For decades, various governments across the globe have been in search of the Holy Grail of ending poverty within their borders.
The newest Holy Grail over poverty? It's a EU strategy. I suspect somewhere in the 1990s....someone wrote a college thesis on this topic and it's been dusted off and given some form of life to test the idea.
The idea is to go and select some people within an economic zone which you would declare as 'poverty-stricken' or marginal working class. Then you inject a grant to that family of 400 to 525 Euro per month extra, for two years. You can do the math....this adds up to approximately 10,000 Euro approximately over a twenty-four month period.
Where does the grant money come from? A EU revenue pocket. They aren't worried about this cost....it only adds up to 13-million Euro.
Who got the funding? Three cities in Europe. Across the whole city of Helsinki, the Besos suburb of Barcelona, Spain, and Utrecht, Netherlands.
The basic idea or hoped outcome is that these three areas will come back in three years with the experiment finished, and collected data from the thousand-odd participants in this episode.
My humble thoughts?
1. Four hundred to five-hundred-and twenty-five Euro is a step up. The average family will go and buy a new TV....take a week-long holiday or vacation....have a bigger Christmas gift list than previously....and likely spend 20-percent of the money on electronic-like gadgets or equipment.
2. Some businesses in these regions will notice a slight upward trend on purchases.
3. The end-result research will determine that for this two-year period, there was a happier outcome to the family's misery and woes. Along the way, there were arguments and discontent on the priority of the use of the money from within the family.....child versus adult....mother versus father....and in a few families, the discontent or arguments created a fractured situation where one of the parents had to leave.
4. The EU will bring these results back to the table within four years and suggest that EU-wide....a 300-Euro stipend should be paid out to each single household within the EU, on top of the present marginal pay situation or welfare payment. Where will the tens of billions come from? New taxation....mostly on the wealthier members of society. Eventually, they will decide that the 300-Euro a month isn't enough for happiness, and that the 400-to-500 Euro a month is necessary.....bringing up the need for additional taxes on top of the previous upgrade of taxes.
The thing about this supplement, if you think about the temp nature in these three cities....it's only temporary. So you can't make a radical decision to use the money and leave the crappy neighborhood that you live in. Use of the money for cigarettes and booze? Well....yeah, it's best not to bring up the fact that 10 to 20 percent of this money might be for some poor choices. In some families....maybe even half of the money will go toward marijuana, smokes, or beer.
If I were a betting person....I think the supplement idea will hang around and simply become a new tax gimmick within five years. The end-result by the research team will be that money can buy happiness, and they will grin as they say this....making you question their motive.