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Switzerland’S Proposal To Pay People For Being Alive

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http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/17/magazine/switzerlands-proposal-to-pay-people-for-being-alive.html?ref=business&_r=0

This fall, a truck dumped eight million coins outside the Parliament building in Bern, one for every Swiss citizen. It was a publicity stunt for advocates of an audacious social policy that just might become reality in the tiny, rich country. Along with the coins, activists delivered 125,000 signatures — enough to trigger a Swiss public referendum, this time on providing a monthly income to every citizen, no strings attached. Every month, every Swiss person would receive a check from the government, no matter how rich or poor, how hardworking or lazy, how old or young. Poverty would disappear. Economists, needless to say, are sharply divided on what would reappear in its place — and whether such a basic-income scheme might have some appeal for other, less socialist countries too.

The proposal is, in part, the brainchild of a German-born artist named Enno Schmidt, a leader in the basic-income movement. He knows it sounds a bit crazy. He thought the same when someone first described the policy to him, too. “I tell people not to think about it for others, but think about it for themselves,” Schmidt told me. “What would you do if you had that income? What if you were taking care of a child or an elderly person?” Schmidt said that the basic income would provide some dignity and security to the poor, especially Europe’s underemployed and unemployed. It would also, he said, help unleash creativity and entrepreneurialism: Switzerland’s workers would feel empowered to work the way they wanted to, rather than the way they had to just to get by. He even went so far as to compare it to a civil rights movement, like women’s suffrage or ending slavery.

So basically a tax rebate for everyone.

A crazy idea that will unfortunately end up triggering inflation... making the whole policy meaningless and guaranteeing nothing.

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Surely it is a citizen's income scheme?

Yes - already been discussed on here. I hope they do it - just to see how it works in reality. Personally i think it would pish all over the system we have here.

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Yes - already been discussed on here. I hope they do it - just to see how it works in reality. Personally i think it would pish all over the system we have here.

Yes it is a citizens income scheme. I hope they implement, will make an interesting test bed.

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Yes it is a citizens income scheme. I hope they implement, will make an interesting test bed.

The overall benefits bill & the cost of administering benefits exceeds the cost of the proposed 30k CHF a year citizens income, it's an austerity measure :D

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Well maybe the Swiss are nearer the point where it doesn't require people all working 40 hours per week in order to create enough wealth to provide the basics for it's population.

I think the whole developed world passed that point decades ago. It's a miracle the rentiers managed to keep everybody's noses to the grindstone for so long.

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The overall benefits bill & the cost of administering benefits exceeds the cost of the proposed 30k CHF a year citizens income, it's an austerity measure :D

The cost of administrating it ?

Standing order to all swiss of $x on 6th of each month.

Can't be overly complicated. :D

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I think the whole developed world passed that point decades ago. It's a miracle the rentiers managed to keep everybody's noses to the grindstone for so long.

The developed world may have passed that point but it is another thing admitting it with all the ramifications around no longer using work ethic as a control mechanism.

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Its sad that we've got to such a stage...

...but even Milton Friedman supported such a scheme...

http://libertyrevival.wordpress.com/2011/09/30/milton-friedman-supported-the-citizen-dividend/

Unfortunately, in a democracy, 'free' (or rather given in one hand, taken in another), money is inevitable. Its daft, a zero sum game, but given at least 50% of voters are utter morons, the least bad path.

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I fear too many VI's are well suited by the use of unemployment as a labour market discipline for a citizens income to become viable here in Blighty... <_<

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Some thoughts:

It may be a tax on foreigners. If memory serves about 20% of the Swiss population is foreign and therefore I guess would not be eligable for said money. It takes 10 years to become Swiss and you need to pass a citizen test. Even if your kids are born in Switzerland they are not automatically Swiss.

In Switzerland politics is taken seriously and very slowly referenda for everything etc. etc.

As a Middle Eastern Shahk or Russian Oligark, I would be wondering who is paying for this and what the weather and flight time to the Camain islands is

Apologies for the spelling

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Some thoughts:

It may be a tax on foreigners. If memory serves about 20% of the Swiss population is foreign and therefore I guess would not be eligable for said money. It takes 10 years to become Swiss and you need to pass a citizen test. Even if your kids are born in Switzerland they are not automatically Swiss.

In Switzerland politics is taken seriously and very slowly referenda for everything etc. etc.

As a Middle Eastern Shahk or Russian Oligark, I would be wondering who is paying for this and what the weather and flight time to the Camain islands is

Apologies for the spelling

I doubt if it will get implemented, the Swiss don't like being the testbed.

Nice idea though - in 2016 I'll be eligible, though it wouldn't surprise me if they tried to restrict it to those born Swiss, they don't like Auslanders much.

There are hundreds of thousands of people eligible for Swiss passports who don't apply because you pay more tax or have to do National Service, wonder what all those people would do?

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Capitalism does not work. Communism does not work.

Giving everyone the same 'income' regardless of age or background is about as communist as you can get.

However this results in people becoming free to pursue far more things they want to do. Starting a business would become a far more viable option for many. This is about as capitalist as you can get.

Perhaps its the happy medium of both that might just work.. .

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As technology takes over this is going to be happening more and more until we have a workless utopia where the robots and machines do all the work and humans are paid to exist tongue.gif (I'm only half joking - read Ray Kurzweil on the "technological singularity" due in the not too distant future).

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Most people on here believe the average wage isn't sufficient to pay the rent or buy a home.

God knows why some of them think a basic income will be sufficient to allow them to pootle around doing doing things they enjoy for free.

Unless they're already home owners of course.

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Most people on here believe the average wage isn't sufficient to pay the rent or buy a home.

God knows why some of them think a basic income will be sufficient to allow them to pootle around doing doing things they enjoy for free.

Unless they're already home owners of course.

If it was implemented - property prices and therefore rents would HAVE to come down.

Which is one of the main reasons it probably won't happen. Those in power would HATE the consequences of that. Never mind the freedom given to the general population.

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Capitalism does not work. Communism does not work.

Giving everyone the same 'income' regardless of age or background is about as communist as you can get.

However this results in people becoming free to pursue far more things they want to do. Starting a business would become a far more viable option for many. This is about as capitalist as you can get.

Perhaps its the happy medium of both that might just work.. .

The problem is, this won't happen until the land rent seekers are tackled.

If you don't have a way to stop land rent seekers from creaming off excess income, a CI will just be funnelled to land owners instead.

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