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View Full Version : Finland is trying out Basic Income


Mort
12-09-2015, 07:29 AM
Finland is about start at 2 year study of what effects Basic Income will have on the population (http://www.fastcoexist.com/3052595/how-finlands-exciting-basic-income-experiment-will-work-and-what-we-can-learn-from-it). For you that don't know; Basic income is a small wage for all citizens without any strings attached. It would swap out any unemployment benefits, sick leave and the like. Finland is considering anything between 400-1000 euros per month (800 euros have been discussed). Not enough to live large, but enough to perhaps do a few things:

1. Getting part-time or free-lance working people coverage that don't have it today.

2. Take away disincentives for working when other social benefits today might pay out more, or enough, that doesn't motivate to work at all.

3. Reduce bureaucracy. And hopefully it would actually cost less.

They hope to have as many as 100k people participating in the study. Netherlands have also recently said they are going to do a similar study, but not this large.

A fourth reason this is interesting to investigate is the groups of creatives and entrepreneurs. What happens when you unlock their time, unlock the necessity to work full days and able to seek out new opportunities.

A fifth I have been thinking on are the health benefits. Staying home from work when you are sick usually costs a bunch of money and endangers other people to get sick as well. Being able to stay at home a few days when you are sick or just when stuff gets piled up could help out a lot. Just working say 80% of full time (40 hour weeks fulltime) could help out a lot.

I am intrigued by the idea and will try and follow this closely. I am positive about basic income but it is a large overhaul of what is in place today and would have to be looked at so no new pitfalls gets introduced.

I am sure there are a wide variety of views on this issue here. Although basic income has gained wide approval all over the political spectrum recently.

Davian93
12-09-2015, 07:55 AM
What a bunch of socialists!!!

Isabel
12-09-2015, 10:06 AM
Finland is about start at 2 year study of what effects Basic Income will have on the population (http://www.fastcoexist.com/3052595/how-finlands-exciting-basic-income-experiment-will-work-and-what-we-can-learn-from-it). For you that don't know; Basic income is a small wage for all citizens without any strings attached. It would swap out any unemployment benefits, sick leave and the like. Finland is considering anything between 400-1000 euros per month (800 euros have been discussed). Not enough to live large, but enough to perhaps do a few things:

1. Getting part-time or free-lance working people coverage that don't have it today.

2. Take away disincentives for working when other social benefits today might pay out more, or enough, that doesn't motivate to work at all.

3. Reduce bureaucracy. And hopefully it would actually cost less.

They hope to have as many as 100k people participating in the study. Netherlands have also recently said they are going to do a similar study, but not this large.

A fourth reason this is interesting to investigate is the groups of creatives and entrepreneurs. What happens when you unlock their time, unlock the necessity to work full days and able to seek out new opportunities.

A fifth I have been thinking on are the health benefits. Staying home from work when you are sick usually costs a bunch of money and endangers other people to get sick as well. Being able to stay at home a few days when you are sick or just when stuff gets piled up could help out a lot. Just working say 80% of full time (40 hour weeks fulltime) could help out a lot.

I am intrigued by the idea and will try and follow this closely. I am positive about basic income but it is a large overhaul of what is in place today and would have to be looked at so no new pitfalls gets introduced.

I am sure there are a wide variety of views on this issue here. Although basic income has gained wide approval all over the political spectrum recently.


It will be interesting to see what happens and how much it costs and what it delivers.

Brita
12-09-2015, 10:37 AM
Ooooh- seems like there is a lot of potential with this. I hope it works out.

DahLliA
12-09-2015, 10:46 AM
I used to thing basic income was a bad idea, but the more I read, and the more I think about it, the better it sounds. At least for us here in Norway.

Basically it would give people more of a choice in what work to do, and more importantly how much.

With depression (the psychological one) and cases of burn-out on the rise, it would probably save both companies and the country a bunch of money if people could simply decide to work x% and still make a decent living. Leading to less sick days, and less long-term sick leaves (which are fully paid here anyway).

It could also reduce the size of our (humongous) public sector since you wouldn't need a whole bunch of people running around trying to figure out how much money your situation entitles you to, and how much of that money you'll have to pay back in taxes.

Of course it would cost a lot of money, but it would be almost 100% predictable, and with the (my assumptions since there's barely any data) reduction in sick leaves, bureaucracy and increased life quality I think the country as a whole would go better.

Of course. The biggest problem is finding the sweet spot where people don't get so much money everyone just quits their job, but also enough that it actually helps.

