Japanese fashion billionaire Yusaku Maezawa is giving away $9 million to his Twitter fans in what he calls a “social experiment” to check if the money boosts their happiness.
Maezawa will send 1 million yen ($9,000) to 1,000 followers selected randomly from those who retweeted a January 1 tweet, with the influence of the money to be tracked via common surveys.
Maezawa, who’s to be the first private passenger to fly around the moon with Elon Musk’s SpaceX, is recognized for his high spending on art and SUVs but, also, has a preference for pondering on ideas like a world without money.
He linked the giveaway to the concept of essential revenue, or the theory of offering a periodic no-strings-attached payment to all residents, that has gained fame in some political circles and is backed by Democratic U.S. presidential hopeful Andrew Yang.
Maezawa stated that provided that he “has the money and free time” to make the payments, he felt the need to try and encourage more significant debate over the merits of the theory in Japan.
The thought of a universal fundamental income has gained support over fears technology corresponding to artificial intelligence (AI) will wipe out large numbers of jobs; however, that concern is for now less obvious in Japan with its tight labor sector, stated Nagahama.
Its the second giveaway by the entrepreneur, who in November received a $900 million payday through the sale of his online fashion unit Zozo to SoftBank.
Maezawa, who recently made headlines after his split from actress girlfriend Ayame Goriki, has gathered virtually 7 million followers on Twitter with his mixture of displays of conspicuous consumption and folksy statements on the meaning of life.