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What if everyone got a monthly check from the government?

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posted on Jan, 12 2018 @ 12:36 PM

In an audacious experiment, Finland is giving some residents a “basic income” of $16,000 for two years, no strings attached. Here’s what two of them did with the money.

Opponents argue this is another example of liberalism seeking to provide "something for nothing" and further reducing the motivation to go to work. Supporters of this idea claim that a well taken care of society is a requirement for a successful society. Thomas Paine, author of "Common Sense" also once argued for a similar system he called the "national fund"

There it is again, in a 1796 pamphlet by American political theorist Thomas Paine, who argued for the creation of a “national fund” out of which “every person, rich or poor” would receive £15 once he or she turned 21 and £10 every year thereafter. Earth’s resources were supposed to be available to everyone, Paine argued [..]

This will be interesting to see how this "experiment" ends up in Finland, but it is important to note the unexpected ways this could affect the labor force. For example, where is the motivation to work if you know you still have a check coming? Will everyone get this equally? Will this only provide enough to live on, leaving luxories to work/other income? Or will it provide for every aspect of life, including indulgences and luxories? In either case, where will the money come from? What will be cut/changed to provide for this, assuming it is deemed viable/practical?

I will withhold my opinion for now, until some kind of result is seen from this. I believe this is the first attempt to directly create a "Basic income" system. I would suspect that funding will be in short supply, especially on a larger scale (even their entire population is 1/10th of ours for instance) and that many other programs/initiatives would have to be cut in order to make this financially workable. I think there would also be a risk of inflation and monetary devaluation

And always remember.... a government that provides for your every need and whim is just as capable of withdrawing that support and hanging you out to dry. Without the ability to self-support, you risk your existence on the whims and winds of government. For example, could exercising your constitutional right of free speech prompt the government to withdraw this non-constitutionally protected stipend?

+11 more 
posted on Jan, 12 2018 @ 12:39 PM
"A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take away everything that you have."

posted on Jan, 12 2018 @ 12:45 PM
a reply to: JBurns
That only works in a Communist state with severely restricted property ownership. The only thing that will achieve in a society saturated in consumer marketing is that people will put giant chrome rims on their wheels, build a collection of expensive sneakers, and lead to an upsurge in binge drinking and drug overdoses and the arrests that follow. I guess it would be a nice windfall for the private prison/jails management sector though.

Even people in debt would simply pay their monthly minimum and just keep on buying. Have you guys actually mingled with the bottom class??? They are very reckless consumers.

posted on Jan, 12 2018 @ 12:45 PM
Where does the money come from ?

And then when everyone is getting it.

No one has to work.

Then what ?

That stipend keeps getting smaller, and smaller, and smaller.

Until ZERO.

posted on Jan, 12 2018 @ 12:48 PM

I believe this is the first attempt to directly create a "Basic income" system. I would suspect that funding will be in short supply, especially on a larger scale (even their entire population is 1/10th of ours for instance) and that many other programs/initiatives would have to be cut in order to make this financially workable. I think there would also be a risk of inflation and monetary devaluation

The purpose of the study is to find new ways to improve the current system, including making it more efficient. The study, which has been referred to as "a universal basic income experiment," has as a primary goal, incentivizing going back to work; some in the present government believe that the current system serves as a disincentive to look for work. Finland's unemployment rate is a whopping 9.5%, about twice the rate in the United States (which currently sits around 5.0%).

An additional consideration is the total economic impact of making monthly payments to all adults. From an expense perspective, the current government believes that it might save a considerable amount of money by reducing the types of benefits offered to its citizens and replacing it with a fixed amount. The current bureaucracy is expensive because of all of the moving parts.


