The Finnish Model

“…This year, the Finnish government hopes to begin granting every adult citizen a monthly allowance of €800 (roughly $900). Whether rich or poor, each citizen will be free to use the money as he or she sees fit. The idea is that people are responsible for their actions. If someone decides to spend their €800 on vodka, that is their decision, and has nothing to do with the government. In return for the UBI, however, the public accepts the elimination of most welfare services. Currently, the Finnish government offers a variety of income-based assistance programs for everything from housing to children’s education to property insulation. Axing these programs should free up enough public resources to finance the UBI. The bureaucracy that currently governs welfare payments will disappear. There will no longer be any need to ask for government help, nor to fill out forms or wait for the competent authorities to examine each dossier to determine eligibility.”

Link fixed.

  • Exile1981

    Assuming these social programs and the beurocrats who run them actually are tossed in the dust bin of history then yes it could be a good thing.

    Especially since it will teduce the # of gov’t employees voting for more taxes to line their pockets with.

    • V10_Rob

      Definitely one to keep our eyes on. Rarely a bad thing when we get a chance to see theory meet reality.

    • If only!

    • Alain

      That, my friend, is a very big assumption. Bureaucracies never seem to die. Also from where is all this “free” money to come?

  • Jabberwokk


  • Ron MacDonald

    Smart people would take the money and invest it for retirement, most will probably used it to purchase a new car.

  • Ed

    And if vibrant newcomers look at one another, burst out laughing and say “this is better than any life back home… we can live and not work…” and there are no requirements to work…?

  • simus1

    In the US version excess teachers and similar supporters are never laid off and Emperor Barry provides the wherewithal to keep them “employed” spending fiat money.

  • Hard Little Machine

    It’s an interesting experiment. But what will do they do if, inevitably 5% of the population dies in the gutter because of the horrendously bad choices they made? What DO you do if your society is Dickensian England except with $900 bucks a month?

    • B__2

      That is the beauty of this programme (from the Government agencies point of view) – there will still be the need for government agencies to mitigate the effects of personal bad choices and mismanagement of this allowance. There will always be people who will turn up and say they’ve spent this month’s allowance on booze, drugs, gambling or whatever, and they still need to pay the rent, buy food, or pay for electricity, What does the government do when the parents spend their children’s monthly allowance and come back to the government and say, “My child is hungry and cold – I need money to fix this for 29 days until their next allowance payment.”

      • Alain

        Sorry but that suggests that Big Brother knows best, and that people are incapable of managing their own affairs. Of course some may or will make bad choices, but that is life and they should not be bailed out for their own bad choices.

        • B__2

          I wasn’t suggesting that people should have no say in how the money allocated to them is spent. The point I was making is that there will always be some people who spend it unwisely and then demand that the government give them more. No government can avoid the PR disaster when someone through no fault of their own has no money and will get no money for weeks through the normal monthly allowance payment, especially if that someone is a child. Thus, some agencies will still be needed to cater for this, admittedly smaller, group of people. I don’t have a good solution: do you keep giving ex gratia payments to those who continually misspend their allocation, because you know the government will never be repaid if the misusers are lent the money until their next month’s allocation.

    • Alain

      Frankly it is none of the government’s business how they spend the money. My question remains where does this money come from. Does Finland have money trees growing that I don’t know about.

  • Minicapt