A universal basic income is an income unconditionally granted to all citizens or residents of a country or region. It is paid to individuals rather than households, irrespective of any income from other sources and without requiring the performance of any work or the willingness to accept a job if offered. (Basic Income Earth Network)
The idea is old and has had early supporters such as Thomas Moore, Martin Luther King, Milton Friedman and Friedrich Hayek, but has has gained support especially over the past few years. While studies have shown that recipients of basic income don't waste the money on alcohol/drugs, and that they do not lose their motivation to work, the concept needs further rigorous testing at scale.
- Give Directly is currently conducting the biggest basic income experiment in history, in Kenya, aiming to clear the aforementioned shortages.
- In Canada, a basic income pilot is being rolled out to three cities.
- Other pilots have been announced in Finland, the Netherlands, and the US.
- A recent survey showed that 68% of Europeans would vote for basic income.