Money for Free

Money for Free

2015, Economics  -   123 Comments
Ratings: 6.70/10 from 171 users.

Money for Free makes the case for a new economic system intended to minimize financial inequalities by introducing viewers to the concept of a guaranteed basic income. By highlighting social experiments currently taking place, the filmmakers introduce viewers to some of the people working towards a large-scale redistribution of wealth.

Michael Bohmeyer, a young entrepreneur from Berlin, first experienced the benefits of limited financial stress upon quitting his self-made company. Earning €1,000 per month in his semi-retirement, Bohmeyer noted a significant drop in anxiety as well as improved health thanks to having a reliable basic income. Bohmeyer was inspired to create a crowdfunding project as a social experiment. Each time the fund reaches €12,000, one raffle winner receives an annual basic income of €1,000 per month. The raffle is unconditional in that no one is restricted from competing for it.

In its fifth cycle one lucky winner was an eight year-old boy, whose parents were quite happy to have not only rent money, but also funds to take a family trip and purchase books for their children each month. Bohmeyer explains that in order to succeed people need to feel safe and secure, not unlike children who crave closeness to their parents and unconditional love. By providing a basic income, he feels citizens are given this sense of security, which enables them to enjoy greater peace of mind, improved well-being, and heightened productivity.

Being of a similar mindset, economist and basic income advocate Guy Standing conducted an experiment in India where 6,000 participants were given a guaranteed, unconditional cash income for 18 months. Standing traveled to Groningen, a province in the Netherlands, to encourage the undertaking of income experiments there as well. Standing voices his concern that income tax and social security are failing, and that there are too many people living on the edge of debt. As with Bohmeyer, Standing believes a new way of thinking about money and the value of people is overdue.

These are just two of the subjects profiled here, as Money for Free takes viewers through parts of Europe, India and the United States to investigate different models for providing guaranteed basic income. The audience will be left with several perspectives to consider with regards to how the scales of wealth can be rebalanced in a way that is beneficial to all.

More great documentaries

Notify of

Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
1 year ago


4 years ago

True social justice would be to give all the social justice students a failing grade, give those that were going to get high grades to some other students taking a worthwhile course such as ditch digging or computer programming, a better grade. How then will they view REdistribution?

President Wilson, the weasel progressive, is a major cause of the problems we still face today. He enabled the cockroach bankster elite (Rothschilds, Rockefellers, Warburgs, etc) to put their private INFLATION-deflation machine called The Federal Reserve in place of what should be a state run central bank.

No matter what system of govt, capitalism, communism, or whatever type it is, the people will be screwed with a socialist-communist run private central bank. Charging interest on money they didn't earn nor safeguard for others but just entered into an account via fractional reserve banking by pressing keys on a keyboard, forever causes debt piled upon debt. It ROBS everyone blind.

And blinded they are. The central banks of the world, mostly owned by the same cartel, own most of the major: oil companies, MEDIA companies, pharmaceutical companies, defense companies, etc. There should be no surprise as to why you never hear about The Federal Reserve as being THE problem on their news.

When you limit your education to a university, with a few too many greedy socialist-communist professors emotionalizing for their agenda, this is the nonsense you get. Socialist-Communists pretend they are not greedy but they are super greedy for power to force others to do as they say AND for money stolen from others because that is much easier. They are all about getting rid of the competition and use other peoples money to buy votes with and award contracts to their favored friends and kickback companies. They cannot have a free press or those with logic would beat them in the competition for better ideas every time. This is why the socialist-communists own and control the major media in the usa.

The bankster put their people into govt and universities. You have been distracted with their propaganda. Wake up and educate yourself. You can do so with some other fine documentaries on this website, several are in the Conspiracy section. Yet another thing they have been successful at brainwashing people into thinking Conspiracies don't happen ...while they are happening regularly at the Federal level ever since govt was invented. Vote with you eyeballs, move them to small independent news sources, you will be amazed at what you weren't getting from the majors and what conclusions you were being led to via such limited information.

6 years ago

GuitarGod What is the Cloward Pivan stragety?

6 years ago

I would be very motivated to work if I would get money for free, it would cause less stress to be on the edge of survival, so that my mind is free to creativity and more energetic for many more activities to be in service of humanity and the world with my own capacities and talents for which I would not have enough time, nor energy if i am only trying to survive the month.

Devanshi Ruparel
6 years ago

I'm only 10 minutes in but I have questions troubling me:
what if the money is given to those who already have it and not to those who need it? it is a raffle based system after all.
if "money" is given "for free" and it is sufficient for people to live, they will be demotivated to work. Moreover, since they're getting only the "basic income", they won't spend it on lavish things so eventually, the companies who are "getting more customers" by registering themselves on that German website will withdraw because people are not spending as much.
Also, I just want to say that the minimum wage in India is (as of July 1st 2015) 160 rupees A DAY. So giving them an extra 200 rupees A MONTH will actually not make much of a difference.

