Birnbaum, Simon | 2017
OUPblog, Oxford University Press’s Academic Insights for the Thinking World.
Shouldn’t society provide a safety net for all in modern society? The radical idea of ensuring a regular stream of cash payments to all members of society, irrespective of their willingness to work, has attracted increasing attention in recent years. Finland’s government launched an ambitious two-year basic income experiment —the first of its kind in Europe— in January. There are currently plans for many other pilot projects around the world to examine the effects of unconditional forms of income support.
Still, even if the intentions behind basic income may be justified as an effort to support equality, and provide all with their fair share, there are other important questions and objections that are more practically oriented. Is such a reform economically affordable and politically sustainable? Does it work in practice?