Plan to pay 1,000 residents $1,000 a month — no strings attached — pitched by panel
By Fran Speilman | 7 February 2019
CHICAGO SUN TIMES — Each month, 1,000 struggling Chicagoans would get $1,000, no strings attached, to help break the cycle of poverty, under a trail-blazing pilot program proposed Thursday by a mayoral task force.
Days after choosing political retirement over the uphill battle for a third term, Mayor Rahm Emanuel asked retiring Ald. Ameya Pawar (47th), who has championed the cause of income inequality, to chair a task force to consider universal basic income in Chicago.
On Thursday, that task force, co-chaired by SEIU Local 1 President Tom Balanoff and Celena Roldan, CEO of the American Red Cross of Chicago & Northern Illinois, proposed a path forward.
Their 50-page report proposes that Chicago forge ahead by giving 1,000 people $1,000-a-month, which adds up to $12 million a year, to be bankrolled by an unspecified mix of city funds and philanthropic dollars. […]
Finland’s basic income trial boosts happiness but not employment
- Two-year trial of basic income ended last month
- Little impact on employment but boost to wellbeing
- Experiment watched as govts seek to reform welfare
By Anne Kauranen | 8 February 2019
REUTERS — Finland’s basic income scheme did not spur its unemployed recipients to work more to supplement their earnings as hoped but it did help their wellbeing, researchers said on Friday as the government announced initial findings.
The two-year trial, which ended a month ago, saw 2,000 Finns, chosen randomly from among the unemployed, become the first Europeans to be paid a regular monthly income by the state that was not reduced if they found work.
Finland — the world’s happiest country last year, according to the United Nations — is exploring alternatives to its social security model.
The trial was being watched closely by other governments who see a basic income as a way of encouraging the unemployed to take up often low-paid or temporary work without fear of losing their benefits. That could help reduce dependence on the state and cut welfare costs, especially as greater automation sees humans replaced in the workforce. […]