This Country Is Paying People to Live There
A beautiful Scandinavian country might be paying its residents more than $800 a month, with no strings attached.
The government of Finland is currently looking into whether it would be financially wise to get rid of its existing social service programs in favor of a guaranteed basic income. One proposal that is being studied, for example, would look at giving the equivalent of about $871.86 a month to all adults in the country, regardless of annual income or any other social indicator. Switzerland is also currently considering similar measures, and the government of Manitoba, Canada, experimented with a basic income during the 70s.
But despite past examples, the idea of a guaranteed basic income is still quite a new concept — one that may come with both pros and cons. For Finland, a basic income pilot program could begin as early as 2017. The government is interested in the study of a basic income program because they are concerned that the current system is overly bureaucratic and complicated. Additionally, many officials feel that it discourages people from looking for work in a country with almost double-digit unemployment rates. However, labor unions in Finland have reportedly announced opposition to the idea, throwing a note of caution into the study moving forward.
So is this a great idea or a bad one? Well, it’s certainly too early to tell for sure. On the positive side, a basic income could be a revolutionary new kind of safety net that residents are able to rely on without needing to submit applications or prove anything about their financial status.
On the other hand, Finland may have to eventually face the reality that not all needs are equal. A basic income, while more efficient and cost-effective to the government, could mean that those who are worst off — whether due to sudden job loss or unexpected familial burden for instance — might not have an avenue in the future to gain extra help beyond the standard income offered to all.
Regardless of how the study results turn out, it’s clear that the rest of the world will be watching quite closely. U.S. politicians are constantly in argument about the status of welfare and benefits programs. Perhaps they will have something to learn from the findings.
To create wiser adults, add empathy to the school curriculum.
- Stories are at the heart of learning, writes Cleary Vaughan-Lee, Executive Director for the Global Oneness Project. They have always challenged us to think beyond ourselves, expanding our experience and revealing deep truths.
- Vaughan-Lee explains 6 ways that storytelling can foster empathy and deliver powerful learning experiences.
- Global Oneness Project is a free library of stories—containing short documentaries, photo essays, and essays—that each contain a companion lesson plan and learning activities for students so they can expand their experience of the world.
BASE particle physicists have discovered a very precise way to examine antimatter.
Thank your lucky stars you’re alive. It’s truly a miracle of nature. This has nothing to do with spirituality or religion and everything to do with science. Life itself may not be the miracle. Although we haven’t found it elsewhere yet, our galaxy alone is so replete with Earth-like planets that, mathematically speaking, one of them must hold life, even if it’s just the microbial variety. Intelligent life may be another matter.
Just before I turned 60, I discovered that sharing my story by drawing could be an effective way to both alleviate my symptoms and combat that stigma.
I've lived much of my life with anxiety and depression, including the negative feelings – shame and self-doubt – that seduced me into believing the stigma around mental illness: that people knew I wasn't good enough; that they would avoid me because I was different or unstable; and that I had to find a way to make them like me.
A joint study by two England universities explores the link between sex and cognitive function with some surprising differences in male and female outcomes in old age.
- A joint study by the universities of Coventry and Oxford in England has linked sexual activity with higher cognitive abilities in older age.
- The results of this study suggest there are significant associations between sexual activity and number sequencing/word recall in men. In women, however, there was a significant association between sexual activity in word recall alone - number sequencing was not impacted.
- The differences in testosterone (the male sex hormone) and oxytocin (a predominantly female hormone) may factor into why the male cognitive level changes much more during sexual activity in older age.
Mathematicians studied 100 billion tweets to help computer algorithms better understand our colloquial digital communication.