Antti Jauhiainen

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Oulu, Finland, 2017. Credit Janne Körkkö for The New York Times

“Thank goodness that this experiment is coming to an end,” the Fox News commentator Stuart Varney said recently, after the Finnish government decided to stop its trial run with universal basic income (U.B.I.) at the end of the year. “You want money, get out there and work for it, please.”

Jussi Halla-aho, the leader of the far-right Finns Party, applauded the decision, arguing that “work is the best social security.” Some center-left politicians also have been skeptical. Antti Rinne, the leader of the Social Democratic Party, said last year, “I don’t need any basic income. I have a good salary, and if I happen to lose my job, I’d have unemployment benefits.”…  Seguir leyendo »

Finland’s capital, Helsinki. Credit Ilvy Njiokiktjien for The New York Times

Universal basic income is generating considerable interest these days, from Bernie Sanders, who says he is “absolutely sympathetic” to the idea, to Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive, and other tech billionaires. The basic idea behind it is that handing out unconditional cash to all citizens, employed or not, would help reduce poverty and inequality, and increase individual liberty.

This discussion is still largely theoretical, though, because universal basic income hasn’t been rigorously tested. Most experiments — in the United States in the 1970s; in the Dutch city of Utrecht today — have been local and based on small sample sizes. A nonprofit organization has run a larger program in Kenya.…  Seguir leyendo »