Poor Brain, Rich Brain: Latest Data from Researchers
|February 26, 2014||Posted by Staff under Health|
This 2014 excerpt of Truthout, Feb 22, is by Christian Exoo and Calvin F. Exoo.
Poverty is a causal factor (rather than merely correlational) in debilitating medical conditions that leave people sick, unable to work, and unable to think – all factors that then perpetuate poverty.
The Eastern Band of Cherokee paid every member of the tribe $6,000 in 2001, with children’s money going straight to a trust fund. The rate of conduct and oppositional defiant disorders in (now formerly) poor children dropped to that of children who had never experienced poverty. Those children were less likely to commit a crime and more likely to graduate high school. And by age 21, they had almost an additional year of schooling.
ADHD (which is almost twice as likely to appear in poor children as in the general population), is estimated to cost (for treatment, educational adjustments, parents missing work, and juvenile justice) $14,576 per child per year.
The human brain has a finite amount of bandwidth. If it is forced to spend that worrying about poverty, it will necessarily have less capacity to spend on other tasks. The poor often fail to take prescribed medications, fail to use preventative health care, and are less productive workers than their more-comfortable counterparts.
There are 49.7 million Americans currently living below the poverty line. We can expect each of them to gain 13 IQ points if the gap between their needs and their means to meet them were somehow bridged. What could we do with that much extra brain power? Heck, maybe we could even end poverty.
Ed. Notes: While sharing public revenue with the poor does save taxpayers money, the best way to share monies is not the usual welfare for the poor — food stamps, minimum wage, public housing, etc. It’d be much more efficient to just pay everyone an extra income, no strings attached. And it’d be much fairer to not use taxes on income and business but instead recover the socially-generated values of land and resources. Levy a land tax or charge a land use fee or raise the deed fee to the rental value of the location or institute land dues or lease public resources at full value, et al. Then parcel out that revenue to citizens as a dividend, sort of like Alaska, Aspen CO, and Singapore do.
At the same time, it’d be fair and cost-saving to abolish the corporate welfare for the rich. And if the government does quit taxing labor and capital, then people will become more productive and they’ll bid up the value of locations. That, in turn, will fatten the Citizen’s Dividend.
It’s geonomics, it works, but the left who argue for more of the same old welfare which has never gotten to the root of the problem don’t see it — yet.