The Future of Not Working is about a few things, among them the test of universal basic income as viable social policy. It touches on the continuing and seismic shift in labor from humans to machine automation. But what it really helped me understand was how to help those in poverty:
One estimate, generated by Laurence Chandy and Brina Seidel of the Brookings Institution, recently calculated that the global poverty gap — meaning how much it would take to get everyone above the poverty line — was just $66 billion. That is roughly what Americans spend on lottery tickets every year, and it is about half of what the world spends on foreign aid.
People at the bottommost rungs of the socioeconomic ladder know exactly, like surgically-precisely what they need and the best way to get that to them is simple: cash.