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Forum Post: Finland Champions Universal Basic Income

Posted 5 years ago on Dec. 6, 2015, 11:35 p.m. EST by Renneye (3874)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

~" As a way to improve living standards and boosts its economy, the nation of Finland is moving closer towards offering all of its adult citizens a basic permanent income of approximately 800 euros per month.

The monthly allotment would replace other existing social benefits, but is an idea long advocated for by progressive-minded social scientists and economists as a solution—counter-intuitive as it may first appear at first—that actually decreases government expenditures and unemployment while boosting both productivity and quality of life.

"For me, a basic income means simplifying the social security system," Finland's Prime Minister Juha Sipilä said last week.

Though it would not be implemented until later in 2016, recent polling shows that nearly 70 percent of the Finnish people support the idea.

According to Bloomberg, the basic income proposal, put forth by the Finnish Social Insurance Institution, known as KELA, would see every adult citizen "receive 800 euros ($876) a month, tax free, that would replace existing benefits. Full implementation would be preceded by a pilot stage, during which the basic income payout would be 550 euros and some benefits would remain."

"Basic income would increase everybody’s capacity to cope with financial shocks and uncertainties and would improve general quality of life, while supporting many different kinds of work, with or without pay." —Anne B. Ryan, Enough Is Plenty

As reporting by the UK-based Metro notes:

While it may seem like a standard basic income would encourage people not to work, it’s actually designed to do the opposite.... "~

full article :




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[-] 3 points by ImNotMe (1488) 5 years ago

Thanx for your reply and solidarity here: http://occupywallst.org/forum/fractious-forum-mods-petty-tinpot-tyranny-who-is-r/#comment-1068688 but alas, t'is no more but I do recall the song you linked to and so here's another version by Ani Difranco ...

solidaritet ...

[-] 3 points by ImNotMe (1488) 5 years ago

The concept of Basic Income strikes a fairer balance between allowing all the benefits of work to coexist with a system aimed at delivering dignity & opportunity for all IN a society & giving security TO Society!!

Beyond just better enabling access to opportunities for all ... Basic Income - will also allow many people the real freedom to live as they choose; to Explore Unpaid Work in the form of volunteering, participating in creative projects, or even starting new business ventures and thus - challenge all existing monopolies!

Some people will argue that there would be much less incentive for people to start their own businesses and be productive - BUT it could just as easily be argued that it could well remove the disincentives from the high-risk, high-reward ventures, that are so very valuable to our modern technologically advanced but socio-politically ossified Advanced Western Free Market societies where Neoliberal Austerity now rules!

Many thanx for this very important forum-post and your great link. I think that Basic Income will happen soon, not only because it is just the morally right thing to do (which it is, imo!) - but also because it will be seen to make good ol' fashioned economic sense. Perhaps, we should all now try to heed the words of Economist, Manfred Max Neef { http://www.gaiafoundation.org/manfred-max-neef } here:

''The principles ... of an economics which should be are based in five postulates and one fundamental value principle.''

  • 1) The Economy is to serve the people and not the people to serve the economy.

  • 2) Development is about people and not about objects.

  • 3) Growth is not the same as development, and development does not necessarily require growth.

  • 4) No economy is possible in the absence of ecosystem services. (ie.The Natural World!)

  • 5) The Economy is a Subsystem of a Larger Finite System, the biosphere hence, Permanent Growth is impossible.

''And that The Fundamental Value to sustain a new economy should be that no economic interest, under no circumstance, can be above the reverence of life itself.'' Also consider ...

Most Americans are six months from poverty!! Middle-class people, who worked all their lives - then lost their jobs and saw their unemployment benefits expire ... are now sleeping in parks and under bridges!!!

The US has not seen full employment in decades!! Even a full-time job at the minimum wage, can’t lift a family of three from poverty. Millions of Americans; children, the aged, the disabled - are unable to work!

A Basic Income Guarantee - would be like an insurance policy. It would give each person the assurance that, no matter what happened - they & their families would not starve and be destitute out on the street.

fiat justitia et - crede quod habes, et habes ...

