Let me tell you about two Scams:
- the New Jersey Labor Law Poster Con
- the Iraq war is all about Oil Con
My wife runs a jewelry business in New Jersey and receives in the mail about a dozen different retail scams a year. The other day she gets this letter marked "URGENT" from these scamsters: The New Jersey Labor Law Poster Service of WASHINGTON DC informing her that if she doesn't have up-to-date posters she may be subject to criminal penalties as well as civil liability actions including assessments of up to $7,000. She can order a set of Federal Posters and 2 sets of NJ Posters for $59.50. They do mention that they are a non-governmental organization and that certain posters may also be free from the issuing governmental agencies. But 99% of the real estate on the letter looks like an ominous threat from the State of New Jersey.
These scamsters cover their asses with the two disclaimers I mention above but still make their letter look like an official document with threatening language. If you run a legitimate business offering a valuable service then be plain about it; you don't need to rent a mailbox in Washington DC on PENNSYLVANIA AVE no less.
If you are an exploited, overly regulated, governmentally harassed, highly taxed business owner in New Jersey you will need a separate room just to house the following MANDATORY New Jersey State posters:
Unemployment and Disability Insurance
State Wage & Hour Law Abstract
Payment of Wages
Equal Employment Opportunity
Conscientious Employee Protection Act
Child Labor Law Abstract (if employing anyone under 18)
Schedule of Hours of Minors (if employing anyone under 18)
Discrimination in Places of Public Accommodation
Discrimination in Housing
New Jersey Mandatory Overtime Restrictions for Health Care Facilities
Public Employees Occupational Safety and Health Act (public employers only)
Notice (Workers' Compensation) (free from your insurance carrier)
Choking Poster Requirement (for restaurants)
Whistle Blower Act (for 10 or more employees)
In addition the following Federal Posters will also need to find room on your wall:
Minimum Wage (English and Spanish)
Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (English and Spanish)
It's the Law OSHA Notice (English and Spanish)
Equal Employment Opportunity (English and Spanish)
Employee Polygraph Protection (English and Spanish)
Family and Medical Leave Act (English and Spanish)
The following are not mandatory but the Feds supply them for free:
Notice to Workers with Disabilities (English and Spanish)
Migrant & Seasonal Agriculture Worker Protection (English and Spanish)
Check Your Withholding
Earned Income Credit
You can receive free Federal Posters in electronic form here, but I would ignore the request to get them laminated for a fee. Why go to the expense of laminating something when it will probably have to be replaced with updated changes every few months?
My wife phoned these thieves to get our company's name removed from their mailing list and was greeted with a request for our company ID. This ID is actually something they made up and is not an official New Jersey State ID number for our company; another scamming embellishment.
Speaking of scams, consider the following:
OK,OK, you say, but what has this to do with the "Iraq War is all about Oil" scam?
Simple: both rely on people who do not read or think carefully and are, to be brutally honest, quite gullible. They hear a few slogans "No Blood for Oil!" and say to themselves "that's right! The Arabs have oil - we are attacking Arab countries - so it must be the oil!
A few months back I responded to a commenter in the Democratic Party Blog (that's right, I read all political views) who wrote, "This war was never about Zarqawi or WMD or Democracy. The war and the occupation are all about the neocons desire to control Middle East oil."
I come across this bit of silliness quite often in leftwing blogs and it's repeated as if it were some divine truth. Here was my response:
As for neocons desire to control middle east oil, isn't it cheaper just to buy it? Gold is more precious than oil, yet we didn't invade South Africa (which controls most of the world's gold supply) to CONTROL GOLD. When we need it - we buy it.
Starting a war to control oil only drives the price higher. You are rather naive. If the US wanted to control Arab oil, it would have invaded Israel and set up a Palestinian state. With no tensions in the middle east, oil would have dropped to $12 a barrel, about 4 bucks more than the cost of producing it.
That's how you control oil.
The Manhattan Project which produced the atomic Bomb cost about 30 billion in today's dollars. Any non-biased economist will readily tell you that for about 2 trillion dollars, which will be the final price tag for the Iraq War, America could have easily invented a way to get gasoline out of sand and without the political fallout of dealing with the deaths of thousands of soldiers. But since the left needs slogans, if America were in fact able to get oil out of sand and invaded any Arab country we would see banners proclaiming "NO BLOOD for SAND!" as if Arabian lands are the only ones with sand.
It happens that there are number of American construction projects in Iraq, so perhaps we're at war to get more housing projects done (as if there are not enough homes being built in America); we're building roads in Iraq, so perhaps the asphalt lobby pushed the neocons to attack Iraq; we're working on power generation facilities, electrical grids, municipal water systems, sewage systems, airport facilities, the dredging, repair and upgrading of the Umm Qasr seaport and reconstruction of hospitals, schools, ministry buildings and irrigation structures, so perhaps the Utility lobby pushed us to war; German relief agencies shipped over 45 tons of medicine to Iraq, so perhaps the German Drug industry pushed us to War in Iraq. Obviously there is no shortage of fodder for the Liberal Slogan cause.
So if you are ever asked the questions:
1) what do you get when you spend zero on education?
2) what do you get when you spend $30,000 a year for college?
the answer is the same: gullible liberals. Sadly, when a gullible business owner pays cash for something he can easily obtain for free, the only person hurt is the gullee. But when gullible liberals chant the "war is all for oil" song, they hurt our efforts in war on terror. The first simpleton is only a danger to himself, the second is a danger to free peoples everywhere.
Related scam: Years ago one could find ads for a genuine, lithographed portrait of George Washington printed by the US Bureau of Engraving and Printing for only $3.99. What did you get in return for your $3.99? A 1 cent stamp! Were they lying? No. Was it a scam? Yes.