Views on politics and current events

Thursday, August 03, 2006

The Tucker Carlson Interview

I went to Chicago for this?

CARLSON: Welcome back. Isn‘t a low-wage job better than no job at all? Well, not if you‘re one of the million of American men who‘ve been laid off and refuse to take jobs they view as demeaning or low paying. My next guest is one those men. He spends his days dabbling at hobbies at home. He stays up late, sleeps until 11:00 in the morning, all while living off his wife. Alan Beggerow lives in Rockfalls, Illinois. He joins me now from Chicago.
Mr. Beggerow, thanks for coming on.

ALAN BEGGEROW, UNEMPLOYED HUSBAND: You bet, Tucker. How are you doing?

CARLSON: I‘m doing great. I can‘t imagine how angry and contemptuous your wife must be at this point. I mean, she must just be really mad at you.

BEGGEROW: No, actually there‘s been some perceptions about that article that aren‘t quite the truth, like I‘m sponging off my wife. That‘s not really so.

CARLSON: OK. You‘re talking about a “New York Times” piece from earlier this week in which you were featured. And the piece explained that you are not working. You worked for 30 years for a company in Illinois, but you were laid off.
You live on a small pension and your wife‘s disability. You are an able-bodied man who‘s clearly smart, but you‘re choosing not to work because, as you put it, quote, “ I have come to realize that my free time is worth a lot to me.” That‘s an attitude that I think most American men would be embarrassed to have.

BEGGEROW: That‘s probably true. I‘m not embarrassed to have it, though. Not embarrassed a bit.

CARLSON: Well, I mean, shouldn‘t you be working? I mean, the rest of us are working. We‘re paying to keep the roads clear and the nation defended from foreign invaders. I mean, we‘re keeping the system afloat, and you‘re dead weight. Don‘t you feel guilty?

BEGGEROW: Heavens, no. I‘m not dead weight. I‘m getting a reduced pension. By the way, I was not laid off. I took a forced retirement. The plant I used to work at shut down, and my wife and I bring in about the same amount of money every month.

I mean, we pay our bills, and we make enough money that we still pay taxes. So I have chosen not to work for various reasons. And we seem to be getting by, and that‘s cool with me.

CARLSON: Well, I bet it is cool with you. I bet a lot of people would be happy to do that, but they don‘t because they realize that our society would fall apart if people did that. And one of the reasons you have the luxury of sitting around and writing novels, and practicing the piano, and living this kind of fun, interesting, hobby-filled life is because everyone else chooses not to do that, chooses to get up and inconvenience themselves and go to work and make us a rich society so people like you can lie around. I mean, don‘t you see why people would resent that?

BEGGEROW: Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. I see why they would resent it. I could see where some of the resentment might be from jealousy, too, because they will not do what you need to be able to do what I‘ve done.

CARLSON: Well, how about—I mean, one of the reasons men work is to get self-respect, but also respect from other people, specifically, the women they live with. “I had a rough day at the office. You wouldn‘t believe what I‘ve been dealing with,” right?

And you come back, you know, into the cave after slaying the woolly mammoth, and you‘re the man. But if you never left the cave, if you‘re looming around the cave playing video games, you‘re not really the man anymore, are you?

BEGGEROW: That‘s the way some people perceive it. There‘s more to being a man, as you say, than just working at a job. I mean, there‘s more to life than working, period. I consider myself very fortunate to be able to do what I am doing.

CARLSON: Yes. How much sleep do you get at night?

BEGGEROW: It varies. Sometimes six hours, sometimes eight hours.

Sometimes more. Sometimes less.

CARLSON: Are you ever bored?

BEGGEROW: No, sir, I‘m not. No, there‘s plenty to keep my mind occupied. I am involved with charity work, with the peace groups, reading, you know, everything that was in the article. My life is very full now.

CARLSON: We appreciate you taking the time out of your schedule to join us. Alan Beggerow, thanks very much.

BEGGEROW: Thanks, Tucker.

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