With automation quickly replacing jobs resulting in the need to disassociate income from work, the idea of providing every one with free money still sounds somewhat crazy. Yet, data seems to indicate that not only this works, it will actually save the government money. As such, Ontario is planning giving each one of their citizens an "unconditional allowance each month," with a trial set to start in 2016.
Universal basic income could offer an alternative model. A pilot project of the model took place in the Canadian town of Dauphin in Manitoba between 1974 and 1979 and showed that basic income greatly reduced poverty, while also reducing the government's costs by cuttings hospital visits and mental health-related complaints in the town.
A study in the US also showed the health benefits of giving people 'free money' - poor children whose parents were given an extra US$4,000 each year were less likely to have behavioural and emotional disorders compared to their peers, and were also more conscientious and agreeable - traits that are linked to future success and happiness.
Scientists don't fully understand how extra income can have such significant health benefits - obesity and diabetes are also linked to poverty - but a recent study showed that financial stress can actually change people's DNA, and make it age faster.
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