6 years ago

To answer all those saying GIVING will make people LAZY - What people do you don't do is none of YOUR business! It's their life to what they want just like you have yours to do what you wish! Who are YOU are anyone to decide what is important to anyone's life other than your own. THEY EVIL we have in this world can't be without if FIRST being in the HEARTS of the people. As far as this system - I don't think it will work - the MONEY SYSTEM is OWNED by PRIVATE families and THAT is the problem-UNTIL the people are in charge of the money system and its self it will never change - MONEY is DEBT MONEY is SLAVERY for us all - as designed because EVERYTHING money buys the CREATOR put here on earth for us all - FREE! Its our INSAITY that allows this MADNESS.

7 years ago

People keep using the word "lazy". While am sure there are some who would choose to do nothing, most simply need a reason to get motivated beyond "let me get up today and do some hard, menial labor, for barley enough money to keep from starving or health problems, for no other reason than to give a very few near the near godlike power of a ton of money". Maybe if those of you (probably born into a decent, upper middle class family, with many chances to succeed and the right path in life spoon fed to you) worried about lazy people realized that that was the reality for a greater and greater majority these days, you might think different. Maybe then we can stop... destroying the earth for pieces of paper, and tricking the unintelligent into believe they're free and that this is the best possible society so they continue they're near slave labor, annnnd just maybe rooting out the corrupt, uncaring, sociopaths that make up the majority of those in real positions of power.

sheen blaketon
7 years ago

Dont even wach this. Itz wrote in some weird language, possibly latin or russian. So stupid

7 years ago

@JulesBeckers Could you please be a little more specific in terms of countries, dates and key figures involved in this idea being pushed into political agendas, and how it was found to lead to lower standards of living? I only ask as the biog for this documentary asserts that it is a new idea which is only now being tested for the first time, and I'd like to learn more.

Also, you do realise that since the 70's we have been using fiat currency? This is not anchored by gold or any other commodity of value, but derives value from supply and demand. Every experiment with fiat currency, dating back as far as the Romans, has failed. It ends with hyperinflation and currency collapse every time, no matter how much you redistribute back to the general population. For a scheme like this to devalue the currency as you describe then surely you would need to give everybody as much cash as they want, rather than just enough to cover basic living costs. It seems to me that a far more likely outcome is that the provision of debt-free spending power to the masses would lead to a healthier economy in the long run as demand surges.
Trickle down economics (i.e. QE) is a fraud at worst, and ineffective at best. Trickle up economics as described in the film seems a better bet for prosperity for all.

James Harrison
7 years ago

The human 'animal' needs to be tamed for about another 100 years before we are capable of being free from more primal restraints. Money and competition forces people to adapt until seeing this futures worth.

Jules Beckers
7 years ago

This is plain, flat communism! People have been trying to push these ideas into political agendas since the 19th century and throughout history there is not a single, not one example where this concept lead to a higher life standard. When money is free the currency will crash because there is no value to back it up. Everyone will be equally poor.

7 years ago

Seems a few people here are missing the point of what this social experiment is aiming to address, namely that the marginalisation of individuals from society due to nothing more than their inability to find work harms both the individual and society as a whole, and that the expanding global population and contraction in the labour markets indicate that the problem will inevitably become much worse over time. Is it not better to try alternatives now?

Also there appears to be a common misconception here in the comments that it is the giving of money to those in need that makes them unproductive, "lazy" is the most used adjective here. It could be argued that individuals do not become trapped (as opposed to dependant) on benefits because they just love the free money but rather because they come to believe the overwhelming stream of media led propaganda that the minute they lost their job they became worthless, sponging, lazy degenerates. Take away a persons self respect and you also take their motivation to better themselves.

Maybe this idea could work on a massive scale, maybe it couldn't but aiming to improve human quality of life regardless of employment status is truly noble and deserves further investigation. Who knows, there may be far more positive outcomes for society than even the inventors of the scheme realise.

7 years ago

Look at what is does to people when you give free housing and benefits.You create a bunch of n on-workers because they don't have to.Watch Benefits Street documentary.

7 years ago

yes, this will be the future

Eduardo Dryman
7 years ago

The movie illustrates the pressure even for Fed chairmen steeped in free market principles to put those principles aside when it comes to monetary policy. They are as firmly convinced that the Fed is the best price setter when it comes to money as they are that the market is the best price setter when it comes to everything else.

