A Demonstration for Disaster?
by Mikael Honzell
With the SEED project starting next year, a project where a selected 100 families will receive
$500 a month, many people are divided on whether or not this project is a good idea. One of the biggest issues people are finding with this project is once these families get the money that is meant to help them, what will stop them from splurging and spending the money on materialistic things they don’t really need? This is how my interviewee, Guadalupe Boco, my grandmother, felt when I asked what she thought of the project.
Me: What do you think about the SEED project, where about one-hundred qualified families will receive $500 a month?
Lupe: Honestly, I don’t think it's a very good idea. First of all, I didn’t hear too much about where the funds are coming from. Is it from taxpayers? I Heard that it wasn’t, but I don’t understand why certain families have to have $500 a month. How do they know what they're going to do with the money?
Me: Well they’re not keeping track on it or anything.
Lupe: So exactly, that’s the whole point. They’re giving $500 per family to help them, but the thing is, how do they know that that’s what the money is going to be used for? For something that they really need? How do they know that?
Me: Though I understood her position, I couldn’t help but disagree with her. The issue people have with the those receiving the $500 and the possibility of them spending the money on things that the family doesn’t need reminds me of how some feel about financial aid. But as a student, I see that there are some students that will use the money for things they need and some will use it for school related things and gas for transportation and books. I decided to ask Lupe what she would do if she were to receive an extra $500 a month.
Me: What would you do with $500 dollars extra a month?
Lupe: I would probably pay some of my bills. If I had $500 extra, I would try to pay some of my bills. Maybe not pay them off, but try to either catch up on them or pay as much as I could.
Lupe: So like I was saying, how do they know what they’re going to do with the money? If the money is supposed to be for them to get some type of help, why don’t they just pay a bill for them on their behalf or something instead of giving them money. And as far as I know, I haven't heard anything about keeping track on how they’re going to spend the money? What if they go shopping with that money? What if they waste the money? Who’s keeping track of that?
Me: I think it’s just an experiment to see what they do with it. So you don’t think a lot of them are going to probably use it to pay bills, or kind of like what you said you’re going to do?
Lupe: Honestly, I think once they have the money, they might be tempted to splurge with that money, honestly and since no one's keeping track, who’s going to know? Waste of money.
I don’t think that because there are some people out there that may misuse the money the SEED project shouldn’t take place. I understand that there is the possibility of the money being misused, but there are those out there that really need the help and they shouldn’t have to miss out on this opportunity because of that possibility. I think SEED is a great idea and that, if it goes well and positive things come from it, more programs alike could come about and help more families, maybe (and hopefully) even giving a helping hand to the middle class as well, for we
are almost non existent.