Friday, February 19, 2010

Not The Answer

After the plane crash that took out power in the entire little city we call home in the Bay Area, I was surprised to hear of the plane crash in Austin the next day. Even more surprised to learn of the story behind it.

Let me start by saying, Mr. Dead Pilot (hereafter referred to as D.P.), this was not the answer.

I will preface the rest of my rant by saying that I firmly believe suicide is never the answer. Unless you're a mass murderer and you're just saving us the holding costs and trouble of an execution. You only have to deal with suicide once (and I have) to know that its the worst form of escape from a person's troubles - its permanent, and it only makes more grief and troubles for those you leave behind.

I read his "manifesto" and spent most of it shaking my head. He wraps it in a lot of words, but in the end, I've concluded he's a moron. A cowardly, maladjusted moron. Why?
  • He killed and injured others. Others who had neither wronged him, nor wronged the world. Shame on you, D.P.
  • He risked the life of his family after burning his house.
  • He caused costly property damage that other people, including the insurance companies and the government, with our tax dollars, will pay for; the emotional and psychological damage he caused his family, his friends, and innocent people affected by the events is immeasurable.
  • He took no responsibility for his own part in his misfortunes, and took no responsibility for fixing the system he felt was so unfair to the common man.
  • He leaves this world. Not better. Not more educated. Not more fair, or just, or right. Just down one body, and with a few more broken pieces. Way to go, D.P.

But MrsChako, he was wronged. The government took what was his. Gave him nothing in return. Made his life hard. Took away his security. Taxation without representation. Blah, blah, blah. I'd write something more pithy but I need both my hands to pull out my soapbox and make sure it rests on level ground before I step up on it. Let's evaluate how much of a victim you were, D.P.:

  • You had a $236,000 house in Austin. I've lived near there. $236,000 buys you a very well appointed home in many parts of Austin, where the average home price is around $180,000. In contrast, for example, my parents live on a 150 acre farm with a POS 78-year old house that is held together with the proverbial lick and a promise (and some fiberboard, here and there). Together, with all the property and outbuildings, it would be a miracle if they could get that much in a sale.
  • You had retirement savings that you lost. My sister is a single mom raising two kids on a $30,000+ salary in Illinois sleeping on a pull out couch so her kids can have bedrooms. I don't know if she has enough money in her checking account to pay all her bills each month, much less build her retirement savings.
  • You spent $5,000 of your "pocket change" trying to fight against the government. Bravo for you. You forget the average American probably doesn't have $5,000 laying around as optional money to spend fighting the corrupt government. The rest of us pay our taxes, wait for the next election, and hope our elected officials do something to fix the wrongs of their predecessors.
  • You had a piano. As a business asset. For most, this is a luxury. Don't forget that.
  • You owned a plane. Most Americans are happy to have a functioning car. You had a plane. Had being the operative word. Because you were an idiot and crashed it.
  • I'm sorry you were impacted by the recession, by the .COM bust, by 9-11, by base closures, by tough job markets. You must be right - clearly the government's fault. Funny how the rest of us who fought for jobs in the first recession you mention, toughed it out during the .COM bust, lost friends, family, freedoms and financial security as a result of 9-11 (or sent loved ones across an ocean to do something to regain those things), got relocated as a result of base closures, lost our jobs in this last recession, or are still looking for jobs because their wives had to relocate to replace her 15+ year career still seem to be managing without jumping in our private planes and taking out our frustrations on the side of a public building.
  • Taxes are hard. I know. I had tax courses in college. Only "B" I ever earned in my Masters program - ruined my perfect gradepoint. Those laws don't always make a lot of sense to the average person. But let me tell you something about taxes, in this country, or any country: There is no free lunch. So if you thought something seemed like a really good deduction, you should have thought twice. And $12,000 of unreported income is a little bigger than the normal "oh, I forgot to report that $1,000 I won at the local poker tournament" (which, for those of you reading, is ALWAYS taxable income). And if you build a business model aimed at allowing companies to avoid new tax laws that result in increased revenue for the government, don't be surprised when someone scrutinizes that a little harder than they do my W-2s and maybe concludes you're trying to avoid paying taxes. I'll tell you how to avoid paying taxes . . . make less money. Talk to my brother - he doesn't have a job. Doesn't make any money. Doesn't pay any taxes. It's simple. He doesn't have a house. Doesn't have cash. Doesn't have a plane. But he's definitely got no tax ambiguities.

Do I think the complexity of the tax structure and the resulting administration of it sometimes outweigh the benefits of the revenue to our system? Yes. Do I think that our government often uses our tax dollars inefficiently? Yes. Do I think that sometimes our corporate and government officials forget their fiduciary responsibility to the shareholders, citizens, and other constituents? Yes. Truthfully, it frightens me that you and I could ever share any similar concerns, given your recent display of stupidity and disrespect for your fellow man and life in general.

If you're reading this from hell or the afterlife or wherever stupid people go when they die foolish deaths at their own hands, ask yourself this - what have you changed?

  • The IRS does not care that you are dead. ". . . take my pound of flesh and sleep well . . ." I'm sure they'll get right on that. Right after they squeegee the last of you off the side of their building and go right back to collecting money from the rest of us. Maybe a little extra from the rest of us to pay for damages.
  • Your CPA doesn't care that you are dead. He doesn't have to risk his professional license anymore to try to find you loopholes, and your estate will pay him for his time and trouble thus far. Case closed. Circular file in about 7 years when the statute of limitations runs on your last return.
  • Your elected representatives do not care that you are dead. They are likely relieved that there is one less fly buzzing, one less voice to oppose their re-election next year.
  • The corporate fat cats don't care that you are dead. When they need another engineer, they'll go get one for a lot less money, who whines a lot less, and who appreciates having a job in this tough economy.
  • You didn't change the system, fix corruption, or make any one's life easier, better, or more complete. Ergo, this was not the answer.

Your only positive contribution D.P.? I won't have to read any more of your self-serving manifesto whine-fests.

My sympathies to your family and friends . . . the ones who are left to make sense of your senseless act.

Respectfully submitted,

The Wife


KenP said...

Doc must be the very easy going type. I imagine he's also got tiptoeing down pat.


I knew a Brad once. I too thought of him as a brad and wanted to drive him into the wall with a hammer.

DrChako said...

When I see the soapbox, I know all the good hiding places.


The Sister of DrChako and Mrs. Chako said... is a much better way to go about making a change to our tax debacle in this country.

DrChako said...

So I should crash my airplane into the HQ of

The Sister of DrChako and Mrs. Chako said...


SirFWALGMan said...

People get so wrapped up in their own heads that they go insane and can not see a way out. Most people do not crash planes and kill people but obviously the guy was mega depressed and not thinking straight.

Agreed he was a moron and does not deserve any sympathy. It is a shame we have structured our society in such a way that not keeping up with the Joneses can put your mind in such a funk that you would kill yourself and other people.