basic income experiment finland

Basic Income in Finland



editor income experiment
string freelance unemployed
attach recipient no strings attached
seek require hand out (2)
accept request embarrassing
author free (2) buy/bought/bought
decide finance hard to say
factory optimistic encourage
basic halfway participant
offer coworkers telemarketing
earn pay raise independent (2)
current prospect capital (2)
genius skeptical turn my life around
worry pilot (2) oh my god
bills collapse concentrate
section make up promotion
salary put down application (2)
lottery interview permanent
analyze apply (3) win/won/won
hope suggest bureaucracy
result affair (2)






Does free money work?

Finland’s basic income experiment

For two years, two-thousand (2,000) unemployed people got $650 a month. The money has handed out with no strings attached. Recipients weren’t required to seek or accept jobs.

Has free money changed people’s lives?

Tanya: “My name is Tanya. I’m thirty (30) years old. I live in Oulu in the north of Finland. I have worked only four or five months in a factory.

I don’t remember the last time I went to the store and bought food; I get food from my mom — that’s so embarrassing.

I want to be able to work and go to the store, and buy my own food, buy whatever I want: I want that cheese. I want to be able to buy the good cheese, you know?

Tuomas Uraya, Freelance Journalist and Author: “My name is Tuomas Uraya. I’m a freelance journalist and author. But I have been without work since 2013.

I was a foreign news editor in the third daily newspaper in Finland. But then they decided to put down all the sections of the foreign affairs. So basically, I lost my job.

It’s not easy to find a job as a journalist in the capital of Finland.

The Finnish government wanted to see if basic income would encourage people to get jobs or start businesses. They paid participants the full basic income for two years, even if they found a job.

It’s November 2017 — almost halfway through the experiment.

Tanya: “I took this job offer. It’s telemarketing. I actually enjoy my job a lot. I love my coworkers. I love the office. I love the hours.

And I just love to be independent; earning my own money. And standing on my own two feet.

The basic income has changed my life; without it, I wouldn’t have taken a job with a little lower salary.

Her current salary may be low . . . but Tanya is optimistic about her future prospects in the company.

At first I was quite skeptical about basic income. But then I realized it’s actually a genius idea. I think I have turned my life around.”

Tuomas: “I’m still without a job. I can’t say the basic income has changed a lot in my life. Okay, psychologically, yes, but financially, not so much.

I still have over one year to go, so anything can happen, so I’m quite optimistic. Let’s see. During the summer time next year, I’ll have a job.

Oulu. It’s December 2018. The basic income experiment is coming to an end.

Tanya: “Oh my god. The basic income is coming to an end. What do I do now?!? I’m so worried I can’t pay my bills.

Ahhhhh! I don’t know what to do. I’m so worried that my finances will collapse completely.

Tanya has requested a promotion to help make up for the loss of her basic income when the pilot ends.

Tanya: “If they don’t give me a pay raise that I have asked, I will go to the internet and take the first job that I get.

I will send out tens and tens of job applications, so I won’t be unemployed for even one day.

Tuomas hoped that by the end of the trial, he would have a job.

Tuomas: “It’s very hard to say why I didn’t get a permanent job. I have applied over eighty (80) times. And only once have I had an interview.

Sometimes they suggest or let me know that I’m perhaps too old. I’m perhaps too experienced.

Two years ago, it was like winning a lottery. It was the end of bureaucracy. I was free to concentrate on my work.

Now, I feel a little bit sad.

And now I got this letter, telling me that it’s going to end. Quite sad, but I haven’t lost hope.

Finland has decided not to continue the experiment. It is analyzing the results to see what lessons can be learned.


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1. Has Finland fully implemented universal basic income, or was this a trial or experiment? How many participants did it involve? How much was the income?

2. In return for the basic income, participants had to work, start a business, enterprise, project or volunteer. True or false?

3. Was Tanya a teenager living with her parents? Is she proud of this lifestyle? Does she have a long resume (CV)?

4. Has Tuomas worked before? What was his previous job?

5. Tanya only stayed home and watched TV. Is this right or wrong? What has she done? How does she feel?

6. Was Tuomas optimistic or pessimistic about finding a full-time, permanent job? Did he find one? Why didn’t he get hired?

7. Tanya and Tuomas feel that the basic income has helped them in their careers and lives, and so they don’t need it anymore. Is this correct or incorrect?


A. How do poor and unemployed people live in your city or country?

B. Have there been discussions, debates and proposals about a universal basic income?

C. What are the pros, benefits or advantages of having universal basic income?

D. Are there cons, drawbacks or disadvantages?

E. My friends and I would like to receive universal basic income. Yes or no?

F. What might happen in the future?

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