I don't think it will work. They already have a high unemployment rate and I'm sure not all the citizens of Finland support this idea and will probably protest by not going to work and collecting their free check.

posted on Jan, 12 2018 @ 12:49 PM
a reply to: neo96
Honestly if people want to run with this as a legitamate concept, it should be limited to an upgraded version of universal food stamps, energy credits for the electric bill, and perhaps universal child care subsidies. People with cash just burn it up and makign sure they have plenty of tobacco for the year and stuff themselves at expensive restaurants. But myself, I would just keep buying gold, guns and the lead to go with it.

Smart people would obviously use it to get out of debt and build a future. The problem is, average people are not that smart, and are heavily indoctrinated in brand consumption.

posted on Jan, 12 2018 @ 12:55 PM
a reply to: JBurns

Finland has a population of 5.5 million. I don't know how many of those people are over 18, but if all able bodied people worked and their taxes helped pay $16K to every person over 18 for two years then that would be a raise for everyone. I'm no socialist by any means, and no economist so I don't know how that would effect the economy. But if I were paying a few thousand a year in taxes and getting back $16K a year, I would be able to buy more. The problem would come when people got comfortable living on that $16K and stopped working. The amount they needed for payment would drive the government into bankruptcy within months.

posted on Jan, 12 2018 @ 12:58 PM
I suspect that no matter how it turns out, it will be reported as an unprecedented success.

posted on Jan, 12 2018 @ 12:58 PM
a reply to: worldstarcountry

I think it would work on some conditions..

Grades throughout high school be maintained above a 3.0 average

Four years of national service or 4-year degree with a college deemed credible in a field deemed fruitful.

those two factors would improve the economy and gdp to afford such an expense.

People whom refuse to comply should be deported to the first welcoming country.

posted on Jan, 12 2018 @ 12:59 PM
a reply to: worldstarcountry

I was going to add that to my response. Most people just aren't responsible enough to stay at work if they're getting $16K. Most will have the attitude of "Eh, I'll worry about what to do once the two years is up and I don't get a check anymore." And if the unemployment is already high then this a fail from the get-go. America has more takers than makers, or at least the DID in 2015. Personally, I'd rather just sit at home until there's nothing left to give to the non workers.

posted on Jan, 12 2018 @ 01:00 PM
a reply to: neo96

Well IMO the banks really run the show, they are the shadow government. That said, they won't agree to this without conditions, and perhaps they are the ones pushing for it anyway.

The conditions are of course negative interest rates where they can justify charging interest on people's deposits, but people could withdraw their money in the form of cash from the bank so they will want to ban cash, electronic currency.

Then, the banks can charge for every single transaction you make deposit or expenditure. My guess is they will end up charging you roughly 6-8% fees for all your transactions. Additionally, the banks will sell your transaction data to third parties like insurance companies who will then set everyone on a risk scale for their insurance premiums. Coupled with 'universal healthcare' they can then set a scale for your risks like if you consume too much sugar while potentially a diabetic or if you smoke or drink, etc. They can also sell it to people like your employer who would like to know what you did in Vegas on your last vacation.

Basically it's the debt that is banks used to take depositors money, then redeploy that capital into the economy giving the depositors a 'cut' of their profits form the loans they made in interest on their accounts. That is classical capitalism. But ever since we went to central banks, commercial banks can get loans from the central banks at rates lower than what they would pay depositors so in essence we haven't had true capitalism for over 100 years.

They also have destroyed the 'value' of our money over time by issuing more loans than the economy could really service or needed. That's why the world now has over $200 trillion in public debt and another $1,500 trillion in derivatives hedging all that debt. Really the banks were 'subsidized' by the central banks and allowed to grow beyond their natural size or what the economy would demand.

Since they destroyed money and created so much debt they now want to go into negative interest rates in order to issue even more debt allowing governments and corporations the ability to continue to roll this mountain of debt. Since they originally made their money from the loans they made, they'll switch to taxing the economy via transaction fees, banning cash and then charging for transactions. It's basically an unelected tax upon the economy by the banks who should really just go out of business.

