Re: “Shopping when you should be working" (5/16 issue): When I lived in Brighton Beach, I heard that this is how it’s done: give a merchant $500 worth of stamps in return $450 or so in cash, do it a couple of times, then go buy yourself a nice fur coat.
As for system abuse: I live in Park Slope. Down the street, the projects are a large taxpayer-subsidized complex for low-income people.
It’s interesting, standing in the morning by the big, gated, tenant-only parking lot (this in a neighborhood where parking is a tremendous problem), and see the new, luxury cars slinking out.
Those cars are always there, though I bet they are not registered to the tenants. My tax dollars at work.
Stanley Gershbein responds:
Dear Mr. Boms,
Although many places use EBT cards to help fight fraud, those cards are not available everywhere.
In the past three years I have shopped in supermarkets in at least a dozen states and you would not believe the fraud that I have witnessed. A lot of our taxes are really going to waste.
Thank you for writing.