I guess it’s good I’ve never won the lottery. If I had, I would probably start an Ohio Legal Defense Fund aimed solely at protecting citizens of Ohio from Ohio governments. I say “Government(S)” because many people forget that they are beholden to multiple governmental entities in America; all with their own conflicting bureaucracies, responsibilities, and procedures. When problems arise, Ohio’s entities have the ability to divide and scatter into a bureaucratic haze when needed by the public (effectively eliminating all responsibility and progress). But, they can magically combine when hunting something they collectively want from the public (like.. money), regardless of the law. Sometimes, these entities don’t need to hide or combine to subvert the law. They do it in plain sight, all by themselves, without the slightest wisp of self-control or introspection. Need proof? Keep reading.
My local city government forced a city utility worker out of his house at gunpoint after he refused to work at 1 in the morning. A slave for a night. After they decided he was done that day, they immediately laid him off for 6 weeks without pay for their trouble. Although the city manager said it was an emergency situation, it actually wasn’t. It was routine. The manager had other workers he could have potentially called in to assist, but decided not to. This employee had worked another “emergency” situation the night before, and worked through that day’s normal shift. This worker was not “on-call” and the city had no expectation (legal or otherwise) of his infinite availability. Though the worker was part of a labor union, no lawyer was contacted to review these actions against him. This city has tried illegal activities before, once getting sued by a major corporation for their activity. 10 years later, the city was still paying back that judgement. This is the same city I’ve mentioned before that used of bogus NIH data to kick employees of the benefit rolls (or severely reduce benefits) to artifically lower their health care costs and save money for their healthcare business partners (and political contributers).
A disabled woman was receiving assistance from the local office of Jobs and Family Services (Ohio version of an unemployment office) in a special program that helps pay for Medicare deductibles (“QMB” program). Though she followed every direction, actively participated in their numerous ‘back-to-work’ program requirements, and was legally eligible for the assistance, she was repeatedly denied assistance by one case-worker with a long, documented history of falsification and omission. Every couple of years, this case-worker would bring-up this woman’s file and randomly deny her benefits based on some imagined infraction. After months of appeals and paperwork, the woman always has her benefits reinstated, but it still drains her financially and emotionally each time. Most recently, this caseworker denied her benefits because “she was over the income limit” for this QMB program. The social security administration raised her monthly income by $51.00. Yes, that’s $51/month- a standard cost-of-living increase. And, social security was her only source of income, keeping her still well blow the poverty line. But, because an increase existed, this caseworker used it as an excuse to remove her access to medicine again. Keep in mind, the same income number is used to define poverty levels, SSD payments, and government program income limits. The government sets these numbers to match so people can use these programs. If they didn’t, no one would be eligible. This disabled woman is still fighting this most recent illegal-government action today.
Corruption through bureaucracy is just as detrimental as corruption through bribery. These are the just the latest incidents I have. I could write this article forever, and I’m just one person. People I talk to have lists of stories worse than mine. These infractions happen to people from all walks of life and are perpetrated by every level of government. There are watch-dog groups built into the state systems, but their focus has traditionally been too narrow. Problem state agencies get all the attention while smaller state agencies, county, and city governments go completely unnoticed. And, as I’ve found over the years, most lawyers are wary of fighting the government, even if it’s right.
If I win the lottery, that’s the kind of fund I’d make. Enough money and lawyers on retainer to fill the state with lawsuits and criminal injunctions, and drain these agencies until the outcry forces them to shape-up.
Although, if I had that kind of cash, I could just move my entire family to Canada and be done with it. HHmmm…