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Is Finland's Universal Basic Income Trial Too Good To Be True? (theguardian.com) 533

It was one year ago that Finland began giving money to 2,000 unemployed people -- roughly $652 a month (€560 or £475). But have we learned anything about universal basic incomes? An anonymous reader quotes the Guardian: Amid this unprecedented media attention, the experts who devised the scheme are concerned it is being misrepresented. "It's not really what people are portraying it as," said Markus Kanerva, an applied social and behavioural sciences specialist working in the prime minister's office in Helsinki. "A full-scale universal income trial would need to study different target groups, not just the unemployed. It would have to test different basic income levels, look at local factors. This is really about seeing how a basic unconditional income affects the employment of unemployed people."

While UBI tends often to be associated with progressive politics, Finland's trial was launched -- at a cost of around €20m (£17.7m or $24.3 million) -- by a centre-right, austerity-focused government interested primarily in spending less on social security and bringing down Finland's stubborn 8%-plus unemployment rate. It has a very clear purpose: to see whether an unconditional income might incentivise people to take up paid work. Authorities believe it will shed light on whether unemployed Finns, as experts believe, are put off taking up a job by the fear that a higher marginal tax rate may leave them worse off. Many are also deterred by having to reapply for benefits after every casual or short-term contract... According to Kanerva, the core data the government is seeking -- on whether, and how, the job take-up of the 2,000 unemployed people in the trial differs from a 175,000-strong control group -- will be "robust, and usable in future economic modelling" when it is published in 2019.

Although the experiment may be impacted by all the hype it's generating, according to the Guardian. "One participant who hoped to start his own business with the help of the unconditional monthly payment complained that, after speaking to 140 TV crews and reporters from as far afield as Japan and Korea, he has simply not been able to find the time."

Is Finland's Universal Basic Income Trial Too Good To Be True?

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  • Yes. Yes it is. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Chas ( 5144 ) on Saturday January 13, 2018 @07:18PM (#55923841) Homepage Journal

    This program is neither universal or basic.

    It's simply another welfare program.

    And the money has to come from SOMEWHERE.

    We also know that a segment of the population, given the option to do nothing WILL DO NOTHING.

    So, all that's been created is an incentive not to achieve anything.

    • Re:Yes. Yes it is. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 13, 2018 @07:26PM (#55923879)

      > We also know that a segment of the population, given the option to do nothing WILL DO NOTHING.
      Do we actually know that?
      I think it's good of them to try it out in small scale just to be sure.

      • Re:Yes. Yes it is. (Score:5, Interesting)

        by jblues ( 1703158 ) on Saturday January 13, 2018 @08:16PM (#55924055)

        I think the idea is that most people, even people with severe limitations, want to do something. There is a percentage who will choose long-term to do nothing, however the cost of policing that exceeds the cost of accepting some leakage.

      • Re:Yes. Yes it is. (Score:5, Informative)

        by Darinbob ( 1142669 ) on Saturday January 13, 2018 @08:22PM (#55924087)

        Yes the money has to come from somewhere. But it's possible that this saves money elsewhere. The goal is not to give people money so that they stay home and watch cat videos, but to see if this actually gets them out and get jobs. This is an experiment only, because they have a radical idea that government should see what works and what does not work instead of relying on ideological gut feelings.

        Unemployed people are a big drain on the coffers in many ways. Finland already supplies many basic services with a high tax rate. If they can save money in the long run that's a good thing.

        The article also makes it clear that this idea was not a far left idea but came the center-right.

        • In the end, you will have unemployed people. When there is one job and two people, whether one wants the job and one wants to not do it or whether both want it but only one gets it has the same net result.

          It's heaps cheaper (for everyone involved, government, employers and even the unemployed, or the employee, respectively) if you remove those that don't even want the job from the equation.

