Finland’s Universal Income - A Foundation For A Successful Nation Of The Future
Globalisation has changed the situation how nations can predict their futures. Digitalisation, automatisation, robotisation, artificial intelligence and new transportation systems will change business, nations, and how people will behave and develop.
Nations are more depended of business life than ever before.
A nation can not succeed without competitive and global businesses.
- Currently we are in a new crossroad, the fourth industrial revolution, which will shape nations.
- Others will succeed and others will not. Prosperous nations can easily become failed nations if they do not understand the main principles of the global economy.
- As an example we can mention Venezuela and Zimbabwe, which have the possibility to become prosperous nations, again, but they have failed deeply.
- Therefore, nations, which want to prosper, they have only a one choice. To embrace change and to seek new market opportunities.
Change has its negative side-effects also. It can polarize nations within. Increase the number of unemployment and the amount of poor people. It does not necessarily mean that destroying a one job position will automatically create a new one. Destroying ten jobs can only create a one job. No one knows exactly how these scenarios will turn up. This situation has created a major problem for nations. They want to succeed in the future but they do not want to leave their people behind.
Therefore, Finland is piloting an universal income, which means “that 2,000 unemployed people between the ages of 25 and 58 will receive a guaranteed sum – a “basic income” – of €560 a month for two years”.
Whether you are working or not. The idea of the universal income is to increase safety among citizens and to encourage them to take part-time work or to create their own businesses. The idea is to activate citizens. At the same time it will enhance wholeness within a nation and people will be less reluctant to change because they already have a safety net.
- The idea was introduced by Thomas Paine in 1797 but it was seen too radical. During Paine’s years, the world was facing an industrial revolution, which also increased social challenges.
- Entrepreneur, the founder of Tesla Motors, Elon Musk is one of the supporters of universal income. He understands that his innovations will not just create great services and products. But also harmful social side-effects. Therefore, there has to be a balance between going forward and not leaving people behind. Universal income has multiple benefits:
- transparency compared to existing welfare models
- administrative efficiency can be enhanced by using digitalisation, automatisation and artificial intelligence
- decreases poverty
- generates economic growth because people can invest in themselves
- enhances individual freedom
- reduces welfare traps
Brazil implemented the universal income in 2004.
Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a trial in 2016.
MP Sylvia Pantel pushed the initiative forward 2016 in Germany.
The government of India began to implement it in 2013.
Japan held a symposium in 2016, and the country is aiming to develop a basic income system around artificial intelligence systems.
There are also political movements in the United Kingdom, Netherlands and Nordic Countries, which are pushing the idea forward. Finland’s example might encourage other Nordic Countries.
Universal income is an expensive model according to analysts. But the model is not for today’s circumstances. It is a model for the future. If a nation decides to give universal income to all of its citizens and at the same time pursue radical innovations in business life and government by embracing digitalisation, automatisation, robotisation, artificial intelligence and new transportation systems. This nation can become extremely wealthy. In this new situation universal income can be seen as an affordable model to keep a nation united and dynamic.
Universal income, in Finland, is the opponent of old and current structures. Labour unions and other stakeholder groups are mainly against it. However, if Finland’s current model is functioning well. Finland would be succeeding in the global economy but the situation is the opposite. Finland’s economy is struggling, almost ten years in a row. 50 000 men between the ages of 25 and 54 have disappeared – they are not studying or working. Finnish households are also more and more in dept.
Finland’s economy is basically held up by consumer debt. Finland’s economy is a good example of the new global economy because Finland was blossoming before 2007, and the fall of Nokia made things even worse because subcontractors suffered as well – a shocking value chain reaction. Finland received another shock with Russia trade in 2014 because of the crisis in Ukraine, and it has been difficult for businesses to seek for alternative markets – a same sort of value chain reaction occurred again.
Working life and free-time habits are also changing. Employees will have more short-term job contracts, part-time work, freelance work and many others. Therefore, there is a reason why Finland is piloting for universal income because Finland has received many shocks in its economy, and seen how the old (current) model does not function anymore. It creates more problems than it solves.
Finland is a very young country compared to Sweden and Denmark, and its mindset towards market economy is slightly different.
However, there is a new culture emerging, which embraces entrepreneurship, innovations, risk-taking, creativity and new global trends.
Universal income can be a viable solution in order to unleash the positive potential of Finnish citizens, and bring hope of a brighter future.