Dear MEL Topic Readers,
Finland basic income trial left people 'happier but jobless'
Finland is one of the world's northernmost countries with a population of five and a half million, about the same as Singapore. Despite the pressure from the giant neighbor during WWII and cold war, it maintained its independence and integrity. Finland is now one of the top performers in per capita incomes, education, social welfare, civil liberties, quality of life and human development.
In January 2017, they started testing of a controversial welfare scheme, called Universal Basic Income, or UBI, which provides a certain amount of monthly income to everyone. In the Finnish test, they randomly selected 2,000 individuals who were unemployed to see if the basic income would help them find a new job or gain new skills. After two years of their test period, they found that those recipients were happy but didn’t get new jobs as much as they had hoped. They are now busy analyzing the test results.
Among the variety of progressive social welfare schemes, such as universal basic income for all or those who are unemployed, or universal basic services, which provides essential social services like education or healthcare for free, which one works better than the others for citizens, social security system and economy?
Enjoy reading and think if universal service or benefit is an effective way to improve social welfare in your society.