TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Universal Basic Income Didn’t Fail In Finland. Finland Failed It.

BasicFollowing up on my previous post, Finland Ends Basic Income Experiment After Two Years:  New York Times op-ed:  Universal Basic Income Didn’t Fail in Finland. Finland Failed It., by Antti Jauhiainen & Joona-Hermanni Mäkinen:

“Thank goodness that this experiment is coming to an end,” the Fox News commentator Stuart Varney said recently, after the Finnish government decided to stop its trial run with universal basic income (U.B.I.) at the end of the year. “You want money, get out there and work for it, please.” ...

But the demise of the U.B.I. experiment in Finland can’t be said to mean that U.B.I. has failed here. Not only are preliminary official results not even expected until 2019, but the Finnish government’s U.B.I. pilot project never really was about U.B.I.

As we wrote last summer, Finland’s program was doomed as soon as it began in early 2017. Targeting just 2,000 randomly selected unemployed Finns to receive 560 euros a month (about $675) for only two years, it was too limited in both scale and duration. ...

Instead of ending its experiment with U.B.I., the government should reframe it and expand it. The program should be extended to a wider and more varied group, including employed people. And it should test different levels of income.

The Finnish government’s project — too limited, halfhearted, ideologically skewed — can only yield inconclusive data. To do U.B.I. right, we need to think big and try harder.

Prior TaxProf Blog coverage:

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Ah yes, another lie much like the one that goes: "Communism didn't fail. Humanity failed communism." No matter how many millions of people the various communist regimes killed, people didn't like it. If they'd only killed more, the argument goes, it would have been a success.

Posted by: Michael W. Perry | May 6, 2018 10:29:37 AM

Hahaha liberals are so adorable
Bless their hearts

Posted by: Michael | May 6, 2018 11:51:51 AM

* also, as everybody knows, socialism has never actually been fully implemented

Russia, Venezuela, Cuba did it wrong


Posted by: Michael | May 6, 2018 11:52:56 AM

"Socialism works until you run out of other people's money." How does UBI circumvent this?

Posted by: Otto Maddox | May 6, 2018 1:08:17 PM