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Swiss to Vote on Guaranteed $2800 Monthly Income for All Adults

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.

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the theory behind this

is that you need money to work. not the other way around, like we are used to think.


In a tiny country like

In a tiny country like Switzerland, where the population is fairly homogenous it should be easier to reach agreement among their people, theoretically. I'm not saying they don't have disagreements, but compared to the US... I mean, there just is no comparison.

One argument for an automatic guaranteed income

is that it would be cheaper than the existing welfare bureaucracy and
reach everyone that needed it - as compared to the existing system where
a huge whack of the expense goes to overhead.

Brazil has adopted something like this - if your income is below a certain level
you get a modest amount of cash from the government - people with dependent
kids get more if the children attend school and get medical checkups.

There's an interesting discussion of this in the 1947 book "Communitas" by Paul and
Percival Goodman:

"Their book examines three kinds of possible societies: a society centered around consumption, a society centered around artistic and creative pursuits, and a society which maximizes human liberty. The Goodmans emphasize freedom from both coercion by a government or church and from human necessities by providing these free of cost to all citizens who do a couple of years of conscripted labor as young adults." (from Wikipedia)

Here's the Amazon link, although the book is available free online at archive.org


Another good point is if we ended all the social and welfare

programs and instead just started giving everyone an unconditional basic security net instead,it would reduce inflation in areas where the government pays the bill(healthcare,housing,education etc.)Giving people control of how the money is spent is far better because when they have to pay their own bills they would start asking how much thing cost which is the key market force that causes price competition which drives down costs.It would be capitalism instead of fascism(What we have now).So even though the money would still come from wealth transfer it would be far better than what we have now.Also it could be easily implemented and funded just using the current social security system with a fraction of the administrative costs.Of course if we could get the control of the supply of money away from the banks,it would even be easier to do.
Instead of the bankers robbing us,we could be paying interest on loans to the treasury which could fund the basic income without any taxation whatsoever.

Just Think!

Two Weeks Ago We Had Enough Money To Bomb Syria!!!

Milton Friedman - The Negative Income Tax

For such a smart man, and a man that I usually agreed with, it is pretty wild that Milton could not realize what a disincentive the "negative income tax," aka a "guaranteed income," would be.

how bout Ronald Reagan

early in his career, he talked about such things. Of course, he was a demopublican then

"Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the the universe."-- Albert Einstein

the idea is that there is

the idea is that no matter how much you make, you will never lose your minimum income payment, so there's no disincentive from fear of losing welfare.

Phxarcher87's picture

I dont think you can retire

There if you yearly income is less than 100k a year.

James Madison

I agree

It is very expensive there.

I have been to the bars there and it was very dear but they were well designed and the beer was good.

I did not go for groceries there but I bet they would be expensive too. Unless you are a farmer there, food must be a big expense.


Cyril's picture

I've stumbled upon this document a while ago :

I've stumbled upon this document a while ago :

(the right most column of the table on page 11 "Working time required to buy..." is especially interesting)

Prices and Earnings A comparison of purchasing power around the globe

Edition 2012 (linked PDF)

"Cyril" pronounced "see real". I code stuff.


"To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous." -- Confucius

Bingo, that's the question

What is the purchasing power of a franc there, not the dollar here. 2500 francs might actually only buy half that in product there compared to what 2800 dollars would buy here.

If I disappear from a discussion please forgive me. My 24-7 business requires me to split mid-sentence to serve them. I am not ducking out, I will be back later to catch up.

Well, the thing is that

Well, the thing is that because of their whole immigration system, labor has a lot more relative power. Wages are quite high (which feeds into higher costs for goods as production cannot rise as quickly to meet the higher demand).

Also, the quality of many goods is simply superior to the USA. See here, a GMO bread loaded with preservatives sells for 2 dollars, while a healthier, natural bread that goes bad in two days sells for 6 dollars. Americans generally choose the preservative-laced bread. This of course drives the cost of the GMO down and the natural bread up.

In Switzerland, you probably couldn't get enough consumption of the GMO bread at $1. This drives the cost of the natural bread down, but it is still not as cheap as the GMO bread since it simply costs more to make. But the Swiss would rather pay $3 or $4 for that kind of bread.

It is ironic, because for a socialistic country, the people really do practice the idea of not just basing everything off its monetary cost. And not just quality...

