One country is paying its citizens a guaranteed monthly income

By Matt Hoffman, Buzz60

Imagine getting free money until the year 2019. This isn't a hypothetical for some lucky citizens in Finland who are getting exactly that.

Finland is starting a radical new experiment where the government is giving 2,000 people nearly $600 a month, whether they work or not.

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For now, the new program won't apply to all citizens, but rather to those randomly selected from those currently receiving unemployment benefits.

To sweeten the already pretty sweet deal, the money will not be taxed.

The idea may sound expensive, but Finland hopes it will actually save money by simplifying the country's complicated welfare system.

It may also encourage unemployed participants to seek work because they will no longer have to worry about losing their benefits.

If the program is successful, the government may expand it, making the money available to all adult citizens.

A similar pilot program is underway in the Italian city of Livorno, as well as the state of Alaska, which currently pays residents $1,000 per year out of the state's oil revenue.