Cheaters never prosper.
by Paul Niquette
© Copyright 2015 by Paul Niquette.  All rights reserved

Cheater Naolito by permission of the artist.   
Well, of course they do, but so what?

My observations over a lifetime have resulted in what I call, The Three Percent Rule…
3% of customers will not pay their bills, but you can lose a lot of business by cinching down on credit terms to reduce your accounts receivable;

3% of health care recipients will not deserve some benefit payments, but you can waste a lot of administrative resources trying to achieve perfect compliance;

3% of law suits are frivolous, but many of the rest compensate victims for negligence and malfeasance and – hey, abuse;

3% of the provisions in labor contracts have screwy terms that invite outrageous practices, but that's nothing compared to some executive compensation plans;

3% of insurance claims are phony, but actuarial calculations have resulted in the biggest buildings in some cities being owned by insurance companies; and, yes…

3% of welfare recipients will cheat, so shame on them, but people down on their luck deserve help promptly and ungrudgingly.
Cheating can never be eliminated, and it is foolish to try.  Most can be limited by reasonable management protocols and accountability, by sensible regulations and enforcement, by legal action – and best of all by the consciences of vast majorities.  In modern life every person has interests and needs and sometimes grievances.  Occasional reforms of institutions are necessary, but legislators and decision-makers are well advised to be satisfied with something short of perfection. 
Meanwhile, 3% of anything can be politely absorbed in prices and premiums.
Oh sure, our parents and teachers told us "Cheaters never prosper," but they were talking to juveniles.  We used to shout those words at each other in the schoolyard, too, but -- well, we grew up and most of us know better now. 

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