society, economy, basic income

A Dutch documentary on basic income, a minimum income given by the state, no questions asked, replacing allowances or other forms of financial aid. The documentary starts out with an outlook towards increased robotization and the decreased demand for labour, and switches to a review of the ‘Mincome’ experiment in Canada some years ago. Large parts are English spoken.

In this town, it works. People didn’t start drinking or watching TV on the couch. Doctor visits went down (less depression, less domestic violence). People didn’t stop working, but tended to go to school more often and self development.

The doc concludes with saying that giving people control of their own time, makes them happier, more entrepreneurial and healthier, and saves money. Now, this is a tight-knit town, which perhaps means that it’s not fair to extrapolate to large crime-ridden cities. A back-of-the-envelope calculation shows that for basic income would cost about €30B extra per year. It doesn’t include benefits like lower need for healthcare services.

Tying it together, the main problem seems to be social: can we accept that some people don’t work? It goes against eons of conventional wisdom, is risky when rolled out nation-wide.

Watch here.