Finland Abandons Universal Basic Income Experiment After Two Years

"I felt a great disturbance in the farce, as if millions of socialist voices suddenly cried out in terror, and were suddenly silenced. I fear something rational has happened."

With high-profile champions such as Richard Branson, Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg, and Tesla CEO Elon Musk, backing the idea of governments giving non-working people money (from working people) to do nothing - what could go wrong?

Well, two years after enthusiastically beginning its experiment with a universal basic income - in which people are paid an unconditional salary by the state instead of benefits - Finland is abandoning the project as government enthusiasm wanes and additional funding requests are rejected.

As a reminder, The Telegraph explains Universal basic income is a form of cash payment given to individuals, without means testing or work requirements. In some models this is at a rate sufficient to cover all living expenses.

Proponents argue that:

  • The lack of expensive means-testing leads to a higher proportion of the budget going to recipients. This would be more efficient

  • The transparency of universal payments would drastically reduce the need to detect benefits fraud

  • One scheme could replace the current complex arrangement of government benefits, rebates and tax rebates

  • Work will always benefit recipients of this welfare, rather than the ‘benefits trap’ that leaves part-time workers

Critics argue that:

  • Universal income may be inflationary and, in attempting to move all individuals out of poverty, it may simply raise the level of the poverty line

  • It may reduce the incentive to work and studies have found some evidence to support this.

  • A reduction in taxable income would reduce the government’s ability to cover other expenses, such as healthcare

Universal income as a policy dates from at least Thomas Paine’s 1795 Agrarian Justice. It is currently more closely aligned with left-wing politics, where it would be funded through income from nationalised assets.

Several countries have experimented with a universal basic income, including Finland, Canada, Kenya and the Netherlands.
And now Finland has killed the plan...  (via The Guardian)

Since January 2017, a random sample of 2,000 unemployed people aged 25 to 58 have been paid a monthly €560 (£475) , with no requirement to seek or accept employment. Any recipients who took a job continued to receive the same amount.

Furthermore, the government has also imposed stricter benefits plans, introducing legislation making some benefits for unemployed people contingent on taking training or working at least 18 hours in three months.

“The government is making changes taking the system away from basic income,” Kela’s Miska Simanainen told the Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet.

Of course, the liberal socialist gliterrati are up in arms over Finland's decision.

Olli Kangas, an expert involved in the trial, told the Finnish public broadcaster YLE:

“Two years is too short a period to be able to draw extensive conclusions from such a big experiment. We should have had extra time and more money to achieve reliable results.”

However, as we previously noted, as automation and AI destroy millions of middle-income jobs, permanently forcing (primarily male) workers from the workforce, Americans are beginning to reconsider their attitudes toward a radical policy tool that's popular among some segments of the left: Universal Basic Income.

According to CNBC, a recent poll conducted by Northeastern University and Gallup found that 48% of Americans support the measure. In an association that's hardly a coincidence, the poll also showed that three-quarters of Americans believe machines will take away more jobs than they'll generate...

Unsurprisingly 65% of Democrats want to see a universal basic income and 54% of people between the ages of 18 and 35 do. In comparison, just 28% of Republicans support UBI.

While proposals for universal basic income programs vary, the most common one is a system in which the federal government sends out regular checks to everyone, regardless of their earnings or employment. That system is being tested in Canada as well as Stockton, California, which recently emerged from bankruptcy but remains mired in poverty.

Perhaps Finland's failure will wake some of the free shit army up that it can't end well.


J S Bach Four Star Tue, 04/24/2018 - 17:35 Permalink

The whole concept is patently ridiculous.  "Free Money" 🙄

NOTHING is free except the air we breathe.  Someone has to foot the bill when the government gives away handouts.  The lack of common sense in this fledgling human species is astonishing.

In reply to by Four Star

bluez OverTheHedge Wed, 04/25/2018 - 08:50 Permalink

/~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ -- False reports in international media on Finland aborting basic income trial -- 4/25/18…

Multiple news outlets globally have reported that Finland is aborting it's basic income trial. The trial has garnered international interest in the news. Unlike widely reported the trial is not aborted, but will conclude as originally planned.