          • Re:Yes. Yes it is. (Score:5, Interesting)

            by Darinbob ( 1142669 ) on Saturday January 13, 2018 @09:34PM (#55924411)

            Maybe this is why I see the largest number of homeless people sleeping on the streets than I have ever seen, while the news programs are all proudly announcing that the unemployment rate is at a record low because the economy is totally awesome. It's bullshit. These people get written off because it makes the numbers look good.

            In any event, this Finnish thing is an EXPERIMENT. It is not concluded, they want to see if this idea works or not. But no, Slashdot says experiments are stupid, just go with your gut feelings, because science isn't popular anymore.

      • Re:Yes. Yes it is. (Score:5, Interesting)

        by nierd ( 830089 ) on Saturday January 13, 2018 @08:25PM (#55924111)

        > We also know that a segment of the population, given the option to do nothing WILL DO NOTHING. Do we actually know that? I think it's good of them to try it out in small scale just to be sure.

        Well the real question is does everyone need to do 'something that benefits a corporation' to bring value to the world. Someone do 'nothing' that sits at home and has no goals or ambition - well they are better off being paid not to work anyway - because they are going to do a shit ass job and make life worse for everyone else. Someone who might enjoy painting or creating art/song/etc. may do so now instead of taking up another job calling people to renew their car warranty. Is that still 'nothing'? Are we net better off?

        If the 'worthless jobs' of working at a fast food place double your take home - would people treat them with more respect - because no boss will put up with lazy crap because at the back of their heart they worry about the kid at home that needs food/a home?

        There are so many interconnected threads to the idea of what someone might do with the money.

        As to the 'people given the option WILL DO NOTHING' - well that's 100% provable lie. We don't need the study to know this.

        Answer to this question - is another question - How many billionaires that never need to work another day in their or their great great great grandkids lives - sit at home and do nothing?

        • Well that's really the crux of the question isn't it.
          Not all people are the same. People have different values and ways of being.

          The rich person who worked hard all his life is going to find it hard to sit home doing nothing. They're going to keep working to be great like Jeff Bezos. Or they're going to charity like Bill Gates. Or they're pursuing their passions like Elon Musk.

          Heck, I have part of that personality as well. I can't sit home and do nothing. I have to do something; be it write or workout or pr

    • Re:Yes. Yes it is. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by lucasnate1 ( 4682951 ) on Saturday January 13, 2018 @07:28PM (#55923891)

      What is so bad about doing nothing? Many of our jobs are artificial anyway.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by iggymanz ( 596061 )

        not artificial if you get money for it, with which to buy things. doesn't matter how pointless you might think a job is, only how much the person paying your believes it is.

        • Re:Yes. Yes it is. (Score:5, Insightful)

          by drinkypoo ( 153816 ) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Saturday January 13, 2018 @08:21PM (#55924081) Homepage Journal

          not artificial if you get money for it, with which to buy things.

          The money is real, but the work is artificial. So much of what happens is bullshit make-work that's unnecessary replication of effort, which happens only so that people can get paid. But there are environmental costs to work, so bullshit make-work is just spending the biosphere to maintain capitalism. Does that sound smart to you?

          • In other words, useless jobs (or to be more accurate, "growth") are to captialism like prayer is to christianity.

        • by Kjella ( 173770 )

          not artificial if you get money for it, with which to buy things. doesn't matter how pointless you might think a job is, only how much the person paying your believes it is.

          Well there's a fundamental difference to a private company hiring you because they think you're doing a useful job and a public company hiring you to do busywork to pretend like you're not unemployed.

      • What is so bad about doing nothing?

        Try it some time. Very soon you start to hunt around for things to do. Shortly after that you begin to find ways of rationalising your time-wasting as productive, like "if aliens invade and challenge the earth to minesweeper, I'LL BE READY."

        > Mr Piccolo: You CAN'T play someone in Minesweeper, it's a single-person game!

        • Try it some time. Very soon you start to hunt around for things to do. Shortly after that you begin to find ways of rationalising your time-wasting as productive

          So I will become a php developer? A lawyer? A gender studies professor? An economist?

