The Finnish government is all set to launch a new pilot study that provides basic income to a group of selected individuals. The experiment will randomly select 2000-3000 citizens that are already using unemployment assistance and will replace that amount with a guaranteed basic income equal to about $600 USD. The study is scheduled to run for 2 years in 2017-2018 and will measure the societal outcomes of the basic income policy.
Research suggests that a guaranteed basic income might hold the key for reducing poverty, social exclusion, and boosting the overall employment rate. Many proponents of the experiment firmly believe that this basic income experiment will lead to the greatest societal transformation in the modern society.
Governments and institutions around the globe are keeping close tabs on the Finnish experiment as such a reform can have major effects in other countries as well. A basic income experiment is scheduled to take in place in a small community in Oakland, California and in the city of Utretcht in Netherlands in the coming months.
This basic income experiment is not a complete shift from the present social security model in Finland but rather a new approach to the old welfare model.
The proponents of similar welfare and basic income reforms argue that the implementation of such policies is crucial in keeping up with the changes that are happening in the world.
Maybe It’s Time?
Automation is already proving better than paid labor in a variety of industries while the creation of human-centric jobs has not kept up to match this technological paradigm shift.
Proponents argue that if there is a significant delay in the formulation of Universal Basic Income models then huge amount of resources would be wasted battling things like violence, crime, disease, starvation etc. that stem from systemic poverty.
While we are nowhere near the fabled “Post-Scarcity point” at the moment, it will be here eventually and it is just a matter of time. If the basic income needs of the populace was guaranteed then it can be argued that people could work towards their true passions that would boost technological innovations, science, art and ultimately increase the global standards of quality of living.
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Views presented in the article are those of the author and not of ED.