The scrapers may be higher because your site has spam penalties for reasons other than having duplicate content. Sometimes just cleaning up anything dodgy on a site without changing the content will get it to rise above the scrapers.
Exactly. I don't agree that Google is really very good at identifying the originator of content. I've original stuff I wrote that had been online for years drop out sometimes when someone copies it. When anyone with an authority site scrapes content from one of my newer and/or lower ranking sites, they seem to get away with it just fine, at least algorithmically.