Finland is conducting an experiment on their people. What? Now, before you start picturing a science lab with Frankenstein’s monster on the table, we’re going to have to stop you right there! They’re not conducting that kind of an experiment, but rather a social experiment: what happens when a country gives away money to the unemployed (or people without jobs)? Will they become lazy or will they use the money to do things like go back to school or open up businesses? By giving 2,000 unemployed people a basic income
of €560 (or about $600) a month, Finland hopes that this income will allow people to learn new skills and get jobs.
Many other countries such as Kenya, Canada, India, and the Netherlands, and cities like Oakland and San Francisco are also piloting (or testing out) similar programs this year. In San Francisco, they’re testing out this program on families with young children. The hope is that with a basic income, families can do things like make much-needed repairs to their homes and focus on things like education. Like all new programs, not everyone believes that this program will work, but some are willing to give it a try. We’ll just have to wait and see how these experiments turn out.