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  • Wouldn't it be nice if we all got a guaranteed basic income?

  • With no conditions. Free money.

  • Because the world is changing rapidly.

  • More and more jobs will be taken over by robots and intelligent software.

  • So how will we earn our money? How will we be able to buy things?

  • Won't our economic system collapse?

  • It's high time we started thinking about a new social model.

  • Could a guaranteed income for all be the solution...

  • ...to a new economic system?

  • Coming up next:

  • Welcome to the possibility of a guaranteed income.

  • We're embarking on a new era, The Second Machine Age...

  • ...in which not everyone can count on a permanent job.

  • Robots will take over many of our tasks.

  • American Economist Erik Brynjolfsson at MIT...

  • ...has written a book predicting the 'Second Machine Age'.

  • He claims a huge shift is about to take place...

  • ...regarding the relationship between labour and capital...

  • ...and the way we will regard the term 'work' in the future.

  • If this is what the future holds...

  • ...what will happen to those millions of people working in an office now?

  • Will we become obsolete? Will we sit at home?

  • Or will we find another way to lead our lives?

  • Economist Marcel Canoy...

  • former advisor for the European Committee...

  • ...is working on topics at the interface between economics and philosophy.

  • We asked him for his thoughts on the matter.

  • Are we properly prepared for the future that lies ahead?

  • This is his analysis.

  • It's the year 2014 now.

  • What will our lives be like in ten years' time?

  • What will change in those ten years? Well, a lot.

  • Simple work will be carried out by robots and the Chinese, right?

  • What will that mean?

  • We'll have to depend on our creativity and innovation skills to survive.

  • What will it mean for our work life?

  • Most of us work for a boss, and often the same one for a long time.

  • This will change.

  • More of us will become self-employed, or partially, or we'll work for each other.

  • Our current social networks already allow us to connect.

  • This will have consequences.

  • Another result of robotization will be that we'll have more free time.

  • So our work-life balance will change.

  • We'll start to spend our free time differently.

  • We'll start to fill that time with social tasks.

  • Helping sick family members, or doing something creative.

  • And we're all growing older.

  • So as a result there will be less of us to collect tax income from...

  • ...and it will lead to healthcare issues.

  • If work isn't everything anymore...

  • ...and not everyone will be able to partake in the job market....

  • ...how will we distribute our wealth in the future?

  • There's a movement emerging in the Netherlands...

  • ...of people fighting for the introduction of a guaranteed income for all.

  • Dutch citizens receive a fixed monthly amount, unconditionally.

  • A new way of redistributing wealth.

  • We're a small society. But it is growing. - Yes, it is.

  • Yara Rahimi is one of them.

  • She worked as a reintegration consultant for many years.

  • Her job was to help unemployed people re-enter the job market.

  • I saw how billions of euros were being invested...

  • ...in reintegration and work experience projects.

  • These started out with great enthusiasm...

  • ...but came back after six months completely demotivated...

  • ...because they weren't suited to the job market.

  • She found she had to meet increasingly strict requirements.

  • A result of the commoditisation of our social system.

  • Suddenly we started working with targets.

  • I had to get three to five people onto the job market per month...

  • ...which leads to certain results.

  • However, the problem is that there is less and less work.

  • Did that ever lead to moral dilemmas?

  • Yes, one time I faced a serious moral dilemma.

  • There was a man at my desk who told me...

  • This wasn't really related to the targets, more with the compulsory trajectories.

  • He wanted to look after his mother who was suffering from dementia.

  • He told me she was very poorly.

  • He had worked in healthcare and knew how bad it was.

  • He didn't want his mother to be exposed to that.

  • This was a moral dilemma for me.

  • I thought: Do I have to force this man to follow a certain trajectory?

  • Or do I let him take care of his mother?

  • How much would it cost the state if he didn't look after her?

  • It seems like he should be able to look after his mother.

  • If the government introduced a guaranteed income...

  • ...people like him would have the option to look after their mother...

  • ...and take on the care responsibilities that the state would otherwise pay for.

  • If our current social welfare system isn't functioning...

