The great poverty lie

Fear and Loathing in Great Britain


A letter a day to number 10. No 1,457

Tuesday 07 June 2016.

Dear Mr Cameron,

Two studies, that I know of, have trialled a guaranteed income, one in Canada and the other in India. In both cases there were unreserved positive outcomes. In Canada not least among the benefits they found were, “Participant contacts with physicians declined, especially for mental health, and more adolescents continued into grade 12”. A feared labour fallout did not occur as the programme was, “designed in such a way that there is always a positive incentive to work more hours rather than less, because every dollar received from other sources would reduce benefits by only fifty cents.”

In India, where no work incentives or conditions were imposed, researchers found that there was, “a shift from casual wage labor to more own-account (self-employed) farming and business activity, with less distress-driven out-migration. Women gained more than…

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