I am not surprised this is happening. The small offices in each state are responsible for 100s of millions of dollars and they awfully unequipped for it. This is sort of thing that the federal government should do and provide a portal for each state to use so that they can track and do stuff across states to look for fraud. However i don’t know if states rights and separation of duties screws this up.
It’s quite literally a criminals job to understand and abuse these systems, and there’s very clear link between their performance and their reward. Makes for a good motivator.
People frequently underestimate criminals because they don’t appreciate that these individuals are doing this work as full time job. I’m sure if you spent 8 hours a day for week, you’ll have an equally good understanding.
Some people just enjoy "getting over" more, to the point that they will discount their labor used for such schemes.
In fact, I would say criminal activities have a higher risk-adjusted return than legitimate activities, simply because there's less "supply" in this labour market due to moral reasons and risk-aversion.
As an example, let's say you find a zero-day that gives you access to any FAMG account. Their responsible disclosure programs will pay you probably ~$31,337 (real example from Google).
If you sell that on the darkweb as a "hax any Google account as service", while it is more effort, you could absolutely clear multi-millions from it (charge $50k per account hijack; which itself can lead to millions in fraud profits or selling intellectual property; etc; can maybe pull this off 50 times before it gets patched = $2.5 million).
Not to mention you'd probably be able to sell it to Saudi Arabia and Israel for anywhere from six to eight digits too depending on their operational needs.
So that's a >80x increase in earnings if you go the criminal route. It's more work, but there are brokers who will happily do the heavy lifting for you in exchange for taking a cut of the profits.
And if you reside in a country where the government essentially encourage hacking Western companies as long as you don't hack properties of your own nation (e.g. China; Russia), then the risk to you is virtually zero (as long as you don't plan to travel to a western-extradition country).
for all but the most lucrative criminal enterprises
Seems similar to claim that acting pays well and take the example of Tom Cruise to prove it.
The recent interview of Marcus Hutchins says something else: he's been working full time as black hat and realized afterwards that being a white hat pays better.
Unless your hitting the big leagues (stealing millions to tens of millions of dollars) then the odds of you actually getting caught and prosecuted are basically 0.
This sounds silly, but it’s mostly driven by the fact that most traditional law enforcement agency (i.e. the police) don’t understand or are interested in preventing financial crime. It’s too abstract, doesn’t have a physical component, and frequently the criminals will be completely different jurisdictions to victims.
Even when you provide the police with the home address and photo ID of a financial criminal to the police, they usually won’t do anything. Again they don’t understand the crime, they don’t have the training to investigate and they don’t know what evidence is needed to prosecute. Finally the police are usually rated by the public on the number of shootings and stabbing that didn’t happen, rather than dollars not stolen.
So the only agencies that actually pursue financial criminals are people like the secret service in the US, and the City of London fincrime team in the UK.
Both relatively small agencies compared to a national police force. The end result is they only pursue whales, people and organisations that have stolen millions from one person or organisation.
If you’re not a whale, then no ones gonna chase you. You can spend years ripping off grandma‘s at $10k a pop, and no law enforcement agency will care.
Social engineering, much hacking, scamming, etc. don't care about race or gender or connections or degrees, all of which are very real things limiting people's professional success. Many can be done without interacting with a team and without any kind of interview, both of which are skills.
I doubt these people are discounting their time or labor. They might be optimizing for the opportunities available to them. Willingness to do something illegal could reasonably be seen as an arbitrage opportunity—something seen in business all the time.
You only need one big score where you get away clean and you're done, your criminal career is complete in one go and you can retire. Compare that to all the fuss of operating within society, the social signalling and bargaining and courting of gatekeepers - that's only worth it if you've been groomed for it in some way.
And computer crime is as clean as it comes, in terms of the kind of damage done. The ultimate purpose is simple - change some database rows! No bashing of heads or physical entry to property needed. With appropriate choice of targets, you pass the resulting crisis over to some figurehead executive who mumbles for a bailout from the government. Numbers are shifted around again after some delay and everyone is happy.
By contrast the SV startup dynamic is one of gaining overt power over others, not just getting a high score. The product and platform acts as a Trojan Horse for this subjugation, powered by a belief(oftentimes a sincere one) that this is a grand humanitarian project, which in turn inspires cult thinking. Then to even get in as a worker, you have to fit into the cultural mold. Your userbase is likewise fostered towards dependence and ushered to mega-scale, data-driven extraction, if not immediately, then later, after the company is acquired. It's all quite a long schlep if you just like working with technology to help people.
