Finland Launched A World-First Universal Basic Income Experiment

Finland kicked off a ground-breaking experiment in January 2017. The country decided to experiment with a universal basic income program that promises 2,000 of its citizens a guaranteed income. Sounds good, right? Almost too good...

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Free Money For Finns

Who couldn't use a little extra dough? How would you like that extra moola to come through every month no matter what? Sounds like a radical, fantastical dream world—otherwise known as Finland. The Scandinavian country launched an experimental universal basic income initiative in January 2017. This project will give 2,000 Finnish citizens €560 ($587 U.S.) a month regardless of income, wealth or employment status. CNN Money reports, "The initial program will run for a period of two years. Participants were randomly selected, but had to be receiving unemployment benefits or an income subsidy. The money they are paid through the program will not be taxed." This is a world-first experiment, and may extend to all Finns if it's successful. But hang on just a minute...

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So, What's The Catch?

This income experiment may sound ambitious and unrealistic, but, surprisingly, it doesn't appear to be. It may end up saving money for the Finnish government, as their welfare system is expensive and complex to keep up. CNN Money makes more important points about the experiment: "The idea is that a universal income offers workers greater security, especially as technological advances reduce the need for human labor. It will also allow unemployed people to pick up odd jobs without losing their benefits. [...] Some unemployed workers currently avoid part time jobs because even a small income boost could result in their unemployment benefits being canceled."

This isn't the first time Finland made a revolutionary move. It was announced in December 2016 that the country will be the first on Earth to get rid of all subjects in school.

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Written by Curiosity Staff January 11, 2017

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