Monday, March 3, 2008

Hirsch on the RSA

Martin Hirsch discusses the revenu de solidarité active (RSA) on Rue89. The RSA is intended to remove the disincentive to work that may be built into some current welfare programs, under which a recipient of social assistance may forfeit more by accepting work than the person receives in compensation for the work undertaken. The RSA has been implemented as an experimental program in a number of départements, but a decision is to be taken soon about whether to expand it to the entire country and, if so, at what level of funding. In Hirsch's remarks there is an implicit threat to resign of the funding is not sufficient, which means an amount between 2 and 3 billion euros in his estimation. The imperative to work is not a moral injunction, in Hirsch's view, but a necessity if the welfare state is to be preserved. Those who don't work lose the skills and characteristics required to be productive and become permanent wards of the state, and to allow the number of dependents to increase steadily without taking steps to reverse the trend is unsustainable and therefore unwise, he argues.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

To read on the subject, the following "billet" on Econoclaste:

http://econoclaste.org.free.fr/dotclear/index.php/?2008/02/28/1196-la-ppe-n-est-pas-un-outil-demagogique-destine-a-relancer-la-demande

I have come back and fourth on the issue. I would like to see a data-based evaluation of the system in the French départements where it has been used. Were there poverty traps? Is the financial incentive (money) enough to solve the problem in a significant way? Are there other things, other incentives to the decision not to take a job that could be acted upon? Questions, questions...

MYOS said...

Hirsch is not a minister so what would a resignation do to the government?
On RSA, I found this:
http://www.alternatives-economiques.fr/le-rsa-peut-il-reduire-la-pauvrete-_fr_art_633_36071.html