On 18 May 2016, Mein Grundeinkommen raffled off four one-year basic incomes, with each winner receiving €1,000 per month for the next year. Since announcing its first winner in September 2014, Mein Grundeinkommen has announced a total of 42 winners.
Mein Grundeinkommen is a “micro version of a basic income,” which – according to its website, at the time of writing – has crowdfunded more than €520,000 from more than 44,400 people. The success of the Mein Grundeinkommen initiative has inspired similar crowdfunding initiatives in the Netherlands, Ons Basisinkomen, Switzerland, Grundeinkommen für dich, and the USA, My Basic Income.
Despite its success, however, the crowdfunding approach is unlikely to tell us much about the macroeconomic effects of introducing an unconditional basic income. For example, we won’t learn much about the effects of a basic income on aggregate demand, the labour market or inflation.
Nevertheless, these experiments can offer us “persuasive anecdotes,” which can teach us more about the effects of a short-term basic income on the employment, social participation and health outcomes of particular individuals.
Speaking to the LA Times, Michael Bohmeyer, Mein Grundeinkommen’s founder, said “the one thing that everyone tells us is that they’re able to sleep much better … But, ostensibly, not a lot changes: The students keep studying, the workers keep working and the pensioners are still pensioners. But there is a big change that takes place in their minds. People feel liberated and they feel healthier.”
So, what would you do if you were guaranteed €1,000 per month for the next year? What dreams would you dust off?
Mein Grundeinkommen’s next raffle will be held on 7 June 2016. For more news and stories check out the Mein Grundeinkommen website: https://www.mein-grundeinkommen.de/start
Credit Picture CC Raven Jelks