Inequality's Health Effects in Taiwan: Would UBI Help?

Author: Shuhei Omi, UBI Taiwan Economic inequality produces significant gaps in health outcomes in Taiwanese society, according to researchers who worked with the Taiwan Ministry of Health and Welfare. Last year, the Institute of Health Equity at University College London published its report “Health Inequalities in Taiwan,” prepared over three years and commissioned by the Read More …

Would a Basic Income ‘corrupt’ the poor?

In the 90s, the United States implemented some of the most far-reaching changes to welfare in modern American history. Bill Clinton worked with Republicans to “end welfare as we know it” and eliminate welfare’s supposed corrupting influence on the poor. Except the “corrupting influence” of government assistance never existed. A recent article by the New York Times pointed Read More …

芬蘭的無條件基本收入實驗簡介

在2017年1月,芬蘭政府開始試行無條件基本收入(Unconditional Basic Income,簡稱UBI)的實驗,隨機挑選了2000名失業者,以每月發放560歐元,將近新台幣19734元,讓試驗者自由決定該如何使用這筆金額。 【本篇內容來自Vice News/ The Guardian 資深經濟評論員Aditya Chakrabortty的採訪,主要採訪其中一位的試驗者Järvinen】 在Järvinen的案例中,他並沒有像許多人的直覺想像,只靠領取基本收入而不去工作,相反地,Järvinen表示自從有了基本收入後,不必再受限於就業服務站和政府的種種要求,總算可以專心地投入自己的事業中:製做薩滿鼓、拍攝影片、還有經營Airbnb,這些工作是在有基本收入之前所無法完成的事情,Järvinen覺得基本收入讓他重新掌握了自己的人生。 一個月560歐元的收入,在芬蘭其實是很少的一筆錢,人可能要先學會變魔術,才能夠只靠這筆收入維生,正因為如此,這份收入並不會使人只想待在家裡放鬆懶惰。實際上,Järvinen花更多時間和心力投入在工作,也成功靠事業所賺得的錢來扶養六位孩子。 芬蘭的衛福部部長Pirkko Mattila認為,對於芬蘭的人民而言,是非常想要工作的,人們不會只領一份基本收入而不工作,而且他十分清楚貧窮陷阱對於長期失業者的影響,而基本收入可以避免這種狀況發生。 貧窮陷阱是指,長期失業者若從事短期工作以期收入增加,卻會因此失去政府的補助,整體收入只比補助高一些,卻付出了更多勞力,讓失業者大幅降低工作的意願,寜願待在家中領補助,不願工作提高所得。 芬蘭工會中央組織的首席經濟學家Ilkka Kaukoranta則表示,問題在於UBI的資金該從何而來?以現有的模式而言,必須仰賴稅收,而稅收正是從工作者徵收的,若是給每個人足以生活的金錢,人們將不需要工作,工作者就會變少。假設以現有的模式推動全國規模的計劃,勢必會造成相當於5% GDP的預算赤字。所以提高稅收和降低人們工作動力會是相關的。 被問到要如何支持UBI所需求的稅收時,Järvinen認為,有很多充滿創意的人們會創造許多新的工作,像是近年來的臉書、YouTube、Uber等等,這些創造力鑲嵌在我們的DNA,而UBI正是可以激活這些創意因子的關鍵,所以我並不擔心稅收的問題。 透過芬蘭的實驗,可以看出UBI對於失業者的影響:減少就業限制、鼓勵發展自己的事業、工作時數增加、激發不同領域的工作創新能力。目前看來正面影響居多,但是這種實驗所帶來的爭議也不少。 其一:因為是聚焦在失業者上,所以無法預估UBI發放在非失業者時會造成的影響,也就是實驗樣本不夠全面化、多元化。 其二:發放的時間只有兩年,與UBI的宗旨不同,無法看出若是長期或終身發放時,人們的行為會產生什麼變化。 其三:霍桑效應的影響,是指當被觀察者知道自己成為觀察對象時,改變了行為傾向。關於這點,芬蘭政府在實驗結束前都不透漏任何資訊,也是希望能夠降低霍桑效應的影響。 嚴格來說芬蘭的實驗,不能稱的上是真正的UBI,但足以向我們表現出UBI對於失業者的影響,揭開UBI一小部份的面紗,仍然有寶貴的參考價值。應該等待未來更多的實驗計畫實施,讓我們更能理解UBI的全面影響力。 影片來源: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=4&v=vwjNrxVd-1E Author: 杜祐興 Editors: 吳東晏, Tyler Prochazka

Basic Income: ‘But what about the irresponsible?’

I recently asked American Enterprise Institute President Arthur Brooks about his thoughts on the Basic Income Guarantee (BIG). He told me that he was against the idea because there are some people in society that cannot be trusted to spend the money wisely. This is notable since Brooks is one of the leading conservative voices Read More …

Will basic income lower crime?

This week, I had the opportunity to be a guest on New York University’s Students for Criminal Justice Reform podcast. I spoke with Thurston Powers about the positive effects a basic income may have on American society. One overlooked potential benefit is the effect of basic income on crime rates. I noted that a basic income Read More …

Interview: Basic income can create 'fulfilling lives'

In his new Kindle book Mending the Net, author Chis Oestereich describes how a basic income can address some of the “wicked problems” facing humanity. For Oestereich, the basic income can help society rethink its consumption patterns and possibly upend the “treadmill of subsistence.” In the book, Oestereich predicts that the economy could be headed toward Read More …

Will basic income cause inflation?

I recently led a round-table discussion on basic income at National Chengchi University (NCCU), which was attended by students from various countries. The participants vigorously debated whether a basic income would result in inflation, with some parties worrying that the greater spending power will push up the demand for goods and, in turn, prices. The Read More …

Massive cash transfer study shows ‘impressive’ results

The Overseas Development Institute just released the largest meta-analysis of cash transfer programs ever, spanning 15 years of data and 165 studies. The main takeaway is that studies show a consistent reduction in poverty measures. Perhaps an even more important conclusion is that most evidence showed an increase in work participation after receiving the basic income. The Overseas Read More …