The laughable part is here. People bring their problems with them. The kind of person who would pull off a big score, such as a brilliant hack or a bank robbery, won't retire to the Oregon coast and drive at or below the speed limit for the rest of their lives. A lot of those traits are traits of antisocial personality disorder. People like that are magnets for trouble. They won't lie low and relax for the rest of their days.
He tracked how much drug dealers were actually making and found that if they just got a job at McDonald's they'd have a higher income.
I can't speak for a larger group, of course. Perhaps the average is weighed down by more casual actors.
The issue of tax fraud is only an issue if they investigate you - someone in the tax department would have to find a reason to take notice. In the case of a narcotics trafficker it's more likely that activity would be observed by drug investigators than for the tax department would determine there's someone paying a mortgage or rent that isn't a significant income tax payer. That's not really how tax investigations work.
They turned me down.
When I moved to the US from Canada and HR was helping me setup my health insurance on the first day, I was overwhelmed trying to understand it and said "Sorry, I don't really understand how health insurance works here."
The HR person responded:
"That's ok. Most Americans don't understand how it works either."
When I dislocated my jaw and went to an in-network ER for treatment (it popped back in as I was sitting on the bed), I wasn't surprised to get a call from a collections agency regarding bills I never received from an "out of network" shell corporation for "consulting physicians" (never even saw a doctor, only a nurse), but I definitely didn't see it coming.
Count me an average American, I guess.
And I’ve still been sent to collections for a bill that wasn’t on that portal.
This is because they have a source of comparison, and it is on the test! (if they go for citizenship)
Although some US citizens get how well some things work in the US compared to other countries, they have blind spots for some things that don't.
I got sick in Mexico once and went to a doctor there. I paid in cash and it was something like $2. If I wanted, I could get my medicine in pill or hypodermic form.
1/3 random questions from the immigration test as it exists today (so that no one can disenfranchise others by changing the test).
2/3 questions chosen by each candidate on the ballot. Questions must have an objectively correct answer and must be pertinent to the powers of the office itself.
The long version of this answer just adds defining objective, correct, and pertinent in a legally unambiguous way and sketches out scenarios like trick questions to show that the only reliable way to gain favor in this system is to actually be knowledgeable.
Basically you are saying that some people will not have the ability to decide who will govern them.
I just think it would be gamed somehow, like the games played with gerrymandering.
There was an idea going around that instead of voting for candidate, you would answer a questionnaire about policies, and would be matched with best fit candidate.
The questions itself would be compiled from candidates' policies, and candidate would assign the weights to each of the answers.
Is it a hard thing to understand or is it just something that doesn't get done?
I work for a municipal government (not in social assistance though). Very little is documented, not because it would be hard to do so, but because first everything from budget to approved software for documentation to time allocation to 5 different approvals would be required to do it. We are terrible at sharing information internally, so every thing would require meeting after meeting to chase down who knows what as well.
Actually documenting the system I work on would take 1-2 days. But we initiated an overarching documentation plan in November and it is still being worked on (if it has not died from neglect).
It will take time to redevelop the systems and thinking to be more fraud resistant.
However, many in the US equate validation or verification as too intrusive, too discriminatory, or both.
The history of the US shows that such things matter only when there is no bipartisan support.
See for example the Commerce Clause that explicitly grants the Congress the power to regulate interstate trade, yet it is used as a basis to justify intrastate regulations (e.g. drug prohibition).
If anyone is curious, this is due to Wickard v. Filburn (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wickard_v._Filburn), a very unfortunate Supreme Court decision made in 1942. This decision was cited as precedent in Gonzales v. Raich (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gonzales_v._Raich)
But trust us when we tell you that voter fraud isn't happening, that mail-in ballots offer no increased risks, and that non-citizens aren't voting.
Not that it's either relevant or germane to a discussion regarding an organization using stolen identity to wire funds electronically.
Multiple states have been using mail-in ballots for literally decades. No widespread voter fraud has ever been reported.
Here's an anecdote for you: a few elections back, my signature didn't look quite right on the envelope of my ballot. Got a call from elections officials to verify that I had in fact filled out the ballot.
There's a lot more control involved in mail-in voting than there are in fraudulently filling-out an online form and receiving an electronic funds transfer.
It's absolutely relevant, particularly when the article discusses "mules" in the US (with US mailing addresses) being used in furtherance of the scheme on behalf of foreign individuals.
If it can be done to steal hundreds of millions of dollars by Nigerians using recipients' PII, it's difficult to imagine how it couldn't be done with mail-in ballots. If it isn't already, it's only a matter of time until it's worth doing to someone.
