Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Bloomberg's Novel New Plan

Bloomberg announced a new plan to help allay poverty by offering cash incentives for people who take positive steps to improve their education or the health of their children. Details of the plan have yet to be released, but similar programs have shown promise in Mexico and Brazil.

I like what Bloomberg had to say on the issue:
"Long experience has taught us that simply throwing dollars at poverty does not make it go away. We've learned that lesson. We will target our resources, closely monitor results, and discard what doesn't work."

Much like education, simply throwing money at problems does not solve them. Yes, we should encourage personal responsibility, but part of the problem with the welfare state is that often the benefits are better than if a recipient graduates into a low-paying job. So maybe offering cash incentives for furthering one’s potential in the job market might be a good way to encourage people to get out of the cycle of poverty.

The proposal calls for funding with private donations, so if it doesn’t work, at least it's not our tax dollars. I look forward to seeing more details on this plan.

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