In the Dutch city of Utrecht, you may never have to worry about making a basic income to pay for basic needs. Thanks to the University of Utrecht and the municipal government, they are conducting a study to see how an unconditional monthly benefits program can be a form of altruism that can help society as a whole. Essentially, the city will pay citizens unconditional basic income. Although the idea of a minimal benefits program has been around for a few centuries, it hasn’t really been practiced, let alone tested. The exact figure of benefits hasn’t been disclosed, but a ballpark figure of $2,500.00 has been discussed. The parameters of the study include a group receiving unconditional benefits, one group with benefits while under certain conditions and the control group receiving current federal benefits.

City Will Pay Citizens Unconditional Basic Income

As our economy faces a bit of uncertainty, many feel that robotic machinery will be replacing many jobs globally. As a society we need to figure out a way to supplement the population monetarily as a means to live. Since income disparity is a big issue worldwide, new and progressive ways will have to be implemented. One can say this is a lazy approach to this issue. People take the money and do nothing. For one, it won’t be enough money if you want to live a decent lifestyle. Of course there will be small percentage of people that will take the money and be satisfied doing very little. That doesn’t really matter since the money will still go right back into the economy. My guess is this unconditional income won’t stop most people from working and striving for a better life.

It will actually free the minds of some of our smartest and creative people. Instead of serving up lattes or working some menial job, giving our brains freedom to work the way we see fit could be a boon for society. After a long day of work, relaxing and enjoying some personal time is essential to one’s well-being. But with our busy lifestyles, family, and financial demands due to rising cost of living, when do most people have enough time to truly pursue our creative goals? And when we do, we become exhausted and frustrated with lack of time and energy. Right now, I’m sure many us have great ideas that could be the next big app, novel, movie, restaurant, technological advance and so on. The piece of mind that rent and bills will get paid without us having to think about it would surely increase our mental bandwith for creativity and ingenuity.

Other possibilities from a benefits program such as this could be higher rates of volunteer work, spending more time with family and friends, more confidence at your job, minimal homelessness and people going hungry, less crime and a happier disposition within our society.

Collective capitalism is already having a big impact, with companies such as Uber and Airbnb. We all probably know someone who uses a service such as these to supplement their income or serve as their only income. Today there are less and less jobs that pay a decent wage and as technology takes over more jobs, we need to figure out how to take care of our own. Technology is moving at a fast clip and we better be prepared when this comes to fruition. There is no sure fire way as of yet, but this unconditional income program is a good start.