For those who believe a guaranteed basic income is the answer to the world’s economic woes: welcome to Finland.
Starting in January 2017, Finland experimented with giving a random sample of 2,000 unemployed people between the ages of 25 and 58 a monthly income of roughly $690; the recipients were not required to have a job; if they did take a job, they would receive the same amount.
The idea was to stimulate people to look for paid work by eradicating gaps in the welfare system; the Finnish government thought that with existing unemployment benefits so high, an unemployed person would eschew getting a job because they would risk losing money by doing so; the more money they made, the lower their social benefits would be. The basic income was meant as an incentive for people to start working.
But now Finland is canceling the program, though the government will not say why. Kela, the Finnish social security agency, asked the government to expand the two-year pilot to a group of employees this year, but the government nixed funding it, meaning the entire program will come to a crashing halt in January 2019.
The pilot’s results will not be released until late 2019, according to the BBC.
In 2016, Swiss voters rejected a proposal that would have given a monthly income of 2,500 Swiss francs (£1,834; $2,558) for adults and also 625 Swiss francs for each child. 77% of voters voted against the plan.