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Swiss to vote on $2,800 monthly income for all adults

[bold] In a move to combat growing pay inequality, Swiss citizens will vote on whether to give every adult in Switzerland a basic income. [/bold]

BERNE — Switzerland will hold a vote on whether to introduce a basic income for all adults, in a further sign of growing public activism over pay inequality since the financial crisis.

A grassroots committee is calling for all adults in Switzerland to receive an unconditional income of 2,500 Swiss francs — about $2,800 — per month from the state, with the aim of providing a financial safety net for the population.

Organizers submitted more than the 100,000 signatures needed to call a referendum on Friday and tipped a truckload of 8 million five-cent coins outside the parliament building in Bern, one for each person living in Switzerland.

Under Swiss law, citizens can organize popular initiatives that allow the channeling of public anger into direct political action. The country usually holds several referenda a year.

In March, Swiss voters backed some of the world's strictest controls on executive pay, forcing public companies to give shareholders a binding vote on compensation.

A separate proposal to limit monthly executive pay to no more than what the company's lowest-paid staff earn in a year, the so-called 1:12 initiative, faces a popular vote on Nov. 24.

The initiative's organizing committee said the basic income could partly be financed through money from social insurance systems in Switzerland.

The timing of the vote has yet to be announced, pending official guidance from the government.

by Anonymousreply 2410/06/2013

they are small and insular, but very fortunate.

by Anonymousreply 110/05/2013

We need that here.

by Anonymousreply 210/05/2013

$10,000 minimal annually in the US. This would greatly reduce the homeless and mentally ill in the streets. A lot of crime and inmates incarcerated would be lowered.

by Anonymousreply 310/05/2013

r3, a similar proposal was suggested here twenty years ago. The idea was abandoned. The government knew people would piss away the money and be back with their hands out for more.

by Anonymousreply 410/06/2013


My God, we could never do it sheerly because we are HUGE with a constantly growing population...but can you imagine?

There'd be all out civil war.

by Anonymousreply 510/06/2013

It would be civil war without end.

by Anonymousreply 610/06/2013

R5 we spend all our money on war anyway...we are the world's murderers and terrorists.

by Anonymousreply 710/06/2013

As the article says it's an initiative by some citizens.

It won't get through, just like the 1:12 initiative. BTW $2,800 as a single person won't get you far in this country.

by Anonymousreply 810/06/2013

It would never work in this country because we hate treating everyone equally. Immediately, one group or another would try to get a bigger piece of the pie.

by Anonymousreply 910/06/2013

Do people just not understand the basic laws of supply-and-demand and inflation?

Unfortunately, creating this kind of artificial baseline would merely inflate the costs for everyone and potentially lower the standard of living overall because the rest of the working people would not receive an increase in pay. Also, the tax base would need to be increased, further taking income away from working people - the tax base is primary the middle class. The rich would still be rich, however.

Now, if income equalization is the intent it makes sense. But, isn't the point to raise the standard of living?

by Anonymousreply 1010/06/2013


by Anonymousreply 1110/06/2013

That's not true R10.

by Anonymousreply 1210/06/2013

I think we need to define "standard of living".

When I first went to Europe in 1971 (I was 10, I commented on the lack of litter. My mother's response was that Europeans were too poor to throw things away. She actually considered fast food rubbish thrown on the side of the road an indication of a high standard of living.

The fact is that we Americans need to buy less, eat out less, and pay more for what we do buy. That would actually be an improvement in our standard of living, if it meant we were eating better, buying better made products that will last longer, buying American made products, etc. Our notion of what a standard of living is at the moment is dysfunctional and unhealthful.

by Anonymousreply 1310/06/2013

Even Richard Nixon once considered doing this to alleviate poverty.

by Anonymousreply 1410/06/2013

Puh-leeze. Americans would go out and spend it on Loto tickets.

by Anonymousreply 1510/06/2013

[quote] The fact is that we Americans need to buy less, eat out less, and pay more for what we do buy. That would actually be an improvement in our standard of living, if it meant we were eating better, buying better made products that will last longer, buying American made products, etc. Our notion of what a standard of living is at the moment is dysfunctional and unhealthful.