          Also, during my periods of unemployment I usually either partied a lot or learned new skills (kernel programming, ocaml, story writing, performance). I find these skills productive for me, and this is more important than being productive to a rich man.

      • Some people are really offended by other people doing nothing. They think there is a pride to work (there's reasonable room to debate), and that pride can be earned by the threat of starving to death.

        • And then they tell me that capitalism is not a religion.

        • Re:Yes. Yes it is. (Score:4, Interesting)

          by gravewax ( 4772409 ) on Saturday January 13, 2018 @09:44PM (#55924435)
          I am not offended by other people doing nothing. I AM OFFENDED by me paying other people to do nothing though.
          • by Actually, I do RTFA ( 1058596 ) on Saturday January 13, 2018 @09:56PM (#55924501)

            Good news, no one is asking you to pay a dime. The government's paying for it.

            Also, it's probably cheaper than putting down an insurrection, or dealing with the crime that people turn to to feed themselves

            • fuck your grasp of economics is just too awesome to debate. perhaps it might be a good idea for you to research where the government gets its money,
          • Re:Yes. Yes it is. (Score:4, Insightful)

            by thesupraman ( 179040 ) on Saturday January 13, 2018 @10:03PM (#55924525)

            Oh, we are so SO far past that.

            I am offended by other people who are not doing anythings children being given priority access to health and education over my children, because I choose to not do nothing.
            I suspect the next stage will result in me being offended that what I have worked my life for is taken away and given to people who did nothing, because I am 'entitled' (ie: I worked hard, and saved, and ended up without towering debt) and they are 'victims' of me having dared to try.
            Of course the powers that be are quite happy with that - a class war is as profitable as any other kind, and they make sure they rules never touch themselves.
            The ONLY Solution unfortunately involved people putting aside their small differences, uniting the middle and lower classes against those at the top, and tearing down the corrupt power structures put in place by those at the top.

            Unfortunately, the majority are more worried about friday night football, Oprah, and who is showing their tits on game of thrones.

            Panem et circenses.

        • Re:Yes. Yes it is. (Score:4, Insightful)

          by rtb61 ( 674572 ) on Saturday January 13, 2018 @11:54PM (#55924931) Homepage

          How about this. Consider it a subsistence existence payment. The payment for denying the people the right to subsist by being a hunter gatherer. What right do you claim to be able starve people to death, by denying them a subsistence existence and killing them slowly in prison or fast with a bullet should they dare to attempt a hunter gatherer existence. By what right do you claim to be able to force slave labour or starvation and any claim on that right also provides a claim on the right for people to kill anyone who attempts to deny them a subsistence existence. A human being has a right to exist and the right is expressed by being able to exist to survive, not to be turned into a slave via threat of starvation, imprisonment until death or summary execution.

          The simplest definition of capitalism, 'my capital worth is worth more than you life', in fact as many people as need to perish in order to preserve my capital value and that is the fact of capitalism, the legalisation of capital worth being greater than human worth.

    • Re:Yes. Yes it is. (Score:4, Interesting)

      by war4peace ( 1628283 ) on Saturday January 13, 2018 @07:29PM (#55923905)

      I don't know...
      In the past (up until WW2, I guess), many creative types of work and technological advancements were brought to fruition by people who did not need to work, otherwise said they had the means to live comfortably without having to work. Still, they have produced very useful things, both in art and science.
      Not saying this can repeat nowadays, but you can't dismiss it either.

      • Re:Yes. Yes it is. (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Actually, I do RTFA ( 1058596 ) on Saturday January 13, 2018 @07:47PM (#55923957)

        It doesn't seem to be a coincidence that Microsoft and Facebook were founded by college students living on daddy's dime.