You understand that the standard ML training data for OCR is from the US postal service, right? They've been routing mail electronically for decades.
The election system in the US is ridiculously decentralized, which makes it really hard to commit large-scale voter fraud at the ballot level.
> The investigator said in some states fraudsters need only to submit someone’s name, Social Security number and other basic information for their claims to be processed.
This is the problem, a complete lack of security. Why doesn't the US use an electronic signature supported by a digital certificate as we do in Europe?
- Hackers from China are believed to have stolen the social security number for every US federal employee in a cyber-attack much larger than it first seemed (2015)
- For the first time ever, data breaches compromised more Social Security numbers (35 percent) than credit card numbers (30 percent). The Equifax breach was largely responsible for that. (2017)
- If a cyberthief has your name, address and SSN, he is not far from being able to steal your identity. (2018)
A perennial! problem, hundreds of millions each year. It blows my mind how 80+ years later SSN is still used as identity, far beyond its original purpose. I mean with only one year of those losses US gov. could easily adopt something better.
You might give your BSN out to a company (healthcare, doctor, etc) but that is used to create the link to your DigiD. From there if you want to login to something like your healthcare company it will then bring up a form where you copy four characters from your DigiD app on your phone. This makes sure the requests match, then you just scan a QR code and type in a pin.
So if you want to login to do something related to your taxes, or healthcare online you have very strong two factor auth.
Additionally banks work similarly for making payments or purchases online. I want to order a pizza for delivery online it redirects me to a payment page on my banks website. I then take out my bank app on my phone, type in a pin, scan a QR, and approve the payment.
What happens when you don't own a phone?
If you're doing online shopping/purchases chances are you have a phone though.
Once set up, you have 3 authentication methods, selectable on login page:
1) password only (low-trust authentication, not all places accept this, certainly not your doctor's office);
2) password + 2nd factor via SMS/text (high-trust);
3) password + 2nd factor via app (high-trust).
I know folks in their 60s who positively would not be able to do any of this with any level of success.
You can make the digital side of things secure while still having accessible method for non-technical people.
This is especially true in this digital age of connectedness and breaches, wherein we're encouraged to use and share the number ourselves in some scenarios, but somehow expect it to not fall victim of a single error or act of malice.
Where is the outrage compared to that of welfare queens, which don't exist in high numbers?
The list of breaches just goes on-and-on: https://krebsonsecurity.com/category/data-breaches/
And that's exactly what happens over here. There is no credit score, nor other such bullshit.
You get assessed for viability by proving your current income for last X months depending on the loan.
There also exists a national black list of debtors - but to get there you must really mess up and not even try to pay back your loan.
Or just straight up sold by the government: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=20438289.
edit: This is the general approach by US agencies, the IRS website barfed on my info and I had to call a local office to get a person to help me (the nation wide number was 100% automated and likewise barfed on my info).
Conventional wisdom these days is that if you want to collect unemployment, you need to make filing a claim your full-time job. You start calling at 7am when they open, and keep re-dialing until you get through -- hopefully before they close at 4pm, and you have to start again the next day.
Also, don't call before Wednesday, if you don't absolutely need to. Monday/Tuesday are unofficially reserved for people who really need the money.
Of course, even if you get through to a person and get the right bit flipped in their database, there's no guarantees. I also hear lots of stories of people whose claims were approved 4 or 6 weeks ago and still haven't gotten a dime.
> Laid-off workers are confused and confounded by the department’s faltering claims system, erroneous denials and stubborn silence on key policies and questions.
> The frustrations lead people to call the department again and again – some say they dial more than 700 times a day.
> The employment department is taking steps to address the call volume. It has added hundreds of staff to process claims in recent weeks – it has 520 now and has leased a facility in Wilsonville to expand claims staff to 800.
> With jobless claims up nearly seventeenfold, though, the staffing increases aren’t close to keeping up with demand. So it may be weeks – or months – before Oregon works through its backlog in claims questions.
After a few months, the issue disappeared as mysteriously as it had appeared. And we'd had that set of static IPs for about 5 years by that point.
While I agree that it's unlikely that they would serve NY customers from Romania, you will definitely see weird results from Geolocation services when going through some VPN providers.
That's a bizarre capability for a system that is as incompetent as has been seen.
I wonder if CDNs can be used as "standard candles" for in-page scripts to measure latencies to multiple known network locations and infer a position from there across multiple sessions with different exit points. How many exit-point/latency pairs would I need to figure out the actual origin of a request?
...and was then asked at every turn, by every website and application and whatnot, to provide four or more digits of this number to accomplish even the most benign things.
