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.
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In his final years, Martin Luther King, Jr. become increasingly focused on the problem of poverty in America.
- Despite being widely known for his leadership role in the American civil rights movement, Martin Luther King, Jr. also played a central role in organizing the Poor People's Campaign of 1968.
- The campaign was one of the first to demand a guaranteed income for all poor families in America.
- Today, the idea of a universal basic income is increasingly popular, and King's arguments in support of the policy still make a good case some 50 years later.
She met mere mortals with and without the Vatican's approval.
- For centuries, the Virgin Mary has appeared to the faithful, requesting devotion and promising comfort.
- These maps show the geography of Marian apparitions – the handful approved by the Vatican, and many others.
- Historically, Europe is where most apparitions have been reported, but the U.S. is pretty fertile ground too.
For Damien Echols, tattoos are part of his existential armor.
- In prison Damien Echols was known by his number SK931, not his name, and had his hair sheared off. Stripped of his identity, the only thing he had left was his skin.
- This is why he began tattooing things that are meaningful to him — to carry a "suit of armor" made up the images of the people and objects that have significance to him, from his friends to talismans.
- Echols believes that all places are imbued with divinity: "If you interact with New York City as if there's an intelligence behind... then it will behave towards you the same way."
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