      • by hipp5 ( 1635263 )

        I don't know... In the past (up until WW2, I guess), many creative types of work and technological advancements were brought to fruition by people who did not need to work, otherwise said they had the means to live comfortably without having to work. Still, they have produced very useful things, both in art and science. Not saying this can repeat nowadays, but you can't dismiss it either.

        Exactly this. There are no doubt tons of good ideas out there that will never get acted on because it's too much of a risk. Heck, I'm a smart dude and have research projects I'd like to pursue, but I can't take the risk that they wouldn't pan out because I have a daughter to support, and I like having a roof over my head.

        If people are given a chance to follow their dreams, we're going to benefit with a lot of amazing art and science (we'll also get a lot of crap art and science too... bu that's the price ya

    • We also know that a segment of the population, given the option to do nothing WILL DO NOTHING.

      Indeed, and by taxing trust-fund babies to provide welfare services, we incentivize them to work instead of living off inherited wealth.

    • Re:Yes. Yes it is. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by alvinrod ( 889928 ) on Saturday January 13, 2018 @08:13PM (#55924045)

      We also know that a segment of the population, given the option to do nothing WILL DO NOTHING.

      If they do nothing instead of spending their time committing crime it might well be worth it. If my options are to pay people to stay at home or to pay police, prison guards, and and much larger legal system I'd prefer to avoid creating bigger government for no real benefit.

      Also, we're already paying loads of taxes to fund various welfare programs. You could have a reasonably sized UBI by getting rid of the various different programs and putting everything towards a UBI instead. That also has the added benefit of greatly simplifying the system and making another huge chunk of government bureaucracy redundant.

      No system is going to be perfect, and there will always be people who try to take advantage of the system or who add no value to society, but they exist independent of the system. However, that shouldn't stop us from making pragmatic choices when possible.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        Also, we're already paying loads of taxes to fund various welfare programs. You could have a reasonably sized UBI by getting rid of the various different programs and putting everything towards a UBI instead. That also has the added benefit of greatly simplifying the system and making another huge chunk of government bureaucracy redundant.

        Hmm...Federal Budget...all the "Social" programs combined (welfare, medicare, medicaid, SS, various pension plans and such) would allow for a UBI of ~$7500 per person. W

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      All completely true, agree 100%. Hear, hear.
      There are many people on /. who want to suddenly find themselves living in the economy of Star Trek's 24th Century Earth, but without the technological infrastructure that makes it possible: Ubiquitos nuclear fusion and antimatter reactor-based power (to the point cost-wise of being literally free to all), and matter-energy conversion technology, making matter replicators (which can create literally all the basics of existence for you instantly, for free, directl
      • Furthermore: it is my opinion that many of the proponents of UBI are disingenuous, and do wish to be living in a world where they get handed money, and will do nothing other than sit on their behinds, being fat, lazy, and contributing nothing to anyone other than themselves, with not a care in the world for the fact that they're just parasites.

        Well, opinions are like arseholes: everyone has one.

        In civilised countries, there's already a considerable social safety net. You can wish that away to a post scarcit

      • by Kjella ( 173770 )

        We don't have UBI here in Norway, but we do have a welfare program which is like a "last resort" where the only qualifications is that you're a legal resident, you don't have any other income or savings and you don't qualify for any of the more specific benefits like disability, unemployment and so on. It's not grand but you don't go homeless and you don't need to beg in the streets, I don't think we're the only social democracy in Europe with a program like that. I just checked the statistics and a little

    • Re:Yes. Yes it is. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by quantaman ( 517394 ) on Saturday January 13, 2018 @08:26PM (#55924121)

      This program is neither universal or basic.

      No, it's testing a specific aspect of a universal basic income, exactly what you'd want a responsible government to do.

      It's simply another welfare program.

      No, a welfare program is designed to maintain the well-being of citizens, this is an experiment to see if a universal basic income will reduce unemployment.

      And the money has to come from SOMEWHERE.

      Taxes, some of which will hopefully be paid by these people, reduced benefits from other programs, and reduced administration in running the program.

