(An example taken from Trial and Error by Tim Hardford)
In America, it's required by law to post notices of employee rights in some common area of the place of employment. My current job has about 20 pages of notices posted just inside a secondary entrance, I doubt anyone's read them.
I think that system is pretty flawed. I like the idea of the government sending people periodic notices of their employee rights, and maybe regular reminders that focus on one particular right at a time (as a big packet given around your start date is unlikely to be read completely or remembered when a relevant issue arises).
"Under the terms of a new law, helping migrants legalize their status in Hungary by distributing information about the asylum process or providing them with financial assistance could result in a 12-month jail term."
Also you (accidentally?) Glossed over the part that it's targeting illegal immigrants.
It's specifically targeting potential asylum seekers that are “illegal immigrants” only to the extent that they are unaware of the proper asylum process by criminalizing correcting that deficiency.
If / when that happens, OP would then be correct in his claim. Until then, he is incorrect.
Be careful of the precedent you are setting, normalizing fact-free judgement in society might someday turn on you.
Finding an elegant yet financialy viable and low trade-off solution is not trivial and the article seems to be underselling the thoughts that went into that for comedic effect.
The sad part is it only improves the situation by 26%.
That's pretty good though going from 50% to 63% with just a simple postcard is a huge reward for a tiny investment. That's before they did any other efforts like the common knowledge campaign talked about later in the article.
I vastly prefer the text-only site and am glad NPR has it. The photos and other page crap never help with the article anyway, just slow down reading.
I suppose then that the lists held by the distribution centers need to be regularly updated. But then when someone is on the margin (or perhaps for everyone above the poverty line), they can have incentive to say, "Look, here's my card, I'm eligible!" Then the distribution center says, "Nope, says here that you're not poor anymore." Those disputes would need to get resolved, and I can imagine that they can get bogged down in bureaucracy. Worse still, for cases on the margin, distribution centers may have ability to let corruption decide that recipients should be ineligible when they're eligible.
I think that the idea and results are great. I'm just curious how they deal with the cases on the margin. Or does resolution just wait until the next year's income taxes get filed and everyone gets reprocessed accordingly to check for status changes?
Universal basic rice.
If everyone is able to buy rice airdropped in by a richer government or charity for a token amount (or free), it becomes very difficult to support yourself as a local rice farmer. If only a subset of the population which was previously unable to buy a significant amount of rice is able to do so, it doesn't affect the local rice market.
The misdistribution mentioned at the beginning of the article is a worst possible case: the poorest people not given their cheap rice are unable to afford enough to eat at all; people who may be hurting but aren't the worst off get cheap or free rice instead of buying rice they might (barely) be able to afford from local rice farmers.
For example they may think the item has less or no value ("Why are they just giving this to us? Are they trying to poison us?"), or think the item is unlimited.
The point isn't to recoup costs, but to make the recipients value the item.
A wise man was called to solve a problem for the Emperor, and he did so. The Emperor asked what he could give him as a reward. The wise man said humbly, "I do not ask for much. I wish for a chess board with one grain of rice on the first square, two grains on the second square, four grains on the third square, and so forth." The Emperor agreed. Any idea on how the story ends?
The card doesn't tell a person that they are eligible, the card tells a person what makes them eligible for what.
The problem you're mentioning is an unrelated problem that every income based social program faces.
You can also send these cards yearly, and mark then as such.
And send the village head a paper saying so-and-so is no longer eligible this year, and also post that info in the local newspaper, etc.
The system depends on common, widespread knowledge to prevent people from cheating. If it depends too much on a single proof like the postcard, it's vulnerable to forgery.
Also interesting: there are people for whom a kilo of rice is meaningful. Holy f'ing hell, this world is imbalanced.
The other point is that notifying the endpoint was simple and effective and did not require any changes (typically added complexity) to the rest of the system.
I just wish the EU wasn't so overly bureaucratic in how it's managed or explained.