There's what the US government thought it would be and then there's what it's become because zero enforcement on use of it as a national person identity number was ever enacted.
The "don't give anyone your SSN" trope has become one of those household jokes. Right up there with "American's don't pay high taxes".
> On June 25, 2011, the SSA changed the SSN assignment process to "SSN randomization". SSN randomization affected the SSN assignment process in the following ways:
> 1. It eliminated the geographical significance of the first three digits of the SSN, referred to as the area number, by no longer allocating specific numbers by state for assignment to individuals.
> 2. It eliminated the significance of the highest group number assigned for each area number, and, as a result, the High Group List is frozen in time and can be used for validation of only those SSNs issued prior to the randomization implementation date (see section "Valid SSNs").
> 3. Previously unassigned area numbers have been introduced for assignment, excluding area numbers 000, 666 and 900–999. 
But you’re right that the original purpose wasn’t identifying people, however it was private banks that really latched onto it as a convenient way to identify people and associate debts to individuals.
Too many 'shared' SSNs in, too many stolen SSNs. I highly doubt any financial instituation is using SSN as anything more then then 'corraborating' account access at this point.
BTW - you might find this interesting:
People thought they were getting an SSN when they bought the wallet...
A system where you instead has to convince a "capital" assignment group (really a work+resources assignment)- who would only profit if your project benefitted society - could also work.
You'd get different assignment of resources too as ability to extract maximum value from the system and lodge it with a small group of capital holders wouldn't be the principle aim.
This only works with systems where everyone is on board and there are no greedy people, ...
I'd assume Islam, being similar to Judaism, uses the same kind of tricks. For example, after a quick search, I found this:
"The common view of riba (usury) among classical jurists of Islamic law and economics during the Islamic
Golden Age was that it is only riba and therefore unlawful to apply interest to money exnatura sua—
exclusively gold and silver currencies—but that it is not riba and is therefore acceptable to apply interest to
fiat money—currencies made up of other materials such as paper or base metals—to an extent."
With Islam, there are no such tricks, because it explicitly calls out tricks like what you're mentioning and warns people who engage in them. Of course, it doesn't prevent some people from claiming certain things, but you'd have to look at the overall consensus. If you ask scholars today, they will tell you that you cannot deal with interest with fiat money, the consensus is that you cannot take an interest-based loan or mortgage from a bank.
I can't find the author of the book you cited, but it seems he's misguided and conflating two things. There was no paper money back during the Islamic Golden Age, so I'm not sure why he mentions it. Secondly, he seems to be conflating Riba that applies to certain materials (explicitly mentioned in ) with Riba due to loans. The Islamic notion of Riba encomposses more than simply usury and interest. For example, exchanging 5gm of 22 karat gold for 8gm of 18 karat gold falls under Riba, and is prohibited.
What is permissible is to have exchanges of different types, as mentioned in those Hadiths. For a modern manifestation of this: I can exchange a certain amount of USD to a different amount of Euros. However, I cannot lend out $100 and ask them to be returned $105.
Regarding your point, debt today is only cheaper because it is available and widely pushed by the government through banks. If lending money on interest were hypothetically banned, then everything would have to change, and we'd have a fair equilibrium.
Lots of people calling for temp UBI like Cuban . It was obvious from the beginning we needed this.
With everything we learned from the Great Recession 'bailouts/stimulus' we should have expected this and just not gone the bank route or unemployment alone. Direct payments takes pressure off everything, unemployment, state budgets, individuals, mortgage/rent, small business, demand from purchasing power etc.
In "Study finds 44% of U.S. unemployment applicants have been denied or are still waiting" it shows the systems don't work . This is one article, study or example in many, many reports on this.
Direct payments, at least during the crisis and maybe auto UBI during recessions, would make it to everyone, not prevent people from weighing going back to work, not overload state budgets, reduce unemployment, and more. Some systems like Floridas were meant to not really work at all to minimize usage.
Basically anyone in a state with a bad unemployment state system suffered. Direct payments gets around all that by using identity and tax system information.
Direct payments to everyone also get past the whole idea of selective stimulus. Money to everyone gets to where it needs to be that no central planning could ever predict from food, gas, housing, insurance, health, etc .
Direct payments during recessions would make the floor higher and bring back purchasing power demand sooner, or keep it with some semblance of consistency in times like this.
People have been calling for social security number system to be updated. In what world does it make sense to prove your identity with just a username (ss #) and not a password as well?
Seems like this should have generated some red flags, as public sector employees haven't been subject to layoffs.
There are certainly worse things to breach but it's basically HR for the US gov't. Imagine your company's HR dept getting totally owned, then people using the CFO's data to get large loans, make harmful business deals or blackwash someone high-profile.