      We also know that a segment of the population, given the option to do nothing WILL DO NOTHING.

      But we don't know how big that segment is, or exactly how they are distributed, this will shed light on that question.

      So, all that's been created is an incentive not to achieve anything.

      They already had an incentive not to achieve anything, traditional welfare programs.

      What this does do is reduce some pressure to find work, but it also removes some incentives for not entering the workforce (such as losing benefits).

    • Well, considering that we simply don't have enough work for everyone, having a group of people who isn't going to compete for jobs is not really something I'd mind too much...

    • Re:Yes. Yes it is. (Score:4, Interesting)

      by misnohmer ( 1636461 ) on Saturday January 13, 2018 @08:49PM (#55924221)

      When I was in high school I was a delivery driver for a drugstore. There was one "subsidized income" neighborhood where everyone was on welfare (I knew since they paid with welfare "stamps" for prescriptions) yet one had a nice porsche in the driveway, most had expensive electronics, etc. After a while I realized, that a good percentage of these people worked odd jobs "under the table" while collecting welfare - one guy drive delivering pizza for example and I asked him once about it - he said that delivering pizza was not going to sustain him and his family, and that he wouldn't do it the income was declared and simply deducted from his welfare (plus all the paperwork associated with it was a deterrent too), but will do it as "extra money" - along the reasoning of this finish study.

      While I've always strongly believed that welfare should be a second chance, a social safety net to allow people to take bigger risks, rather than a way of life, the reality is that there will always be people who will do nothing unless starving, there are some on welfare which would contribute to society if welfare was in a form of basic income rather than welfare you have to qualify for. It also seems more fair and simpler to administer - everyone gets it, even the super-rich.

    • No, No its not.. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by thesupraman ( 179040 ) on Saturday January 13, 2018 @09:55PM (#55924497)

      You miss one basic fact in the 'analysis'

      These are Finns, not Americans.
      there is a reason that Scandinavian (and yes, Finland is marginally that, but hey) socialism 'works' (at least better than other places), and that is that they still have a moderate number of people who are responsible, proud to be reasonably self sufficient, realise that stupid actions tend to lead to actual and bad consequences, etc.

      IMHO, a lot of that comes from living somewhere where tripping over on the wrong winters day can, and does, kill people. Not planning ahead when a storm is coming can and does kill people.

      These countries are NOT America. They may have their own issues (and certainly do), however they are a very very different place.
      Unfortunately they are being slowly infected by 'American Exceptionalism' and all the BS that seems to drag along with it, however they are less far along that diseased path.

      TL;DR - Finns are more likely to work even if they dont have to - which you would understand if you know some Finns, however they can also do math, and wont work if it means they come out worse off.

      • These countries are NOT America. They may have their own issues (and certainly do), however they are a very very different place.
        Unfortunately they are being slowly infected by 'American Exceptionalism' and all the BS that seems to drag along with it, however they are less far along that diseased path.

        You've got it backwards. The Scandinavian countries have been infected by "socialist exceptionalism" but may be throwing it off to return to Scandinavian exceptionalism.

        Debunking the Myth of Socialist “Success” in Scandinavia [thenewamerican.com]

        As Sanandaji explains clearly in his meticulously sourced book, though, what most Big Government advocates see as desirable outcomes in Scandinavia — relative prosperity, high levels of income equality, long lifespans, good health, low levels of poverty, and more — all predate the welfare state. On life expectancy, for example, four out of the top five OECD nations were in Scandinavia in 1960, with Norway at the very top. On income, meanwhile, most of the shift toward “equality” happened between 1870 and 1950 — long before the welfare state took over. Ironically, the emergence of Big Government even put some of that at risk, along with the long-established cultural norms such as the Protestant work ethic, honesty, social trust, entrepreneurship, innovation, and more that made those advances possible to begin with.

