With socialists rising to the calls of the ‘free shit army’ and the ever-more-left-leaning liberal intelligentsia imagining ever-more-creative ways to pretend to fund their massive government interventions (Modern Monetary Theory), the topic of “QE for the people” or “helicopter money” or the more academic-sounding “Universal Basic Income” is becoming ever-more-prevalent.
Why should people be forced to work? Why should people have to take responsibility for themselves? America is the land of the free to sit on your ass and receive government handouts after all.
Well, we have some more results in on the impact of Universal Basic Income (UBI) experiments – handing out free money to citizens with no strings attached.
As part of its experiment, in Finland 2,000 unemployed people aged 25-58 were paid a tax-free €560 (£490) monthly income. This was independent of any other income they had and not conditional on looking for work.
“Universal basic income has ascended policy debates in recent years, motivated by the shortcomings of existing welfare systems, and our rapidly changing – and increasingly dysfunctional – labour markets.
“Yet despite the idea’s widespread appeal, there remain substantial and unanswered questions about its economic viability and political feasibility. This is why all eyes will be on Finland this Friday and why the results of its UBI experiment will be so revealing.
“We expect these results will provide us with the first really robust evidence on how UBI could affect changes in employment and people’s overall finances, as well as wider measures of wellbeing.”
So what were the results?
Simple (and Dr Martinelli – and the left – won’t like it):
1) People were happier, and
2) No new jobs were created.
As Yahoo reports, this was the widest such study to be conducted in recent years in Europe
“The recipients of a basic income had less stress symptoms as well as less difficulties to concentrate and less health problems than the control group,” Minna Ylikanno, lead researcher at Finland’s welfare authority Kela, said in a statement.
“They were also more confident in their future and in their ability to influence societal issues,” she added.
Results at this stage are preliminary and relate only to the first year of the study, meaning Friday’s findings are far from conclusive. But a hoped-for stimulus to levels of employment has not yet materialized, the project’s researchers said.
“The recipients of a basic income were no better or worse than the control group at finding employment in the open labour market”, Ohto Kanninen, research coordinator at the Labour Institute for Economic Research, said in a statement.
Shocker!! Who could have seen that coming?
Give people free money for doing nothing, with no conditions, and they will be happier to sit around all day in non-productive utopia.
Finally, we note that, based on these results, Finland’s social affairs minister, Pirkko Mattila, conceded on Friday that the government has no plans to roll out the scheme across the whole country.
As a reminder, in 2017, Swiss voters rejected a proposed universal income in a referendum after critics slammed the idea as rewarding the lazy and the feckless. However, we suspect these abject failures will not assuage the left’s incessant calls for more free stuff paid for by The Fed “extending credit” and those pesky billionaires paying more of a fair share.