  • ...or has become inefficient, to put it mildly...

  • ...isn't it time to think about creating a new social model?

  • What is our current social welfare model?

  • It's a hugely complicated machine.

  • With all sorts of allowances. Help, there's another one.

  • 80% of all people receive some sort of allowance.

  • It doesn't make sense.

  • On top of that, it's vulnerable to fraud.

  • And it requires a huge inspection system of toothbrush counters.

  • And we have a huge unemployment industry...

  • ...trying to get people to re-enter but it's expensive and ineffective.

  • Then there's people who end up on social benefit for whatever reason.

  • What do we do with them? We have them sweep the square.

  • Let's just humiliate them.

  • That leads to a lot of stress and healthcare expenses.

  • This system is not geared to the future at all.

  • A guaranteed income could help solve the problems we'll face in the future.

  • But is it feasible?

  • They tried it as an experiment 40 years ago in Dauphin, Canada.

  • 1,000 families received a guaranteed income for four years.

  • The results were remarkable.

  • How can we learn from past experiences for the future?

  • We're interested in how this experiment, the Mincome Project, panned out.

  • We begin our search at the local library.

  • The Mincome Experiment lasted four years.

  • For some strange reason, nothing was published about it afterwards.

  • The results were missing for years...

  • ...until Canadian economist Evelyn Forget recovered them...

  • ...in some dusty archives in Winnipeg.

  • The boxes turned out to hold a huge source of information.

  • Forget analysed the data...

  • ...and wrote an article about it that reached the international press.

  • This put the concept of a guaranteed income back on the agenda.

  • In Toronto, we speak to Ron Hikel.

  • He led the experiment in Dauphin at the time.

  • The Mincome Project with its budget of 17 billion dollars...

  • ...was the biggest social experiment in Canadian history.

  • A team of economists, sociologists and anthropologists...

  • ...examined the effect of receiving free money on human behaviour.

  • Of all the places in Canada...

  • ...Dauphin was chosen as the place to conduct this experiment.

  • A small agricultural community with less than 8,000 people...

  • ...in the middle of the country.

  • Isolated for a large part of the year due to thick layers of snow.

  • Erik Richardson and Clark Wallis were teenagers at the time of the project.

  • What was the outcome of the experiment in Dauphin?

  • The fear that people with a guaranteed income would work less...

  • ...was justified to a certain extent.

  • Some people worked less hours.

  • But it turned out that the people who worked less...

  • ...didn't just sit on the couch, they did other meaningful things.

  • However promising the Mincome experiment was...

  • ...guaranteed income was never implemented in Canada.

  • Because the political wind changed.

  • The progressive government that had come up with the plan...

  • ...had to make way for a conservative one.

  • If you offer people the opportunity to take charge of their lives...

  • ...and the means to live their lives as they want to...

  • ...they will become more enterprising, healthier and happier.

  • What could we learn from the Mincome experiment, 40 years later?

  • Can what worked in Canada in the 70s work in the Netherlands in 2014?

  • What will happen if we introduce the concept of guaranteed income?

  • First of all, we can wipe out all those allowances and the bureaucracy.

  • Let's to that. This can go, the toothbrush counter can go.

  • The result is a very simple system: One type of benefit, that's all.

  • It will cost a lot of money. Where will we get it from?

  • It will cost a lot per annum.

  • Let's take a look.

  • Costs and benefits.

  • Benefits: No more social benefits or allowances.

  • That's 75 billion. Not bad.

  • Tax deductions? Won't need them. 40 billion. Brilliant.

  • Execution costs are much simpler. 6 billion.

  • Student funding can go, they'll also get an income too. 4 billion.

  • Add it all up: 125 billion euros in benefits.

  • That's as far as the benefits are concerned.

  • How much will it cost to implement a guaranteed income?

  • Let's say the guaranteed income will be the same as a state pension.

  • 760 euros per month.

  • Multiply that by 12 billion Dutch citizens, that's 117 billion euros.

  • We'll abolish child benefits, but we do want to give them something.

  • We'll give them 380 euros: half. So that's 18 billion.