So, in sum they won't do a true basic or universal income until they can get governments to ban all physical cash.

edit on 12-1-2018 by SkeptiSchism because: text

posted on Jan, 12 2018 @ 01:01 PM
Yeah, there are certainly plenty of legitimate criticisms and shortcomings to such a prospect. I do find it interesting as a thought experiment, although I can't see how this would be sustainable. You'd need either 1) a certain percentage working and being heavily taxed for the remaining percentage, or 2) massive inflation through pulling a Mr. Greenspan and "printing more money"

I would personally never trust our government with my livelihood and entire existence. We have seen their incompetence/indifference too many times

posted on Jan, 12 2018 @ 01:03 PM
Doesn't every country need a government that is handling the national resources of their country THIS WELL that they can actually pay their inhabitants dividend , instead of charging them for existing?


posted on Jan, 12 2018 @ 01:05 PM
Another thing they are likely to do is create a 'robot' tax and use that tax to pay out part of this universal income. But that is a bad idea as well because it will create an extensive bureaucracy that will in essence create barriers to entry from small businesses monopolizing robotics for large corporations.

posted on Jan, 12 2018 @ 01:06 PM
a reply to: EartOccupant

Its' not for governments nor the people, it's to continue the banks ponzi scams.

posted on Jan, 12 2018 @ 01:07 PM
"What if everyone got a monthly check from the government?"

I'm not sure how this stupid question keeps being asked.

It's simple- if the government provided everyone with $1000 a month, they'd have to charge everyone $1300 a month in taxes to cover it, giving you a $300 a month loss to provide a service that you don't want- pretty much exactly how the existing taxes work.

posted on Jan, 12 2018 @ 01:09 PM
a reply to: SkeptiSchism

After reading this, I must ask. How much of a chance is there that this whole corrupt scheme is going to come crashing down on their heads?

Never have liked slimy banksters, ever since living through the after affects of the depression and hearing the stories of what happened during that time to family friends/our extended family. Four kids counting me, We ate potato soup (boiled potatoes, celery salt and water) with white bread most nights until I was around 8 years old

And then living through the recent recession and then banking crisis (and that pathetic bail out) has only strengthened that hate of banksters and wasteful spending by government. What the banks have done to our country, our economy and our people is unforgivable IMO.

posted on Jan, 12 2018 @ 01:10 PM

originally posted by: slapjacks
"A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take away everything that you have."

The government has already taken away everything you have.

You can't walk anywhere you want, nor hunt, nor fish, nor farm, nor provide for your self in any way, without government permission and paying the proper licencing fees, and submitting to the government imposed regulations.

Some people can't even plant tomatoes in their front yard garden, it's illegal.

You have no right to live, except by permission of the almighty government.

Now, the government must give something back in return for taking away all your rights.

That's Basic Income.

posted on Jan, 12 2018 @ 01:17 PM

originally posted by: JBurns
For example, where is the motivation to work if you know you still have a check coming? Will everyone get this equally?

People don't just work for money.

There are people who like to work on "interesting things".

Some people, of course, will not work at all, with basic income.

But, most people will then look for the type of work they "like to do", rather than "have to do" to make ends meet.

Ask yourself this question, "Who is paying you to post in ATS forums?"

Why are you spending your valuable time engaging others in debate on internet forums, rather than using that time to make an extra buck?

What is motivating you?

You're doing lots of work. Thinking. Looking up things on the internet. Evaluating various ideas concerning society. Arguing with others about different points of view. Essentially, holding "meetings" online with a bunch of other like minded folks, trying to haggle out a reason for being and doing stuff.

Are you getting rich from this?

Does it matter?

posted on Jan, 12 2018 @ 01:18 PM
a reply to: neo96

I would imagine the money would come from the corps who have a very very small and limited number of humans making all the consumer goods that society 'needs'.

And of course this is future state, clearly we are headed for a different world. I am open to all ideas to keep the top on the kettle, because the distribution of wealth does not look like it is going to trickle down anytime soon.

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