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  #21  
Old 09 May 2018, 11:39 PM
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I can understand being concerned that someone is gaming the system, that they are cheating and getting away with something. I think most of us would be bothered by that - but what I don't understand, will never understand, is how the same people demanding answers to "lavish welfare spending" are almost invariably the same people looking the other way when we have someone in your WH who lied and lied and lied to get there .
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  #22  
Old 09 May 2018, 11:41 PM
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Because he is rich, which means he is blessed by God and anything he does is good. The poor have been cursed by God, so everything they do is wrong.
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  #23  
Old 10 May 2018, 12:46 AM
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I'm just having a day today. I absolutely stand corrected, 4 is 1% of 400, not 10%.
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  #24  
Old 10 May 2018, 01:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sue View Post
I can understand being concerned that someone is gaming the system, that they are cheating and getting away with something. I think most of us would be bothered by that - but what I don't understand, will never understand, is how the same people demanding answers to "lavish welfare spending" are almost invariably the same people looking the other way when we have someone in your WH who lied and lied and lied to get there .
It’s something I never understood either. If poor people really have it so lucky, why aren’t more people selling their possessions and giving away the bulk of their money, so they can live off the luxuries provided by food stamps and welfare? Though I’m one of those weirdos who would rather inadvertently feed ten frauds, rather than accidentally screw over one person who really needs help. In any case, the poor actually spends their money, putting it back into the economy and acting as consumers, which helps to create more jobs, whereas the Rich hoard theirs like crazy.

Though regarding the toxic “Welfare Queen” meme created by Reagan, according to Wikipedia, the woman who inspired the meme, was likely guilty of a whole lot more than just welfare fraud.

I don’t know how much this tidbit relates to the discussion at hand, but I find it interesting. You learn so much, studying the memes circulating among the Right, though it’s hard to think of one that can’t be traced back to Anti-Semitism or Racism.
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  #25  
Old 10 May 2018, 05:09 AM
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I've been thinking a lot lately about why the prospect of poor people getting away with welfare fraud gets people so fired up, when the much larger financial abuses by those in power fail to generate the same level of outrage. Is it a just world fallacy thing? Like you can't handle seeing a homeless person and thinking "there but for the grace of God..." so you focus your energy on hating them and their *probably* conniving ways that *probably* got them into this mess but *you* certainly never have to worry about that because you're not like that? Is it a pecking order thing? Like the only way you can deal with your life is to kick people below you? Is it a tiny tendril of empathy creeping its way into the merest crack in your brick facade of middle/upper-class satisfaction, threatening to take hold and slowly break the whole thing wide open so you can't enjoy your good fortune while others suffer? If the poor aren't monsters who deserve their fate, might that mean we're monsters for not helping them?
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  #26  
Old 10 May 2018, 11:19 AM
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Esprise Me: I guess for similar reasons why people will scream and scream and scream at a cashier in a store or food place about some corporate regulation or requirement because they feel like they have power over that person, rather than actually going through and taking the issue to TPTB that actually created and mandated the requirement.
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  #27  
Old 10 May 2018, 12:46 PM
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I think certainly there are people like that out there but I do think it also does come down to the reality that most of know someone who is cheating the system somehow, whether it's the neighbour who is always taking stress leave and who brags about getting away with it; the family member who has no intention of getting a job as long as she can keep the benefits rolling in; the friend who works just long enough to qualify for EI and then manages to lose her job. These are people many middle/upper class people know personally. When you see it firsthand it can be harder to believe that these kinds of news stories are making a meal out of a very small percentage of people who are taking advantage.
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  #28  
Old 10 May 2018, 03:03 PM
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Most of the people I hear with that kind of stance don't know someone, it's usually more "I know someone who says they know someone who's doing this."
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  #29  
Old 10 May 2018, 03:19 PM
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I've encountered one or two people who said they'd support anti-fraud measures even if those measures were to cost more than the fraud they detect. I understand that they object to the fraud on principle, but practically speaking it seems like a waste of money to me.

ETA: FWIW, I'm not aware of anyone I know cheating the system. Maybe they are and I just don't know about it.
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  #30  
Old 10 May 2018, 03:23 PM
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I personally at this moment in time know 4 people that I would consider as cheats. Of course what they are doing pales in comparison to what Trump and Ford (our Dougie) and their ilk have done and will do in terms of screwing the public purse. But I really doubt I am moving in rarified circles. Maybe I just know more people who brag, or certainly talk openly, about the ways they "game" the system.
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  #31  
Old 10 May 2018, 03:27 PM
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I am not an expert, but fraud could follow the broken window theory. Also, while hunting down fraud might be a short term loss, if the found fraud would have continued year after year, it might be a benefit in the long term.
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  #32  
Old 10 May 2018, 04:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sue View Post
I personally at this moment in time know 4 people that I would consider as cheats. Of course what they are doing pales in comparison to what Trump and Ford (our Dougie) and their ilk have done and will do in terms of screwing the public purse. But I really doubt I am moving in rarified circles. Maybe I just know more people who brag, or certainly talk openly, about the ways they "game" the system.
I've known one couple I considered to be gaming the unemployment system, as in working just enough to get eligible and then claiming the benefits while not trying to come up with any other employment. They were doing seasonal work and at the time weren't bugged by the system to be looking for work during the offseason; this was quite a few years ago and I don't know whether the setup still allows doing that.

