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  1. #1
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    Experiment to Pay NYC Poor for Good Behavior

    Experiment to Pay NYC Poor for Good Behavior

    Tuesday , June 19, 2007

    AP


    NEW YORK
    Poor residents will be rewarded for good behavior like $300 for doing well on school tests, $150 for holding a job and $200 for visiting the doctor under an experimental anti-poverty program that city officials detailed Monday.

    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.

    In New York, the two-year pilot program with about 14,000 participants will use private funds Bloomberg has raised because he did not want to spend government money on something that is highly experimental. More than $43 million has been raised toward the $53 million goal, Deputy Mayor Linda Gibbs said.

    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.

    Bloomberg, a billionaire Republican, said he believes paying people in such circumstances to make good decisions could help break those patterns. The program "gives New Yorkers in poverty a financial incentive to look ahead and make decisions that will improve their prospects for the future," he said in a statement.

    But some critics have raised questions about cash reward programs, saying they promote the misguided idea that poor people could be successful if they just made better choices.

    "It just reinforces the impression that if everybody would just work hard enough and change their personal behavior we could solve poverty in this country, and that's not reflected in the facts," said Margy Waller, co-founder of Inclusion, a research and policy group in Washington.

    Waller, who served as a domestic policy adviser in the Clinton administration, said it would be more effective to focus on labor issues, such as making sure wage laws are enforced and improving benefits for working people.

    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.

    The World Bank model for cash reward programs in other countries is that the value of the incentive should equal about a third of a household's income to have any lasting influence on changing behavior. The average amount that a family or adult can earn through the rewards each year is about $3,000 to $6,000; a family of three living in poverty earns about $17,000 a year.

    Recipients, who are being selected this summer before the program begins in the fall, will be able to have the money deposited directly into their bank accounts. If they don't have accounts, they can get cards that are like debit cards but cannot be overdrawn.

    The city is asking the federal government to excuse the payments from being taxed. Participants will be divided into three smaller programs that have different criteria and awards: one for about 2,550 families, one for 2,400 single adults and another for 9,000 children in grades 4 to 7.

    To measure the effectiveness of the rewards, control groups of similar size will not be paid but will be studied by participating in regular surveys and reviews from an outside social policy research group, Gibbs said. The control participants will receive small incentives, such as weekly MetroCards for paying bus and subway fares, for their time and trouble.




  2. #2
    Twan007's Avatar
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    hell, can i get an extra buck-fifty for holding a job?...

    or three for doing well on a school test... what's that add up to for a college degree?

    and throw on top of that tax free... sweet deal


    great idea... but afraid that it might backfire =/
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  3. #3
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    do they get extra money for wearing a condom? I mean, come the hell on.....

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  4. #4
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    This does sound like a good idea. I hope it works.

  5. #5
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    no no no rob, you've got that all wrong...

    you can't stop people from procreating... or even suggest that they stop...

    I mean seriously though... what ever happened to taking pride in yourself for doing a good job, or maybe trying to better the circumstances around the situation that you're born into... or creating a better life for your kids than you have... or... nevermind, i'm sure you see my point...

    what lesson is being taught/learned... because the second they get out of "poor" status... the gov't is going to stop rewarding...

    wanna know why I think it'll backfire?

    you're not teaching them to take pride in anything, you're teaching to do just enough to get some free money... outstanding concept... because it worked so well around here after Katrina =/

    look at the difference in the Katrina victims and the Rita victims... the coon-asses who bust their ass everyday to put food on the table got back, told the gov't to back off, and started rebuilding... Katrina??? hell, they wouldn't consider coming back until some free stuff was being talked about...

    plus, i mean hell, how you gonna enforce that one I for one do not wanna be on that division

    was wondering how long it would be before jenna got on and saw
    Last edited by Twan007; 06-19-07 at 11:00 AM. Reason: just because ;)
    -=Twan007


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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Twan007 View Post
    no no no rob, you've got that all wrong...

    you can't stop people from procreating... or even suggest that they stop...

    plus, i mean hell, how you gonna enforce that one I for one do not wanna be on that division

    was wondering how long it would be before jenna got on and saw
    (sigh) I know

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  7. #7
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    sorry... had to add some rant in my previous post...
    -=Twan007


    Lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on mine.

    Not one shred of evidence supports the notion that life is serious.





