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Wed Dec 21, 2016, 10:04 PM

Finland: Basic Income experiment authorized by Parliament starting Jan 9th

Well done Finns

"Finland’s Ministry of Social Affairs and Health drafted the legislative proposal for the experiment in August, and submitted the proposal to Parliament after hearing public opinions on the draft proposal. The proposal elicited some controversy, in part due to the relatively small size of the basic income (560 EUR) as well as the choice of sample population, which will consist only of recipients of the country’s unemployment benefits. However, the basic design of the experiment remains unchanged: a random sample of 2,000 individuals, drawn from current working-age beneficiaries of unemployment benefits, will receive an unconditional basic income of 560 EUR per month for a two-year period. (Brief responses to the objections are included in the most recent version of Kela’s report on the experiment.)

The primary objective of the experiment is to assess whether an unconditional basic income promotes employment. Experimenters will compare the employment rate among basic income recipients to that within a control group of individuals who continue to receive traditional unemployment benefits. As Kela’s website states, the Finnish government is interested in basic income due to its potential to “reduce the amount of work involved in seeking financial assistance” and “free up time and resources for other activities such as working or seeking employment”. The experiment will also provide data used to estimate the cost of implementing a nationwide basic income."


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Reply Finland: Basic Income experiment authorized by Parliament starting Jan 9th (Original post)
JHan Dec 2016 OP
Berlin Vet Dec 2016 #1
JHan Dec 2016 #2
Luminous_Animal Dec 2016 #3
JHan Dec 2016 #4
MrScorpio Dec 2016 #5
brooklynboy49 Dec 2016 #6

Response to JHan (Original post)

Wed Dec 21, 2016, 10:28 PM

1. Spreading the Wealth

I'm sure the probably most of the money will be spent and will boost their economy. If only we had progressive policies like this in America.

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Response to Berlin Vet (Reply #1)

Wed Dec 21, 2016, 10:43 PM

2. Yep. It's things like this I would badger the elites about above all other things:

Investing in human capital improves productivity ( well being etc) and should always be the priority.

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Response to JHan (Original post)

Wed Dec 21, 2016, 11:51 PM

3. Oddly enough, Nixon came close to offering U.S. citizens a guaranteed income.



In his book Utopia for Realists: The Case for a Universal Basic Income, Open Borders, and a 15-Hour Workweek [3], Dutch author and Tedx Talk speaker [4] Rutger Bregman makes a strong and comprehensive case that basic income is the path to utopia.

Bregman describes countries that have tried free money, including England [5], Canada [6], Kenya [7] and, believe it or not, the United States. The results of these experiments were all positive—and in the early 1970s, we came quite close to universal basic income.

Nixon and the White House supported it. The Senate and House supported it. But after it went through the Senate Finance Committee, it underwent the scrutiny of bureaucracy and was killed.

A predominant issue for implementing universal basic income is, as Canadian Professor Eveyln Forget [8] (of the University of Manitoba, Canada) says in the following adapted excerpt, that “The political right is afraid people will stop working and the left doesn't trust them to make their own choices.” (emphasis mine... this is so true)

Another reason America didn't move forward with basic income is because Seattle's experiment resulted in a higher divorce rate. Out of fear of the independence women were perceived to have gained from basic income, it was taken off the table. But 10 years later, this was found to be a statistical inaccuracy—the divorce rate had not been affected by the experiment at all.

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Response to Luminous_Animal (Reply #3)

Thu Dec 22, 2016, 07:25 AM

4. Thanks. Jacobin also has a great piece on how what-could-have-been was struck down..

"On the same day that Nixon intended to go public with his plan, Anderson handed him a briefing. Over the weeks that followed, this six-page document, a case report about something that had happened in England 150 years before, did the unthinkable: it changed Nixon’s mind, and, in the process, changed the course of history.

The briefing, called “A Short History of a Family Security System,” opened with a quotation from the Spanish-American writer George Santayana: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

Anderson’s short report consisted almost entirely of excerpts from sociologist Karl Polanyi’s 1944 book The Great Transformation. There, Polanyi describes a system suspiciously close to Nixon’s proposed basic income: the nineteenth-century English Speenhamland plan.

According to Polanyi, Speenhamland incited the poor to idleness, damping their productivity and wages, and threatening the very foundations of capitalism by “prevent[ing] the establishment of a competitive labor market.”

Instead of helping the masses, Polyani charged basic income with “the pauperization of the masses,” who “almost lost their human shape.” Basic income did not introduce a floor, he contended, but a ceiling.

The president was stunned. He changed tack and settled on a new rhetoric. Departing from debates about endemic, structural unemployment that had begun under President Johnson, Nixon now spoke of joblessness as a “choice” and began stressing the importance of gainful employment. He deplored the rise of big government while promoting a plan that would distribute cash assistance to some thirteen million more Americans.

“Nixon was proposing a new kind of social provision to the American public,” writes the historian Brian Steensland, “but he did not offer them a new conceptual framework through which to understand it.”

Instead, in line with his admiration for British prime minister Benjamin Disraeli and Lord Randolph Churchill (the father of Winston), Nixon steeped his progressive ideas in conservative rhetoric. “Tory men and liberal policies are what have changed the world,” he declared.

To mollify Republicans and manage concerns over the Speenhamland precedent the president attached an amendment to his bill: unemployed beneficiaries would have to register with the Department of Labor. Nobody in the White House expected this stipulation would have much effect. “I don’t care a damn about the work requirement,” Nixon said behind closed doors. “This is the price of getting $1,600.”

The next day, the president presented his bill in a televised speech, packaging “welfare” as “workfare.” What Nixon failed to foresee was that his rhetoric of fighting laziness among the poor and unemployed would prove more influential than his policy.

The conservative president who dreamed of going down in history as a progressive leader forfeited a unique opportunity to overthrow a stereotype rooted back in nineteenth-century England: the myth of the lazy poor.

To dispel this stereotype, we have to ask a simple historical question: what was the real deal with Speenhamland?"


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Response to Luminous_Animal (Reply #3)

Thu Dec 22, 2016, 07:47 AM

5. Sometimes, I wonder what kind of president Tricky Dick would have been...

If he wasn't such a bigoted, crooked, paranoid, thin-skinned, self-hating war criminal with delusions of grandeur.

Probably not that bad of a guy.

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Response to MrScorpio (Reply #5)

Thu Dec 22, 2016, 01:00 PM

6. Come on now...


He wasn't self-hating...

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