There just aren't enough self-made cripples around. Those are the cripples that don’t wallow in their victimhood. They take charge of their lives and they do it the American way. When life gives them lemons, they make lemonade! They don’t sit around and wait for the government to make lemonade for them and then give it to them for free!
The most shining example of a self-made cripple is Greg Abbott, the current republican governor of Texas. No state embodies the self-made, no-nonsense, rugged individualist spirit more than Texas. Abbott became crippled when he was jogging through a park on a summer day in 1984 and an oak tree fell on him. That left him paralyzed from the waist down and he’s been riding around in a wheelchair ever since.
But that didn’t stop him from becoming a millionaire! No way! And he acquired his millions the American way! He sued!
Abbott sued the homeowner of the property where the tree fell and a company that previously inspected the tree. The settlement guarantees him a six-figure annual salary for the rest of his life. He also gets an additional lump sum payment every three years. All told, the settlement can pay Abbott around $9 million tax-free, depending on how long he lives.
So whereas many other cripples expect “society” to pay for all the extra expenses that come with being crippled, Abbott does it himself, dammit!
But the funny thing is, if you want to become a self-made cripple in Texas nowadays, it won’t be nearly as easy. In 2003, the Texas state legislature capped the noneconomic damages a plaintiff can collect in medical malpractice cases at $250,000. Abbott has always said he thinks that’s a fine idea.
However, there is another litigious path to becoming a self-made cripple. You could sue someone for violating your rights. But it’s not nearly as lucrative.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission sued Walmart on behalf of a woman in Maine who became too disabled to continue working as a sales associate . She wanted to transfer to another in-store job she could do but corporate policy prohibited it. So the woman became unemployed.
Walmart settled the lawsuit by agreeing to scrap the policy and to pay the woman $80,000. That’s all well and good, but I think it’s pretty unfair if you ask me. That’s only enough money for her to be a self-made cripple for a year or so. Then it’s back to square one for her.
How come Greg Abbott gets to be a self-made cripple for the rest of his life just because a tree fell on his head? It seems to me that working at Walmart is a much more painful thing to endure.
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