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Free Cash in Finland. Must Be Jobless.

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Free Cash in Finland. Must Be Jobless.

Finland will soon hand out cash to 2,000 jobless people, free of bureaucracy or limits on side earnings. The idea, universal basic income, is gaining traction worldwide.

The New York Times,

5 min read
5 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Many governments have dismissed universal basic income as a utopian fantasy – until now.

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For decades, the idea of universal basic income has been relegated to the policy fringes, dismissed as a pie-in-the-sky ideal far removed from the hard-nosed realities of a capitalist, workaday world – but no more. With politicians increasingly feeling the populist heat from voters angry about economic dislocation, governments are quietly coming around to a radical rethink of social welfare policy. International Business Times chief editor Peter S. Goodman offers up a digestible, jargon-free overview of the debate. getAbstract recommends his insights to anyone looking for an easy entry point to an increasingly relevant policy discussion.


A Finnish experiment with universal basic income could reverberate far beyond the Nordic country. The idea that all citizens should receive steady paychecks from the government to cover their basic food and shelter needs – regardless of whether they work or collect other income – may be coming into the mainstream. The objective of basic-income programs is to provide people with a baseline of security that frees them to pursue educational and vocational ventures to enhance their future employment prospects and, in turn, improve society at large. In the experiment, the Finnish government will randomly choose ...

About the Author

Peter S. Goodman is the editor in chief of the International Business Times.

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