Public Information

Reply Sun 6 Dec, 2020 03:57 pm
How far would this go? There are all kinds of things that I want to keep private.

People don't get to see my divorce agreement, my alimony payments, my custody agreement, my work evaluations, my STD results....

Any of these things are things that my vigilante neighbors might be able to investigate to see if I am doing something wrong.

I value my privacy. And, I respect the privacy of my neighbors. A police state where neighbors spy on neighbors is not a society I want to live in.
Reply Sun 6 Dec, 2020 04:17 pm

I do wish to go anywhere that will not protect the public interest.

I see no value in making public your divorce agreement, alimony payments, custody agreements, and/or STD results.

As to your work evaluation, it depends.

Presently, finalized reviews of most government employees in New York State are subject to disclosure.

The law was very recently changed for New York City police officers. Now their discipline records may be disclosed.

I would disclose finalized records buy not preliminary ones.
0 Replies
Reply Sun 6 Dec, 2020 04:18 pm
How do you know they’re able bodied? Many disabilities are invisible.

Do you challenge disabled drivers? Ask them if they deserve their badge?

Why should you have access to your neighbours medical records?

Why do you wish to deny the dignity of privacy to someone because they’re ill?

Reply Sun 6 Dec, 2020 04:37 pm

If I see a person doing something that requires a certain level of strength, coordination , etc.

I would not have access to their medical records but would be able to view their disability payment amount.

I don't wish to deny the [alleged] dignity of privacy to someone because he/she is ill. However, I don't think that a person receiving money from the public treasury should be accorded full-privacy. It is not only his business. It is the business of the public who provided the funds.

I am ending this Post with an article about the abuse of disability pensions that I think could have been cut short by public disclosure:

Labor-law racket
By Nicole Gelinas
November 1, 2011
Last week, the feds indicted 11 Long Island Rail Road retirees and their alleged associates in a “massive fraud scheme” to steal a billion dollars through fake disability claims. But the bigger outrage is that for decades the LIRR has held state taxpayers and riders hostage — thanks to outdated Washington labor laws.

The first inkling of the scandal came in 2008, when a press report noted that nearly every LIRR worker retired early, getting an MTA pension and a federal benefit. Looking into the anomaly, federal prosecutors unearthed evidence that at least two doctors and other “facilitators” had for years signed off on fake injuries and ailments so that workers could take their pensions.

The workers were motivated in part by New York’s crazy benefits for public workers. As the feds note, LIRR workers hired before 1988 can retire at the “relatively young” age of 50 and get MTA benefits, something that “no other commuter railroad in the United States offers.” But the workers couldn’t get their federal railroad pension until age 65 — so they resorted to fraud.

But why do LIRR workers get a federal benefit anyway?

LIRR employees enjoy special railway laws that date back in some cases to the mid-1920s. Then, railroads were privately owned, often hugely profitable, monopolies. The government figured that railroad workers were powerless to act against their fat-cat bosses.

To curtail the owners’ power, Congress enacted the Railway Labor Act, which allowed railroad workers to strike — giving them leverage over their employers. If you can strike, you can stop the money from coming in.

But public-commuter railroads, including the LIRR, no longer make money. Fares pay only about $523 million of the LIRR’s $1.7 billion in annual costs — the rest is taxpayer subsidies.

The state controls the LIRR through the MTA, with the two-year-old payroll tax that downstate employers must pay making up for the railroad’s chronic losses.

LIRR workers aren’t up against the Vanderbilts; they’re up against customers and taxpayers. To deal with the unfairness of public-sector strikes, New York outlawed such actions more than four decades ago through the Taylor Law. So subway and bus workers can’t strike (legally, anyway).

But Washington hasn’t changed its law. After a 1979 LIRR strike, then-MTA chief Richard Ravitch and then-Gov. Hugh Carey tried to cover LIRR workers under the Taylor Law. But two years later, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that the federal law superseded the state law — and Congress hasn’t acted to change it.

Since then, the LIRR workforce has used its power to strike to thwart cost savings at every turn, guarding work rules that hurt productivity and push up overtime. In 1987, workers put commuters through an 11-day dead-of-winter strike.

