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I'm in Finland. It's one year after the launch
of a first-of-its kind experiment here in the country.
We're talking about universal basic income.
Here's how it works.
Researchers randomly selected 2,000 unemployed people
between the ages of 25 and 58 from around Finland.
Each month those 2,000 people receive €560,
which is about 670 bucks, tax-free.
What they do with the money is entirely up to them.
The purpose of the experiment is to address unemployment here in Finland.
The government hopes that it will encourage unemployed people to
take jobs instead of being afraid of losing their unemployment benefits.
So one year into the experiment, is it working?
We went to Finland to find out.
It wasn't easy finding someone who is actually receiving the free money.
Researchers are keeping the names of the recipients
private to try to keep the results consistent.
But we did manage to find Mika Ruusunen on Facebook,
and he agreed to meet us at his office in Tampere,
about two hours north of Helsinki.
So, we are going meet Mika now at his office.
He's here, he's agreed to meet us during his lunch break.
The fact that we're meeting him at his office is actually a promising sign.
It means that he has a job, so we'll see what he has to say.
Hi, Mika?
Nice to meet you.
Nice to meet you, too.
Thanks so much for having us here today.
Okay, great, excellent!
Let's get started!
Mika was doing an internship at an IT company, where he now works full-time,
when he found out he was selected for Finland's basic income trial.
When you first found out that you were going to be part of the trial,
did you tell people or did you want to keep it a secret?
When I first received the letter I opened it and I didn't understand it at all.
And so I gave it to my wife and asked her, "What the heck is this?"
Mika had been unemployed for 16 months before
he decided to go back to school to switch career paths into IT.
Do you find there's less bureaucracy than there was
when you were receiving benefits for being unemployed?
Yeah definitely, that's the best part of the basic income.
That it would mean much less bureaucracy.
People who are using the system are already using the system.
The basic income encourages people to do work.
Mika said the €560 a month wouldn't be enough to live on.
But it's given him flexibility for things like a family vacation
or the possibility of starting his own business.
He's proud to be part of the experiment in Finland,
but he's not sold on the idea that you should
continue receiving free cash even when you're well-off.
There's no getting out.
If I won a million bucks at the lottery they would still give it to me.
It's a pretty weird idea.
It's strange.
Our next step was to find out what the researchers think
about the universal basic income experiment so far.
Kela is the arm of the Finnish government that's implementing the trial.
So we're at the office here at Kela in Helsinki.
We're about to meet with one of the main researchers now.
Researcher Miska Simanainen said he won't actually hear
from any of the participants until the trial concludes at the end of 2018.
But the experiment has already revealed
one of the biggest issues with universal basic income,
We had to make many practical compromises
during the design process of the experiment.
Researchers only had enough funding to hand out cash to 2,000 people.
And they chose to limit their sample to participants who were unemployed.
Do you envision a world where eventually there could be
everyone in Finland has universal basic income?
There is a strong consensus between political parties that
the current social security system should be reformed.
But we found there is disagreement about how to reform the system.
Is the idea that universal basic income is actually going to
take the place of some of the other benefits here in Finland?
That's the way that the discussion is that
if we're going to give you universal basic income,
then we're going to cut from other sectors.
This is Antti Jauhiainen, he's the author of a book about welfare in Finland.
He sees universal basic income not as a way to
replace the current welfare system, but as an added benefit.
Our path shouldn't be to create low-wage jobs
but to really improve education and to improve people's skills.
And I think giving the kind of freedom that through
universal basic income would provide, might help with that.
It looks like the trial is off to a good start here.
But it still seems like it's a long way away from
universal basic income being universal here in Finland.
Hey guys it's Elizabeth, thanks so much for watching.
If you want to check out more of our stories, we have an Explains about universal basic income
and other CNBC Explains up on our YouTube page.
While you're at it give us some suggestions, we're looking for other ideas.
And subscribe to our channel.
See you later!


Is universal basic income working? We went to Finland to find out | CNBC Reports

66 タグ追加 保存
王惟惟 2018 年 9 月 5 日 に公開
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