Urban Fold

New York Plans To Pay The Poor

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."

Full Story: NYC Poor to Get Cash for Good Behavior




Paying people to do what they should be doing to help themselves is incentive how? Incentive to stay tethered to the system is the only thing this counterproductive move is accomplishing. And the lucky taxpayers of NY get to foot the bill.

Better than welfare reform

What's the difference between this and welfare. I support welfare, and I spoke with a friend who has worked for a California county for 20 years. I was appalled when she described how welfare, and especially the welfare "reform" was structured. She said welfare-to-work is designed to keep people in poverty because they are not allowed to spend welfare income on schooling. At least in this system welfare works to encourage behavior that will improve the chances of the next generation.

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