        Indeed, before the emergence of welfare-state policies beginning in the 1960s and 1970s, Sweden was among the most prosperous and fast-growing economies on the planet. Between 1870 and 1936, when Sweden was characterized by relatively free markets, the nation enjoyed the highest rate of growth in the industrialized world. Innovation and entrepreneurship flourished, making Sweden one of the richest countries on Earth. Then came the radical Social Democratic period characterized by an ever-larger and more expensive government. Between 1975 and the mid-1990s — marked by the radical, if short-lived, experiment in “Third Way” socialism — Sweden dropped from being the fourth richest nation in the world down to the 13th richest.

        Fortunately for Swedes, as the giant welfare state's harmful effects became increasingly obvious, the Swedish political class began to reverse course. From lowering taxes and government spending to deregulating and privatizing broad swaths of the economy, policymakers realized that the nation's continued success depended on freer markets — not total government. Still, the damage was severe. As Sanandaji explains, citing his earlier research on the subject, the rate of business formation during the “third-way era” was “dreadful.” In 2004, none of the 100 largest firms ranked by employment were founded within Sweden after 1970. “Furthermore, between 1950 and 2000, although the Swedish population grew from 7 million to almost 9 million, net job creation in the private sector was close to zero,” he observed.

        Today, Denmark, despite higher taxes, has more economic freedom than the United States. Sweden and Finland are both catching up, too. And interestingly, despite Sanders' recent pronouncements on ABC News about Scandinavia having “more income and wealth equality,” Sweden still has a great deal more “wealth inequality” today than the United States, according to a study cited in the monograph.

        • Debunking the Myth of Socialist "Success" in Scandinavia

          Hmm let's see. The opening line is:

          Supporters of Big Government and the nanny state everywhere have

          Well the opening line is a huge pile of politically slanted bias and we're only 10 words in. With an opening like that I'm not going to waste my time giving something so obviously biased the "benefit of the doubt".

  • by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) on Saturday January 13, 2018 @07:22PM (#55923865) Journal

    ...the answer is "no".

    This bit of libertarian free market horseshit clickbait is all about what they "hope to learn", not what they've actually learned.

    The one bit of factual data shown in this story is as follows:

    ""One participant who hoped to start his own business with the help of the unconditional monthly payment complained that, after speaking to 140 TV crews and reporters from as far afield as Japan and Korea, he has simply not been able to find the time."

    This is what passes for compelling data in right-wing neo-liberal economic circles..."one participant".

    Finland is a great country. You know why you don't see people lining up to move to the US from Finland? Because they have hot blondes, great black metal bands and excellent vodka. Also, education and health care are free and both spouses get at least six months of paid parental leave when they have a kid. Socialism, and more economic liberty and mobility than the U.S.of A. The only downside is that it gets dark for a big part of the year. But that's what the hot blondes and vodka and black metal are for.

    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

      I'm sure Finland gained nothing from a 97% caucasian racial composition, 75% Christian church affiliation, and 90% native Finnish speaking rate for their population, right? Monocultures make it a lot easier to implement these kinds of plans.
  • Now we have 3 bums sitting on welfare because nobody will hire them for minimum wage and then they will lose welfare and besides they can't afford daycare for their kids. With UBI and no minimum wage, two bums pay the third one some change to watch the kids and go blow up balloons in birthday parties to earn money for some joints. Before long, bumtown with a collapsed economy has people trading with each other for services, some earning enough to pay back their UBI in taxes. In the meantime, everyone is sta

    • We could also try what China does - give more loans/grants for starting businesses, and bigger credits to companies to employ people. Businesses tend to be pretty good, overall, and determining value and growth patterns in the economy. You hire more people, you get a bigger rebate at the end of the year. You want to start a new business? Their version of the Small Business Administration is about 3 times more generous and likely to give you a loan as compared to the US version. Encourage production and
      • We could also try what China does - give more loans/grants for starting businesses...