[-] 5 points by Renneye (3874) 5 years ago

The implementation of Basic Income has grown, not only in awareness, but also in momentum...

~ "Moreover, basic income already has champions across the political spectrum. Conservative Senator Hugh Segal has long represented the right-of-centre voice of support. The Green Party of Canada has signalled official interest in testing basic income. It was a New Democratic premier and a Liberal prime minister who brought in the bold “Manitoba Mincome” experiment of the 1970s, from which encouraging findings have been documented. Most recently, delegates to the biennial convention of the Liberal Party of Canada voted in favour of two resolutions concerning basic income." ~

Full Article: <http://www.thestar.com/opinion/commentary/2014/02/27/how_can_we_not_afford_a_basic_annual_income.html>


Basic Income has been experimented with before, and with great success, but stopped short of the findings being publicly shared. Hmmm...worked too good? Lol!

~ "Between 1974 and 1979, residents of a small Manitoba city were selected to be subjects in a project that ensured basic annual incomes for everyone. For five years, monthly cheques were delivered to the poorest residents of Dauphin, Man. – no strings attached.

And for five years, poverty was completely eliminated.

The program was dubbed “Mincome” – a neologism of “minimum income” – and it was the first of its kind in North America. It stood out from similar American projects at the time because it didn’t shut out seniors and the disabled from qualification.

The project’s original intent was to evaluate if giving cheques to the working poor, enough to top-up their incomes to a living wage, would kill people’s motivation to work. It didn’t." ~

Full Article : A Canadian City Once Eliminated Poverty And Nearly Everyone Forgot About It ~ <http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2014/12/23/mincome-in-dauphin-manitoba_n_6335682.html>

The powers that be always have an agenda...ALWAYS...and I suspect this is no different. 'They' will benefit, there is no question. They always do. But, a basic income is such a positive for the average person, and can free-up the minds of the working poor from less stress, thus being able to think about things other than slaving away...perhaps building their awareness to the quality of life, substance and love of humanity instead of materialism, respecting this earth, and becoming more politically active.

[-] 2 points by turbocharger (1756) 5 years ago

I don't understand how we -as humanity - have gotten to the point where we dont think we can manage a basic marketplace environment in our communities, instead needing central government/banks to bail us out on a monthly basis?

I'll be honest, this is terrifying to me. 330 million people all at the mercy of the war machine, the lunatics, the sociopaths.

[-] 3 points by Viking (417) 5 years ago

The elephant in the room is climate change, and a people who have awoken to the fact that capitalism thrives on inequity, and exploitation (as I believe bw implied). A market based economy is simply incongruous to our planet's survival, and to our own morality.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 5 years ago

The elephant in the room is climate change

Funny = "elephant" = appropriate = GOP climate change deniers.

[-] 2 points by Viking (417) 5 years ago

I missed that double entendre with that idiom. Thanks for pointing it out.

[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (23396) 5 years ago

No, turbo, not the war machine, the people machine. The war machine would become unaffordable and a thing of the past. :) Happy Winter Solstice!

[-] 4 points by Viking (417) 5 years ago

I'm happy to see that you mentioned Winter Solstice. Like Santa Lucia Day in Scandinavia, which was mistakenly thought to be the first day of winter (the 13th) under the old Julian calendar, it has symbolism that is very apropos to our struggle.

Every day will be getting a bit longer and brighter. Take comfort in knowing that you are amongst kindred spirits.

Happy winter Solstice: [To You Too!] A time for rebirth, renewal and hope!


Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.... Martin Luther King, Jr.

[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (23396) 5 years ago

"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that...." Martin Luther King, Jr.

Just had to repeat that. Thanks for the good wishes. Same to you and yours. Happy Winter Solstice! May the light and the hope spring eternal!

[-] 2 points by turbocharger (1756) 5 years ago

The people wont be running this. They wont run the program, they wont own the money, and they wont have the ability to change policy. Just like everything else that is centralized to this magnitude.

Fuck, we cant even get them to do the most basic of things. You think once theyve got us by the nuts like that they are gonna start giving back a little?