For certain things, this perhaps one of them, there are benefits if handled on a federal level with more oversight.
And there's always both upsides as well as downsides to handling things federally versus state.
Simply look at the talent running unemployment departments though. No engineering mindset, no accountability, hence financial fraud with no repercussions for government or perpetrators.
For the love of Vint Cerf, please get involved in local government if you’re a technologist. It is the only way this gets better.
I can empathize with not wanting to work directly for the bureaucracy. There are alternate paths to success.
Glad I could provide something to ponder!
Besides, even a small government deals with amounts of data that rival larger enterprises.
Your comment is entirely on-point.
Fat cat expats are relatively unaffected because they can afford to set up all kinds of complicated legal structures, companies, trusts, etc. to skirt the law and anyway have enough money that even with increased compliance costs they are still worth keeping as customers.
Finally, in general, US tax law regarding foreign earned income is completely absurd and nearly unique in the world, and direct compliance costs on expat Americans--for example, FBAR requirements--are equally absurd. I believe this is a result of the structural disenfranchisement of expats in the American political system. Expats vote where they last resided, so lots of places might have 0.5% expat voters, but no one place has 100% expat voters. So no politician has any incentive to represent expat interests.
And I assure you that when auditors ask an officer question why SAR was not filed ( most recent Moneygram case ), BSA officer is sweating bullet.
So based on current setup in US, it is banks' responsibilty. And just to add to this, this scheme is being actively copied across the world.
FinCEN case link: https://www.fincen.gov/news/news-releases/fincen-assesses-1-...
My first reaction is hesitation, but it is mostly, because I am not sure how that would work in practice.
The only answer people seem to have is that children must be brought up better/parents must be better at raising their children, but this seems to require people who already want responsibility-first-power-second to be effective.
There is science that tells us otherwise. If you're a midget, you cannot ever be successful in the NBA.
People's brain regions vary up to 10x in size and some people have regions that are completely absent in others, oops. Some people can see 10x more colors than others. Some people can do mathematics, most can't. Sorry.
Ok so we have people with vastly different abilities, people are not equal. What do we do with this information? We need to figure out who has which abilities. How do you do that? You scan their brains :) Now what happens when we find out half the billionaires have tiny worthless brains and got lucky (every Russian billionaire as one simple example)? What happens when rich people have idiot children who are only good for serving coffee?
There lies the rub - you have to want power-responsibility ratio to match ability, more than you want your offspring to have power regardless of their ability to handle responsibility. You have to fix corruption on the level of enabling idiot family members because they're yours. You have to fix enabling your friends because they're your friends. You have to understand that an idiot would be better off serving coffee more than going to a top university, cheating their way through it and being a worthless manager with a high paycheque.
You have to not be an idiot to understand these things. How do we have more non-idiots? One easy way is to monitor who has children. Ohh but freedom I can do what I want with my body?! That's your selfish idiot brain talking that doesn't take responsibility into account. See how deep this goes? Every facet of modern society ignores responsibility. The fix starts with people like me talking about it and being treated with downvotes from the idiot masses :)
ps. If you want a more thorough treatment of responsibility and how important it is, I've heard good things about Jordan Peterson.
Money paid from central government should all be publicly viewable, shouldn't it? Then anyone who wishes could look to see if an account had more than $X or more than $Y transactions, or more than one stimulus cheque, etc?
In WA state (not sure about other states), the unemployment insurance agency does not automatically withhold taxes from disbursement checks. (It is an option the beneficiary can choose).
The IRS will come looking for those taxes.
I don't that works too well for this kind of scam. What do you do with the money? ACH it to a totally traceable other account? This scam relies on a network of trust, that the mules will draw out the cash and take their cut (and only their cut) and walk the funds to another location for tender.
With the unprecedented load being placed in these systems, you’re going to see things like email and sms used more, which enables new paths for fraud. Pandemic unemployment is also geared towards gig economy workers, which again is a new frontier of fraud.
Vast numbers of Americans would view that as a big step towards totalitarianism and taking their guns away.
What we got instead is Real ID, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Real_ID_Act?wprov=sfti1, which is a set of guidelines that States and federal agencies must follow to authenticate people for the issue of their ID and anti-counterfeit features that the ID should have. In other words, the issue was put onto the states.
I don't understand this one. This was never a thing in the EU, even though IDs are mandatory in just about every member state.
I spent on-and-off four years in Italy and while I initially had to present and ID to my landlord there, who then needed to pass this data to the police, nobody bothered me after that or checked if I'm still there.
