Not one of the 19 studies found that cash grants increase tobacco and alcohol consumption and many of them found that it leads to a reduction.
They don’t squander it.
(via Giving poor people cash gets them to spend more on good stuff and less on tobacco and alcohol — Quartz)
The ‘decline’ of marriage isn’t a problem
If every poor adult in America married another poor adult, in other words, we would see a significant drop in the poverty rate. Nobody’s actual income would have increased, of course, but through the magic of statistics we would achieve a significant win in the war on poverty.
A Canadian City Once Eliminated Poverty And Nearly Everyone Forgot About It
Between 1974 and 1979, residents of a small Manitoba city were selected to be subjects in a project that ensured basic annual incomes for everyone. For five years, monthly cheques were delivered to the poorest residents of Dauphin, Man. – no strings attached. And for five years, poverty was completely eliminated. The program was dubbed “Mincome” – a neologism of “minimum income” – and it was the first of its kind in North America. It stood out from similar American projects at the time because it didn’t shut out seniors and the disabled from qualification. The project’s original intent was to evaluate if giving cheques to the working poor, enough to top-up their incomes to a living wage, would kill people’s motivation to work. It didn’t. But the Conservative government that took power provincially in 1977 – and federally in 1979 – had no interest in implementing the project more widely. Researchers were told to pack up the project’s records into 1,800 boxes and place them in storage. A final report was never released.
Why Poor People Stay Poor
I once lost a whole truck over a few hundred bucks. It had been towed, and when I called the company they told me they’d need a few hundred dollars for the fee. I didn’t have a few hundred dollars. So I told them when I got paid next and that I’d call back then. It was a huge pain in the ass for those days. It was the rainy season, and I wound up walking to work, adding another six miles or so a day to my imaginary pedometer. It was my own fault that I’d been towed, really, and I spent more than a couple hours ruing myself. I finally made it to payday, and when I went to get the truck, they told me that I now owed over a thousand dollars, nearly triple my paycheck. They charged a couple hundred dollars a day in storage fees. I explained that I didn’t have that kind of money, couldn’t even get it. They told me that I had some few months to get it together, including the storage for however long it took me to get it back, or that they’d simply sell it. They would, of course, give me any money above and beyond their fees if they recovered that much. I was working two jobs at the time. Both were part time. Neither paid a hundred bucks a day, much less two. I wound up losing my jobs. So did my husband. We couldn’t get from point A to point B quickly enough, and we showed up to work, late, either soaked to the skin or sweating like pigs one too many times. And with no work, we wound up losing our apartment. It’s amazing what things that are absolute crises for me are simple annoyances for people with money. Anything can make you lose your apartment, because any unexpected problem that pops up, like they do, can set off that Rube Goldberg device.
Rich Kid, Poor Kid: For 30 Years, Baltimore Study Tracked Who Gets Ahead
a study published in June suggests that the things that really make the difference — between prison and college, success and failure, sometimes even life and death — are money and family.
They found that a child’s fate is in many ways fixed at birth — determined by family strength and the parents’ financial status. The kids who got a better start — because their parents were married and working — ended up better off. Most of the poor kids from single-parent families stayed poor.
At this point this a typical story about how poverty self perpetuates. Bad options, bad choices leading to bad results.
Then I got to this part:
The researchers found that more affluent white men in the study reported the highest frequency of drug abuse and binge drinking, yet they still had the most upward mobility.
Great options, bad choices, great results. How do you explain that?
Krugman on Paul Ryan at CPAC: Actually kind of awesome, in the worst way.
the caricature of Ryan and people like him is that they treat the hardships of poverty as if they were merely psychological, that they talk big about dignity while ignoring the difficulty of getting essentials like food and health care. Well, it’s not a caricature
Worth reading, but also read Ryan’s words. The inability to see the world past their own noses seems to be a problem with politicians in general, but on the right it is stunning.
What they’re offering people is a full stomach and an empty soul
Ummm…hierarchy of needs? Have they heard of it?
What Happens When the Poor Receive a Stipend?
What precisely did the income change? Ongoing interviews with both parents and children suggested one variable in particular. The money, which amounted to between one-third and one-quarter of poor families’ income at one point, seemed to improve parenting quality.
That “helps parents be better parents,” she said.
Turns out that giving poor people money helps then escape poverty.