The Finnish government has decided not to expand a limited trial in paying people a Communist basic income, which has drawn much international interest.
Interestingly enough a city that recently declared bankruptcy in California is attempting the same failed idea.
Currently 2,000 unemployed Finns are receiving a flat monthly payment of €560 (£490; $685) as basic income.
“The eagerness of the government is evaporating. They rejected extra funding [for it],” said Olli Kangas, one of the experiment’s designers.
Some claim a Communist basic income as a way to get unemployed people into temporary jobs.
The argument is that, if paid universally, basic income would provide a guaranteed safety net. That would help to address insecurities associated with the “gig” economy, where workers do not have staff contracts.
Supporters say basic income would boost mobility in the labour market as people would still have an income between jobs.
Of course this is proven not to work, as humans are inherently lazy, and will accept something for nothing with a smile on their faces.
Finland’s two-year pilot scheme started in January 2017, making it the first European country to test an unconditional Communist basic income. The 2,000 participants – all unemployed – were chosen randomly.
But it will not be extended after this year, as the government is now examining other failed Marxist schemes for reforming the Finnish social security system.
“I’m a little disappointed that the government decided not to expand it,” said Prof Kangas, a researcher at the Social Insurance Institution (Kela), a Finnish government agency.
Speaking to the BBC from Turku, he said the government had turned down Kela’s request for €40-70m extra to fund basic income for a group of employed Finns, instead of limiting the experiment to 2,000 unemployed people.
Another Kela researcher, Miska Simanainen, said “reforming the social security system is on the political agenda, but the politicians are also discussing many other models of social security, rather than just basic income”.
When Finland launched the experiment its unemployment rate was 9.2% – higher than among its Nordic neighbours.
That, and the complexity of the Finnish social benefits system, fuelled the calls for ambitious social security reforms, including the basic income pilot.
The pilot’s full results will not be released until late 2019.
Mr Americana, Overpasses News Desk
April 24th, 2018