In a move to address poverty in the city, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has started a program that will pay low-income residents for doing things perceived to break the cycle of poverty, such as visiting a doctor and attending school regularly.
"The rewards have been used in other countries, including Brazil and Mexico, and have drawn widespread praise for changing behavior among the poor. Mayor Michael Bloomberg traveled to Mexico this spring to study the healthy lifestyle payments, also known as conditional cash transfers."
"The theory behind cash rewards is that poor people are trapped in a cycle of repeated setbacks that keep them from climbing out of poverty. A person who doesn't keep up with his vaccinations and doctor's visits, for example, may get sick more often and struggle to stay employed."
"Among the possible rewards in New York's program are $25 for attending parent-teacher conferences, $25 per month for a child who maintains a 95 percent school attendance record, $400 for graduating high school, $100 for each family member who sees the dentist every six months and $150 a month for adults who work full time."