Adonis Diaries

Archive for September 10th, 2022

At the beginning of this year, Finland has decided to give its citizens free money. No strings attached. No questions asked. (And I want to be such a randomly selected citizen)

As part of the “universal basic income” (UBI) scheme, 2,000 unemployed citizens aged between 25 and 58 were randomly selected to receive cash payments of €560 (almost $640) every month, for two years.

What’s the big idea?

Finland is trying to see if the UBI could replace the traditional system of social benefits.

Unlike regular social security, those receiving the basic income don’t need to prove to anyone that they’re actively looking for a job, nor do they stop receiving the money if they do get work.

There are no monthly check-ins at the local job center and no obligation to accept a job that the center has found for you.

Kela, Finland’s social security institution, hopes that the UBI will achieve three main objectives: 

  1. put an end to poverty,
  2. tackle unemployment, and
  3. cut down on the bureaucracy.

The Finnish government wants to encourage people to find work they really want to do, and even start their own business.

Since the UBI is unconditional, participants don’t have to worry about losing the money if they take on work or set up their own business.

Is it going to work?

Some say that the experiment has already resulted in lower stress levels for those included in the experiment – and no wonder!

Not having to worry about where your next paycheck is coming from would sure take a load off of anyone’s back.

But naysayers argue that in the long run, the UBI will make people work less, not more. For one thing, having an unconditional income could make people lazy. (Not if they are conscious that the payment will stop within 2 years)

For another, the country’s biggest trade union thinks it will encourage companies to pay its workers less, as large corporations will take into account the monthly income.

Not only that, but the left also fears that the right will use the UBI to challenge minimum wage requirements. (Does this payment takes into account the current minimum wage requirements?)

For now, we simply can’t tell what will happen – but finding out is what this experiment is all about.

Kela have made it clear that they’ll keep us all in suspense until the very last minute, as it won’t reveal any of the results before the experiment is over (i.e. 31 December 2018) and the data have been thoroughly analyzed.

We are in 2022. What were the results?




September 2022

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