Welcome to the American Bribe-ocracy
"Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country." That's from President John F. Kennedy's Inaugural Address, January 20, 1961. Poor John must be spinning in his grave. Since then, the USA has revised his words. It is now, "Ask what you can do for your country and how much it is willing to pay you to do it."
Welcome to the Bribe-ocracy.
"Bribe-ocracy": a system of government where citizens and/or residents are bribed to behave in a way consistent with the goals of the administration.
"Bribe-ocrat": government officials who bribe the population to behave in a manner the officials desire. (Please note that a bribe-ocrat is different from a venal official, commonly known as a "politician.")
President Biden is urging state and local governments to use coronavirus relief funds to pay citizens $100 a pop to take the coronavirus vaccine, the Treasury Department announced Thursday.
The Biden administration said the payments can come from American Rescue Plan Act funding "as an extra incentive" to increase vaccine acceptance around the country.
The administration had said earlier this year that lotteries and other incentives were acceptable uses of the $350 billion in aid funds doled out to state and local governments.
The latest offer is intended to incentivize people to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
Biden is not the only pol who is paying people to behave:
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who has ordered public sector employees in the Big Apple to get vaccinated or submit to weekly testing, announced the $100 payouts for anyone who got the vaccine at a city-run site earlier this week.
Embattled California Gov. Gavin Newsom handed out millions of dollars last month as part of the Golden State's vaccination push.
In Missouri, state leaders are offering $100 gift cards to thousands of public employees – and Alabama is allowing vaccine recipients of driving age to take two laps around the Talladega Superspeedway…
West Virginia is giving vaccine recipients the choice of either a $100 savings bond or a $100 gift card. In Detroit, just driving someone to a vaccination site can net you $50.
And the USA is not the only country to bribe its population into COVID compliance, as this headline attests:
Governments Around The World Offer Extravagant Bribes In Desperate Effort To Increase COVID Vaccine Uptake
Bribe-ocratic behavior is neither new nor unique to COVID.
It has been used to bribe kids to attend school:
Students with perfect attendance in California's Temecula Valley School District can win iPods, DVD players, and even a trip to Disneyland. In Hartford, Connecticut, Fernando Vazquez, 9, is $10,000 richer because he didn't miss a single day of class last year.
Across the country, schools are rewarding students for perfect and improved attendance. Prizes range from free meals at Applebee's to $10,000 in cash[.] ...
The Chicago School District will spend $500,000 on incentive programs this year. If attendance goes up by I percent, the district will receive an extra $18 million in state funding. Christian Soils, 14, thinks that students will also benefit from the program: "It influences kids to go to school instead of staying at home," says the eighth-grader at Darwin Elementary School in Chicago. "Whatever way possible to get kids in school is fine by me."
Surprisingly, a result has been that:
Nicole Salamone, 12, a seventh-grader at Allendale Columbia School in Rochester, New York, says that students should be paid to learn: "I don't see why the teachers get paid for going to work and kids don't get paid for going to school. It is our job to go to school."
I wonder where she got that attitude.
It has been used to entice obese people to lose weight:
Fat people could be paid to lose weight under Government plans to tackle obesity.
Ministers said the Health Service and employers could give vouchers to the overweight to spend on healthy food in supermarkets.
They also suggested that those who manage to lose weight could be given cash prizes.
The bribe-ocrats have reached out to gangs:
As Blue Lives Matters shares, "The city of Sacramento is setting aside $1.5 million dollars of taxpayers money to pay gang members to stop killing people." ...
"The program pays gang members to graduate school and stop shooting at people. If a gang member wants to start killing people, they'll be forfeiting their taxpayer-funded payday," Blue Lives Matter adds.
UBI (Universal Basic Income) has been described as a bribe:
"The Democrats might have just figured it out. Just bribe people to vote for them. Why stop at $1,000? Let's go to 2 and 3 until you can just overload the Treasury and no one knows what's going to happen — We will just print [the money]," he said.
"I just see every homeless person or someone is down on their luck or drug abuser — [they can] just move to L.A., Chicago, New York, get a mailbox address. Collect $1,000 a month. Why not?"
Gun "buy-back" programs bribe people to relinquish their firearms:
Cleveland Police are working to make your streets safer through their annual gun buy back program.
The doors of St. John Missionary Baptist Church in Reading will be open to anyone on Saturday — not for worship but for a gun buyback event[.] ...
Jones says Reading police officers will be on hand to evaluate the firearms. Handguns, shotguns, and rifles will be exchanged for $100 while assault weapons will go for $200.
It's not just for cash bribes, either:
Turn in a gun anonymously and receive a gift card.
Free gun locks and safe gun storage information provided.
Gift card amounts:
$25 – Single & double-shot handguns
$50 – Rifles and Shotguns
$100 – Pistols and Revolvers
$200 – Assault Weapons (to be determined by Guilford PD)
Bribing a segment of the population to act in a certain way — e.g., get vaccinated, maintain a "healthy" body weight — when others have voluntarily acted "responsibly" incentivizes everybody to disregard doing what is "right" until the bribe is offered.
Why do willingly for free when being unwilling will net you a payment for the same behavior?
If the government wants to go down that road, would it not be better to contribute to the bank accounts of those who did what was "right" and make those doing "wrong" feel jealous?
"Everybody who has been fully vaccinated will get a $100 check in the mail. If you have not, see what you missed?"
"Everybody who has been fully vaccinated will be entered into weekly $100,000 lotteries. To those of you who haven't, you are not eligible."
Our bribe-ocratic system of government has tentacles that reach foreign soil after passing through our wallets.
Kamala Harris revealed her 5-Point Plan for addressing the "root causes" of illegal migration. Not even one is without American dollars being spent:
Addressing economic insecurity and inequality
Promoting respect for human rights
Countering and preventing violence
Combatting sexual violence
The eligibility requirements for asylum in the USA are as follows:
The person seeking asylum must meet the definition of "refugee" according to the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) The INA defines "refugee" as a person who has been persecuted or has a well-founded fear of persecution in their home country, on the basis of:
Membership in a social group, or
How Kamala's five pillars address these requirements on point is a mystery, making the reasoning behind the bribery quite opaque.
It is an odd quirk, that lawbreakers, irresponsible citizens/residents, truant students, and other wrongdoers are rewarded for their rebelliousness and that contributing citizens/residents get disadvantaged.
Biden and Harris, together with other bribe-ocrats, have placed their own unique spin on the carrot and stick. Carrots to the transgressors; stick it to the compliant.
Unfortunately, bribing the population to be accountable is not a mere slippery slope. It is an event horizon.
Image via Piqsels.
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