Debate Magazine

Outbreak of Commonsense in Finland.

Posted on the 07 December 2015 by Markwadsworth @Mark_Wadsworth

From City AM:
Just days after George Osborne announced his latest mass of adjustments to Britain’s tax and spend system, reports from Finland revealed that its government is looking into a somewhat simpler policy – giving each Finn €800 (£576) a month.
This may seem like madness. Why, I’m sure many of you will ask, should folk be handed money purely for existing? Won’t people respond by just sitting around doing nothing? Evidence suggests not. In fact, the Finnish experiment – if it goes ahead – is designed to reduce unemployment, which currently stands at over nine per cent...

And so on, all good stuff.
The interesting bit is this: "the policy, despite sounding – prima facie – like a left-wing fantasy, has been endorsed over the decades by pro-market economists such as Milton Friedman... This proposal is similar to a system endorsed by the free-market Adam Smith Institute called a 'negative income tax'."
That struck me after the vote on whether RAF planes should bomb Syria. Proper 'left wing' MPs voted against (Greens and most of the Labour Party), as did a few proper 'right wing/libertarian' MPs' such as David Davies and Peter Hollobone. Nigel Farage MEP also came out against.
So there are overlaps between 'fantasy left' and 'free-market/libertarian'. There are plenty of other examples, like legalising drugs or replacing taxes on earnings and output with LVT. The two groups give different reasons for supporting the policy, but they both come to the right conclusion, which is the main thing.
Hence and why I am perfectly happy to describe myself as "left/libertarian", which of course means I get shot by all sides, from the greenies, socialists, Conservatives, Homeys and Faux Libertarians alike.


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