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(3,160 posts)
Tue Jul 21, 2015, 10:04 PM Jul 2015

Dutch city of Utrecht to experiment with a universal, unconditional 'basic income'


The Dutch city of Utrecht will start an experiment which hopes to determine whether society works effectively with universal, unconditional income introduced.

The city has paired up with the local university to establish whether the concept of 'basic income' can work in real life, and plans to begin the experiment at the end of the summer holidays.

Basic income is a universal, unconditional form of payment to individuals, which covers their living costs. The concept is to allow people to choose to work more flexible hours in a less regimented society, allowing more time for care, volunteering and study.

University College Utrecht has paired with the city to place people on welfare on a living income, to see if a system of welfare without requirements will be successful.
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Dutch city of Utrecht to experiment with a universal, unconditional 'basic income' (Original Post) FlatBaroque Jul 2015 OP
Wouldn't people flood into the city? LittleBlue Jul 2015 #1
I never understood this idea, its seems false, I've known plenty of people... Humanist_Activist Jul 2015 #2
Good post, thanks! FlatBaroque Jul 2015 #4
FreeLoader Invasion greytdemocrat Jul 2015 #3
This is the most important experiment being done today, I think (nt) Recursion Jul 2015 #5
On a lot of levels, yes Hydra Jul 2015 #7
If a foreign multinational in a basic income city aspirant Jul 2015 #8
No (nt) Recursion Jul 2015 #9
I was excited when they announced this last month Hydra Jul 2015 #6


(10,362 posts)
1. Wouldn't people flood into the city?
Tue Jul 21, 2015, 10:07 PM
Jul 2015

I like the idea, but the basic income could never be so high that it discourages working.



(7,670 posts)
2. I never understood this idea, its seems false, I've known plenty of people...
Tue Jul 21, 2015, 10:26 PM
Jul 2015

who didn't have to work(healthy retirements), but still choose to because not working is boring and, to put it frankly, dehumanizing, at least until they are no longer healthy enough or have the energy levels to keep up with it. Even then many devote themselves to hobbies.

I don't see myself not doing anything, but I can certainly see having a livable mincome as a way for me to attempt a career I'm interested in that I might otherwise not bother attempting due to risk of things like homelessness or starvation. It would be a nice supplement to my otherwise livable mincome.

Also, cities have current occupancy limits based on land area, amount of living spaces, buildings, etc. Plenty of people may want to move into the city, doesn't mean they all will be able to. But here's another point, even those not working who moved to the city to just play video games all day and eat junk food are doing more for the local economy than someone who is near homeless with little to no income. The mincome person is spending that money, rent, utilities, etc. will still have to be paid, what they have left over they can spend on whatever they want, and that money recirculates into the local economy, providing things like VAT taxes, income for stores, etc. Whether it covers the costs of providing the mincome for that person and/or its also offset by other people's activities is the big question.

But here's a stark fact, automation is going to have a much more profound impact on the 21st century labor force than it did on the 20th century labor force. I've seen estimates as high as 40% of people becoming unemployable in jobs and specialties as diverse as truck drivers, cashiers, office managers and administrators, etc. These people will not be able to find much work in the future, outside of possibly niche markets and some new fields not yet conceived of. As a matter of policy, we cannot abandon people to poverty due to automation, and we can't stop the development of technology that will lead to this. A mincome is a possible compromise.


(3,160 posts)
4. Good post, thanks!
Tue Jul 21, 2015, 10:50 PM
Jul 2015

I agree that automation and technilogy will render "human work" less necessary. A minimum income is going to become part of the conversation.


(14,459 posts)
7. On a lot of levels, yes
Wed Jul 22, 2015, 12:36 AM
Jul 2015

If this works, we could have a huge amount of social and economic benefits come of it.


(3,533 posts)
8. If a foreign multinational in a basic income city
Wed Jul 22, 2015, 03:12 AM
Jul 2015

can't find enough laborers to produce their product, can they sue the city for lost profits thru the Investor State Tribunals?

Agree, this is vital


(14,459 posts)
6. I was excited when they announced this last month
Wed Jul 22, 2015, 12:35 AM
Jul 2015

Hopefully the trial runs will work well and spread- we need something like this in the US and elsewhere to offset climate change and other environmental damage, as well as the social damage that the excessive work requirement has caused.

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