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News, 2/3/2017

A great adventure: Finland begins basic-income experiment

Photo: Photo: Suvi-Tuuli Kankaanpää/Keksi

“What will people do if they receive money unconditionally?” Olli Kangas asks. “Will they work more because they don’t have economic stress? Will they take time off to care for elderly parents? Maybe they will get lazy and sit in a pub.

“To be honest, we don’t know. But now we will at least get some evidence.” Kangas is the director of community and governmental relations at the Social Insurance Institution of Finland, known by its Finnish abbreviation, Kela. He is leading a unique experiment as Finland tests basic income, a revolutionary form of social security. The goal is to determine if employment can be increased, poverty reduced and the traditional social security system simplified.

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Updated 2/3/2017

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