Is our culture and government encouraging dishonesty?

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  1. RGraf profile image88
    RGrafposted 13 years ago

    Do you think that federal, state, and local governments are creating and encouraging dishonesty? 

    Here is an example:  I have been on unemployment for 5 months.  I acknowledged receiving self-employment income from a few freelance writing assignments.  According to my state, the fact that I'm self-employed and bringing in money will in no way lower my unemployment check (which in of itself does not make sense).  They don't care what I make just that it would not interfere if I got a full time job.  Here's the kicker.  Because I was honest, they have decided to withhold my check until they can resolve whether or not freelance writing interferes with my obtaining full time work.  Three weeks have gone by and I've been told that it could be a few months before they make a decision.

    What is the incentive (aside from knowing I was honest and can hold my head up on that) to tell the truth when all it will do is hurt you?

    1. profile image56
      C.J. Wrightposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      WELCOME TO THE "GREAT SOCIETY"! Take a number and get in line. Uncle suga has something for us all!

    2. manlypoetryman profile image78
      manlypoetrymanposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      None of that makes sense...I know I worked on a temp low paying job that scheduled me off and on... once while r'cving an unemployment check. I reported every dime...and they took that much out of my check. Of course that was 15 years ago...Now things have "changed".

      1. profile image56
        C.J. Wrightposted 13 years agoin reply to this


        My girlfriend works as a staffing agent for temp agencies. What you are describing is pretty much how it happens today. I think the issue here is the "Self Employment" issue.

        1. Cagsil profile image71
          Cagsilposted 13 years agoin reply to this

          The problem is "self-employment" and the definition for which State and Federal government agencies look at it.

          If you have a store front-location, physical structure, then you require licenses and other fees, just to get the doors open.

          That is one version of self-employment.

          You could be a freelance writer, however, the amount of income you receive? Is only relevant when it obtains a certain consistent level. Otherwise, it is not seen as "self-employed".

          If your income is not consistent, weekly paycheck or bi-weekly or even month, then it most likely will not fall into the category of "self-employment".

          At least that's how I see it. I am presently a freelance writer, who does not yet draw an income worth reporting to anyone, even myself lol so I am considered unemployed, while I develop plans for my own business. My writing is part of it. smile

      2. Ralph Deeds profile image69
        Ralph Deedsposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        The unemployment compensation system has not changed. It still works the way you described. Benefits are payable to people who are involuntarily unemployed and who are available and seeking work. The system isn't perfect. A minority of people are able to game the system by working for cash and not reporting it to the unemployment agency. But most people do look for work and would much prefer to have a job. Unemployment compensation also fulfills an important counter-cylclical function by putting money into the hands of people who need it and who will spend it.

        Our failure to regulate the banking system did create an opportunity for a lot of dishonesty in the home mortgage business which severely damaged the U.S. and the world economy. Wall Street, mortgage bankers, real estate developers, appraisers, bond rating firms, Fannie and Freddie were allowed to run wild for 15 years. As a result a lot of shoddy practices crept into the system and created economic havoc.

    3. Uninvited Writer profile image82
      Uninvited Writerposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      To me I try to always be honest about such things, after all I have to look at myself in the mirror. But, yes, it does hurt when you get screwed for telling the truth.

    4. KFlippin profile image60
      KFlippinposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      That does not surprise me.  There are many, from way way way back, that know how to work the unemployment system, and quite enjoy their stretches of a life of leisure, and honest folk like you they quibble with, no, it doesn't surprise me.

    5. tony0724 profile image59
      tony0724posted 13 years agoin reply to this

      RGraf I cannot tell you what is right for you. I will say this " I can lie to my head but I cannot lie to my stomach ! It is my barometer for my conscience. And a clear conscience is the best pillow you can have when sleeping at night.

  2. Richieb799 profile image65
    Richieb799posted 13 years ago

    Sometimes it doesn't pay to open your mouth lol, but I can see that you would'nt want to get in you did do the right thing..but there is definitely a in-balance when the governments are too busy dealing with benefits of people who don't want to work

  3. Ivorwen profile image67
    Ivorwenposted 13 years ago

    When it comes to government things, it is hard to know when to call something self employment and when to call it a hobby with benefits.  I know several who have struggled with this issue.

  4. Thesource profile image66
    Thesourceposted 13 years ago

    Nobody is perfect.
    I have witnessed corporate greed causing more issues here.

    About 2000 years ago a man went into a temple with anger and destroyed the business interest of those days. He was crucified.

    Today oil companies, drug companies and health insurance companies would be the subject of his anger. He would probably leave the government tax collectors alone.

    Most don't see the immense wealth the corporations exploit from the working poor and the sick.

  5. MikeNV profile image68
    MikeNVposted 13 years ago

    It encourages people to turn down any job that does not pay at least as much as the unemployment benefit. It also penalizes those who try to do some kind of part time work.

    But that's the system.  And you learned a lesson.

    Wait until full scale Obama Socialism kicks in.  There will be little incentive to do anything at all.