Hell, even after a law was passed that initially basically forbade anyone who was in the country more than half of the year from driving a car with foreign plates I still wasn't bothered by anyone, because as I was a citizen of a Schengen area state, there was no reliable way to determine when and where was I lately.
It quickly came to my attention by communicating with car insurance that I could not do this legally (they sought me out, I have no idea what caused this, perhaps a National Change of Address record triggered?) my car insurance would be terminated because my car was no longer "garaged" in NY, and a lack of insurance on my vehicle registered in NY would trigger a suspension of my license, (and eventually a bench warrant could be issued potentially leading to my arrest, if I did not take action before 30-60 day window passed.)
I wonder if you got lucky, or if this scenario doesn't play out the same way in EU? FWIW, it turned out that everything about being an Indiana state resident is cheaper than living in New York, and it really was to my benefit to get my home permanent residence changed to the new state.
(It was very surprising that I had to do this, though, as a student you are allowed to maintain your primary residence in a different state, I guess this justification works for undergraduate but not for a spouse's PhD study...)
A few years ago, my girlfriend moved overseas for about a year, nearing the end of her time overseas I went over and we got married as we had planned. A short while later she returned and moved in with me, having mostly gotten rid of her car/apartment rental/etc (and moved the remainder of her personal items she didn't take overseas to my place) before she left the US. Within a couple weeks of her return, I received a letter in the mail from my automobile insurance stating that they had reason to believe that additional adults of driving age and related to me were living in my house but weren't on my insurance. I either had to notify them of said persons and sign some paperwork indicating that they would never drive my vehicle, or I had to add them to my insurance (for an additional $$$ a year of course).
Now when I got married overseas we did some some paperwork local to that country. But the state I was living in, there was additional paperwork that needed to be completed stating that I had been married overseas/etc. As far as I'm aware that paperwork had not yet been filed before the insurance company contacted me. Nor had my wife changed her address from her foreign one.
So, somehow, not only did the insurance company discover that we were married, they somehow found out when my wife had flown back to the US as well (she returned a bit after me for various reasons). Its not hard to come up with ideas for how they might have put these details together, but I've never managed to find any evidence of the existence of the kind of channels/databases that must have existed for them to pull this off, considering it was a low key event.
How is that even legal?
That’s reality for millions of people.
First of all, in most countries an expired proof of citizenship is accepted for many purposes because it's assumed that people didn't go out of their way to coincidentally lose their citizenship or permanent residence when the ID expired. If it proves residence or driving qualifications, then there are certainly other reasons why it should expire.
Suppose we have an administration, decentralized or otherwise, that stores the records of the people concerned. They can then be contacted and details can be verified.
This informal verification already occurs on many levels, particularly in the US due to the lack of consistent ID. Try flying on a flight without photo ID, entering the US as a US citizen without proof of citizenship, etc. You will be permitted to do so with a bit of extra hassle while you're identified to a reasonable degree of confidence.
edit: To get an EBT card in NYC you can do it all online if you have a valid (ie, not expired, ID card.) If you do not have a valid (ie, expired, ID card), then you have to go to the DMV so they can take your picture and you sign a few forms. The forms are available in 22 languages. At the same time they may work to get you a new, valid, ID card.
How is this unreasonable?
1) You have to go to the DMV office
2) You have to agree to have your picture taken
3) You have to fill out 3 forms (offered in your native
language -- 22 languages are offered)
4) You have to provide a mailing address for where the EBT card will be sent
And then you have to be on the other end of that mailing address to receive and activate your EBT card.
This all seems like very easy procedures to follow to get food stamps.
No it isn't. The marginal costs are different. If you earn $2000 a week and through some mischance have to give up a day's earnings to go the DMV your $400 loss is an annoyance. If you earn $500/week your loss as a percentage of income is the same but the economic impact of losing $100 is probably much bigger.
SNAP benefits are worth, let’s say $400/mo. Giving up $100 to add a recurring $400 payment doesn’t seem so bad.
This is pretty clearly a poor extrapolation. For example, Global Entry. Is signing up for Global Entry involuntary? It is voluntary to get, required for some benefits.
On average, it does make returning easier, which is nice... but the machines could be out of order, or you could be flagged for questioning in the usual manner, etc.
Global Entry is pretty clearly beneficial for the user, as part of the border control experience. Whether having things like Global Entry is beneficial to society is, as `tptacek points on parallel to your comment, a very different question.
You get all of that without this hyothetical ID. Unemployment benefits is somewhere much further down the list. It could be argued to be a security measure both to keep the crime rate lower and to prevent an uprising from disenfranchised poor people, but it serves this purpose just fine even if a few people voluntarily opt out.