Davian93
12-09-2015, 10:53 AM
In a post industrial, automated economy, we almost have to accept that there will be more bodies than jobs. This sort of baseline pay basically deals with that sort of scenario rather than demonizing those less fortunate.

DahLliA
12-09-2015, 04:21 PM
In a post industrial, automated economy, we almost have to accept that there will be more bodies than jobs. This sort of baseline pay basically deals with that sort of scenario rather than demonizing those less fortunate.

Yeah. There's that too.

Terez
12-09-2015, 08:14 PM
I have liked the idea of basic income for a long time now. If our old conservative crowd were hanging around I'm sure they'd say something about "why would anyone work if they don't have to?" which is the same thing they say about welfare benefits now. But most people just aren't happy living with basics only and they'll work to get a little more money for various luxuries and entertainments. And of course there are not enough jobs to go around anyway. Many existing jobs only exist because of social pressures to create jobs, and I personally can't wait until the day when, for example, all fast food ordering is automated. Yes, people who are motivated to make more money will always be paying for those with less motivation, but the money-motivated will always outnumber the people who are willing to live with just the basics, for whatever reason. Some would be slackers; others would be the type to use their free time to do something needful. Creatives and entrepreneurs, like you said. Independent researchers like myself.

yks 6nnetu hing
12-10-2015, 01:17 AM
I have liked the idea of basic income for a long time now. If our old conservative crowd were hanging around I'm sure they'd say something about "why would anyone work if they don't have to?" which is the same thing they say about welfare benefits now. But most people just aren't happy living with basics only and they'll work to get a little more money for various luxuries and entertainments. And of course there are not enough jobs to go around anyway. Many existing jobs only exist because of social pressures to create jobs, and I personally can't wait until the day when, for example, all fast food ordering is automated. Yes, people who are motivated to make more money will always be paying for those with less motivation, but the money-motivated will always outnumber the people who are willing to live with just the basics, for whatever reason. Some would be slackers; others would be the type to use their free time to do something needful. Creatives and entrepreneurs, like you said. Independent researchers like myself.

or doing volounteer work. So far every time I've come in contact with volounteer organizations I've been so impressed - I mean, sea rescue in NL is 99,8% volounteer based. There are wonderful hospices where volounteers make the last days/weeks of a dying person as comfortable as can possibly be - a level that just cannot be reached in "conventional" healthcare.

Terez
12-10-2015, 06:50 AM
It's also not just about the number of jobs available, at least in the US. We also have a serious problem with the salaried workforce being abused, forced to work basically what should be two full-time jobs, 60-80 hours a week. Technically there's usually some semblance of "overtime" worked in, but usually it's meager, not nearly half what it would cost to hire someone else to take a load off.

Even in the first world, employers have too much power over their workers, which is not to say that they shouldn't have any. There has to be some kind of balance, and the current abuse trends are just counterproductive anyway. Stressed workers are not good workers. The literature on this subject is really growing (I say as a casual observer judging by its regular appearance in mainstream media). And an abundance of bad workers leads to ever more desperate measures, ever more disdain for the working class.

Davian93
12-10-2015, 11:38 AM
It's also not just about the number of jobs available, at least in the US. We also have a serious problem with the salaried workforce being abused, forced to work basically what should be two full-time jobs, 60-80 hours a week. Technically there's usually some semblance of "overtime" worked in, but usually it's meager, not nearly half what it would cost to hire someone else to take a load off.

Even in the first world, employers have too much power over their workers, which is not to say that they shouldn't have any. There has to be some kind of balance, and the current abuse trends are just counterproductive anyway. Stressed workers are not good workers. The literature on this subject is really growing (I say as a casual observer judging by its regular appearance in mainstream media). And an abundance of bad workers leads to ever more desperate measures, ever more disdain for the working class.

Lazy Libtards always wanting a handout. I guess Obummer's Hope and Change didn't work out, eh Libtard!!!

connabard
12-10-2015, 11:40 AM
Lazy Libtards always wanting a handout. I guess Obummer's Hope and Change didn't work out, eh Libtard!!!

Are you a southern Canadian now??

Southpaw2012
12-16-2015, 09:12 PM
http://www.cato.org/blog/finland-break-new-ground-basic-income-experiment?utm_content=buffere3583&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer

Mort
06-05-2016, 08:02 AM
Today the Swizz are having a referendum on Basic Income, polling seems to lean towards a No though.

Because of the referendum, a lot of articles have been written on the subject. Different perspectives and attitudes, but at least the ones I've read have been largely positive.