    1. Ralph Deeds profile image69
      Ralph Deedsposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      What is "full scale Obama socialism?" He strikes me as a pragmatic, moderate Democrat in the mold of Bill Clinton.

  6. Flightkeeper profile image66
    Flightkeeperposted 13 years ago

    Well since the Obama Regime's inner circle is full of tax cheats, what do you think?

    1. Ralph Deeds profile image69
      Ralph Deedsposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      I'm aware of one--Tim Geithner? Are there others?

      1. Flightkeeper profile image66
        Flightkeeperposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        Well that's true, only one got approved and Obama fought hard to keep him. Solis, Daschle, Killefer, his nominees didn't quite make it.

      2. profile image56
        C.J. Wrightposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        Charlie Rangle.....

  7. bphee profile image55
    bpheeposted 13 years ago

    I'm sure this type of thing did not happen prior to Obama's election...

    Is he in charge of state-run programs now?  You'd think there would have been a news story about it or something.

    1. manlypoetryman profile image78
      manlypoetrymanposted 13 years agoin reply to this


      I usually don't get too-too much into politics here...but since you have been with us 28 hours...and find sarcasm jabs much better than writing hubs....I'll make an exception.

      1. What part of the "buck stops here" does it have to stop at. I have seen him get into other State business...but I guess that gets to change based on moment-to-moment other things.

      2. You'd think so wouldn't you? But...since the media can't even get the simplest of stories right that are right in front of their faces...guess we ought not hold our breath waiting to see if they do a so-called: "report" on it. But we really have to wait around for the media to explain their version of how things are?

      Welcome to Hubpages, bphee! hmm

      1. bphee profile image55
        bpheeposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        And you criticize my posts?  lol

        Yours is pretty weak.  I Hope you fare better in future attempts.  Try to address the actual points made (Blaming Obama for decades-old problems is pretty nutty; Implying that Obama is running a state's unemployment program is pathetic) and we can discuss it further.

        Have a nice day smile

        1. manlypoetryman profile image78
          manlypoetrymanposted 13 years agoin reply to this

          Why bother...No matter what gets said you'll avoid any point made...and declare yourself superior in how I fare against you!

          Have a nice one yourself...big_smile

    2. Ron Montgomery profile image60
      Ron Montgomeryposted 13 years agoin reply to this


  8. Rafini profile image72
    Rafiniposted 13 years ago

    Yes, our culture and government are encouraging dishonesty and have been for a long time.  The only incentive to honesty is self-preservation.

    1. Ralph Deeds profile image69
      Ralph Deedsposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Just curious, why do you say that?

      1. Rafini profile image72
        Rafiniposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        illegal immigrants being given amnesty (many of them have an entire laundry list of illegal activities under their belt)
        as for our culture, watch tv or movies much?  the good old-fashioned family values aren't given the time of day.  it's not 'enough' to captivate the audience.

        I have no incentive to be honest other than to preserve my self-dignity.  I haven't met anyone (in person, yet) on a personal level who will accept me as I am.  According to everyone I've met (outside of doctors, counselors, my kids know, people who only have an interest in getting to know me because it's their job) :

        I'm a liar.  I don't know my own motives.  I don't accept the truth.  I'm stupid.  I'm irresponsible.  I don't understand how to be proactive.  My priorities are in the wrong place.  My goals aren't valid.  I don't know how to look ahead.  I'm a control-freak. I'm selfish.  I'm a dreamer who will never achieve my dream.   My opinions aren't worth considering.  All I want is to be right.  I don't want to learn anything.  And, of course, I've been told countless times throughout my life that I think I'm better than everyone else - just because I can do something or some things better than someone else.  I was told by my mother-in-law that she knew me better than I knew myself.  My (now ex-) husband told me I wanted to be taken care of.

        All of these accusations come from people who refuse to take the time to get to know me.  I have no incentive to be honest with these people yet I feel the need to be honest in order to preserve myself and my self-dignity.  If I'm not honest with these people, I'll no longer be honest with myself and then where will I be?  I would be someone I don't want to be.

  9. profile image0
    ahorsebackposted 13 years ago

    Honesty and integrity , virtues of the disappearing kind, a plague across America, I'm more and more amazed at how fast they are evolving into anew kind of selfshness.I'm afraid we are seeing the decline of a great society.

    1. Ralph Deeds profile image69
      Ralph Deedsposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Just about every generation thinks the following generation is worse than they are, the country's morals are going to hell, etc.

    2. wilderness profile image93
      wildernessposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      I fear you are right.  It both saddens me and angers me that our sense of integrity is declining so badly.  Maybe I'll write a hub on it.

  10. luvpassion profile image63
    luvpassionposted 13 years ago

    While this may not be specific to the OP...My brother told me he went to apply for a job at MDES.

    The interviewer informed him that even though he's been unemployed for almost a year, and not receiving welfare or food stamps, he wouldn't be able to apply for this particular job unless he was on welfare or foodstamps.

    go figure.


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