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Revere’s Senior Center and the Cobra effect

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Dear Mayor Arrigo,

  Is (Councillor-at-Large) Marc Silvestri’s plan likely to pass? Wondering if you’ve ever heard of “the Cobra effect”? Basically, it’s a tale of perverse incentive.

  In India under the British, there were too many cobras on the streets so they offered to pay people to bring in cobras. This initially lowered the number of cobras but then of course people started growing them to get the payouts. They were left with more cobras than ever before.

  That’s not specifically to equate the homeless to that situation, but you will be incentivizing that lifestyle for those potentially on the edge who might otherwise have to work out garnering and gaining premises. That becomes less of a factor if there’s always a place to rest one’s head at night, respective of having gainfully accrued the work and effort and finance to do same.


Randall Bock, MD

Revere, MA

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