It's About Not Having The Money You Need To Buy The Things You Want

Our new digital media has some big bright successes where it highlights truth that--while well documented--is too far outside the conventional wisdom to be printed in the New York Times.  

The monthly murder of unarmed black men by local police continues, but thanks to camera phones and digital media, the WaPo started paying attention. The absolutely vital development: govt now keeps track of these murders.  

Another truth--that leaded gasoline is behind both the rise and dramatic fall of crime over the past 6 decades--still hasn't cracked the thick, fossilized skulls of the folks at the NYT who write about cops and crime, but it will, thanks to the work of Kevin Drum. 

It matches up internationally, too.  

It matches up internationally, too.  

Another critical insight is that the problem of not enough money is solved by... money. A ton of credit on this goes to Dylan Matthews, first at Wonkblog, now at Vox. He's got a new piece on the giving people free money program in Kenya that I highlighted recently. He uses the example of a woman named Jacklin Okotch Osodo to lay out how free money solves poverty:

Jacklin’s choice flies in the face of a persistent myth propagated about the poor, both in the developing world and in rich countries. This myth says that poor people can’t be trusted with money — that it’s better to give them concrete things like food or bednets or school supplies.

And yet Jacklin is being given cash with no strings attached, and choosing to use it in the way that she feels will most benefit her family in the long run. She isn’t frittering it away, or wasting it, or hoarding it for herself. The myth of the irresponsible welfare recipient just doesn’t apply.