A Japanese Billionaire is Giving Away $9 Million to People on Twitter to See if it Boosts their Happiness. Research says it might.

Yusaku Maezawa, A Japanese billionaire has found some attractive ways to spend his money.

Yusaku spends recently $57 million on a Basquiat painting and has reserved every seat on SpaceX’s first flight around the moon.

Currently, Mr. Yusaku has promised his 1,000 Twitter followers to give 1 million yen ($9,000) each.

Yusaku Maezawa, who made his fortune in fashion on Sunday announced that “He will select the recipients at random from a group of followers who retweeted a post of his on January 1.”

Yusaku said he views the offer as a “serious social experiment” to see if free money of him can boost an individual’s happiness.

The give-away he added, “is driven by a curiosity about universal basic income — a system that essentially pays someone simply for being alive. The concept has been touted by presidential candidate Andrew Yang, who has vowed to give $1,000 a month ($12,000 a year) to every adult US citizen over 18 if he gets elected. “

He said that he will track the results of his social experiment through regular surveys of the recipients.

The Payments are not basic Income

Previously, He offered to distribute 100 million yen (917,000) among 100 of his Twitter followers last year.

According to The Asahi Shimbun (Japanese Newspaper), He coordinated with the winners via direct message on Twitter.

His brand new offer came after two months of Online Fashion Business, Zozo Inc, that he sold to Softbank for $900 million.

The money that he is giving away to his twitter followers doesn’t qualify as a basic income since the recipients get a one-time payment instead of a consistent stipend.

“Basic means a regular minimum amount offering a sense of security,” Toshihiro Nagahama, a senior economist at the Dai-ichi Life Research Institute, told Reuters. “What Maezawa is offering is different.”

To be honest, his offer doesn’t come with any strings attached or stipulate any eligibility requirements (Winners don’t have to earn below a certain income, for example).

In that sense alone, the payments resemble a basic income more than certain government-backed welfare initiatives.

Can Basic Income Improve Happiness in Human Life?

Finland’s trial was universally considered a flop because it yielded some fabulous results about the relationship between basic income and well-being.

On regular, the participants disclosed that they were happier and healthier overall than other unemployed residents.

As to Yusaku’s Question about whether money can buy happiness more generally, A 2010 Gallup poll explored the subject through a daily survey of 1,000 United States residents.

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The survey found that was having a very low income exacerbated emotional pain while during negative life events such as illness and divorce.

The individuals of the United States with hight incomes tended to be more satisfied with his or her lives.

Virginia said, “I appreciate the program a whole, whole, whole lot, I’m going to see a loved one who I don’t know how much longer I’m going to have. It was hard for me to do that before this money came.”

Yusaku said that his payments are meant to inspire more debate about basic income in Japan.

In 2019 he wrote on Twitter, “I think what everyone wants is not money, But fulfilling dreams.”

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