Lets be clear here, Friedman was not talking about ”everyone” but only those on the lower side of the economic ladder.

First, listen to Milton Friedman himself, I am not an economic wonk, but I believe that it would be interesting to see how it works within a full blown welfare state, which already creates a certain amount of automatic dependency by the individual for the state.

Hayek said the exact same about it being only for the poor in his UBI advocacy.

The problem here is chiefly the fate of those who for various reasons cannot make their living in the market, such as the sick, the old, the physically or mentally defective, the widows and orphans— that is all people suffering from adverse conditions which may affect anyone and against which most individuals cannot alone make adequate provision but in which a society that has reached a certain level of wealth can afford to provide for all (p 395).

NOTE: With different slide ruler evaluations on what is exactly ”being poor/less well off” (Friedman was talking about the barebones poor, not lower end middle income workers), as well as the magnet effect of the welfare state on migrants from around the world, we might be biting off far more than we can chew, and really screw things up. Badly.

NCP supports basic income

Finland’s trial of a basic income scheme hit the headlines last year when media worldwide wondered how Finland planned to give a certain amount of money each month to everyone in income. It’s an old idea, originally from Milton Friedman, with supporters on the left and the right in politics. The left sees it as a way to give poorer people dignity while the right thinks it may eliminate disincentives to work by simplifying the benefit system.

The government is planning to run a pilot programme to see how it works, and then assess if it could be implemented in Finland. In an interview on Thursday NCP MP Arto Satanen tells Turun Sanomat why his party supports it and how it might work in practice.

“If a person has one or more part time jobs paying about 1,200-1,300 euros a month, the state would pay a negative income tax on top of that, for example a couple of hundred euros,” said Satonen. “That top-up would be bigger if the person has kids.”

Unsurprisingly for an MP on the centre-right, Satonen reckons that the policy could help reduce unemployment.

“In Britain the unemployment rate has dropped to five percent largely as a result of Working Tax Credits,” continued Satonen. “A similar rate in Finland would mean a hundred thousand new jobs. Negative income tax is western countries’ answer to the departure of low-productivity work to countries with cheaper workforces.”


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