Did you know in Finland there is a system called Universal income? What is it you ask?
Well, in a nutshell, it is a supplementary income that the government gives you regardless of your employment status. It also helps to either take the place of unemployment benefits or enhance them. The question is, is universal income a good thing?
The question is, is universal income a good thing?
Right away I am sure the first thing you thought of is that this is a welfare system and should be destroyed all costs. I myself thought for the first second after I heard about this that universal income could easily be taken advantage of. That was until I read more.
Did you know that this program promises to not only lift the local, state and federal economy but it also lowers crime? Working members of society who are struggling from pay check to pay check actually see this as a good thing. As they should. If you happen to come from a two income home and you make anywhere from 40 to 60,000 a year you know that is barely getting you by. Especially if you live in high-cost areas like Boston, New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Portland, and Seattle.
So imagine if you received a bit of a leg up?
Since we have slowly morphed into this “me” society I can’t imagine more people not getting behind this. Oh and get this, you get to keep the money and keep receiving it even after you get a full-time job or you decide to leave your job.
The one glaring issue is that some people, yes even the Finnish, think universal income makes people lazy. Again, I am going to state the obvious Welfare!
In the article I read on TheGuardian.com, Mika Ruusunen says,
“For me, it’s like free money on top of my earnings – it’s a bonus,” he tells me. But he thinks the basic income will make a big difference to others who are unemployed, especially those who are entrepreneurially minded. “If someone wants to start their own business, you don’t get unemployment benefits even if you don’t have any income for six months. You have to have savings, otherwise, it’s not possible.”
In addition to this, another man said something that struck close to home for me. A few years ago my husband was a land surveyor. Now if you know anything about that job you know that it is often seasonal. If it rains, or if there is lightning going on outside then he gets the day off and he doesn’t get paid. Then there are those months in winter when he just doesn’t work at all. If we had this universal income then we wouldn’t have had to worry about unemployment benefits. Because on the rare chances he did work in the winter we had to report it and of course, it was always just enough to where he was penalized and denied benefits. Just like welfare, unemployment creates bad habits and keeps you in a never ending cycle.
(Could universal income make you feel stress-free like this kid?)
If you were allowed to have this supplement income would you use it wisely or would you spend it like you had an endless supply of money? Would you look at this as a blessing or something else that you have to pay for out of your check?
Remember this is probably more beneficial than universal health care. Think about it. Let’s say you can’t get free health care because you make too much money but you can’t afford Obamacare or private insurance because again you are barely making ends meet. So you sacrifice something that you are paying for but can’t use. So, if you did receive universal income would you use that to help with the health care costs you are required to have? I bet now you are thinking it is a good idea.
Well, you are not alone. American Businessman Elon Musk, former Clinton labor secretary Robert Reich, French socialist and Presidential Candidate Benoît Hamon, and South Korean presidential candidate Lee Jae-myung are some of the many names who are behind this idea. (Oh and by the way, Alaska has a program very similar to this. The residence receives about 2,000 a month!)
On paper this sounds like a great idea, and believe me I am behind you. But like with universal (Obamacare) health care, when you live in a society of few jobs and high unemployment who is going to pay for this?
Take your finger and either point it at your reflection in the mirror or turn it around and touch your chest. That’s right you and me.
Having said that, I know that making the case of universal income has become a hard sell, but has it?
Unlike other programs where you are told you are either “not entitled to it”, or “this is not your money,” this probably wouldn’t be the case with universal income. I’d imagine that unless you were making 200,000 a year everyone who wasn’t on welfare would qualify. (If you don’t know what programs I am talking about that I was referring to above those would be SSI, Social Security, Welfare, etc).
Perhaps this would be a good thing for us in America. Perhaps this might do us some good. As a person who fell down on their luck and didn’t qualify for any programs, this sort of thing could have helped.
What do you think? Do you think this would help or hurt us? Do you think this should only be given to citizens or to anyone living in the US? Sound off in the comments.
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Until next time!
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