfish, myopic person, there are hundreds — if not thousands — who are grateful for the assistance and truly want to rebuild — the whole “hand-up-not-a-hand-out” thing. But these two incidents show that personal responsibility is an oxymoron for some people.