The Mafia State Media is at it again.

In reply to by OverTheHedge

Laowei Gweilo Luc X. Ifer Tue, 04/24/2018 - 23:04 Permalink

i'll say this in defense of pro-Universal Basic Income 

(and I'm NOT pro-UBI)

if, IF, it were ever to be worth it, you sure as fuck wouldn't know after two years.

the problem with cuck libtards is, much like their policies, it's all short-term sentiment and me me me

even when they go full socialist, they don't have the balls to bear down and bear with it to make it work.

In reply to by Luc X. Ifer

Stuck on Zero crossroaddemon Tue, 04/24/2018 - 19:15 Permalink

There's an alternative to means testing or UBI. All the government has to do is eliminate welfare and subsidize the minimum wage. If the minimum wage is $10/hr then the government may subsidize $8/hr of that amount. Immediately, employers everywhere will hire minimum wage people for the $2/hr and they will get discounts on their $25/hr workers. Everyone will work for private employers and no-one will be getting by without working.

In reply to by crossroaddemon

lincolnsteffens gatorengineer Tue, 04/24/2018 - 22:28 Permalink

Most of the gov. welfare bureaucracies could be eliminated saving untold billions in administration by simply depositing money into a bank account or mailing a check. No more filing, no more interviews, no more keeping up with status, no more home inspections. You get the money for a basic income and if you use it unwisely, gov. provides no further services. No EBT cards, no housing allowances etc. 

I'd prefer none of it but a payment to everyone, rich or poor might be better than the mess we have now.

In reply to by gatorengineer

A Nanny Moose eforce Tue, 04/24/2018 - 18:14 Permalink

We should have had extra time and more money to achieve reliable results.”

Always with the more money and more time, with these Socialists. 50 years of failure, and they would still want more money and more time. It demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding of money as a proxy for time-value.


If only there was

In reply to by eforce

overbet eforce Tue, 04/24/2018 - 18:21 Permalink

Robots interviewing graduates for jobs at top city firms as students practice how to impress AIl…


Giving people money does more harm than good in the long run. If you dont earn it you mismanage it or spend it frivolously. Better off giving people free wealth building classes or books on financial sophistication. "The Richest Man in Babylon" is a good basic book. Its cheap and might teach them how to hold onto and build their wealth. 

In reply to by eforce

SMG overbet Tue, 04/24/2018 - 18:29 Permalink

UBI simply doesn't work, because it is nothing more than re-branded communism and communism has never worked anywhere in human history ever.  Considering all the automation on the way, I think the answer is to make it ridiculously easy to earn enough money to live, like the two hour workday on the Jetsons.  People would have a good life, but they'd still have to contribute to get it.

In reply to by overbet

Is-Be SMG Tue, 04/24/2018 - 19:52 Permalink

think the answer is to make it ridiculously easy to earn enough money to live, like the two hour workday on the Jetsons

That still puts you in the role of Supreme Overlord over us mere plebs.

If there is no need to work, what right have you to tell me how to spend even one second of my life?

Let Reality itself dictate how many hours i need to work.

In reply to by SMG

zebra77a Is-Be Tue, 04/24/2018 - 20:34 Permalink

All systems work if you stop buying people's time and start buying people's productivity.  Communism, Fascism, Socialism, Democracy are mere labels and systems of control which have different levels of inefficiencies. The only true productive society is one that outlaws time payment and only pays for widgets produced.

For instance how much garbage would get left on your local street if people on benifits had to clean up their local 5 blocks in order to get paid and lost $1 for each piece of garbage found on pay day?

Or what if people earned there EI checks by working in a greenhouse at $5 per lb of vegetables produced? 

or were payed $5 per customer served over the phone?

What would happen if corporations had income tax rates equal to their market share? Walmart would be taxed at 60% and cease. Mom and pop 0%. 

Systems gonna System because its very convenient and profitable to leave it very broken.


