Democrat 2020 candidate Andrew Yang claimed during Thursday’s debate that universal basic income, paid for by taxes similar to Europe, would create “millions of jobs.”
Yang called for a value-added tax at even half the level employed in European countries. He claimed “it would generate over $800 billion in new revenue which combined with the money in our hands it would be the trickle up economy.” He further claimed this would create millions of jobs, make families stronger and healthier, and would save money on incarceration, homelessness services, and emergency room healthcare.
Finland recently released initial results of the first national level study on providing free money to unemployed individuals. Preliminary results found people who received that basic income were not better off, according to Bloomberg.
Yang spoke during Thursday’s Democrat primary debate of using basic income to fight off the encroachment of automation. Study results mentioned automation as one of the areas it was exploring in the research.
Nordea Bank Abp economist Olli Karkkainen said, “I had expected the basic income experiment to have a greater positive impact on employment because incentives for work were boosted so significantly,” according to the report. Finland’s minister of social affairs and health Pirkko Mattila said due to the study they will likely not adopt the basic income model used in the experiment.
Research Coordinator at the Labour Institute for Economic Research Ohto Kanninen stated of study findings, “On the basis of an analysis of register data on an annual level, we can say that during the first year of the experiment the recipients of a basic income were no better or worse than the control group at finding employment in the open labor market.”
Yang said as part of his universal basic income plan, “It’s difficult to do if you have companies like Amazon, trillion dollar tech companies paying literally zero in taxes while they’re closing 30 percent of our stores.” He went on, saying, “We need to put the American people in a position to benefit from all these innovations in other parts of the economy.”
The former tech executive ultimately claimed the resulting mental health from his universal basic income and value-added tax plan would raise GDP by $700 billion.
Bloomberg further reported, “According to some estimates, a nationwide basic income would add around 5 percentage points to Finland’s public deficit relative to gross domestic product.” A final report on the study isn’t expected until 2020, but initial results are based on a year of data.
Yang said jobs are be automated away and related it to the reason President Donald Trump is president today.
He confirmed everyone over 18 years old would get $1,000 per month under his plan. Yang said it would increase the buying power of the bottom 94 percent of Americans.