Careful, All of Us Live in Glass Houses

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Frank Komola retired in 2012 following a 23 year career at UPS. He belongs to the retirees chapter of Local 25, International Brotherhood of Teamsters in Boston. He and his wife, Lisa, live in Haverhill.

Frank Komola retired in 2012 following a 23 year career at UPS. He belongs to the retirees chapter of Local 25, International Brotherhood of Teamsters in Boston. He and his wife, Lisa, live in Haverhill.

A lot of finger pointing takes place in this community and state regarding individuals taking advantage of or abusing benefits that government programs make available to them. And, as you read or listen to this column, please understand that I am not a big fan of these unlawful acts either.

But I think we should all keep in mind that many of us need to do a little self-examination of our own actions as we raise an index or middle finger at the people among us that “get around the law.” I readily admit that I too fall into this category myself from time to time. That is some glass house we all have to admit we live in.

For starters, look around your neighborhood here in Massachusetts and see how many people live here but have New Hampshire license plates on their trucks and cars. They’re saving themselves a fortune in some cases by having virtually no insurance coverage, and again in some cases, having virtually no assets to cover the cost of their accident with any one of us. Good luck if you manage to escape with your life. There’s a bill at the end of that experience that many offenders are in no position to pay.

Glass house number two. Almost all of us live in this one. How about the times we go out and drink beyond the legal limit? “Phew, got all the way home without killing someone,” we say as we look back on our good fortune the following day.

Oh yeah, and if we decide to get cocked at home, let’s screw the old neighborhood liquor store owner and head to New Hampshire and save some money on our weekend’s worth of booze. Surprize, somewhat illegal.

And while we’re there, let’s screw the local business owners a second time by avoiding the sales tax and buying that big screen TV some of us crack open that beer in front of for the big game on Sunday! Oops, illegal.

And with tax day right around the corner, let’s inflate those deductions just a bit more than we’re entitled to on our return. Everybody does it, right? And how about we do that small or sometimes large side job and get “paid under the table” to avoid those nasty income taxes. A lot of glass on the floor with this one.

Some people have a lot of nerve. And so do a lot of us in the glass house. “Excuse me, could you hand me that rock over there?”

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