Today’s Solutions: January 19, 2022

Existing welfare programs are a tangled mess. If welfare recipients start making too much money, they lose food stamps, medical care, and housing vouchers—essentially trapping recipients in poverty. One way around this problem is universal basic income (UBI), which guarantees every citizen a minimum monthly income, regardless of how much they make. Although UBI could serve as the ultimate solution to financial insecurity, critics suggest that people will lose their incentive to work if they receive “free” money. ‘Not so fast’ say researchers out of Finland where a small UBI trial was held. After giving 2,000 randomly selected people a sum of $635 each month over the course of two years, the researchers found that UBI doesn’t make people work less. In fact, what the researchers found was that those who received the monthly allowance worked the same amount while experiencing less stress due to financial worries, which led to better health to the recipients when compared to a control group who didn’t receive a monthly allowance.

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