Roads and bridges being a government function is a somewhat recent notion that we've grown accustomed to.
Historically in the United States, roads and bridges were privately owned, and users paid a toll to a private person or company to use them. This was one of the many disagreements between the states that led to the Civil War.
There are plenty of private roads and bridges still in existence in the Untied States, mostly in the older states.
One example: http://www.dcdbc.com
> Roads and bridges being a government function is a somewhat recent notion that we've grown accustomed to.
> Historically in the United States, roads and bridges were privately owned, and users paid a toll to a private person or company to use them. This was one of the many disagreements between the states that led to the Civil War.
> There are plenty of private roads and bridges still in existence in the Untied States, mostly in the older states.
> One example: http://www.dcdbc.com
I've always wondered about the bridge at Dingman's Ferry. Reading through the website, I wonder how they could possibly enforce the penalty for overages in terms of tonnage. Since they are a private entity would law enforcement issue a citation or would the bridge corporation be forced to litigate?
In addition to standard economic devices like tort and insurance, the bridge owners could have a part of the road before the bridge that is designed to buckle or alarm if a weight is exceeded. That would save them a lot of money and frustration.
Of course the less important roads were and still are often private, and the early US had an atypical lack of government that made this more common. But I don't think that proves that governments providing roads and bridges is a recent phenomenon, it's in fact rather ancient.
That's why I specified in the United States.
Roads were historically a local and state priority, so be careful with your modern conservative principles, as they probably are not compatible with your lifestyle.
Does that mean they would get to not pay taxes that pay into unemployment funds too then?
Second, if people are eligible for benefits, they are clearly being recorded in some fashion. If the benefit requires permanent residence in the US, I would presume most states are attempting to verify this as well.
In either case, this can be used for either a residence ID or a stronger ID that proves citizenship or immigration status, the latter resembling the national ID cards that many EU countries (among other places) have.
>First of all, an ID doesn't need to have anything to do with citizenship
Here is the comment further up that this comment is in the context of:
>It amazes me that there is no authentication provided by governments in the US to citizens.
Do you see why we are talking about citizenship now? Especially when much of the discussion is revolving around voting as well, which does require a certain citizenship status.
As someone who not only lives in a country with a widespread voting fraud (done by government officials), but also have been an observer on number of elections and have seen this taking place first-hand, I can't understand how relaxed are Americans about this issue.
There's a difference between "infringing on the right to vote," which is where you're literally preventing from someone from voting, and "diluting a legitimate vote", which is where your vote doesn't weigh what it ought to. Mathematically, it's the difference between scoring a zero and scoring some fraction less than one.
It turns out that, at least in the USA, advocates of voter ID requirements and other unnecessary impediments to voting in fact desire the opposite effect - that their votes be worth more than they would be if widespread voting by qualified citizens were easier than it is.
> I can't understand how relaxed are Americans about this issue
We're relaxed about it because the data (and we have measured and investigated, many times) says that voter fraud here is so rare that it falls well beneath the noise floor of statistical significance.
The bigger issue is that people who need services like unemployment and food stamps most have low penetration rates for things like valid government IDs.
Very vocal (and provocative) minority
The more libertarian parts are terrified at the idea of a database of Americans.
Unfortunately the political Left believes that such ID, specifically when used as a means of election security, would lead to discrimination.
Voter ID is the requirement to show ID at polling stations in order to vote. That's what the left is generally concerned about. It's a separate concern from whether a national ID card ought to exist.
On the other hand, the existence of a national ID card is generally opposed by people on the right, which is the opposite of how they feel about voter ID.
Which is against the constitution. It also disenfranchises voters who do not have a permanent address.
I'm not an US citizen but this is the first time ever I've heard this extraordinary claim.
Do you have any source to substantiate your assertion?
Nevermind that when you add additional barriers, discrimination occurs against anyone that cannot meet the barrier, or does not want to meet the barrier.
- "tests" in the South during civil rights to prevent african americans from voting
- Requiring any sort of payment or money to create a Voter ID in a state. If the person does not have money or time this is discrimination and against their rights as citizens (you are not required to prove you are a citizen. your ballot can be provisional)
- Requiring someone be able to read. It's not a requirement to vote. Any forms requiring reading are a no-go.
- Requiring them to have a permanent address (again, leads to discrimination for those without addresses.
- Requiring someone take a lot of time they cannot afford to get an ID (again, some folks are working too many jobs to go to the DMV for a day)
the list goes on...
