A new (old) argument against a guaranteed basic income

Later this year, roughly 6,000 people in Kenya will receive regular monthly payments of about a dollar a day, no strings attached, as part of a policy experiment commonly known as basic income.

…In a recent GiveDirectly blog post, the charity’s Kenya-based official, Will Le, explains that refusal rates in East Africa have typically held steady between 4% and 6% in past cash transfer trials. They’ve been especially low in countries like Uganda and Rwanda. In one Kenyan region known as Homa Bay, however, the rates have risen as high as 40%.

…GiveDirectly’s investigations have shown that people who refuse the cash are skeptical. They find it “hard to believe that a new organization like GiveDirectly would give roughly a year’s salary in cash, unconditionally,” Le writes. “As a result, many people have created their own narratives to explain the cash, including rumors that the money is associated with cults or devil worship.”

Here is the full story, the pointer is from the excellent Samir Varma.  And here is the GiveDirectly response.

Samir also refers us to this study of why not all states have legalized medical marijuana, here is one result: “If all 50 states had legalized medical marijuana by 2014, according to their estimates, that could translate to savings of $1.5 billion per year in Medicaid spending.”


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