It will be bonded out, massive interest, etc etc all going to the top. COLA drama up the yahoo every election, inflated away to near nothing eventually, borrowed against and all the other nonsense.

No thanks.

[-] 1 points by ImNotMe (1488) 5 years ago

Yes, ''a basic income is such a positive for the average person and can free-up the minds of the working poor from less stress - thus being able to think about things other than slaving away .. perhaps building their awareness to the quality of life, substance and love of humanity instead of materialism, respecting this earth and becoming more politically active.'' Emphatic Ditto & thanx for an Excellent Forum-Post & thread and great links ... in compliment of which, I append (along with my best wishes of the season to you and yours) this video link: https://www.rt.com/shows/keiser-report/326948-episode-max-keiser-853/

fiat lux ...

[-] 2 points by Renneye (3874) 5 years ago

Fostering awareness for Basic Income.




http://www.basicincome.org/news/2015/12/an-american-basic-income-how-do-we-get-there/ (good links on this page)

I reciprocate your thanks...for being such an immense contributer and for being a huge reason that this forum has stayed alive and interesting.

We're in boxes up to our ears after finally getting into my new place only three days ago...but, we've managed to escape the boxes with a much needed change of scenery and have an amazing Xmas with family and friends, old and new.

I hope you had a wonderful Xmas as well. The warmest of best wishes to you and yours for the New Year coming and beyond. And, indeed, I extend these heartfelt wishes to all who grace these pages with their Heart & Soul hopes and ideas for their fellow human beings.

Happy Holidays Everyone!


[-] 0 points by ImNotMe (1488) 5 years ago

Basic Income / QE for The 99% - is a fundamentally important issue and so many thanx for raising the matter with this important thread; your numerous informative links & for your kind words. Solidarity and regards to you and your bairns & other loved ones - especially at this time of change and transition, as moving home is one the most stressful things we do as humans. My best wishes for 2016 and fyi, see:

fiat lux, fiat justitia et pax vobis. ...

[-] 1 points by turbocharger (1756) 5 years ago

I'll pass, I dont want anything to do with anything those lunatics touch at this point.

[-] 4 points by ImNotMe (1488) 5 years ago

So - how about Martin Luther King on .. Basic Income?!

respice; adspice; prospice ...

[-] 1 points by turbocharger (1756) 5 years ago

MLk was a bit of a hack economically. Great organizer, not so much with understanding monetary policy.

[-] 4 points by ImNotMe (1488) 5 years ago

Re. Basic Income .. would you like to explain your arguments against it? Are they on principle or practicalities? Do these also extend to the Minimum Wage too?! Also fyi - please try to consider:

Basic Income is arguably one way to share the productivity benefits of automation to all, not just to the owners of capital. Increased automation and A.I. will mean less need for Labour but people have needs!

ad iudicium ...

[-] 2 points by turbocharger (1756) 5 years ago

I think if we were going to see a labor issue from automation it would have already happened in the industrial revolution, I believe they were saying the same things then. But we innovate as usual, our priorities change, etc.

Im a big fan of sound money and sound wages, neither of which are possible with the Fed in charge of policy.

I just know the nature of government and how these go when you increase the scale and scope to something as massive as 330 million people.

Where they come up with the 200 Billion a month (2.5 Trillion a year) is another story all together.

I just cant see anything good coming from putting 330 million people all on a welfare program.

[-] 4 points by ImNotMe (1488) 5 years ago

A Secure Pension is part of a Basic Income Guarantee and so, also try to consider the following item:

From which I excerpt .. ''My plan is just to work until I die.” That’s how my mom sums up her retirement prospects. She has worked more than 40 hours a week as a legal secretary in north Florida, for as long as I can remember.

''When my brother and I were kids, we went to her office every Saturday and entertained ourselves by sliding across the floor in fancy law firm chairs - while our single mom worked overtime in her cubicle.

''My mom’s anticipating a Social Security check worth about $1,200 a month starting five years from now — and year after year we hear politicians threaten to cut even that.

''In fact - millions of Americans rely on the federal government’s safety net to support them in retirement. But the net is fraying as corporations & their top executives dodge their fair share of the taxes, that now sustain it. While they pad their own retirement accounts, people like my mom who work hard their entire lives could have nothing to show for it.