7 years ago

The idea of 'fair wage' is part of the slave lexicon. Similarly, 'free money' is an oxymoron. The real problem that one individual's gain must come at a loss for another somewhere along the line is fundamental to an exploitive economic system. We need a government that provides for public security and good infrastructure. It also needs to regulate the economic system. Instead, we have bankers who have taken over our nations and lord over the politicians. The real enemy is the banks.

Kansas Devil
7 years ago

The US has a system of handing out "free money". It's called Social Security and look what the recipients do with that money. The money follows human nature. Some will fritter it away on foolish things, others will supplement that "free income", and still others will find they need more money and worry how they will survive.
And then there are the con men...the moment they see someone getting "free money", they will try to grab it with deception.
Further, there are the ideologues, who will find any opportunity to berate anyone who does not follow their false religion against "free money".
Society is sick and "free money" can't cure that.

Janeen Clark
7 years ago

why do we think of prostitution so badly ?, yet it is okay to prostitute our labor, our thoughts our inventions for money? we give up time with our loved ones ,every thought in our head every action we take is dictated by money. it is a board game extended onto real life where we are the slaves that feed and house ourselves (the luckiest dice rollers) isn't it slightly suspicious the hardest workers get paid the least? isnt is suspicious that money is no measure of human effort? isnt is suspicious that money makes money off of more money and that itself is the highest profit margins? have you thought this through and a at all? have you researched money as a system with large scale effects going all the wat down to the individual? or do you just roll the dice follow the rules of the game and have every second of your life dictated with your only choices being coke or pepsi ,democrat or republican, chicken or beef? a blue shirt or brown shirt to wear for the day while every aspect of your life mirrors the inside of a maximum security prison, just with bigger cells and a couple more multiple choice pre-selected for you. we are the new slaves. and MONEY is the nu religion.

7 years ago

Within 2 minutes, the narrator suggests there wont be many jobs in the future? This is not true. Simply the nature of jobs change. 70 years ago people would of fell about laughing if you said when your older you would like to be a "web designer". Giving out free money is not the solution. Instead we should be focusing on being more productive. I would actually argue that the problem with western economies is that is some sectors we have become less productive. (Medical, I.T and Agriculture) are very productive but there is a huge amount of population doing questionable admin/account jobs. The NHS seems to be forever recruiting admin workers? What is going on here? To see true productivity sit outside a McDonald's all day, and count how many people are fed by about 10 workers in a typical 8 Hour shift.

7 years ago

I believe humans have the capacity of three extremes; good, evil and lazy. Welfare programs always promote laziness and mediocrity, this documentary didn't really make the case that basic income is different from welfare.

It didn't show any compelling case studies of basic income working at scale, in a century of socialism, if it did work there would certainly be large and small scale case studies of it. Yet, as far as I know, there are none. Instead we have Greece, and the world is on the precipice of financial armageddon thanks to a half century of irrational fiscal policies that encouraged laziness.

I agree that technological unemployment is a problem but welfare programs will not solve this problem.

The case study of Alaska is interesting though but it's not even close to being proof that we can create a society were people don't need to work.

Ralph Walker
7 years ago

Truth is currently there are no we create millions of fake jobs. So China makes millions of useless toy, shoes, etc that break in a day.. on slave labor...destroying the environment..but it makes money. So we have millions of people that sit at phones all day callin you to see if you want a new car or want to change your gas company. So 50% of the starving people in Africa are the same time Africa over produce food. why? There is a lack of jobs for farmers in Africa. why? Most land was sold to big corporations and they use lots of machines instead of manpower. so they buy land from thousands of farmers and only need 100 or 200 people to work and they get minimum wage. Then the person with minimum wage has to spend 100% of his or her pay to just live throughout the month. The company takes home the profits. So the rich person only spends 5 or 6% of his or her pay while the poor spends 100% which makes a big problem.

Jordan Camp
7 years ago

There are so many flaws with doing socialist economics on a large scale that I will just ask those of you who believe in it to answer the following question honestly. If you got your whole years income today would you show up to work tomorrow? If you answered no then I'm sure you would be shocked when the price of everything rose and you are no better off than you were because guess what... I gave everyone else there whole years income too because it was the only "fair" way to distribute the wealth.

7 years ago

In a world where machines are doing more and more of the work it is essential to find a way to distribute wealth in an equitable way that doesn't demean individuals or destroy the environment. Let's start with a big dose of social justice and a step back from techo-gadgetry.

~Oliver B Koslik Esq
7 years ago

Excellent Doc!


