Wednesday, October 5, 2016

The Incentive to Help the Poor Should not be to make a Buck

   Operation Diversion 2: Police rounded up 32 homeless people from the Pioneer Park area, giving them a choice of jail or treatment. Most chose treatment.
   I would guess this perhaps might be a good program, but I do have some uncertainty. I have blogged in the past on how we should not let the homeless become an industry. What we do to help the homeless should be to help the homeless, not to provide industry for those who would make a dime off them.
   With the federal government picking up the tab, mind you.
   I understand Operation Division is a limited-time offering. Once the funding is gone, no more sending them so quickly into treatment. I do not know who the providers are -- who provides the treatment -- but I can see there is some danger in this. If they make a buck, of course they are willing to treat as many of the homeless as the police can bring to them.
   Now, if the treatment works, perhaps I have no reason to fear. If we are helping people and changing their lives, go ahead, that is wonderful.
  But, we should see two concerns. One, the federal government is in debt to the tune of $19 trillion. We should be watchful of spending we can't afford. Two, if a person is making his money off them, they are going to push for us to haul in as many people as possible. If their pockets grow, they have incentive to grow the program. It would be better if we did not have such an incentive in the program. What is done to help the poor should be done to help the poor, not to make a buck.

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