Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Bloomberg Editors: Cure Poverty By Speaking SLOWLY to Dumb Poor People

Like speaking slowly to someone who doesn't speak your language  ("Where is the baaath rooooom?"), the genius editors at Bloomberg News think that if we just dumbed down the communications from our government, poverty would be alleviated. 
Making that letter very clear -- with simple language, an easy-to-read font and well-spaced text -- boosted the response rate by another 9 percentage points. And telling people how much money they could get increased their odds of participating by another 8 percentage points.
Taken together, those three small changes -- repetition, simplification and disclosure of potential benefits -- persuaded 31 percent more eligible tax filers to claim the earned income tax credit.
This is grounded in some truisms, notably that government communications are notoriously unclear and hard to penetrate.  Second, poor people, on average, are not well-educated, so, yes, they might be less inclined to understand.  But there is so much wrong with this line of thinking. 

First, it's arrogant and typical of elitist lefties - we MUST SPEAK SLOWLY TO THE POOR PEOPLE.  Second, these changes presume that poor people are unaware of how to get goodies from the government.  They are not. 

Finally, this has nothing to do with alleviating actual poverty, it has only to do with lowering a statistical measure - the poverty rate - that merely aims to show the effectiveness of the redistribution of resources.

Essentially, Bloomberg is saying that the redistribution mechanism of government isn't even good at what it does AND we need to do things to make government look better at giving away your money.


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