The University of Utrecht partners with its municipal government to test out basic unconditional income
If you are one of the 1.4 million Americans making federal minimum wage, you earn $7.25 an hour. That $7.25, you might argue, isn’t enough for basic living—which is why you may favor states that have adopted a living wage of up to $15 an hour.
But what if you earned a wage for just living?
This summer, the Dutch city of Utrecht will serve as the testing ground for basic unconditional income, a federal program in which the government pays each citizen a standard monthly income to cover their living costs. The concept is intended to limit necessary working hours, allowing more time for volunteering, care and relaxation.
The University of Utrecht and the municipal government have agreed to conduct a study in which participants are placed on different benefits regiments: a basic unconditional income, an unconditional income with parameters and the current federal benefits program (a control). Neither the University nor the city has yet released a figure corresponding to basic unconditional income, though estimates place it at $2,500 per individual per month.
The idea of minimal, guaranteed income has been around since the 16th century.
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