by Tyler Durden
Technocrats around the world have been pushing
for Universal Basic Income in order to offset
the jobs to be lost to the robot revolution.
Finland experimented with UBI and has now
abandoned the project. The pros and cons are
finally being revealed.
"I felt a great disturbance in the farce, as if millions of
socialist voices suddenly cried out in terror, and were
I fear something rational has happened."
champions such as Richard Branson, Facebook boss Mark
Zuckerberg, and Tesla CEO Elon Musk, backing the idea of
governments giving non-working people money (from working people) to
do nothing - what could go wrong?
Well, two years after enthusiastically beginning its experiment with
a universal basic income - in which people are paid an unconditional
salary by the state instead of benefits - Finland (after
experimenting with it) is abandoning the project as
government enthusiasm wanes and additional funding requests are
As a reminder, The Telegraph
explains Universal basic income is
a form of cash payment given to individuals, without means testing
or work requirements.
In some models this is at
a rate sufficient to cover all living expenses.
Proponents argue that:
The lack of
expensive means-testing leads to a higher proportion of the
budget going to recipients. This would be more efficient
of universal payments would drastically reduce the need to
detect benefits fraud
One scheme could
replace the current complex arrangement of government
benefits, rebates and tax rebates
Work will always
benefit recipients of this welfare, rather than the
'benefits trap' that leaves part-time workers
Critics argue that:
may be inflationary and, in attempting to move all
individuals out of poverty, it may simply raise the level of
the poverty line
It may reduce the
incentive to work and studies have found some evidence to
A reduction in
taxable income would reduce the government's ability to
cover other expenses, such as healthcare
Universal income as a
policy dates from at least
Thomas Paine's 1795 Agrarian
It is currently more
closely aligned with left-wing politics, where it would be funded
through income from nationalized assets.
Several countries have experimented with a universal basic income,
And now Finland has
killed the plan... (via
Since January 2017, a
random sample of 2,000 unemployed people aged 25 to 58 have been
paid a monthly €560 (£475) , with no requirement to seek or
Any recipients who
took a job continued to receive the same amount.
Furthermore, the government has also imposed stricter benefits
plans, introducing legislation making some benefits for
unemployed people contingent on taking training or working at
least 18 hours in three months.
is making changes taking the system away from basic income,"
Kela's Miska Simanainen told the Swedish newspaper Svenska
Of course, the liberal
gliterrati are up in arms over
Olli Kangas, an expert involved in the trial, told the
Finnish public broadcaster YLE:
"Two years is too
short a period to be able to draw extensive conclusions from
such a big experiment. We should have had extra time and more
money to achieve reliable results."
we previously noted, as automation
destroy millions of middle-income jobs,
permanently forcing (primarily male) workers from the workforce.
Americans are beginning to reconsider
their attitudes toward a radical policy tool that's popular among
some segments of the left:
Universal Basic Income.
CNBC, a recent poll conducted by
Northeastern University and Gallup
found that 48% of Americans support the measure.
In an association
that's hardly a coincidence, the poll also showed that
three-quarters of Americans believe machines will take away more
jobs than they'll generate...
Unsurprisingly 65% of Democrats want
to see a universal basic income
and 54% of people between the ages of 18 and 35 do.
just 28% of Republicans support UBI.
While proposals for
universal basic income programs vary, the most common one is a
system in which the federal government sends out regular checks to
everyone, regardless of their earnings or employment.
That system is
being tested in Canada as well as
Stockton, California, which
recently emerged from bankruptcy but remains mired in poverty.
Perhaps Finland's failure will wake
some of the free shit army up that it can't end well...