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Free money might be the
best way to end poverty.

Washington Post, by Rutger Bregman

Original Article

Posted By:StormCnter, 12/31/2013 5:43:51 AM

In May 2009, a small experiment involving 13 homeless men took off in London. Some of them had slept in the cold for more than 40 years. The presence of these street veterans was far from cheap. Police, legal services, health care: Each cost taxpayers thousands of pounds every year. That spring, a local charity decided to make the street veterans — sometimes called rough sleepers — the beneficiaries of an innovative social experiment. No more food stamps, food-kitchen dinners or sporadic shelter stays. The 13 would get a drastic bailout, financed by taxpayers. Each would receive 3,000 pounds (about

Comments:
The appropriate counter-argument to this theory is so obvious I won´t even say it. You all know what it is.

      


Post Reply  

Reply 1 - Posted by: Attila DiMedici, 12/31/2013 5:59:53 AM     (No. 9673740)

OP, conservatives have been saying what this article argues for years: it would be cheaper and more efficient just to give the poor cash than to continue to give them aid the way the government does now. Of course the reason the government does not do that is that the poor might not spend the money on the "right" things. Think about it, it would have been cheaper to give every unemployed American $100,000 than what they spent on the stimulus bill in 2009, and it probably would have done more for the economy than the stimulus bill did.

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Reply 2 - Posted by: pgvoisin, 12/31/2013 6:11:55 AM     (No. 9673743)

There is no such thing as free money! This is labor converted to cash converted to Charity without Big Government!


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Reply 3 - Posted by: lazyman, 12/31/2013 6:26:41 AM     (No. 9673749)

Gonna be hard to get a burger after the $100,000, Not many will show up for work the next day.

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Reply 4 - Posted by: digger, 12/31/2013 6:37:50 AM     (No. 9673755)

We tried that experiment once. It was called "The Great Society". It destroyed families, created a matriarchal sub-society and resulted in a permanent welfare system. Oh, it also created jobs for legions of welfare workers and lifted people like Jackson and Sharpton to previously unimagined heights of influence and affluence.

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Reply 5 - Posted by: uno, 12/31/2013 6:38:40 AM     (No. 9673757)

Make no mistake about it, the government is in the business of taking care of people (whether they need it or not) and a big business it is at that! They employ a lot of people and extract a lot of tax money in the process. Oh and one more thing. The government doesn´t like competition!

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Reply 6 - Posted by: strike3, 12/31/2013 6:49:27 AM     (No. 9673768)

Since the utopia-minded writer lays his theory out in purely financial logic, why don´t we just shoot all the poor people? One dollar a round and they never need another dime after the cremation is done. You would see people finding jobs who couldn´t even spell the word.

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Reply 7 - Posted by: ROLFnader, 12/31/2013 6:50:18 AM     (No. 9673769)

FTA:" These pilots give us the opportunity to talk differently, think differently, describe the problem differently.”

That is how all progress begins. "

Orwell couldn´t have said it better.


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Reply 8 - Posted by: sinic, 12/31/2013 6:50:43 AM     (No. 9673771)

Thanks #4 ... LBJs´ "Great Society" fueled most of the problems that STILL exist today, only now they´re on steroids. And as far as the "free money" idea goes ... we already do that. It´s just that there´s a layer of overpaid government beaurocrats that one has to navigate through in order to make sure that the recipient is indoctrinated in the ways of the socialism. If you gave 10 grand to most of the layabouts today, the bulk of it would go towards drugs, booze, cars, hair weaves, manicures, and big screen tvs´. Daily necessities would be WAY down on the priority list.

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Reply 9 - Posted by: Kitty Myers, 12/31/2013 6:54:18 AM     (No. 9673772)

The Left do not want to end poverty because that would end dependence upon the government, which is the primary goal of the Left.

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Reply 10 - Posted by: Achilles, 12/31/2013 7:47:57 AM     (No. 9673815)

Why stop with free money? Let´s give each moocher a free printing press so they can make their own money!

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Reply 11 - Posted by: kanphil, 12/31/2013 8:13:59 AM     (No. 9673853)

We´ve been trying that since President Johnson´s Great Society, fifty years. Ain´t worked yet.

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Reply 12 - Posted by: flybynight, 12/31/2013 8:14:36 AM     (No. 9673854)

Ever looked back to see how lottery winners have fared? Free money ruins people´s lives.
Many of the people I have seen on the street are there because they are addicted and/or mentally ill. We, in our wisdom, closed mental hospitals and shuffled the unfortunates onto the communities which were unable to deal with them or treat them effectively,and sad to say, no amount of free money is likely to help.

