tiagoabner wrote:I'm not too familiar with how these bonos and free vacations work, as I've been here for only 8 months and I don't have that many local friends. Can someone kindly explain what are you referring to? Free government-paid vacations? Is that even a thing?
Yea, it is a thing. The cities have grants from the government for it. If you qualify for "at risk" income level (which is massive con game in itself), they will pay up to 95% of your families vacation.
The paid vacation is just one of the most absurd of the bonos (direct payments to someone for something or nothing). There are ones for families to do things like buy books for school. There is one if your family makes below a certain level, they just pay you a basic subsidy to bring you above the extreme poverty level. so on and so forth. Some are good, some are bad.
One of my favorite stupid subsidies is the trees in the patagonia. The government tells the land owners they can not cut down their native trees. So, there is a bunch of "accidental forest fires". The goverment then gives a subsidy for people to clean up the burned trees. They then give another subsidy to replant; with a catch. They have to plant "economically viable" trees such as none-native pine, etc.
The problem is most of these bonos are based on a poverty point system, that is easily gamed. People can artificially keep their income level low, to continue to qualify for all the benefits. Our last socialist mayor in Frutillar, was actively helping people game the point system to increase the amount of money the city was getting from the central government based on the number of "poor".
Here is an example, that I have told before on the forum, but it does a good job of illustrating how abused that system is. We had a foreign client in a rural area of the Patagonia that was sued by a neighbor over a road access to a property. The neighbor was using a free attorney from the government to sue. Well, applying sound strategic methods in a "know your enemy" sort of way, we went to investigate who it was we were up against.
It took very little investigating to find out the guy not only was not poor, but really really did not qualify for the free government attorney. He has sold some land recently, and had several hundred thousand dollars hiding under his wife's name. So, we took his free government lawyer away, to see if he was still interested in continuing the fight on his own dime. Of course he was not too interested in doing that, nor was he interested in the prosecutors and IRS finding out that he was ripping off the government, evading taxes, and so on. There was an abrupt settlement of that case.
My guesstimate is that something like 50% or more of the people receiving various poverty level subsidies, don't actually qualify. There is a whole different set of subsidies aimed at the middle class, but just talking about the most expensive ones to the tax payer, would be the poverty related ones. The people that actually need the help, are competing with a lot of people that don't need it.
I do believe that is an obligation of the government to help the poor receive more opportunities to get out of poverty. Generally good for everyone. I am however not for the corruption that goes with it.
Chile could probably investigate and prosecute the 50% that are ripping off the government, cut their payments, and then turn around and cut a direct check to those that really are poor for a mininum income sufficient to bring them all above the poverty level; meanwhile, do it and save money. Chile could wipe out poverty in 6-12 months, perhaps 2-3 years max; but, then who would the socialist and other lefty parties have to vote for them. Haitians?