99. Guaranteed income and choices
May 24, 2009 § Leave a comment
Been thinking about guaranteed annual wage of lets say 12,000 per person US. In the US. Gets rid of welfare, gives people choices of their own making, creates a feeling of security and stability. Here is an example.
Are there reasons to oppose this general approach to emergency aid beyond those noted below?:
How to help the poor have more money? Well, you could give it to them, by Laura Freschi: In 2007, people in the Western Province of Zambia lost their homes, their livestock and their crops when heavier-than-normal flash floods swept through their area. USAID’s office of disaster assistance stepped in with $280,000 worth of with seeds and fertilizer, training for farmers, and emergency relief supplies.
Two NGOs working in Zambia, Oxfam GB and Concern Worldwide, tried a different approach: they handed out envelopes stuffed with cash—from $25 to $50 per month per affected family, with no strings attached. An evaluationfound that common fears about cash transfers—that the cash infusion will cause inflation in the market, that the money will be squandered, or that men will take control of the money—were unrealized.
What did people buy with the money? The list includes maize, beans, salt, cooking oil, meat, vegetables, clothes and blankets, paraffin, transport, soap and body lotion, and lots of other mundane household items. They also loaned it to friends, used it to pay back debts, purchased health care, education and transport, and rebuilt their homes. Only a very small fraction of the money (less than .5%) was spent on “unproductive” items, like liquor for the men.