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Reply 13 - Posted by: franq, 12/31/2013 8:27:20 AM     (No. 9673878)

While we´re at it, let´s raise the minimum wage to $30 an hour.

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Reply 14 - Posted by: faith_and_reason, 12/31/2013 8:47:46 AM     (No. 9673913)

I love the fact that most Lucianne commenters do not fall for fake scholarship. I´ll just add my two cents.

Any status one can achieve with little or no effort, if it receives payment, will attract many people.

Having few assets, i.e., "poverty," is easy to attain, both in fact and in mere appearance. It requires absolutely zero effort.

Therefore the numbers of "impoverished" will necessarily increase tremendously under such a plan.

Therefore paying people to be poor will not end (or even reduce) poverty.

Q.E.D.

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Reply 15 - Posted by: Muguy, 12/31/2013 8:52:07 AM     (No. 9673921)

What happens when there are no people willing give away "free money"?

This utopian BS is ridiculous--

Think of the pet who will die unless someone feeds and waters it daily...all you need to know........

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Reply 16 - Posted by: tren9, 12/31/2013 10:23:16 AM     (No. 9674048)

Historical Note:
In history there have been several instances where the government, having discovered that 10% of the people owned 90% of the land, land redistribution was initiated. In each case that I have been able to find, 75 years later the government again discovered that 10% of the people owned 90% of the land.

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Reply 17 - Posted by: Doctor P, 12/31/2013 10:46:16 AM     (No. 9674084)

two quick responses

There is no such thing as a free lunch.

The problem with socialism is when they run out of OTHER PEOPLE´S money.

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Reply 18 - Posted by: jeffkinnh, 12/31/2013 10:55:06 AM     (No. 9674105)

Studies like this tout the results after one year. So while you are paying these people they can make some reasonable decisions. So what. The problem is, what is the long term plan? Pay them every year forever? Are these folks now working and providing for themselves? If not, where is the next 50K coming from? Further, if these folks are not providing for themselves and know they will get more money next year, WHAT is the incentive for them to get work and provide for themselves. Most will continue to sit back on the public dole. That IS laziness.

Further, how about other marginal people in society that are working just to get by. As soon as they know free money would be available, why would they work to get the same money? They would swell the welfare roles. This has been proven over and over. If people are allowed to sit on welfare forever, many will. When welfare is curbed, they find more productive ways to make money.

Short sighted experiments like this one are worthless against decades of welfare experiments that prove free money is NOT the answer.

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Reply 19 - Posted by: NorthernDog, 12/31/2013 11:00:13 AM     (No. 9674114)

Why work all day when the government will pay you not to work? Schemes like this only intensify the problem.

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Reply 20 - Posted by: farmwife, 12/31/2013 11:28:25 AM     (No. 9674155)

I think Oprah tried this experiment. She was sure that if those in poverty were given the opportunity to get an education, live in a decent home, that would lift them and their families out of poverty. She selected some promising individuals and gave them nearly unlimited assistance. A few took advantage of the opportunity (probably the ones who would have found another opportunity somehow) but most just took the money and made no changes in the way they lived. She called it off, saying it didn´t work.

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Reply 21 - Posted by: Rama41, 12/31/2013 1:45:48 PM     (No. 9674347)

Great idea! Hillary can run on this one. She can call it the McGovern Plan, after George who wanted to give everyone $1000. (He lost all but one state, the electoral vote 520-17, and helped teach my young son how to count to 17 and spell Massachusetts.)

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Reply 22 - Posted by: jackburton, 12/31/2013 3:58:07 PM     (No. 9674475)

Note that this plan, giving the rough sleepers money, included a provision that they would get no meals, no shelter, no ´Obama phones´ or the lot. They got the money and had to deal with it.

Hey, that´s the way I think it should be done. With the addition: they sign a form releiving everyone of any guilt for their condition if they blow it.


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Reply 23 - Posted by: ColonialAmerican1623, 1/1/2014 1:17:07 AM     (No. 9675028)

There are different types of poor. This would not work with homeless people that are mentally ill. Then there are those that realize if they have nothing, more free stuff is thrown at them. No amount of money would be sufficient. For the elderly who´s SS checks can´t keep up with inflation, more income would keep them from seeking financial assistance in the community.

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