Good news: There's hope for civilization

You have to look outside the Beltway, of course, but occasionally there’s a glimmer.

Pat Wesner is a mother of four, with one grown, disabled son in her care and another serving in Afghanistan. On Tuesday, she stumbled on the perfect crime when $11,000 fell off a Brinks truck with no one around to see it.

“If you saw how the change hit the ground and sprayed out like a halo with the sunshine, I just went, ‘Oh my goodness. It’s money.’ And again with the dollar bills going all over. It was definitely something out of a movie,” said Pat.

Not many would have a smile on their face after seeing all that and still calling 911 to return more than 11,000 $1 bills and $50 in pennies when there had been no witnesses around to see you had just hit the jackpot. But that’s exactly the picture snapped as Pat stood next to a trooper as she gave every bit back.

“We were both laughing, picking up money off the ground, and I said, ‘I can’t even put $1 in my pocket without feeling guilty about it.’ It’s not my money,” said Pat.

Now, meet 18-year-old Indiana man Jhaqueil Reagan, who walked 10 miles in the snow for a job interview at Dairy Queen to support his brothers and sisters, and was well rewarded for his efforts:

A teen’s luck appears to have changed after a chance encounter with an Indiana restaurant owner during a 10-mile trek through ice and snow for a minimum wage job interview.

It all started on Friday, when Art Bouvier, the proprietor of Papa Roux, a Cajun restaurant in Indianapolis, was laying rock salt outside the establishment after an ice storm earlier that morning.

He said he was approached by a teen who asked him how far it was to 10th and Sherman.

Mr Bouvier told WLFI-TV: ‘And I’m thinking we’re at 10th and Post. I said, “Buddy that’s probably six, seven miles.” I said, “You’d be better off on a bus especially in this weather.” He just said, “Okay, thank you.” And he kept going.’

Later, as Mr Bouvier was driving with his wife to a coffee shop, he was surprised to find the same person, still walking.

They pulled over, and asked him if he needed a ride.

The teen, Jhaqueil Reagan, obliged, and along the way, he told the couple that he was going to a Dairy Queen location for a job interview, and didn’t have money for bus fare.

He said that he had already walked three miles before he reached Papa Roux.

Mr Bouvier told Fox 59: ‘I’m thinking to myself, here’s a kid walking almost 10 miles in the ice and slush and snow for the hope of a job at minimum wage.

Bouvier offered to double Dairy Queen’s offer if Reagan would come work for him. Reagan started Monday, and his story went viral after Bouvier posted it on his Facebook page.

‘It’s crazy. I don’t even know. It’s really crazy,’ Reagan told Fox 59. ‘My heart’s just racing right now. I’m just too excited, just excited to start.’

God bless them all, and for some welcome perspective for the passel of millionaires in Washington raising holy hell over their .025 percent budget “cuts.”

It’s rough out there in the, ahem, recovery for people Reagan’s age:

The center found that young adults’ debt levels dropped nearly 14% between 2001 and 2010, while rising 63% for those age 35 and older, according to a recent Pew study.

The real-world ramifications are eye-popping. The share of younger households owning their primary residence fell to 34% in 2011, down from 40% in 2007. Only 66% owned or leased at least one vehicle in 2011, down from 73% four years earlier, as car loans plunged. Credit card balances have also fallen.

The only debt on the rise is student loans. In 2007, just over a third of young households had outstanding student debt. That jumped to 40% in 2010.

One reason for the decline is the weak job market, especially for the young. Their unemployment rate was more than 2 percentage points higher than their older peers in 2010 and 2011, according to federal labor statistics. Many of those lucky enough to have employment either make less than they expected or are concerned about getting laid off.