In reply to by Is-Be

Radical Marijuana Herd Redirecti… Tue, 04/24/2018 - 19:40 Permalink

The bankers have historically worked for their abilities to legally counterfeit the public "money" supplies by prolonged and persistent bribery, intimidation, as well as assassinations of those politicians who could not otherwise be bribed or intimidated to become puppets. Simultaneously, the bankers have also worked for their control of "money" by every other application of dominating the funding of ancillary sociopolitical institutions, such as schools and the mass media, in order to assure that enough of the masses of muppets would be sufficiently brainwashed to believe in bullshit, so that the banksters' political puppets would be re-elected to maintain the public "money" systems which were made through the powers of governments enforcing frauds by private banks.

Hence, "free money for bankers only,"  while the "silly peasants"  do nothing effective to resist that, especially because those "silly peasants"  have nowhere to turn to for alternatives but to various controlled "opposition"  groups, such as every publicly significant ideology and religion.

In my opinion, the article above was yet another ridiculous reliance upon the false fundamental dichotomy between "capitalism" versus "socialism,"  which merely mentions, but makes little intellectual effort to resolve issues such as "automation and AI destroy millions of middle income jobs permanently,"  and could be reasonably considered to be able to destroy pretty well most jobs done by human beings in the foreseeable future.

"Americans are"  NOT GENUINELY "beginning to reconsider their attitudes toward a radical policy ... Universal Basic Income,"  because Americans are NOT willing and able to recognize that MONEY IS MEASUREMENT BACKED BY MURDER, which was the actual history behind how and why there IS "free money for bankers only."

The ONLY ways that "free money"  could work throughout society are that throughout society there was recognition of the responsibility to operate the murder systems which backed up the money systems, since political economy is INSIDE human ecology. That is, human beings would have roles as competent citizens, which appreciated how artificial selection systems operated INSIDE natural selection systems.

While there continues to be prodigious progress in physical science, due to series of intellectual scientific revolutions and profound paradigm shifts achieved in that physical science, resulting in about exponentially advancing technologies, such as "automation and AI,"  there has been NO GENUINE PROGRESS IN POLITICAL SCIENCE.

Rather, most of the "silly peasants"  continue to believe in the bullshit spouted by the various controlled "opposition"  groups, such as all of the publicly significant religions and ideologies. Most of those "silly peasants"  do not understand, as well as have been conditioned to not want to understand, that there IS "free money for bankers only."

In reply to by Herd Redirecti…

Faeriedust SunRise Tue, 04/24/2018 - 18:48 Permalink

There is still a difference between nature and society.  It's one thing to need to eat to live.  It's another to have to pay RENTS to the "owners" of a resource such as natural air and water (or CLEAN air and water, prior to pollution by capitalists taking a FREE ride on the commons) in order to survive.  Once upon a time in the not-so-distant past, for instance, it wasn't necessary to pay RENT to some "owner" in order to curl up on the ground to sleep.  Do that now, and you go to jail.  While nothing good happens without labor and savings, nothing good happens when that labor and those savings are confiscated by some jackass who has enough capital -- from stealing from others before you -- to hire various thugs (sometimes known as "government") to shake you down.

In reply to by SunRise

Radical Marijuana SunRise Tue, 04/24/2018 - 20:06 Permalink

Spaceship Earth, which should be considered Lifeboat Earth, does everything through transformations of environmental energy flows. The air we breathe required the life of plants in the ocean, and plants on the land, in order to be produced.

The relative abundance of the history of plants living in symbiosis with animals has enabled those animals to take breathing for granted as "free," as well as it was also more common to take being able to drink fresh water for "free." However, there were always environmental energy systems which were producing that apparently "free" air and water.

Human beings living in civilizations are nested toroidal vortices engaged in entropic pumping of environmental energy flows. However, doing so necessarily matches the principles and methods of organized crime, because after human beings are perceived and defined as separated from their environment, then those human beings necessarily live as reproducing gangs of robbers, which take energy.

The dominate Civilization was made and maintained by the biggest and best organized gangsters, which are currently banker dominated governments, whose enforced frauds achieve symbolic robberies. Various corollaries follow from the social facts that governments are the biggest forms of organized crime, dominated by the best organized gangsters, the banksters, such as that the biggest bullies' bullshit, which became the banksters' bullshit, almost totally dominates public debates of issues like any possible "Universal Basic Income."

In reply to by SunRise