''My mom and other low-income and middle-class workers shouldn’t have to go it alone. It’s time for all of us to stand together and demand fairness in retirement. I don’t want her, or anyone else’s parents, to work themselves into the grave.'' Finally, perhaps also try to re-consider:

fiat justitia ...

[-] 4 points by ImNotMe (1488) 5 years ago

Yes we will innovate but you don't think that there's "a labor issue from automation"?! I too am a ''sound money and sound wages" advocate and yes The Fed is - as a cartel of Private Bankers, an impediment for that but what you have at every level of US Society, is a lack of accountability and transparency and thus democracy - but the answer to that isn't to continue to hand over The Republic to The Corporations fronted by their venal politicians!! They bailed (and continue to bail) out .. The 1% & 0.01% in a perverse inversion of Socialism but yet you regard Basic Income as somehow ''a welfare program''?!!! Consider ... https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?id=140279086037517&story_fbid=1135970379801711 & this:

''Universal basic income would likely be a key element of a more equitable future society, but it's hard to see how to get there from here politically. In my piece for "Al Jazeera America", I propose starting off by extending a guaranteed income to the veterans of our recent wars" by Gar Alperovitz & thus these links:

I will briefly quote the following: ''The US economy currently produces roughly $200,000 for every family of four - even with high unemployment, even in stagnation. Viewed differently, this is the equivalent of roughly $100,000 for every family of four - and roughly a twenty hour work week.

''Technically speaking we have no economic problem; we have a political problem in managing the most powerful economy in the world. A restructured system could move rapidly toward a reduced work week, along with redistributive measures to alter the current radically unequal distributions of income & wealth.

''Alternatively, individuals might work longer hours, but take the equivalent amount of free time in several-month breaks, during which they could study, learn new skills, take up creative arts, or just vacation. These are not technical problems; they are political problems a serious next system could undertake to resolve if the structures of power that now block solutions were altered.'' - with which GA replied to this..

Important Question ... ''The Pluralist Commonwealth model holds that not only is a redistribution of work-time possible, but that it is also a necessary condition of democratic participation and of personal liberty - liberty, that is, "to use one's time as one sees fit." Please talk about how you see a guaranteed living income and/or job and a reduction of hours worked becoming a reality in the land where workers work the most hours a year of anywhere in the world?''

fiat justitia ruat caelum ...

[-] 1 points by turbocharger (1756) 5 years ago

I've studied the topic a decent amount, its something the GP endorses that I think is insane, and at direct odds with grassroots democracy and local economics.

Where did the "work the most out of anyone" stat come from? Gotta say, most people I know don't work that much for the most part. 40 hours tops.

[-] 3 points by ImNotMe (1488) 5 years ago

Consider: ''Americans work more than anyone in the industrialized world. - More than the English, more than the French, way more than the Germans or Norwegians. Even, recently .. more than the Japanese. And Americans take less vacation, work longer days, and retire later, too.'' -- Briefly Excerpted From ...

So perhaps the Americans ''work the most out of anyone stat'' came from sources like the first four links above. I just can't see how The Green Party's endorsement of Basis Income ''is insane'' btw, and do you think American workers are somehow lazy? - I don't! Also I am very aware of how tenuous their rights at work are too. Perhaps personal anecdotes are of limited use but I'm really interested in the sources &/or references underpinning your views on this matter - not that you are obliged at all to share them though!!

I can't recommend the final article enough to you btw - and it could well support some of your arguments re.''Bernie Sanders and the Limits of Electoral Politics'' in the USA, but you'll need to read it to see!!!

fiat lux ...

[-] 3 points by grapes (5232) 5 years ago

It will be good for us to watch how this turns out. I hope that Finland will put in good economic metrics while running the experiment.

At first glance, it should free up some time for the bureaucrats currently administering the welfare system so there is likely to be a net gain for Finland if it is imaginative. Of course, it really depends greatly on what all of that saved time will be used for. Bureaucrats demonstrating against the government for "work" loss would certainly be counter-productive.