The Democratic party relies on a certain segment of immigrant or immigrant-related citizens to vote in support of them. And if licensing / IDs are perceived to target and identify who is not a citizen (your relatives, friends), then they could lose support. I suppose it could be seen as a kind of "discrimination". And if some social services, policing, etc were to be able to use such ID, then illegal aliens would certainly be more at risk of being discovered or face more stringent (less porous) treatment in the law enforcement system.
I personally think this is a ridiculous situation from every angle, and unfortunately it's all tied up in our immigration and economic policies, so it's hard to disentangle or fix.
Give the Id to everybody who wants it for free. If someone cannot prove citizenship, but they can prove having worked or lived in the US for more than 5 years (checks, bank receipts, etc.), give them citizenship.
There, problem solved. That way, you only discriminate against those who are either in the US illegally and are not working, or are working but have been illegally living in the US for less than 5 years, and both situations are fixable by the individuals themselves (work for 5 years and "earn" your citizenship).
Of course, what many want is an Id that can actually be used to prevent poor people from voting, while also being able to employ those same poor people at very low rates using the fear of "reporting them".
You can in fact see a child comment below where someone is commenting that the purpose of such ID is to disenfranchise the poor.
What about the source? Are you able to find anything that corroborates your extraordinary claim? Because I asked for a source, and you just reiterated your baseless assertion.
Here's one, representative of the general attitude. Voter ID's are discriminatory or pushed with discriminatory intent: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/heres-what-you-need-to-kn_b_9...
Your own link does not support your baseless assertion. The only claim is that so far voter ID laws have been crafted to exclude non-white US citizens from the electoral process.
Taken from your article:
> New studies suggest that the motivation of these laws is suppressing non-white voters, and worryingly, that they will be successful at doing so.
Do notice that the remarks refer to voters (thus, citizens with the right to vote) who, due to their race, are being excluded from casting their vote.
If that's the best source you managed to produce then I'm afraid that you were either lying or very confused, because your original claim has zero basis.
Reads a lot like
>> pushed with discriminatory intent.
You seem to be confused about what the point of disagreement is
It should set the rules (the GOVERNance) by which identity providers provide that service, but it should not itself be in that business.
My favorite way of thinking about it is- the US federal government is a singleton. In any system, you want your singletons to operationalize as little as possible, because they are hardest to change.
Another way- the US federal government is an immortal entity. It represents a perpetual accumulation of all kinds of debt- legal, administrative, technical, financial, whatever. Building and scaling new operational systems within an infrastructure consumed by debt is doomed.
The thing it can do is creating the rules and policies by which a federation of private entities can operationalize a particular need. These entities have limited lifespans, can fail, and have profit and efficiency motives, can compete for business, and are overseen and supervised.
This structure exists in lots of areas, and is more successful in some- banking- less in others- military contracting. But it's vastly preferable to that work being done in the singleton itself.
Seriously though, you're just moving the problem around. Adding complexity. I mean, does an identity provider object still respond to messages when it's entered bankruptcy proceedings? If you're going to use an analogy, find one that informs.
The alternative- a single monolithic identity system? No, thanks.
Note- large governmental IT systems underlying programs like Medicare and Medicaid are not operated by government employees, they are operated on a contractual basis by large IT shops. You just don't know who the operator is. That's arguably suboptimal- but a different conversation.
To the specific question- what happens in this model when an identity provider goes into bankruptcy- the same thing that happens when any entity providing critical services goes into bankruptcy.
When a consumer-facing bank fails (for instance), the bank's customers
a) don't lose their money
b) don't lose access to banking services
Their accounts are taken over by a comparable entity operating in the same geographical area.
When a critical insurance provider fails, the other entities providing comparable insurance in the operating areas have to take those contracts (even if they are terrible contracts, which they likely are, because they caused the provider to fail).
It doesn't always seem like it, but this kind of market partitioning and supervision is something that in the US both federal and most states do quite well. We should have more of it.
If you're right, then you can institute devolution of any of those things and the issues you cite are going to build up over time. It will just happen at different levels in because it's spread around some many different systems.
The unemployment issue is an excellent example of this. You want to know the reason why Congress gave a flat $600 to all UI recipients even if it would be more than they were making before? Because there isn't a single unemployment system, there are 50 systems each unique, each with their own "debt", and trying to implement appropriate strictures in all of those systems would have delayed that part of the stimulus for months, if not longer.
The way you deal with those issues is by having infrastructure that is built to deal with the issue. Call it societal/social/legal "garbage collection". Whether or not we have such infrastructure, you don't get rid of the problem by shuffling it around.