Seven years later, they struck again. After two days, then-Gov. Mario Cuomo capitulated, forcing the MTA to forget about work-rule changes.

The state’s fear of an LIRR strike helps drive up the railroad’s costs. Last year, the Empire Center reported, the average LIRR worker pulled in $84,850 — not including benefits.

That’s more than anywhere at the MTA except headquarters — and 23 percent more than subway and bus workers make. Seven of the top 10 people who made more in overtime than they did in regular wages hailed from the LIRR — including one conductor who tripled his $75,390 salary. Plus, workers pay nothing for health benefits.

These costs ripple through the rest of the MTA. The state, even if it wanted to, would have a hard time being tough on one transit union without being tough on the others.

In 2008, the disability stories prompted members of Long Island’s congressional delegation to show up at a hearing held by then-state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo.

But Congress never showed much interest, so nobody fixed the problem: that railroad-labor laws don’t reflect today’s taxpayer-subsidized reality.
Long Islanders should push Congress — including Rep. Pete King — to fix this outrage. State Sen. Lee Zeldin, who has led the effort in-state to repeal the MTA’s payroll tax, should lead the effort.

The scandal isn’t what’s illegal — but what’s legal.
Nicole Gelinas is a contributing editor to the Manhattan Institute’s City Journal.
Reply Sun 6 Dec, 2020 04:40 pm
You want to deny people on benefits the basic human right of privacy. You want to snoop.

0 Replies
Reply Sun 6 Dec, 2020 04:47 pm
Explain to me why I shouldn't have the rights to see you STD results?

I might see women going to your house....

If you are willing to sacrifice privacy for security, why wouldn't STD results be a good place to start?
Reply Sun 6 Dec, 2020 04:52 pm
The argument you are making is a variation of If we give up rights, then it will be much easier to catch bad guys. It is giving up privacy for security.

The police aren't allowed to come and search your house unless they get a search warrant. This restriction means that people will get a way with crimes... if the police were able to randomly bust into peoples house, they would undoubtedly find marijuana being grown, movies being pirated all sorts of rotten nasty stuff.

And yet we still that that rights and liberty are more important.

You seem to be questioning this. Should police be able to search your house without a warrant?
0 Replies
Reply Sun 6 Dec, 2020 04:53 pm
Let's go with all medical records. I mean, if he's on high blood pressure meds, then wouldn't it be awesome to know that when he was having pizza? Maybe waitresses should be tasked with bringing him a salad, regardless of what he really wants or pays for. After all, if we've got the same insurance carrier, such behavior causes my premiums to go up. It saves me money if he eats better.

Oh? Is that him saying he's a grownup, allowed to make his own decisions and use his own judgment, even when that judgment is poor?
0 Replies
Reply Sun 6 Dec, 2020 08:35 pm
Are you a communist? This is how the communists kept track of their citizens. Encouraging neighbors and friends to spy on and report any perceived wrong doing.
Reply Sun 6 Dec, 2020 10:01 pm
Oh, join the 21st century. We'll implant chips in all of them. Just tell'um it will extend the range of their cell phones a quarter mile and they'll line up like sheep for the sheering.
0 Replies
Reply Mon 7 Dec, 2020 04:54 am
She can dress it up however much she wants, but at the end of the day she wants to collectively punish all disabled people for the fraudulent actions of a tiny few.

Some people are bitter and sour, upset that other people are getting things that they’re not.
0 Replies
Reply Mon 7 Dec, 2020 07:18 am
I think you would find that the "thousand eyes" are not actually qualified to identify fraud but they are really good at yelling loudly on the Internet. Letting lots of people, many with personal animus and no qualifications to identify fraud (or even an understanding of how the programs work) rifle through the personal information of their neighbors would be a disaster. You say you have read of "many scandals". These are likely half truths and a few legitimate cases told over and over. Exposing these records would cause that kind of propaganda to explode. IMO is would also lead to discrimination where people on assistance would be denied jobs by employers who would consider it a negative mark.
0 Replies

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