I want to hug you for posting that but then slap you because of your naivety.

Consumerism has trumped all sense of law and morals in America. We live in a disposable culture. This is all because of our psychosis of "American Exceptionalism." Which in today's terms means upgrading your iPhone.

I wish we could go back to a time when business owners respected their employees enough to abide by Union standards that guaranteed employee safety and security, and made high quality, long lasting products. But the rich discovered it's cheaper to set up sweat shops sans Union interference in far off cultures with different colored anonymous slaves making products we'll have to repurchase in a year once the originals break.

I wish we could go back to a time of home cooked and healthy meals without growth hormones or extra saturated fats. But unfortunately we'd rather stuff ourselves rabid at salt-infested chain restaurants or overpriced scenester restaurants where you can Instagram your foie gras.

I wish Americans cared about America.

by Anonymousreply 1610/06/2013

George McGovern proposed an annual average income for all Americans, instead of the welfare system we had back in the 70's. He didn't propose elimination of food stamps, though. But basically, the idea is still a sound idea.

Let's say that every American is entitled to a minimum income of $1,800 a year just for the sake of this discussion. If you work, and you earn more, you don't get this allowance. But if you're unable to work, you get it.

It's a basic subsistence level that allows you to live, but you can't prosper or game the system. Of course it would put a lot of bureaucrats out of work, because all those "programs" we now fund would be dismantled. It's not a terrible idea.

by Anonymousreply 1710/06/2013

[quote] Let's say that every American is entitled to a minimum income of $1,800 a year just for the sake of this discussion.

How far do you think $1800 a YEAR would go?

by Anonymousreply 1810/06/2013

[all posts by tedious, racist idiot removed.]

by Anonymousreply 1910/06/2013

Sorry, I meant $1800 a month. And that was an arbitrary figure. But I am talking about a basic, subsistence level of income. Certainly not $2,800 a month.

by Anonymousreply 2010/06/2013

R16, You are the one that is a bit naive. We actually were moving towards that point. It was one of the reasons for the lake of economic growth in the 1970s. Sometimes, a plateau is a good thing. Of course the Reagan era destroyed all of that.

Also, unions are part of the problem. Most of good labor conditions prior to the 1940s were because of paternalism. A concept that has fallen into disfavor because of political correctness. However, at the heart of paternalism is the notion that an employer IS responsible for his employees, just as much as a parent is responsible for his children. It was paternalistic employers that took an interest in his employee's health, housing (often making it possible to have employees buy their own homes), education and the education of the employees children, etc.

Unions and big business both set out to destroy paternalism post WWII. Having a cooperative relationship employees and employer did not serve either interest.

by Anonymousreply 2110/06/2013

Argh! lack of economic growth, not "lake"!

by Anonymousreply 2210/06/2013

R16, I think the various think tanks and experts know that we are running out of food and water but they're keeping it under cover right now.

That's why we have all the GMO food. I read an article yesterday about Bill Gates becoming a big investor in this company that makes fake meat and chicken. Said it's the wave of the future and they want to design it in a way that's "affordable."

That alone tells me something is amiss. They claim they use all "natural ingredients" but I have my doubts. (Soylent Green!!!! Is...gasp...People!)

by Anonymousreply 2310/06/2013

R21, I guess you could say antebellum plantation owners had a "paternal" relationship with their slaves.

Union history has been a troubled and dirty history. People have died from poor working conditions and died when protesting poor working conditions. Look up the Lattimer Mines strikes.

Unions didn't chase out businesses, greedy business owners decided they didn't like not treating their employees they way they wanted to, so they outsourced to slave labor where they could treat employees the way they wanted to. And in their tracks, they left a Rust Belt of dying and decaying American lives, towns and homes.

by Anonymousreply 2410/06/2013
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