Basic income refers to income that is paid equally to all members of society regardless of whether they are employed or not. It is a social security system that allows the government to provide free money to people to live a more creative life.
Basic income is the idea that the government will continue to pay the minimum amount of cash necessary for all citizens. Thomas Paine, an 18th-century thinker, has argued and has been active in the 60s and 70s. Of course, there is also criticism that losing the meaning of working for basic income, or reducing the number of people working and hitting the national economy. On the other hand, there are opinions that people can make more creative and productive actions while reducing meaningless labor.
Basic income is being tested. In Canada, from 1974 to 1979, an experiment called “Mincome” paid cash to 1,000 households. As a result, the number of working hours actually decreased by 1% for men, 3% for married women and 5% for single women. Workers have increased their time at home and their children’s education has increased. The frequency of visits to hospitals was reduced, and health care facilities had positive effects such as giving complaints related to mental health. Of course, this experiment was aborted as the Canadian regime changed, and the final test conclusions were not reached. However, Evelyn L. Forget, an economist at the University of Manitoba, said that the introduction of basic income into poverty alleviation and other problems was revealed in a report (The town with no poverty) did.
In 2016, a referendum was held in Switzerland asking whether to guarantee a monthly income of 2,500 Swiss francs per month. In Switzerland, there has already been a movement demanding the introduction of a basic income system, signed by more than 120,000 people in 2013. The basic income security scheme at that time is to pay 2,500 Swiss francs per month to anyone who is an adult and 625 Swiss francs if they are minors. Most of the cost of this system is financed through taxes. If the system is introduced, the existing social security system will stop and the income guarantee system will be unified. One quarter of the cost of introducing basic income is covered by existing social security schemes. In addition, the complex social security system can be integrated into the income guarantee system that guarantees basic income, and the administrative cost can be reduced.
In the referendum on June 5, 2016, 23.1 percent of voters voted in favor of the 23 votes in Switzerland and 76.9 percent voted against it. Among the politicians, there is little movement to support the introduction of the basic income system.
In 2017, Utrecht, the Netherlands, began a large-scale experiment to provide free cash to victims. The difference between the experiments conducted here and Canada was that they paid only to a limited number of people. If a guardian has $ 1,000 for an adult, a married person, or a child, $ 1,450 is paid every month. The experiment involved 300 citizens of Utrecht. All of them are divided into three groups according to income. These groups have different rules. Fifty of the subjects are provided with unconditional payment even if they get a new job.
Finland also began the experiment. The basic income test, which started in January of this year, will pay 560 euros (KRW710,000 per month) for 2 years for 2,000 people who are not engaged in the employment of 25-58 year olds. Finland, of course, has existing social security schemes, such as unemployment benefits, but the system is still able to continue to receive money in the form of subsidies even if you work during the trial period. There is no obligation to report even if you are employed and you are not in the form of an unemployment benefit. Of course, you do not have to have a job. Money is free to use anywhere. However, you can not get all benefits of the existing social welfare system that you have received before.
The reason why the Finnish government has experimented with the basic income system is that it will reduce the poverty and improve the unemployment rate while reducing government work. The unemployment rate in Finland is 8.1%. However, people who benefit from existing welfare schemes will not receive subsidies if they receive a small amount of income. It is the desire to take jobs. Trying to avoid this is not going to help. Although the results have not been released yet, a brief survey conducted half a year later shows that participants’ stress is decreasing and their motivation for job search is changing.
There is also a basic income test in Ontario, Canada. In Ontario Hamilton, the Basic Income Examination Adoption Program is implemented and a monthly amount is paid to 4,000 residents. In addition to Hamilton, Thunder Bay and Lindsay have three basic income test introduction programs. Unemployed and single recipients can earn $ 16,989 per year and couples receive $ 24,027. If you are engaged in work, your monthly payments can be reduced by 50% if you earn more than $ 200 a month. The amount of the payment is said to be precisely bisecting the median salary in Canada.
The basic income test participants in Ontario were not only able to get more money than they had before, but they also helped reduce the time it takes to get the social security system so far. Also, I was expecting personal free time because of basic income.
Participation in the Basic Income Test Introduction Program is simple. Fill in the basic information such as income, write a survey that takes about 45 minutes, write down the bank account information, and sign the progress agreement. It is much simpler than the existing social security system.
The basic income test program in Ontario is $ 50 million. Through the tests, the researchers track the subjects and investigate how basic income affects them. Whether it is improving health, reducing the frequency of use of insurance services, and how it affects the quality of life, as well as the cost of administering the program, is carefully examined.
A typical accelerator, the Wi-Combiner, is also running a pilot program in Oakland, USA. It provides $ 1,000 to $ 2,000 per month for dozens of households. In earnest tests from 2018, $ 1,000 per month for three years, $ 1,000 per month for five years for 100 people, $ 50 per month for three years for 1,800 people, and $ 5 per month for 200 people, Provide $ 50 per month per year.
The city of Stockton, California, USA, is also planning to start piloting basic income for residents this year. The city runs a program called SEED (Stockton Economic Empowerment Demonstration) under government support. The entire duration and number of people have not been confirmed, but some of the residents will be selected to pay $ 500 a month and basic income of $ 6,000 a year.
Stockton was one of the country’s worst-hit financial ruins until 2012. The unemployment rate is 7.3%, which is higher than the US average of 4.3%. The average annual salary is also $ 44,797, which is lower than California’s average salary of $ 61,181. The crime rate is high. The reason for the basic income test is to solve the poverty and inequality.
One of the reasons for the steady interest, despite the negative opinions about basic income, is the rapid development of technologies such as robots and artificial intelligence that can replace human work, says Sam Altmann, CEO of Wi-Combiner. If this trend continues, if you work for survival right now, it is expected that the meaning of work will change in the future. Sam Altman says that 50 years from now, people will be wondering that old people were afraid of hunger. This means that if you do not need to work, you need to experiment with basic income to find out where people will spend their time.