Free Money

The premise:

“Poor are poor because, by definition, they don’t have money. So why don’t aid agencies just give them money, instead of pursuing expensive, inefficient schemes to change living conditions?”

Maybe.

Click to read the Boston Globe piece.

Personal thoughts: seems to me that investment in education and infrastructure (thinking about the Guatemalan Cooperation for Education here) are more integral to success than doling out hard cash to the extremely poor… Either way, different flavors of wealth redistribution (either through NGOs, traditional aide programs, or cash handouts) seem to be similar yet divergent pathways towards poverty remediation. I contend that different pathways are required for different circumstances.

In my hood for example, if you hand extremely poor folk cash, they’ll likely go on a short-term drug binge with it with no thoughts on their own long-term betterment. On the other hand, if you provide them with shelter, continuing education, and a sense of self-worth, they just might learn to fend for themselves. The infrastructure required for success is theoretically already in place as long as you don’t count the current state of most major Durham roads.

Thoughts?

[Drake Bennett @ the Boston Globe via The Browser]

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July 20, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , . Reading.

3 Comments

  1. 42qs replied:

    They seem to have decided to fix them all at once, in the middle of the night…over the course of months. (Roads)

    An interesting point. Human nature want to earn something. Much like Habitat’s sweat equity. Money given is like a gift: I can buy what I want. Money earned is more personal, I can feel the hours I put into creating it, maybe that’s incentive to put most of that money up for nessisary things?

  2. 42qs replied:

    They seem to have decided to fix them all at once, in the middle of the night…over the course of months. (Roads)

    An interesting point. Human nature wants to earn something. Much like Habitat’s sweat equity. Money given is like a gift: I can buy what I want. Money earned is more personal, I can feel the hours I put into creating it, maybe that’s incentive to put most of that money up for nessisary things?

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