Residents of a Kenyan village learn they will receive UBI payments from GiveDirectly.
 Credit: Oliver Ochanda / Vox

Large sections of my brain that could contain useful knowledge are instead filled up with dumb tweets I saw years ago. One of my absolute favorites was someone identifying himself only as “Side Hustle King,” who would ask his followers, “Would you rather get paid $1,000,000 right now or $50 every month for the rest of your life? I’ll take Option B. That’s what passive income is.”

To save you some arithmetic: Unless you plan to live at least another 1,667 years (which is what it would take to make $1 million in $50 monthly increments) and do not care about inflation, Side Hustle King is mistaken. Option A is far better. It’s a case in point that, sometimes, you should take the lump sum, not regular payments.

GiveDirectly, a charitable nonprofit that sends cash directly to low-income households, has identified another such case, one where the answer was a little less obvious. For years now, GiveDirectly has […]

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