US Government Grants – Supporting The Scam Industry

Yesterday, I wrote that America makes me uncomfortable because, while a great deal happens here, much of what goes on is undesirable. America would be a much better country without it.

Remember the “American Dream?” That phrase was originally coined by James Truslow Adams in his 1931 work, “The Epic of America.”

He defined it thus:

….that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement. It is a difficult dream for the European upper classes to interpret adequately, and too many of us ourselves have grown weary and mistrustful of it. It is not a dream of motor cars and high wages merely, but a dream of social order in which each man and each woman shall be able to attain to the fullest stature of which they are innately capable, and be recognized by others for what they are, regardless of the fortuitous circumstances of birth or position.”

I assume that Adams’s definition of “European upper classes” meant the nobility – queens, kings, princes, lords and ladies – of the time. The World War that followed, less than a decade after the publication of his work, did much to alter that. It inspired a socialist reformation that continues to this day, even though European politicians are doing their utmost to reverse the process, claiming the “American model” to be better.

Better for whom?

Today, the “American Dream” is no more than a marketing slogan, a suitably stirring phrase to reinforce those “American Freedoms” still considered a vital component of US life. Present-day Republicans make much of these freedoms; a society where the only regulation is self-regulation by the individual or company.

The results of “self-regulation” can be seen in the millions behind bars in the penitentiaries, the unacceptable degree of corruption rife in every aspect of American life, from gutter to government, and the collapse of the economy brought about by fraud and underhandedness in the financial sectors.

The concept of Republican self-regulation is a farce. They would regulate the right of an individual to use drugs, a woman to have an abortion. They are in favor of many regulations presently enforced in this nation – traffic violations, crimes of burglary, murder, and rape to name a few. These matters, they concede, cannot be left to the discretion of the individual, and rightly so.

Where present-day Republicans particularly want self-regulation is in the area of financial control – matters of taxation and business. No government can function without finance, and the world standard for providing government finance is through taxation. Present day Republicans prefer the working masses to pay for government, rather than the rich and wealthy they represent. They argue that their money is best spent expanding businesses and providing more jobs, even as they’re stashing it away in off-shore tax havens and Liechtenstein bank accounts.

‘Greed’ is the new synonym for the “American Dream”. Maybe it’s not all that new. Greed means using any method allowed (no regulation) to extract money from others, by offering services and goods that aren’t worth a fraction of the price demanded, if they’re worth anything at all.

Take a moment to peruse the sidebars of this website. You’ll note it contains a number of advertising links controlled by Google. Ever since President Obama declared his “bail-out” plan, those adverts have been dominated by scam merchants offering false claims promising to obtain “grants” available under the “bail-out”.

You’ll find websites like: “GovernmentGrantsfor2009.com”; “Officialstimuluspayments.com”; USAgrantreviews.org” and “GrantOneDay.org”.

All of these con merchants are trying to wrest cash from people already in financial distress. Here is the claim of one of these sites:

All American citizens and residents can apply to and may be eligible to receive Federal Government, State Government and Private Foundation funded grants and loans. Remember, these programs do not require credit checks, collateral, security deposits or co-signers. Even if you have declared a bankruptcy or currently have bad credit, as a tax payer and U.S. citizen or resident, you are entitled to apply for this money!

Right now, you may be eligible to receive up to $50,000 in government money that you would NEVER HAVE TO REPAY.

Of course, that statement doesn’t lie. Everyone is eligible to apply for a grant, but virtually no-one is eligible to receive one.

Here’s what the government says:

We have all seen them, late night infomercials, websites, and reference guides, advertising “millions in free money” Don’t believe the hype! Although there are many grants on Grants.gov, few of them are available to individuals and none of them are available for personal financial assistance.” [my bold][1]

This is the scam: first you have to join – become a member. This means a paltry payment of a few dollars (“If it doesn’t work out, what have I lost?”).

The object is not so much to swipe your few dollars, as gain control of your credit card. Once you’ve paid the initial fee, you’ll likely get just enough in return to keep your interest going – perhaps a few worthless forms in a fancy plastic package. Suddenly, you’ll get a credit card bill and discover these scum have taken a hundred dollars or so as “your monthly payment”. Not bothering to read the ‘fine print’ you failed to note the agreement that says they’ll deduct this sum every month until you contact them to stop it. Usually, that’s not so easy to do as it may first appear.

It’s all part of the “American Dream”, you see. They have a right to get rich by suckering the poor and suffering. The government is well aware of it – “We have all seen them, late night infomercials, websites, and reference guides, advertising “millions in free money” – but can do nothing to stop what, in a properly regulated society, would be illegal.

That’s the kind of regulation our friendly present day Republicans like Coulter, Limbaugh, Boerner, Bolton, and a host of others, are fighting to avoid.

There are even scam sites that denounce their competition as fraud. They pretend to have checked them all out and only ‘recommend’ the genuine ones. Of course, the genuine ones are their own, or belong to a partner.

Check it out. Google, “government grants”, and when the search engine page opens pay particular attention to those in the right-hand sidebar. Click on a few, it’ll cost the bastards money.

I can’t keep these scum from advertising on Sparrow Chat. I can bar individual websites, but for every one that’s stopped, more appear in its place.

It’s yet another example of what makes me feel uncomfortable in America.

What about you?

Are you comfortable in America?

[1] “WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR A GRANT?” Grants.gov

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6 Replies to “US Government Grants – Supporting The Scam Industry”

  1. Whilst what the scammers are doing is reprehensible (and I can’t believe that they are allowed to advertise on TV?! You can’t stop the websites and spam, but doesn’t the US have an Advertising Standards Authority?), does not some of the responsibility for the greed have to rest with those who fall for the scam? Surely those who get suckered in to this are the same people who fall for the Nigerian bank account frauds? The desire to get something for nothing is what keeps these fraudsters going.

  2. And the bliss of de-regulation! Feeding the avaricious greed gene that dominates the “First World”. Slogan: Something for Nothing for Everyone.
    Self imploding as I type.
    XO
    WWW

  3. I’m getting uncomfortable in Oklahoma, RJ!
    The state big-wigs are trying for state sovereignty – like kids kicking and screaming because the Repubs lost the election and so they want to “take their ball home”. I’m getting very, very fed up!!

    I don’t remember conservatives being this bad back in the UK (Thatcher excepted – of course). These are a breed apart. 🙁

  4. Jo – sadly, it’s not quite that simple. There is no Advertising Standards Authority in the USA. Yes, I know that’s incredible, but it is so. “Buyer beware” is the gold standard, and one that keeps lawyers in the manner to which they are accustomed, as suing is the only form of recompense. While it could be argued the victims are greedy suckers, it is sometimes truly difficult to differentiate between the genuine and the scam. US TV is full of infomercials, often for the most bizarre products, and the hard sell is standard practice throughout. There’s no-one to raise a hand and say, “STOP! That’s just not true.”

    WWW – absolutely. Sadly, it’s much easier to fall for these scams when you’re out of work and the house is about to be repossessed.

    Twilight – I’m sorry to hear of your discomfort, but it doesn’t surprise me, given the circumstances. Already, Republicans are suggesting the recession is all Obama’s fault. Of course, we all know it was down to Bush, and happened long before Obama was sworn in, but many Americans have incredibly short memories over such matters.
    At least Mrs Thatcher had the good grace to retire, once ousted.

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