Lessons from Finland: think BIG but act with prag­ma­tism


In Finland, nearly 70% of the popu­la­tion supports basic income. […] we all acknow­ledge the need for a univer­sal, uncon­di­tio­nal and simple solu­tion. We do not have to agree on anything else. We believe that BIG is impor­tant, because it does three things: 1) it eradi­cates abso­lute poverty; 2) it reduces bureau­cracy; 3) it lays the foun­da­tion for a new, sustai­nable rela­tion­ship between states and markets.

[…] If a propo­sed basic income is not high enough to cover basic human neces­si­ties, like food, shel­ter and clothing, then it cannot be called basic income. BIG should also not be confu­sed with means-tested grants or work­fare schemes. We need to be clear about this. In Finland, the govern­ment’s posi­tion oscil­lates between a real basic income and auste­rity or work­fare poli­cies, but public pres­sure and intel­lec­tual debate are crea­ting a space for a BIG expe­riment.

BIEN

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