Finland’s “free money” experiment has come to a grinding halt.
Kela, the government agency in charge of redistributing benefits, revealed that the “basic income experiment did not increase the employment of participants during the first trial year”
In January 2017, Kela and the Finnish Centre for Economic Research teamed up to carry out a two-year experiment that randomly selected 2,000 unemployed Finns and gave them a monthly basic income of approximately $634. Mind you, these individuals were given the income stipend regardless of whether they were actively seeking employment.
Miska Simanainen, a Kela researcher, informed the BBC that the experiment was conducted in order “to see if it would be a way of reforming the social security system”.
Simanainen asserts that the trial had not “failed”, and instead claims that it “is not a failure or success – it is a fact, and [gives us] new information that we did not have before this experiment.”
Given the Finnish government’s decision to pull the plug on this project so quickly, Simanainen’s spin on Finland’s Universal Basic Income project should be called into question.
The UBI is all the rage these days in socialist circles, as numerous political figures like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez have flirted with the idea.
Like any socialist program, however, there are hidden costs that come with the UBI.
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) estimated that Finland would have to increase its income taxes by 30 percent in order to fully implement its UBI scheme.
Additionally, the OECD cautioned that the UBI could potentially cause Finland’s poverty rate to increase from 11.4 percent to 14.1 percent.
Feel-good intentions aside, UBI’s are destined to fail because of their redistributionist characteristics.
Increasing worker productivity is at the crux of raising living standards. To do so, capital must be accumulated.
However, the UBI takes resources away from employers, thus stifling capital accumulation. Workers receiving government aid end up living at the expense of other workers who lose out on opportunities to increases their productivity. In the end, these workers get lower wages than they would have in the absence of the UBI.
As a result, society becomes poorer overall.
In all likelihood, the Finnish government came to this conclusion while running their UBI experiment. To be fair, they at least kept this program at a limited scale.
Had the whole country been subject to the UBI, the results would have been disastrous for Finland.
Regardless, we can chalk another loss for socialism.
Texas Political Establishment Attempts to Derail Shelley Luther’s Campaign
The special election for Texas’ Senate District 30 is on pace to be one of the most heated races in the Lone Star State.
At a candidate forum on September 18, 2020, Shelley Luther, the Dallas salon owner who was jailed for opening her business in defiance of Governor Greg Abbott’s shutdown order, confronted outgoing State Senator Pat Fallon.
Fallon vacated his seat and is now backing a successor in State Representative Drew Springer.
“We don’t want somebody who’s going to be at odds with our Republican governor,” Fallon said September 18 at the Grayson County Republican Women’s Club.
I didn’t support some of the things that he has done about opening up. … So, he’s made some mistakes. He’s our Republican governor, the 80/20 rule … because you’re not going to get any bills passed unless the governor signs them.
“Let me make something clear. I am accountable to my fellow citizens in Senate District 30. Not our Governor,” Luther responded on September 19 on Facebook:
This is exactly what is wrong with Austin. Our politicians are more loyal to Abbott than us, even when they disagree with him.
I will work with Governor Abbott when he is fighting to protect the liberty of Texans, and I will oppose him when he pushes unilateral dictates that shut down our local businesses.
Fallon and Luther had a tense exchange, which was caught on video.
“You want me to go all in on this race?” Fallon questioned Luther. “I have been 5 percent in on this race. You want me to go all in on it, I’m welcome to.”
“This has become a straight-up fight between Abbott and the ‘Kumbaya’ Professional Political Class vs. the grassroots and people who remember what limited government and principles should look like,” opined conservative activist Mike Openshaw.
“Respectfully, being willing to be jailed for fighting over-reaching government shows principle; that counts for something, Patrick,” Openshaw continued.
Luther has recently received endorsements from conservative Collin County Judge Chris Hill and Young Conservatives of Texas. Springer, on the other hand, received an endorsement from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, which asserted that Luther was going down a “far right” path.
A Republican is expected to carry the senate district, which may still require a runoff if the leading candidate does not get enough votes during the first round of the special election.
Election Day will be on September 29.
Luther is viewed as the truly conservative option and many believe she could help break the political status quo in Austin that has kept conservative legislation from ever being passed.
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