        This might explain why the local DFO outlet has eleven stores selling mobile phone cases, and fifteen stores selling handbags. I didn't realise we had such a cell phone case shortage.

  • by ChunderDownunder ( 709234 ) on Saturday January 13, 2018 @08:19PM (#55924069)

    I dunno what the real estate market is like in Helsinki but 140 euro a week would be lucky to pay the rent on a 1 bedroom apartment where I live, a decent sized industrialised city in the Southern Hemisphere.

    For those that believe in small government, a universal income would slash the number of public servants overnight - those who currently administer unemployment schemes in ensuring that 'dole bludgers' have met the appropriate conditions to continue receiving payments. This would also apply to administering veterans' affairs, disability support and aged pension.

    • I dunno what the real estate market is like in Helsinki but 140 euro a week would be lucky to pay the rent on a 1 bedroom apartment where I live, a decent sized industrialised city in the Southern Hemisphere.

      140s euros a week is more than enough to pay a mortgage in many places. Not desirable places, but nobody said that you should get to live someplace nice for free.

  • by CODiNE ( 27417 ) on Saturday January 13, 2018 @08:21PM (#55924083) Homepage

    I know a similar situation exists with people on disability benefits. They can earn around $1,000 a month without losing benefits and health insurance. Many find part time work to earn just below the limit. However they're then trapped unable to accept a pay raise or seek promotions. Considering the benefits they receive it may be worth $1,000-$2,000 to remain on the program.

    How does one go from earning $1,000 to roughly $3,000 in one jump? Some take classes or gain a certification that enables a career change, most stay part time indefinitely.

    I think the country in the article already has universal health care so it's a fairly similar situation. Without the fear of losing their benefits I think a lot more would take the time to seek greater earnings.

  • One participant who hoped to start his own business with the help of the unconditional monthly payment complained that, after speaking to 140 TV crews and reporters from as far afield as Japan and Korea, he has simply not been able to find the time."

    and this demonstrates why such programs ultimately fail. In the course of a year speaking to a 140 people somehow consumed all his time so he couldn't start a business? REALLY? being generous and saying each of these took 2 hours of his time what the fuck did you do with the other 1200+ workable hours of the year? no incentive to work means their is always an excuse to not work.

    • I think you're partially right. This kind of person is never going to succeed in business - his best hope is to get a job where other people manage his time. However that doesn't mean the entire program must fail. There will be some people who can't/won't make a UBI work but perhaps there may be enough who can/will that it provides a net benefit to society.

      Whatever the eventual outcome, it's worth researching to see if some form of UBI ends up working well enough to be useful.

  • Can you say self presentation bias?
  • by Junta ( 36770 ) on Saturday January 13, 2018 @08:32PM (#55924145)

    In trial runs of UBI, the participants know that the trial will end. So if *hypothetically* people would go lazy secure in the knowledge they will have a UBI, this won't prove anything as they won't be that secure in the income.

    A negative result would be really discouraging, a positive result would be too ambiguous.

  • There are two flavors of UBI. If the money is enough to live, then employers have to convince workers the jobs are worth it. If it is too low to live, workers must take any job, and employers can pay less because there is UBI, this is just a socialized help for the employers.

    At $652, it depends where you live. In some cities, this is clearly the second flavor of UBI.

  • "...This is really about seeing how a basic unconditional income affects the employment of unemployed people."

    A dozen countries have decades of statistics from millions of welfare recipients.

    You could have found that answer a hell of a lot cheaper than $24 million.

  • Have a national ID card or set of national ID to prove citizenship. Not a citizen? No basic income.
    Just go for real means testing https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]
    Citizen is not working for any reason for a longer time and is not between work for a short time? Basic Income long term with no questions asked.
    Citizen is not getting a wage above the min wage for any reason? Basic Income support long term with the need to report any wage changes.
    Citizen has a varied and seasonal wage that is below t

Two is not equal to three, even for large values of two.

Working...