Obviously it may seem that the title gives away how I feel about it, but it's not quite in the way some may think. I whole-heartedly endorse it, but I do wonder if it isn't actually fantastic
in the sense of being fanciful.
From an American perspective (and I would suggest from a European one as well) the Finnish people are quite unique, and yet certainly most Americans don't even appreciate how unique they are in terms of their origins, language, mythology, and culture.
I've not ever been to Finland but hope to visit after I retire. The nation regularly appears at the top of lists ranking countries based on such things as education, economic competitiveness, civil liberties, quality of life, and human development. Finland has been rated the least corrupted country in the world and the 13th in terms of ease of doing business.
It can be said to follow the Nordic model of social-democracy and has one of the strongest social safety nets in the world.
But look what it is prepared to do now.
Regardless of how one feels about them, social safety nets in the West are here to stay. The US is part of the West and it's no different here, in fact, our safety net is only likely to get stronger and more pervasive. Unfortunately being more pervasive
in this country usually means more invasive,
and more expensive
Here though is an idea that I think a lot of conservatives can get behind. I know I can.
The linked article nicely delineates the plan's advantages:
It would be simple and inexpensive to implement and operate. It would greatly shrink the size and cost of government and the amount of governmental intrusion into people’s private lives. It would obviate the need for such political footballs (and market distorters) as the minimum wage, as everyone would have a basic income upon which they can build as they gain skills. It would eliminate welfare traps, where people keep their earned income below a certain level to avoid losing welfare benefits. As the money is only available to citizens and legal residents, it would not be a magnet for illegal aliens. It would eliminate political conflict over the very large number of welfare programs now operated by the federal and state governments.
As the "wage" is paid to all citizens, regardless of economic status, it can't be said to be a "hand-out" program or raise questions of equity. The rich will give most of it back through taxes and the poor will get to keep most or all of it.
However, I also share the author's belief that in the US, a program like this would be, largely, opposed by Democrats. So those of you who consider yourself Democrats, liberals, progressives or left of center, what do you think? Of course opinions from anyone else are welcome as well, but I would like to see if anyone can come up with a reasonable objection to a program like this; carried out as the Finns plan to: Replacing, not adding to the country's social programs.
I'm rooting for Finland. In keeping with their reputation for being incorruptible and economically competitive, the Finns have come up with a wonderfully practical way to ensure the basic needs of the Finnish people, that doesn't provide for opportunism among politicians, providers, or even those few Finns inclined to embrace corruption and scam the system.
I can easily see me and many other conservatives supporting this, and wouldn't it be wonderful to take the issue of providing for the basic needs of citizens off the political table?