Plan for eliminating the national debt in 10-20 years:

Overview: http://rolexian.wordpress.com/2010/09/12/my-plan-for-reducin...

Specific cuts; defense spending: http://rolexian.wordpress.com/2011/01/03/more-detailed-look-a

Alaska also has a basic income

It's supported by a share of resources. Everyone should keep the fruits of their labor, but natural resources should be shared to provide a basic income to eliminate the need for welfare.

In Alaska they get royalties

In Alaska they get royalties on the oil, which if I'm remembering correctly can be as high as a few thousand dollars per year during good years.

There's a country in the middle east, I forget which one, where all of their citizens get a share of the oil profits. Not just measly royalties but they get so much that all of them are basically rich.


I Like That Better Than...

A FIVE HUNDRED MILLION DOLLAR BONUS (500,000,000.00) to Exxons CEO!!!

Then on that issue they were

Then on that issue they were both dead wrong. "Money for nothing" is just negative behavior reinforcement.

Cyril's picture

Oh dear. And I thought the Swiss would know better...

Oh dear. And I thought the Swiss would know better...



Works SOOO great, as one can see :


Doesn't it?


doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

"Cyril" pronounced "see real". I code stuff.


"To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous." -- Confucius

It will be interesting to see

It will be interesting to see what percentage of Swiss citizens are sufficiently corrupted to think that everyone (rich or poor) should receive free money directly stolen from workers.

Please visit my site for more information about my libertarian book. Thanks!

If the gvt.

gives every adult 28oo a month...why would anybody work? Where would the 2800 come from then?

Oh that's an easy question to answer

The United States would send them the money!


" In Thee O Lord do I put my trust " ~ Psalm 31:1~

LOL! And there's the rub!

The utopian planners figure on changing human nature...exempting themselves, of course!

shareholders to vote on exectutive compensation

is a law up for popular vote this year too; stripping board members of chronyism.

It's spelled...

Wow! I used to think the4 Switzerland was the most free nation.

Free of foreign entanglements...

Free of tyranny...

But this changes everything.

"We have allowed our nation to be over-taxed, over-regulated, and overrun by bureaucrats. The founders would be ashamed of us for what we are putting up with."
-Ron Paul

Good Grief!

The suckers will be straining at the leash to get some of this free money, wait until they find out what they have to give up for it when the paymasters implement the required contract that will be necessary for it to function.

The conditions of the contract will come under the title of "Social Responsibilities", and nobody will be any wealthier because the money will be evenly spread, and as such, the competition in all markets will push an upward adjustment in prices.

I'm beginning to believe that the "Cloward–Piven Strategy" has been policy for some time and is now entering it's penultimate stage.

The Weight of the Poor: A Strategy to End Poverty:
Frances Fox Piven and Richard Cloward | March 8, 2010

This article appeared in the May 2, 1966 issue of The Nation.

How can the poor be organized to press for relief from poverty? How can a broad-based movement be developed and the current disarray of activist forces be halted? These questions confront, and confound, activists today.

It is our purpose to advance a strategy which affords the basis for a convergence of civil rights organizations, militant anti-poverty groups and the poor.

If this strategy were implemented, a political crisis would result that could lead to legislation for a guaranteed annual income and thus an end to poverty.

Read on...

This reminds me of what F.A. Hayek envisioned

"The assurance of a certain minimum income for everyone, or a sort of floor below which nobody need fall even when he is unable to provide for himself, appears not only to be wholly legitimate protection against a risk common to all, but a necessary part of the Great Society in which the individual no longer has specific claims on the members of the particular small group into which he was born." F.A. Hayek


"There is no reason why in a society which has reached the
general level of wealth which ours has attained . . . security
against severe physical privation...the certainty of a given
minimum of sustenance . . . should not be guaranteed to all
without endangering general freedom. . . . There can be no
doubt that some minimum of food, shelter and clothing,
sufficient to preserve health and the capacity to work, can be
assured to everybody."

Hayek, The Road to Serfdom, p. 147-148


So everyone can do nothing

So everyone can do nothing productive or essential to a demand-driven economy, produce kids like they were factory parts and STILL get paid. What a deal.


never would have supported something like that. I'm surprised that Hayek did since the floor would inevitably rise over and over like our minimum wage laws.

"Endless money forms the sinews of war." - Cicero, www.freedomshift.blogspot.com