Don Duncan
7 years ago

"Breaking the relationship between work and income" already happens with people born into upper income families. The parens must be careful to teach the relationship just as any other life lessons. Bestowing wealth without it being earned is highly destructive. But it is a common mistake. The excuse is: "I don't want them to suffer as I did". The mistake is to not realize that suffering can be a very beneficial character builder. The lesson learned is that actions have consequences, cause and effect also applies to economics. I was very luck to learn that on my own at 4. I was left all alone all day and I went out and picked up bottles to redeem for money for ice cream & soda. If these were gifts, I would not have felt the pride of accomplishment. Later when I was given money for nothing I felt guilty. It didn't seem right. I developed a strong work ethic and it served me well so far (72 years).

Don Duncan
7 years ago

Children need unconditional love. That prepares them for adulthood. Once adulthood is reached, its up to each of us to find our own "meaning in/of life". Everyone starts out unequal economically. Your starting point is less important than your attitude. That is personal, depending on our selves. We make our future by our thoughts/actions. Motivation comes from within. Hunger/fear may play a part at first but they are just temporary if one works to get past them. After the basic needs for survival are met, freedom puts stress on us to find our passion. That may happen very soon in middle income. Or it may take many years, even decades. But "safe & secure" economically is our first step, our "jumping off" point to self realization. And it is our responsibility. Those who never achieve it may blame failure to do so on society, or culture, or govt. but it is their responsibility to overcome any obstacle. No one owes them economic stability. No one can choose their life path. We can find ourselves, or not, but we die eventually, with no second chances. We can use our time wisely, or waste it.
No experiment is needed to find out if a financial handout is necessary. For some no amount of money will help, others make it from abject poverty to affluence to happiness. It is up to each of us. There will always be successes and failures. That's free will.

Janeen Clark
7 years ago

"lazy" has been thrown around a lot, lets think a bit about that word , who is lazier the man who inherited billions form his fathers oil industry and has thousands work for him while he going to strip clubs and doing lines of blow ? is lazy the owner of a business who does 1 percent of the work for 80 percent of the income while the rest his employees are literally owned by him. what they eat how much they see their children is dictated, he controls what hours of the day they are there how they allowed to speak to him if they have enough to take kids to hospital or not . who is lazy? is lazy the bank owners and the people who work on wallstreet who contribute nothing but make money off other money? is lazy those who have drivers butlers maids garden men multiple homes ? is lazy the government officials that accomplish nothing but send us to war to rib resources and exploit other countries and murder human beings for sport? we dont know what lazy is because it only means what the brainwashed think it means . is lazy doing what has been done for thousand off years or updating our social system to match our tech and knowledge about human behavior and it's consequences?

tic cat
7 years ago

Money are just numbers on paper. Some people use this numbers to establish the social hierarchy and are the basis in classist ideologies like capitalism and communism. I prefer something like smart cards with no numbers on it, who can give the full acces . The cards should be received only if people work as a guarantee for those who think that some folks are lazy.

Philip Fong
7 years ago

Current fiat economic system have been exploited by the minority who created overvalued speculations, gambling with confidence beyond the limit based on future wealth generation.

Job creation is much slower than population growth hence, widen the gap between the rich and poor, countries in the verge of bankruptcy since all progress are debt that has no ending.

Helping a small group is just charity far from equality that no one will feel proud doing dirty hazardous jobs let alone passionate about it, imagine sports, the 4th is the same as last, how does that feels? Blame it on luck / fate or destiny?

All these arguments are thinking inside the box (problem), until you can think outside the box (solution), you are just another slave.

7 years ago

Money is nothing more than numbers printed on paper.

7 years ago

There have ALWAYS been the haves and the have nots. That is life.The hard working, frugal man, will always have more than the liberal socialist that wants to sit on his arse all day long "contemplating" life. Who will "earn" the money if there is no one to do the work? Who will pay the money if there is no wirking?

Daniel Quincy
7 years ago

This is possible if we begin cleaning the **** out of earth orbit and begin large mining operations to bring the wealth needed to accomplish this. It would only work well if we can move on from internal combustion engines for the most part.

What do you think billions of people with loads of money and free time are going to want to do? They are going to want to travel and party it up in ever more remote and beautiful places at least the few that are left.

I don't know if you have been to most parts of the world but some people are just straight up criminal, looting, polluting savages with no respect for public lands or often even private property. I see the rivers and creeks and the cities here in Washington state with litter and trash up and down them. Hell I just found a large garbage bag of old cannabis stems from an illegal grow just clogging up the creek I swam in as a kid. People need to learn to respect themselves and the environment or honestly they have zero business getting guaranteed minimum income until they understand that concept.

7 years ago

what would the solution be for people that are lazy, or have an addiction?

7 years ago

This is propaganda for the Cloward-Piven strategy.

7 years ago

Money has to change. We need to fire the falied banking system that has brought on this pending world economic collapse.

Janeen Clark
7 years ago

this is the future.