Well, with the latest announcement, the Gulf Coast fishermen have lost whatever sympathy I felt for them.
Background: The administer of the $20-billion compensation fund announced at a meeting that those fishermen who are working to clean up the spill will have their payments from BP deducted from their claims. Many of the fishermen walked out of that meeting in protest, feeling they should be paid twice.
Let's put this in perspective. Fishermen who lease their boats for the clean-up effort are paid up to $3,000/day. Individuals working in the program are paid up to $1,400/day. So, a captain who runs his own boat can earn up to $4,400/day. Meanwhile, crewmen working on the oil spill can also earn up to $1,400/day each.
The same captain then wants to claim economic losses for the time he is not able to fish. In other words, a double dip. He's saying, "even though I'm being paid---at an incredible rate---it's not fair, because I wasn't able to pursue my livelihood. So I'm entitled to be paid twice."
That's not fairness. That's just greed.
Meanwhile, thousands of people who have suffered flood damage this year are not recieving any aid while FEMA plays its games. I'll reserve my sympathy for those people, who have to come up with money to rebuild out of their own pockets while those fisherman try to line theirs.