A sample:
http://www.wsj.com/articles/a-guaranteed-income-for-every-american-1464969586

http://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2016-05-02/a-basic-income-should-be-the-next-big-thing

http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/universal-basic-income/

Kimon
06-05-2016, 10:27 AM
Today the Swizz are having a referendum on Basic Income, polling seems to lean towards a No though.

Because of the referendum, a lot of articles have been written on the subject. Different perspectives and attitudes, but at least the ones I've read have been largely positive.

A sample:
http://www.wsj.com/articles/a-guaranteed-income-for-every-american-1464969586

http://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2016-05-02/a-basic-income-should-be-the-next-big-thing

http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/universal-basic-income/

Still not official yet, but sounds like overwhelmingly voted down.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-36454060

Some 78% of voters opposed the plan, a GFS projection for Swiss TV suggested.

Sounds like part of the lack of support might be fear that if passed, that Switzerland would become a lodestone for refugees.

There was little support among Swiss politicians for the idea and not a single parliamentary party has come out in favour, but the proposal gathered more than 100,000 signatures and was therefore put to the vote under the Swiss popular initiative system.

But Luzi Stamm, who's a member of parliament for the right-wing Swiss People's Party, opposes the idea.
"Theoretically, if Switzerland were an island, the answer is yes. But with open borders, it's a total impossibility, especially for Switzerland, with a high living standard," he says.
"If you would offer every individual a Swiss amount of money, you would have billions of people who would try to move into Switzerland."

Mort
06-05-2016, 01:48 PM
People and nation states aren't ready yet perhaps

Kimon
06-05-2016, 02:52 PM
People and nation states aren't ready yet perhaps

Saudi Arabia has something somewhat similar. Albeit only for actual Saudis, not for the millions of metics (resident aliens). Almost the entire citizen population is "employed" directly by the govt, and much more lavishly than what would be guaranteed to all, citizen or metic, under these basic income proposals. Of course, the Saudis can do this because of oil.

Basic income in many ways is but a pragmatic extension of the basic idea of welfare, but there is an understandable psychological resistance to the concept of a welfare system that doesn't require the unemployed to be seeking employment. When those unemployed are the elderly, or retired, that is a completely different matter, but the young? The hesitancy is reasonable, it is unfortunately also tinged with racism and fears of mass immigration due to the refugee crisis. If basic income's supporters really wish to undertake a viable experiment into its efficacy, now is certainly not amenable timing.

Durvasha
06-05-2016, 03:34 PM
I didn't see that when I was in Saudi Arabia from April 2004 to March 2006.

Yes, the Saudi nationals do get a lot higher salary than foreign workers in the same position (exception being European or US/Canada/NZ/Australian citizens, who were paid far higher than Saudis) but there were many unemployed. Government was pushing companies to employ citizens before they allowed work visas. My employer had several citizens on payroll, who only came to collect salary on the pay day.

Also, from heresy the minority Shia population are not allowed into government jobs. Similarly black Saudis, perhaps descendants of freed slaves, seemed to be mostly very poor.

DaiShan1981
06-07-2016, 12:17 PM
To be honest I think it's way too similar to communism - based on the idea that people will kind of ignore the fact that they don't HAVE to work in order to get by.

I can see why some might find this more fair than simply helping those in need but to be honest I think it will breed a lot more resentment when people with giant incomes still get the basic income.

Davian93
06-07-2016, 01:39 PM
To be honest I think it's way too similar to communism - based on the idea that people will kind of ignore the fact that they don't HAVE to work in order to get by.

I can see why some might find this more fair than simply helping those in need but to be honest I think it will breed a lot more resentment when people with giant incomes still get the basic income.

DaiShan Lives!!!!

Brita
06-07-2016, 01:54 PM
DaiShan Lives!!!!

The question is: is he part white walker, or did a red witch raise him?

Terez
06-07-2016, 01:56 PM
To be honest I think it's way too similar to communism - based on the idea that people will kind of ignore the fact that they don't HAVE to work in order to get by.
I dunno if it's fair to say that it's based on that premise. It's more based on the premise that most people won't be content with just the basics. They'll work for better food, a nicer house, nicer clothes, a better car, fancier gadgets, Netflix, HBO, and awaycations. Those who would be content with the basics would help bring balance to a job market that heavily favors employers.

I can see why some might find this more fair than simply helping those in need but to be honest I think it will breed a lot more resentment when people with giant incomes still get the basic income.
In the case of truly giant incomes it just amounts to a tax credit, really. It's all in the framing.

