From January 2017 through December 2018 the Finnish government gave 2000 people a universal basic income. Money for nothing. The theory, as dumb as it sounds, is that if the government provides unemployed people money, they will go find work.
When it launched the pilot scheme back in 2017, Finland became the first European country to test out the idea of an unconditional basic income. It was run by the Social Insurance Institution (Kela), a Finnish government agency, and involved 2,000 randomly-selected people on unemployment benefits.
It immediately attracted international interest – but these results have now raised questions about the effectiveness of such schemes.
I have a question. How is it that people running institutions whose job, at least in theory, is understanding people, have no clue about human nature?
What Does Free Money Do?
Believe it or not, people who received free money felt less stress. But they did not go out and find work*. And the addition of income to the jobless did not improve the local economy.
Did it help unemployed people in Finland find jobs, as the centre-right Finnish government had hoped? No, not really.
Mr Simanainen says that while some individuals found work, *they were no more likely to do so than a control group of people who weren’t given the money. They are still trying to work out exactly why this is, for the final report that will be published in 2020.
The Finnish Government is center-right? Center right of what? The universal basic income is a socialist idea. The suggestion that people in the government thought it would change human nature is a socialist idea. Just ask a Socialist.
Economics writer Grace Blakely makes this point in the New Socialist, adding that “without fundamental structural reforms to our economic system, UBI will only be a sticking plaster papering over the cracks”.
That’s a fancy way of saying end capitalism and free markets.
Socialism “works” when you force it on people then give them no other choice. In the absence of a choice, and any free exchange of ideas to challenge the reported outcome, “success” is inevitable.