California Democrats Study Kenya’s Poverty Solution

( – California Democrats have traveled to Kenya to investigate socialism as a solution to poverty. Los Angeles County Supervisor Holly Mitchell and state Assemblymember Matt Haney from San Francisco went to Kisumu County in the West African nation and affirmed their belief that giving cash to people with no strings attached is the route out of hardship.

In Kisumu County, residents receive a payment of $25 per month as part of a basic income program, and US officials believe the idea could work effectively in the United States. “It’s actually very similar in many ways and affirms our belief in this model—that when you give people cash and choice, they uplift themselves, their families, and their communities,” Matt Haney said.

The Kenyan initiative is facilitated by GiveDirectly, a charity organization that provides cash payments to struggling people in Kenya, Malawi, and Liberia. It is the world’s largest and longest-running such initiative, having begun in 2017, and has distributed millions of dollars to tens of thousands of individuals in hundreds of villages in the region.

GiveDirectly chooses its recipients as part of a study and operates three distinct models. There are 44 villages where around 5,000 residents receive $0.75 a day. This is long-term basic income, and each recipient receives the payment for 12 years. In the second instance, the occupants of 80 villages receive $0.75 every day, but only for two years. In example three, the villagers receive the 12-year income amount in a single lump sum. A fourth set of towns receive nothing, and the programs are compared to test how effectively the payments reduce poverty.

The Golden State is already running basic income programs as an experiment. In 2021, 125 people were chosen to receive $500 per month without strings, and its proponents lauded it as a great success. Results show that some people have been able to lift themselves out of difficult situations; critics maintain that it encourages dependency and allows the state to control the lives of individuals.

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