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posted by martyb on Thursday January 20, @01:12AM   Printer-friendly
from the of-course-nobody-ever-gets-bored dept.

Study: Basic income would not reduce people's willingness to work:

A basic income would not necessarily mean that people would work less. This is the conclusion of a series of behavioral experiments by cognitive psychologist Fenna Poletiek, social psychologist Erik de Kwaadsteniet and cognitive psychologist Bastiaan Vuyk. They also found indications that people with a basic income are more likely to find a job that suits them better.

The psychologists received a grant from the FNV union to research the behavioral effects of a basic income. They simulated the reward structure of different forms of social security in an experiment. "We got people to do a task on a computer," says De Kwaadsteniet. "In multiple rounds, which represented the months they had to work, they did a boring task in which they had to put points on a bar. The more of these they did, the more money they earned."

The psychologists researched three different conditions: no social security, a conditional benefits system and an unconditional basic income. De Kwaadsteniet: "In the condition without social security, the test participants didn't receive a basic sum. In the benefits condition they received a basic sum, which they lost as soon as they started working. In the basic income condition they received the same basic sum but didn't lose this when they started work."

The basic income did not cause a reduction in the participants' willingness to work and efforts, say the psychologists. Nor did their salary expectations increase. "In the discussion on a basic income, it's sometimes said that people will sit around doing nothing if you give them free money," says Poletiek, who saw no indications of such a behavioral effect.

What would you do if you were to receive a basic income?

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 20, @07:05AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 20, @07:05AM (#1214090)

    The problem isn't inherent to capitalism. The problem is with laissez faire capitalism, the growth of corporate behemoths, and the loss of competition, not with the underlying principle. Adam Smith wrote about individuals pursuing their self-interests resulting in the common good of society being met. In the example you describe, the issue is the separation of ownership and management. A manager, while not directly making the widgets, would still contribute value in ensuring the operation runs efficiently, purchasing raw materials, negotiating the sale of the widgets, training new employees, and plenty of other useful tasks. The problem is the separation of ownership and management, where the owner isn't directly contributing value to the business but still profits. Smith wouldn't have supported what you're describing any more than Marx did.

    The issue isn't capitalism, but the evils of modern capitalism and how they deviate from the original idea. Adam Smith opposed laissez faire capitalism, monopolies, and the existence of corporations. I'm absolutely in favor of capitalism. However, laissez faire capitalism and its modern resurgence due to people like Milton Friedman belong in history's trash can.