I think I was 6 or 7 years old and this was the first and probably the last time my parents were invited to a New Year’s Eve party with their children. It was in a large house somewhere in Ballygunge, with an entire wing set aside for children’s activities, and several nannies running around to keep us there.
With limited success, we added that we had heard that a certain Maharani would be attending, so that was all we could think of. Our parents declined to identify her, perhaps to protect the Maharani from her swarm of curious children. So we tried it ourselves. No one was wearing a crown, and the one who came in wearing a tiara was her cousin, who her child assured us was never the queen. In the end, each person made their own choice. My voice is that of a long-nosed woman in a silver-gray sari, with a tone heavy with boredom that later suggests years of smoking, asking a (male) beloved for a refill of gin. I heard him ask. tonic.
I think most of us have had the experience of a New Year’s Eve that just piled up so much that we were doomed to disappointment. And those that we already know cannot be achieved, but that we need to take action on. I still wonder what that was all about for my Maharani.
Of course, over-promising and under-delivering is one of the occupational hazards in my world. There, the latest innovations in development thinking are sometimes subjected to brutal evidentiary tests. The latest debate is Universal Basic Income (UBI). The idea that everyone should have a basic minimum income, regardless of what else is going on in their economic life, appeals to a wide range of voters. They range from those who believe there is no moral justification for the kind of extreme poverty sometimes seen in India, to Silicon Valley billionaires concerned about the political implications of job losses due to AI. The argument is that by making it universal and unconditional, it removes the incentive for people to exaggerate their poverty, for example to reduce their working hours.
Evidence in developing countries suggests that this concern about strategic laziness is overblown, although people do indeed try to hide their income (for example, by taking cash payments). As a result, government programs that seek to target the poor often end up leaking a significant portion to the non-poor, and perhaps more unfortunately, the programs intended to prevent that leakage often end up leaking a significant portion to the non-poor. Additional (poorly implemented) checks often end up ruling out the majority. About people who are really in trouble. Universal, unconditional programs avoid these targeting errors, but on the other hand, they simply “solve” the problem by giving money to many people who don’t need it. This means there is far less money available to give to people who truly deserve it.
On the other hand, there are many reasons why guaranteed money every month could change people’s behavior. The idea that easy money makes people lazy, or worse, dissolute because they have the time and money to smoke and drink, has a long history in conservative economics and politics. I am.
But there is also a more optimistic view, especially in recent years, that that money could actually become the lubricant for earning more, and that every rupee in UBI could turn into several rupees of extra money for households. Imagine you are someone who might look a little like I used to be, and you dream of quitting your job as a home cook and running a small restaurant.
It’s probably just a roadside stall in Kolkata, with a few makeshift benches and a tarpaulin stretched overhead. There, she can serve her favorite daima dharna, eggs cooked with potatoes and a cumin-accented sauce, and kumroll chokka, a pumpkin stew with ginger-flavored fries. Served with black chickpeas and rice, it’s perfect for those who want to take a break from a busy day. Perhaps what deters her is the fact that local dadas cannot afford to pay the torah (hafta in Hindi) that they arrogantly (and illegally) demand from anyone who attempts to occupy a section of the sidewalk. right. Now, thanks to UBI, she has plenty of time to explore together. Or maybe she has the cash, but what’s holding her back is that no one likes her cooking (she knows she’s a good cook, but people are weird). ), the fear of losing everything. And perhaps the fact that she has UBI to fall back on will help. Or it could be a more psychological cause. Her life so far has been so hard that her husband left and her son overdosed. She doesn’t have the mental energy to start something new. Her new money from her UBI will give her a second wind, and perhaps with it comes a willingness to take leaflets.
Kenya’s westernmost region, where it slips into Lake Victoria, is home to some of the country’s poorest counties. In Siaya and Bomet counties, 85% of the population had experienced hunger in the year before the survey, and since then, Give Direct, a California-based NGO that believes in helping people by giving cash, Lee” funded a UBI for all adults. In 44 villages. They will be guaranteed 75 cents in local currency per day for 12 years.
There was a lot of interest in the outcome of this intervention, so over 300 villages were randomly selected. Another 100 villages were selected as control groups, where no intervention was planned, but similar data were collected. Another of his 80 people took a short-term plan for only two years with the same monthly payment.
We now have some results from this study at exactly the end of the two-year intervention. And the results do not disappoint. First, there is no evidence that getting a UBI makes people lazy. Although the differences are small, they are more effective overall, not less effective. They work less for others and instead work more on their own projects. The number of non-agricultural businesses (think shops and eateries) associated with these villages has increased by almost a third compared to non-intervention villages, and the number of agricultural businesses (think poultry and goat farming) has increased by almost a third. ) are also increasing in number. As a result, income increased by approximately 20% compared to control villages. The fact that the 12-year UBI funding will be there for the foreseeable future seems to have increased the villagers’ capacity and willingness to take on something new. They also eat better, are less depressed, and more likely to say they’re happy.
It is also useful to contrast the effects of two years of UBI. Surprisingly, even if he gets the same amount of money in two years, fewer people in the village start new businesses in two years. Rather, they act as if they are fully aware that they will run out of money quickly and need to find ways to save as much money as possible. New businesses are risky and require continued investment. They instead put their money toward things they can confidently keep, such as improving their existing farms, buying durable goods for their households, and feeding their children better.
My first instinct as an economist is to resist the question of whether they are wasting their money on drinks or cigarettes, for example. After all, when I buy myself wine, I answer to no one. Sure, it might look cool, as proof that I know the good life. So why should poor people be asked such questions? But the world needs answers (and there are real risks to anything addictive), so we collected data on various measures of alcohol consumption. One level of evidence is clear. The proportion of villagers who say they drink alcohol every day is decreasing, and has decreased significantly over 12 years of his UBI. The question is whether they’re just saying it to please us. To get around that, we also asked if other people in the village were drinking too much and causing problems so they could choose to stay “pure”. Again, what the data tells us is good news. Drinking problems are decreasing. Meanwhile, sales at local liquor stores are increasing. But that may be because people are buying higher-quality alcohol rather than indulging in home-brewed booze. Since it’s a new year, I’m thinking more optimistically and going out to buy a few bottles for the party.
cucumber mint cocktail recipe
My new passion for drinking is cocktails that are relatively low in sugar. So it’s more suitable for people in my demographic (and everyone else too, given that we’re facing a tsunami of diabetes).
I’ll show you something easy, delicious, and beautiful.
Put two large peeled and chopped cucumbers in a blender and strain the resulting liquid through cheesecloth to make 1 cup of clear cucumber juice. Combine 1 cup vodka, 1/2 cup elderflower liqueur or sweet vermouth, and 2 tablespoons lime juice in a cocktail shaker and shake well. This is sweet enough for me, but if you want to add 2 tablespoons of stevia syrup (to make stevia syrup, heat 2 tablespoons of stevia powder in 1 cup of water, let it cool until completely dissolved) . Pour ice into a cocktail glass and garnish with a slightly bruised mint leaf.
The views expressed above are the author’s own.
end of article