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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Twan007 View Post
    sorry... had to add some rant in my previous post...
    its cool bro, I was just thinking about the procreation thing. How would that work? go door to door, peeping in and asking "you wearing a condom? ok, good, carry on"

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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Twan007 View Post
    I mean seriously though... what ever happened to taking pride in yourself for doing a good job, or maybe trying to better the circumstances around the situation that you're born into... or creating a better life for your kids than you have... or... nevermind, i'm sure you see my point...
    Rob is contagious!

    Maybe some poor people have experienced so many failures that they are just living one day at a time, because they no longer believe that they will be rewarded in the long term for studying hard, trying to help their children study hard, and trying to get and hold down jobs. Even if they at first need immediate payoffs to motivate them to lead lifestyles likely to result in upward mobility, once they have the diplomas and work experience they will start getting even bigger payoffs (financial and socio-emotional) from their higher socioeconomic status, and want to keep doing well to keep them.

    At least this kind of incentive system is better than the alternative of giving them money that's not tied to incentives, wouldn't you agree?

  10. #10
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    I am poor and I am good. I hope they start paying me!
    The opinions given in my posts DO NOT reflect the opinions, views, policies, and/or procedures of my employing agency. They are my personal opinions only, thereby releasing my agency of any liability, or involvement in anything posted under the username "Beans" on LEF.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jenna View Post
    Rob is contagious!

    Maybe some poor people have experienced so many failures that they are just living one day at a time, because they no longer believe that they will be rewarded in the long term for studying hard, trying to help their children study hard, and trying to get and hold down jobs. Even if they at first need immediate payoffs to motivate them to lead lifestyles likely to result in upward mobility, once they have the diplomas and work experience they will start getting even bigger payoffs (financial and socio-emotional) from their higher socioeconomic status, and want to keep doing well to keep them.

    At least this kind of incentive system is better than the alternative of giving them money that's not tied to incentives, wouldn't you agree?
    that's why I said it's a good idea... but I'm somewhat cynical... so forgive that... but it seems to be human nature to take advantage of a situation if the opportunity arises =/ I hope it doesn't backfire, but be prepared just in case it does

    and no Jenna, I've never been a believer in the concept that you should get something for nothing... guess that's the "country boy" coming out in me

    but then hell... Communism is incredible in theory too
    -=Twan007


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  12. #12
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    I'm mixed on this one, believe it or not...

    In a way, success of this program could very well demonstrate the folly of the "rewards for failure" social entitlement programs that the U.S. currently operates (and that I recently /ranted about). By rewarding good decisions, rather than paying the tab on all the bad ones, perhaps Bloomberg's program could start a trend which will revamp and improve public assistance. This is like a pilot of welfare reform in a way... interesting. It will be even more interesting to see the results.

    Now then, given the above, I almost have to wonder how this might actually create a tug-of-war between the Bloomberg program and public assistance. I also wonder how this will be policed to prevent fraud.

    Of course, it is fitting that the staunch wealth re-distribution idiots would immediately begin sniping at any idea which could take away from the "buy-the-poor-vote", "tax-and-spend", "government-is-your-daddy" mindset; especially one that is being funded privately and doesn't fall under their control. After all, they only succeed when government grows bigger and fatter.

    I will make a prediction though: This program will be challenged legally. At some point, some liberal special interest entity certainly step in and claim that the program is racially biased...

    Want to lay a bet on it, Jenna?

    "The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money."
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  13. #13
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    How about this theory?
    We take care of the poor for the rest of their lives. Every time they have a child, their payment decreases instead of increases. After three kids, they get nothing. That will give them an incentive to have -less children, not more. In the future, we will have less people to take care of. If the government did that 50 years ago, we would hardly have anyone living off the government tit now.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by snuffy2202 View Post
    How about this theory?
    We take care of the poor for the rest of their lives. Every time they have a child, their payment decreases instead of increases. After three kids, they get nothing. That will give them an incentive to have -less children, not more. In the future, we will have less people to take care of. If the government did that 50 years ago, we would hardly have anyone living off the government tit now.
    +10000000000000000000000000000 0!!!!

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  15. #15
    Jenna's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by snuffy2202 View Post
    How about this theory?
    We take care of the poor for the rest of their lives. Every time they have a child, their payment decreases instead of increases. After three kids, they get nothing. That will give them an incentive to have -less children, not more. In the future, we will have less people to take care of. If the government did that 50 years ago, we would hardly have anyone living off the government tit now.
    You should run for office in China!

  16. #16
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    We don't kill the newborns, we just don't pay for them.

 

 

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