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Added By: Alex
Added on: 09/03/2009 @ 6:25:21 PM
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Child care fraud

Nothing better to get the blood boiling than listening to AM radio in the morning.
View External Link [www.jsonline.com]
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fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - Cube Phenomenoligist
09/04/2009 @ 09:44:49 AM
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Some people are unreal.

Like a lot of things the government does, I don't see why this couldn't be solved, or at least greatly aided, by the IT department. Why in the hell are we still swapping actual paperwork back and forth? Why isn't there one system the government can look at to see who is getting what, which could in turn red flag all the people who seem shady.
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newalex.jpgAlex - 3618 Posts
09/04/2009 @ 10:46:35 AM
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It sounds like part of the problem is that it's federal tax dollars coming into the state and local economy, so there's little to no incentive for the state or local officials to put an end to the fraud. People are defrauding the federal government but that money gets redistributed locally, so why should local police officers or even state officials do anything to stop it? The defrauders are, in a way, modern day Robin Hoods. They rob from the greedy/tax hungry/inefficient federal government and since the spoils flow out into the local community the local community at least tolerates it while not outright condoning it.

And in a similar fashion, what incentive does "the government" at any level have to actually pay for/implement efficient systems of any kind? That would reduce justification for taxes, government jobs, government contracts handed out the crappy contractors who might be friends, neighbors, whatever of the government officials and even if they're not those contractors will still spend money in the area to generate more tax revenue.

Anyway, here's today's special.

http://www.wausaudailyherald.com/article/20090903/WDH0101/909030672/0/WDH0505/12-000-set-for-free-phones

According to a representative from TracFone, cell phones are now a basic right of humanity.
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fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - Cube Phenomenoligist
09/04/2009 @ 11:20:03 AM
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Well, as long as phones are the way someone would have to get in touch will 911 if necessary, I could see the case for phones in general, and they may as well be cell phones in particular, because then they can be with people, and long distance isn't a factor.* I don't know why 60 minutes of talk time, and I have a feeling these people are going to be paying lots of money they weren't before to get minutes 61+. It doesn't really say though how much the Government has to do with the actual costs, but it would almost certainly be cheaper that the program for landline phones, which has apparently already been going on for 25 years.

It would make lots of sense for a company to just give these people phones. Cell phones are one of those things that a) once you're with a company people usually stay. (though maybe not in this case because if you were to think about getting a cell phone "for real" you'd probably go with a plan. Which brings me to..) b) Like I was just talking with the multitasking cell phone, cells in general are one of those things that you don't know how bad you "need" until you get a taste. You get very used to the notion of being able to do quick calls, reminding people of this and that, or what-have-you, and those 60 minutes will go fast. You're aware of the 30 minute call to the parents, you don't realize how fast the "Hey, I'm running late" "Hey, I'm at the store, do you need anything", etc calls add up, and those are the ones that necessitate a cell and get you "hooked."

*Edit: Although I think the word "right" gets used a bit too casually, it's the closest thing we have to more succinctly saying "this thing is something that has such a benefit for little to no cost, that we may as well do it, or this thing makes it better for everyone if it's available to everyone."
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Jeremy messed with this 2 times, last at 09/04/2009 11:42:11 am
2887.gifAlex - 3618 Posts
09/04/2009 @ 12:41:10 PM
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It says it's not paid for by federal tax dollars, it's basically paid for by other users of cell phones. Wait, that was somewhere else....

There was a caller this morning that said she used to work for a different cell company that gave phones out through this program and one big problem was that these people with "no money" would get free phones and a few minutes, then run up huge bills but the company was legally prohibited from cutting off their service or sending collection agencies after them or doing anything about it really. Eventually the company would just write off the charges which in some shape or form means that the rest of us who pay our bills and taxes would take another hit besides the initial funding for the phones in the first place. But since this particular program uses prepaid phones hopefully there wouldn't be that issue.

Another thing mentioned on the radio that I'm not sure was in either of the links I've posted, was that it provides services like text messaging, call waiting, etc. which is hardly necessary for calling 911.
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fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - 8953 Posts
09/04/2009 @ 01:36:42 PM
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Yeah, but some of that might be that it would cost more to disable that stuff for some people. Texting could probably be controlled, but a lot of these places probably couldn't turn off the call-waiting, voicemail, caller id, kind of stuff for a group of people if they wanted to. Even if you could it would only take like two people calling the help desk wondering why their phone doesn't have voicemail like their neighbor's before they would blow any "profit" on not giving people features that cost the company nothing.

Edit: In other words these things used to be add ons, and still are in the bizarre "how the crap are you people even in business anymore" world of land lines, and are still advertised as huge perks even on cell phones because marketing people have to say something, but really for most of those things it would be like saying "Look I know poor people need help buying cars, but do they really need power steering and FM radio?" At this point those are basic features and you'd actually have to spend more money to make a special line of cars without them, the same is probably true of plans/phones/overhead for the phones for the poor.
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Jeremy perfected this at 09/04/2009 1:56:15 pm
newalex.jpgAlex - I don't need to get steady I know just how I feel
09/04/2009 @ 04:31:43 PM
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I probably shouldn't have lumped both issues in one thread. It's too rantish.

The cell phone thing seems to me like a dubious business practice that has the government's blessings. One of many I'm sure.

The child care fraud is, I believe, an infinitely bigger issue, both socially and politically, and is a prime example of why massive federal programs don't work, or at least aren't the optimal solution.
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2887.gifAlex - You've got to trust your instinct, and let go of regret
10/21/2009 @ 08:22:21 PM
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Sounds like some stuff is getting done

http://www.jsonline.com/watchdog/watchdogreports/65040172.html
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