Sunday, June 5, 2016

THERE IS HOPE: Basic Income Plan Clearly Rejected by Swiss Voters

Switzerland has become the first country in the world to hold a nationwide vote on introducing an unconditional basic income. SwissInfo reports that despite a spectacular pro-basic income campaign, there was no hope of it winning a majority.

Official final results show the proposal winning just 23.1% of the vote and all the country's 26 cantons coming out against.

There is nothing wrong with helping those truly down on their luck, but this should be done by private charity, not via government coercion backed up by the barrel of a gun.

It is an insult to the generous people of top tier nations to think that they must be coerced into  providing charity.


(ht Felix Bronstein)


  1. It's not about charity or helping poor people out so much as it is buying votes and political power. Coming soon to the country you live in.

  2. The basic income idea is a good one. As robots take over more and more jobs it is only a matter of time until unemployment numbers surge everywhere. Under the current system this will lead to falling demand, business closures, recession, depression and starvation. Basic income will stop this from happening as it will translate into demand for goods and services. The problem is how to fund it as the current debt based financial system cannot cope with basic income. The answer according to Ellen Brown is public banking where money that is not debt is given to the public as basic income. Keynes pointed out that if demand is kept from exceeding supply issuing money is not inflationary so theoretically basic income, if carefully managed, can work effectively.

    1. Carefully managed with a 5 year plan?

    2. Long shot, I was sincerely looking for the punch line in your post, but I guess you are serious?
      Who can decide what a basic income is? The minimum wage folks can't even decide what a "proper" minimum wage is. $10.10? $15? $25?
      So who decides what "basic" would be.
      I work my butt off, so a couple steak nights a week, going out to a nice restruarant, buying a new 4 wheeler, a new car every couple years, a new gun, (hopefully at least a new gun once a month) these are basic to me.
      Is my income going to be the basis of basic? If not, why not?
      And as we see with welfare today, what incentive would we have for innovation? Why would anyone risk his capital if he is guaranteed a "basic income"?
      I see this as a step toward a dull, meaningless community.
      Plus, no matter who said what, money has to come from someone, to give it to another one.
      We don't need more socialism, we need more freedom, more Liberty from the State, so we can innovate and supply what the market demands, with new exciting ideas and products.

    3. The problem with BI is that it will severely distort the labor market to the point that society will start to break down for want of people to maintain it.

      Work has to be worth the marginal increase over not working. BI means much higher taxes on one hand and income without work on the other. A full time job is then only worth the marginal difference between tax home pay and BI (which will be after tax or result in tax exemptions).

      As taxes increase and BI increases this squeeze becomes tighter and tighter. Who's going to do the stressful, dangerous, dirty, and/or unpleasant work for full time for an additional $10K or $20K? This stuff that keeps society functioning and technology working and improving cannot be and won't be done by robots. You really need to like money or a job to be bothered to. Maybe people will move in and out of work as they need a little extra cash. Maybe salaries will go up to attract people away from BI.

      Whatever it is, the distortion would be be massive.

  3. Btw, good on the Swiss! Just another reason to admire them.