During a high-speed car chase today in San Diego, fleeing suspects tossed a bag filled with cold, hard cash out the window and sent it soaring over the 805 freeway. As the bag spilled open mid-air, loose bills swirled above passing vehicles like autumn leaves on a quiet Vermont road. To many drivers, it must have seemed like the answer to a prayer: a tax-free bailout package. Not wanting to waste a moment, ecstatic motorists began pulling to the shoulder and scooping up all of the money they could get their hands on. All but oblivious to the other autos zooming past them, these opportunists apparently decided that the risks to their own persons were well worth the potential payoff.
One can just imagine these nouveau riche drivers yelling: “I have no idea where it came from, but who am I to ask questions?” (As it happens, the men who tossed the money in the first place were suspected drug dealers.) Apart from the ethical dilemmas posed by the temptation of this manna from heaven, the scenario raises another question worth pondering: What price dignity? As the video below demonstrates, the scrappy fortune hunters thought little of how ridiculous they looked, giddily hopping around as though they were contestants on a reality show. Worst of all, perhaps, is the way they attempted to evade the glare of the television cameras. Like Paris Hilton leaving an L.A. nightclub, they quickly hopped back in their cars and sped away.
Yes, our nation is in an economic crisis, but since when has potential loss of life been on par with the chance to snare a few Andrew Jacksons (or even some Benjamins)? And how little must a person care about decorum to carry on in such embarrassing fashion? Arriving home with an extra $60 might help these souls pay for some groceries, but at what cost to their own self worth?
Apparently, when it comes to free money, people will stoop pretty low.
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