PBS NewsHour: "New Orleans hopes giving young people a guaranteed monthly income can break the cycle of poverty"

Sounds like giving someone keys to a car when they don’t know how to drive.


Oh they know how to drive. That 350 will be up in dope smoke as fast as it an be thrown at them.

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Why don’t they give free job training? Or free work appropriate clothes? Or free tattoo removal? Those might actually work to get these young people employed


If the programs follow through with their plans to study the behavioral impacts, it could lead to a better understanding of causal problems that have festered for a long time. And the first step in solving a problem is to gain a thorough understanding of it.

From the article: “Samra said the programs help collect information on whether guaranteed basic income helps push people to access full-time or part-time employment or allows folks to go back to school and complete their education. The data collection will “help us understand if a guaranteed income can be a bridge back to services,” she said.”

So how do you suppose to TRACK A $350 CASH PAYMENT??? to get this understanding.

A Gift Card or Debit Card might work… but CASH??? Really?

The cash payment is made with no requirements on the recipient. The data gathered is not performance data based on how they spend the money, it’s data based on changes in the individual’s lifestyle. ie: are they attending school? have they been arrested? are they looking for work? etc.

All of this will look like an incredibly low bar to the general public, but when you have a problem as chronic and debilitating as they have it pays to try innovative solutions.

The program was initiated by people much closer to the problem than most; Mayors for Guaranteed Income program (MGI). Twenty more are expected before the end of the year. MGI is a network of 80 mayors advocating for a guaranteed income, and it is funded by mostly private capital. Each program has a different focus population.

If it saves some kids destined to a life of poverty, crime and misery, it’ll be worth more than the cost and effort.

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I do agree that most will blow it on blow, lol. However strings should be attatched that they are bettering themselves with education or job training. There are some deserving young people of all backgrounds that could use a helping hand. But it can’t be just given with no strings.

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Why don’t we wait and see how this program works out? It could be that they find that the $350/mo keeps a kid from making a big mistake that follows him throughout life, disqualifying him from opportunities he would otherwise have a shot at.

We can’t always make judgements about others based on our own experiences. These kids live in a very different world than you and I.

There are a few confounding variables. We just left a pandemic that derailed a lot of young peoples education and work plans. We are now in an inflationary period. And most likely we are entering into a recession.

I think the only way to see if it works is to split the group in half. One experimental group that gets the $300 a month, and then a control group that receives a placebo — Monopoly money. Then compare the two groups to see if one fares better than the other.

Don’t you think that will happen when they look at the data from the group that received the money? There will be lots of kids who didn’t, and they won’t be hard to find, just compare them to the test group

It’s a hard study to design because it’s all based on self reported data. People will report differently if they are receiving $300 a month vs 0 — especially if they hear through the grapevine that other people are getting $300 a month. By way of comparison they still don’t know what the effects of boosting unemployment benefits during the pandemic was.

The linked article states:
“Samra said the programs help collect information on whether guaranteed basic income helps push people to access full-time or part-time employment or allows folks to go back to school and complete their education. The data collection will “help us understand if a guaranteed income can be a bridge back to services,” she said.”

Performance outcomes can be pretty easy to measure, many are binary, they either meet the requirement or they don’t. The folks administering the programs are used to working with things at that level. If the school says the person missed 10 days or flunked a class it’s hard to fake. Same with employment interviews and getting a job.

The unemployment payments during the pandemic were much less concentrated and the need to correlate causal results were likely an afterthought and not part of the initial plan

Start them out with a paper route. If they can handle that we will talk. I doubt many are smart enough to handle it!

Ok but physical paper news delivery is dying. My goodness that was a bit of irrelevant Boomer advice. And I say that as a Boomer. Also large swaths of NOLA are dangerous for walking a paper route.

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There is an old proverb: Give a person a fish and they will eat it for a day, teach them to fish and they will eat for life!!

That’s reason #1 you’re not in charge of the program… :neutral_face:

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The 21st century version “Build a man a fire, he’s warm for a day. Set a man on fire he’s warm for the rest of his life”

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After 60+ years of transfer payments how much better of an “understanding” do we need? We understand the problem just fine. The problem is the perpetuation of it.

This program is a little different than the usual welfare programs which are administered by an entrenched and detached bureaucratic system passing out unlimited cash entitlements to recipients addicted to that dependable cash flow. As we know from experience that method can deter as many or more people than it helps. It helps many get out of poverty but also perversely works to keep some in poverty, and creates a generational chronic dependency which in turn justifies it’s existence and keeps the bureaucrats happily employed.

This program runs on grant money. To get grant money you must first convince those grant administrators and boards of the need for your service then gain approval of your strategy, structure and processes to meet that need and finally, report the results back to that granting source.

The people involved in this program are not ignorant of the current systems in place and their effectiveness in solving the problems. They have a view that is much more relevant to the potential solutions than we do. I say let’em have a go at it… after all they’re not trying to get more government welfare dollars, they’re trying to solve the problem without using additional welfare dollars to possibly reduce future welfare-dependant citizens.

And… they are using few, if any, of your tax dollars to do it.