I am looking forward to seeing the results in Finland. Perhaps you can be open-minded.

[-] 1 points by turbocharger (1756) 5 years ago

Finland has a population of 5 million. Size matters when we are talking about organizing, especially when the ones who are doing it are really really bad at it, hence why they are in government and not in the real world.

[-] 2 points by grapes (5232) 5 years ago

In economics, there is the economy-of-scale advantage for larger operations. If Finland can make this work, the U.S. copying it, should derive a much larger advantage. There is also another advantage coming from the simplicity of the scheme.

Government organizes better than the private sector in some areas. Look at the U.S. healthpay system - it is still a big unsustainable mess (with a major insurance company threatening to pull out) even after getting the Abomberpay overhaul. Government's universal single-payer basic healthpay, piggybacking on Medicare, would have solved the problem by now with far lower costs and saved much political capital to produce a more successful country.

Instead, we have created jobs, jobs, jobs! Why am I not impressed but depressed about "poisoning of the well" politically? Damn those partisans guiding the country into the ditch by making sure that the leader cannot succeed. Failed country is good for NO ONE in or of it. Idiots!

[-] 1 points by turbocharger (1756) 5 years ago

I'm not talking about economics, Im talking about organizing and management.

Sure, you buy more widgets you get a discount. But you then have to be able to manage more widgets in production. This is where government always messes up, because they are politicians and bureaucrats and not real organizers.

I have no desire to watch them gain more control at this point. I want communities to be able to function as such.

[-] 2 points by grapes (5232) 5 years ago

Medicare Part D prescription drug purchase may fit your description of our politicians' traitorous behavior. Why else but corruption would they bar Medicare from negotiating and getting a volume discount? The U.S. has the very wet "dry rot." Politicians excel in Reversespeak. Medicare Part D's high costs will ensure the ample supply of vital prescription drugs for our senior citizens now and well into the future. The new Archimedes' principle for our Rockette Age says, "Feed me enough beans from the U.S. Con-gress and I can trump you up to Marss with my tush drive."

[-] 1 points by grapes (5232) 5 years ago

The U.S. bases its strength on its unrivaled ability to organize and manage, and getting things that must be done, done. I remember the Panama Canal, the Hoover dam, the trans-Atlantic convoys, D-Day landing, the Manhattan project, the Apollo project, Desert Storm, etc., do you? Aren't most of these organized and managed at the higher levels by the government? Is there any doubt that our government can undertake huge projects and succeed?

It's true that much of the lower-level heavy lifting was done by private industries but if you really think about it, that is actually a tremendous advantage for the U.S. I watched China sending its military to evacuate its nationals from Libya and I thought that the U.S. nationals could be stranded. No, they were evacuated with private industries' help. The U.S. government did not pay for the upkeep of these private industries when their help is not needed. The U.S. can do more with the resources saved.

People often badmouth the Military-Industrial Complex but it is actually the fountainhead of U.S. strength. It can be ravenous in its appetite but hey, at least it is our very OWN monster doing our bidding as needed. Without it, wir sprechen Deutsch und Sieg Heil!

[-] 2 points by turbocharger (1756) 5 years ago

Theres a big difference between project management and running a business.

And those contracts are outrageous, its why everyone wants them.

[-] 2 points by grapes (5232) 5 years ago

You are correct so we have been letting the government manage the projects and the private industries run the business. Isn't that what we have now with the contracting? It worked well time and time again except when cronyism got the incompetents to manage government projects.

I worry a lot more about the contracts that no one wants. It's almost always better to overpay a bit more than to underpay (unless the results really matter little). I remember the MBAs showing all the extra money one can save on their spreadsheets and then bailing out just in time when the tide comes in to claim our sandcastles. Multiple bidders on a contract usually lower the cost but beware of the sandcastles replacing the costlier concrete castles. Margins of safety count.

[-] 2 points by MattHolck0 (3867) 5 years ago

healthcare should be provide by public buildings

[-] 2 points by MattHolck0 (3867) 5 years ago

people will serve each other to get that consistent flow of money