Rebecca Siegel / CC BY 2.0

Scott Santens, a basic-income advocate, cites numerous cases around the world in which money allotted to members of communities with no strings attached led to important gains in social cohesion.

From The Huffington Post:

Fascinating isn’t it? Giving people cash without conditions can actually lead to people being insulted less. This is a psychological finding. It involves personality. Is there even more evidence for the effects of cash without conditions on personality factors? Yes there is, and we see it in lottery winners.

[Quoting from a report titled “Can Money Change Who We Are?” written by three academics.] “Using surveys of lottery winners, we analyze the effects of unearned income on the well-known Big Five personality traits. After correcting for potential endogeneity problems associated with the size of lottery prizes, we find that unearned income improves traits that predict pro-social and cooperative behaviours, preferences for social contact, empathy, and gregariousness, as well as reduce individuals’ tendency to experience negative emotional states.”

When people win small and medium-size size lotteries, not the huge ones, but closer to the size of basic incomes, they become more cooperative, agreeable, and social. This is pretty amazing, but perhaps the most amazing of all findings in regards to increased incomes and improved personality traits, comes from a 10+ year study in North Carolina, where just four years into it, about a quarter of the households being studied saw an increase in their incomes of about $4,000 per year per tribal member as a result of casino dividends. Because of this, and because this just so happened to take place during a long-term longitudinal scientific study, some incredible effects have been observed in the children as young adults that would be virtually impossible to study outside of full-on implementing universal basic income.

Read more here.

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