January 14, 2014 in Letters, Opinion

$1,000 a month for all

 

Rich people have spare money. Poor people are strapped. So what’s the best way to fight poverty? Better sit down, tea party members, because you aren’t gonna like this: Give poor people money.

Social scientist Joseph Hanlon remarks, “Poverty is fundamentally about a lack of cash. It’s not about stupidity. You can’t pull yourself up by your bootstraps if you have no boots.”

In fact, let’s give everybody in America money, say $1,000 a month. Exceptions: you are under 18 or in jail. A thousand bucks won’t significantly benefit a rich person, but to a poor person it would be huge. Call this program “Social Security for all,” “guaranteed minimum income,” “basic minimum income,” whatever. Same concept, same benefits.

Next: Jettison the army of bureaucrats administering programs that allegedly “help” poor people, but have the effect of insulting and infantilizing them. Offer grown-up freedom of choice, not punishment-oriented restriction.

Ditch welfare, food stamps, housing vouchers, Medicaid (buy your own insurance off the exchange with your money), etc. You are personally accountable. Blow it and you’re broke for a while. No more milking the system. Finally, money for education, housing, food.

Smaller government, more personal accountability. Isn’t that what conservative Republicans want?

Nancy Runyan

Spokane Valley

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