Davian93
06-07-2016, 02:04 PM
I dunno if it's fair to say that it's based on that premise. It's more based on the premise that most people won't be content with just the basics. They'll work for better food, a nicer house, nicer clothes, a better car, fancier gadgets, Netflix, HBO, and awaycations. Those who would be content with the basics would help bring balance to a job market that heavily favors employers.

In the US, at least, welfare statistics do seem to imply that this assumption is accurate...in that there aren't a ton of "generational welfare folks sitting at home living off the dole and not working". This is probably because the vast majority of people on welfare in the US reside in a home with at least 1 adult working full time. And there are pretty strict caps on how long and how much support you can get on welfare (due to Clinton's reforms in the 1990s). Though that would depend on what you classify as "welfare" too. I mean, technically my home ownership tax credit could be construed as "public assistance" I guess. I mean, its money coming from the gov't essentially...in the form of lower taxes and more take home pay for my family. Most forms of gov't assistance aren't pure cash or breadlines/free gov't cheese after all.

For the most part, people do tend to want nicer things than they have...humans being inherently greedy selfish creatures on some levels...so I doubt a basic income would destroy any drive towards acquiring more things. It might, however, allow more creativity in career choices and balance out the wealth inequality we are currently seeing in the United States (and I assume in Switzerland too given this proposal). Clearly, the current ideas aren't really working so something else has to be done to fix it.

That said, I really dont know about basic income...on paper, it seems like something that has to happen eventually in a post-industrial and highly automated economy. The other option is to create "make work" jobs and that doesnt really seem much better.

Brita
06-07-2016, 02:04 PM
I dunno if it's fair to say that it's based on that premise. It's more based on the premise that most people won't be content with just the basics. They'll work for better food, a nicer house, nicer clothes, a better car, fancier gadgets, Netflix, HBO, and awaycations. Those who would be content with the basics would help bring balance to a job market that heavily favors employers.


In the case of truly giant incomes it just amounts to a tax credit, really. It's all in the framing.

I agree.

Also the preliminary results from pilot projects indicate that it frees people up to be a little more adventurous in entrepreneurial activities, stimulating the economy and increasing innovation.

It is also intended to replace other social safety nets- so it theoretically will save the government a lot of administrative costs. But it also means that this amount is not really going to cut it as a long term life plan, unless you want to live as absolutely basic as possible, and in a Northern climate where solid shelter and heat are a necessity that would mean very basic indeed.

I am keenly interested in the results of this 2 year study.

Davian93
06-07-2016, 02:08 PM
Also the preliminary results from pilot projects indicate that it frees people up to be a little more adventurous in entrepreneurial activities, stimulating the economy and increasing innovation.


and

It might, however, allow more creativity in career choices

LOL...yup.

Brita
06-07-2016, 04:10 PM
and



LOL...yup.

Haha. We basically responded at the same time. Must be a mind connection. I think mine was more eloquent though...

DahLliA
06-08-2016, 03:15 AM
That said, I really dont know about basic income...on paper, it seems like something that has to happen eventually in a post-industrial and highly automated economy. The other option is to create "make work" jobs and that doesnt really seem much better.

This is IMO the best argument for Basic Income. We (the world) wont have a choice. So why not be ahead of the curve for once instead of waiting for unemployment rates to skyrocket because robots take over all the jobs?

Like that factory in China that was automated not long ago. 60 000 jobs gone overnight.

GonzoTheGreat
06-08-2016, 03:16 AM
Haha. We basically responded at the same time. Must be a mind connection. I think mine was more eloquent though...
Yours definitely showed more creativity, but Dav's version was more entrepreneurial in that it was more cost effective. So it seems that you read each others's minds while ignoring what you yourself were thinking.

Davian93
06-08-2016, 06:50 AM
Haha. We basically responded at the same time. Must be a mind connection. I think mine was more eloquent though...

Most definitely more eloquent. :)

yks 6nnetu hing
06-09-2016, 01:02 AM
DaiShan Lives!!!!

of course he does, did ya think I got knocked up by a ghost?

as for Finland, it's difficult to say as I'm so far away now; the news I see isn't really encouraging really - ever since Nokia went the way of the dodo the country has been somewhat struggling with finding the next growth generator. This sort of an idea might have merit IF the society where it's implemented can actually sustain it on a long term basis. Also, Dai is right in that simply handing people money for doing the same as everybody else in practice results in people doing nothing or as little as possible to still get the money.