If I wanted to be rich, I wouldn’t be a college professor. There are many professions that pay so much better.
Like right-wing moocher off of religious charities. LaVoy Finicum, one of the mouthy militia that’s taken over Malheur Preserve, is sad because while he’s gallivanting off to pointless, egotistical crusades in remote places, they have taken his foster children away.
“They” being the organizations that pay him to take care of these kids. On top of neglecting his parental responsibilities, his complaint reveals something of his character. Rather than desperately begging to have his loved ones returned to him, which is how I’d have reacted if Child Protective Services had swept my children away, he’s moaning about the loss of income.
Finicum said he is licensed and has a care contract with Catholic Charities Community Services in Arizona. While his license has not been revoked, Finicum said he would no longer receive referrals to care for foster children.
That represents an enormous loss of income for the Finicums. According to a 2010 tax filing, Catholic Charities paid the family $115,343 to foster children in 2009. That year, foster parents were compensated between $22.31 and $37.49 per child, per day, meaning if the Finicums were paid at the maximum rate, they cared for, on average, eight children per day in 2009.
“That was my main source of income,” Finicum said. “My ranch, well, the cows just cover the costs of the ranch. If this means rice and beans for the next few years, so be it. We’re going to stay the course.”
My first thought: wow, he’s bringing in $100K for taking care of kids (a job he seems to be shirking)? My parents had six kids and were living on $10K a year that my dad had to work two jobs to earn. Clearly, the lesson is that while my father was earning a pittance for hard manual labor, my mother should have been getting paid ten times as much for her hard work raising kids.
My second thought: oh, so this ranching nonsense is really just a hobby for people who have worked the angles and are getting paid beaucoup bucks from charitable institutions? Just like the Bundy family is all anti-government while living on government subsidies? Color me unsurprised.
My third thought, after it all sunk in: those poor kids. They were nothing but a paycheck to their foster parents. It is simply cold, callous venality to say “so be it” when children are taken away, and to regard the great cost of that loss being to have to live on rice and beans. It’s positively Dickensian. May they never have another child brought to their home, and may they die lonely and alone at some distant time.
I may make a lot less money than that exploiter, Finicum, but at least I can say I love my kids, and I came from a happy family, and I’m not a paranoid conspiracy theorist loon, so maybe I actually did pick the right line of work.