People Against Laziness / Get Help Get Active offers new clients $10 to compensate them for spending an hour to complete the Belief Assessment Interview. Some people who have heard about this offer have commented that people might be willing to participate in the BAI even though they were not really lazy – just to get the money. The purpose of this article is to respond to that observation.
So, the core idea in that kind of observation is that, the promise of money can (sometimes) motivate a person to make an un-true statement. In other words, there is a danger in offering people cash in order to get them to talk about their inner motives – since they might just lie to get the money.
But isn’t that the same dynamic (potentially) that is happening whenever the government offers people cash through the various public assistance programs? In other words, the premise of the government’s offer is that they are looking for people who are needy but not lazy. So, in the case of a person who is poor primarily because he is lazy, doesn’t the government’s offer give the person an incentive to lie and claim that he is not lazy?
Of course there are many people who do, legitimately, deserve help from government and private charities. The point of this article, though, is simply to respond to the observation that there may be some people who would be willing to (falsely) claim that they are lazy in order to get cash from PAL.
There is at least one important difference between PAL’s offer and the Welfare office’s offer. Specifically, the amount of time and energy that you need to invest to get money out of PAL is $10/hour. However, for the Welfare office, the long-term payoff is, potentially, much higher in terms of $/hour.
For more information, see our Getting Paid To Get Help page.