Finland’s Universal Basic Income Is Useless and Unworkable

Finland’s Universal Basic Income Is Useless and Unworkable

According to Finnish Trade Union Economist as reported on Bloomberg, “Finland’s basic income experiment is unworkable, uneconomical and ultimately useless. Plus, it will only encourage some people to work less.” The trade union argues this Universal Basic Income program would cost 5% of Finland’s entire gross domestic product, making it impossibly expensive. “The labor group says the results of the two-year pilot program will fail to sway its opposition to a welfare-policy idea that’s gaining traction among those looking for an alternative in the post-industrial age. ‘We think it takes social policy in the wrong direction,’ said Ilkka Kaukoranta, chief economist of the Central Organization of Finnish Trade Unions, which has nearly one million members. Since January, a group of unemployed Finns aged between 25 and 58 have been receiving a stipend of 560 euros ($600) per month. The amount isn’t means-tested and is paid regardless of whether the recipient finds a job, starts a business or returns to school… Advocates say it eliminates poverty traps and redistributes income while empowering the individual and reducing paperwork… While limited in scope (it’s conditional on the beneficiary having received some form of unemployment support in November 2016) and size (it’s based on a randomly-selected sample of 2,000 jobless people), the Finnish trial may help answer questions like: Does it work? Is it worth it? And the most fundamental of all: Does it incite laboriousness or laziness?” (bloomberg.com)

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