And I once knew a young woman who wanted to keep getting assistance at an address she was no longer living at, because she'd moved in with her boyfriend (which might have made her ineligible, depending on his income). She didn't succeed, however, because the place she'd been living at refused her mail.

It's possible I know other people gaming the system and they just don't tell me. But that's the only ones who I knew to be doing so or trying to do so, and one case was back in the 1970's and the other one in the 1990's. I know people getting assistance, but they're either working their butts off, or in school getting training to work their butts off, or unable to work full time due to health reasons, or retired due to advanced age. Or, of course, minor children of such people.

And I'm with Mouse at least part way on this: I'd rather support an occasional deadbeat than not support those who need it (though I don't know that I'd go as far as a ten-to-one deadbeat-to-genuine-need ratio; but as I don't think the actual ratio is anywhere remotely near that -- it's probably smaller than the other way around -- that's not really relevant. And, if we really do wind up with robots capable of doing almost everything needing doing, we're going to have to rethink that whole 'deadbeat' concept, anyway.)
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  #33  
Old 10 May 2018, 04:34 PM
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I once heard secondhand that a certain person was lying about their IRS filing status to get a larger refund. That's the closest thing I can remember to knowing (and technically I didn't know, for a fact) someone who was cheating on benefits.

I don't doubt that they exist. I have no idea how common they are, but I'm guessing it's less than people commonly estimate.
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  #34  
Old 10 May 2018, 04:46 PM
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I once heard secondhand that a certain person was lying about their IRS filing status to get a larger refund. That's the closest thing I can remember to knowing (and technically I didn't know, for a fact) someone who was cheating on benefits.

I don't doubt that they exist. I have no idea how common they are, but I'm confident it's less than people commonly estimate.

ETA: Confident is an overstatement. I'm guessing we tend to overestimate fraud.
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  #35  
Old 10 May 2018, 04:46 PM
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I should clarify that when I am talking about cheaters I don't limit that to people collecting benefits from the government but also from their workplace, but speaking of government perhaps it's because I live in Ottawa but over the years I've met more than my share of people who work for the Federal government who have pulled a few fast ones. This in no way means I believe that every Federal government employee is living it up on the public dime! Sadly though that attitude is a fairly common one which really sucks and is not helped when certain cases make the headlines.
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  #36  
Old 10 May 2018, 05:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lainie View Post
I once heard secondhand that a certain person was lying about their IRS filing status to get a larger refund. That's the closest thing I can remember to knowing (and technically I didn't know, for a fact) someone who was cheating on benefits.

I don't doubt that they exist. I have no idea how common they are, but I'm confident it's less than people commonly estimate.

ETA: Confident is an overstatement. I'm guessing we tend to overestimate fraud.
The problem with identifying fraudsters is that while some of them crow about their "exploits" few of them crow about it when they get caught.

I've seen quite a few cases of people trying various "scams" to get out of paying taxes from sites off the internet. I'm not sure those people go around saying "The Revenue people got me, guys, you should see my tax bill now that they've added all the fraud penalties!"
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  #37  
Old 10 May 2018, 05:57 PM
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Yeah, I'm not sure anyone who works retail or otherwise works with the public is going to be too surprised to learn that there are cheaters, liars and scam artists out there, probably in greater numbers than many of us would like to believe. It's a little disheartening but I used to remind myself (sometimes daily, sometimes hourly) that for every person I dealt with who was trying to pull a fast one I was encountering dozens of people who would cross the street to return a dime.
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  #38  
Old 10 May 2018, 06:03 PM
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I don't personally know anyone who is openly cheating to get undeserved benefits, nor do I suspect anyone I know of doing so. And the numbers seem to bear out that this is a rare phenomenon. Even if you assume every dollar spent out of state in the OP is cheating the system, which is a patently ridiculous assumption, it would be 1% of the total cash benefits. And that is consistent with the numbers you'll find for suspected abuses of the system.

Sue, my guess is that you either know a large number of people, or you happen to be connected to a larger than average number of system-cheaters. Some people will know many more than average, and some will know fewer -- that is unremarkable. If the people in question are related, it is probably even expected that there would be clusters of related people who are raised similarly, or have similar values and inhibitions, or lack thereof.
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  #39  
Old 10 May 2018, 06:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erwins View Post
If the people in question are related, it is probably even expected that there would be clusters of related people who are raised similarly, or have similar values and inhibitions, or lack thereof.
I'm trying to decide if I am being insulted here .
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  #40  
Old 10 May 2018, 06:11 PM
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I took "related" to mean "related to each other," not "related to Sue."
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