It would cover all my current expenses handily. Of course, I'm young and single but by no means frugal. (I find that the little costs involved in worrying about my expenses easily outweigh the money saved.) So this is quite an income.
One of the main questions about something like this is about who would do boring, low-paid work with this sort of basic income. What I would really hope is that people would still do many of those jobs, but for far fewer hours--largely as a way to get money for incidental expenses and luxuries beyond the basic income. One problem I find with most jobs is that it's much easier to get more pay than less hours, even if I really want the latter. There is a large drop-off between full-time and part-time work.
Beyond a certain level, I would value having more free time far more than making more money. Unfortunately, mostly for social reasons, it's hard to express this preference. A basic income could make this much easier to do.
While I suspect this might not pass, I think it would be very valuable for the entire world. One of the unfortunate realities in politics is that it is really hard to run experiments; small countries like Switzerland can act as a test subject for the entire world. Or perhaps like a tech early adopter for modern policies.
Either way, this passing would be very interesting.
: For me, this is not quite as simple. In reality, there are plenty of jobs where I would be happy to work relatively long hours. But this stops being a question of pay, or even "work": after all, I'm happy to spend hours and hours programming for free. Being paid to do something I really like is wonderful, but it really changes the dynamics in ways that probably do not apply to most people.
You can't really just convert to $ and say it's a lot of money. A lot of basic stuff like food, transportation, housing are really expensive in Switzerland.
== Swiss Franc is most overvalued currency
The actual explanation is a lot simpler; McDonalds employees are more expensive in Switzerland than in the US. You can see the same effect where I live, in Norway.
Up to transaction costs (inc shipping) and trading restrictions, this really should happen, so it's interesting to explore why it doesn't. Typically the culprits are artificial limitations (e.g. international trade restrictions) or low-value goods where shipping costs are large relative to the cost of the item, or goods which spoil easily and so can't be easily shipped.
If you can't explain the disparity with transaction costs and trade restrictions, then there must be some other reason for CHF being so high relative to the USD. One possibility - CHF is viewed as a hedge for various risks (inflation, market crashes). It is typically anti-correlated with the S&P500, for example, and correlated with market volatility, so it's good to be holding it in a crisis. The same applies to JPY, and the opposite applies to AUD and CAD, which are seen as risk-on currencies.
In my experience as a Norwegian, the parity argument isn't even close to true in the real world. There are lots of non-perishable goods here which are imported but are a lot more expensive than they are in the US. For reference, there is a 25% VAT on everything and there is occasionally an import tariff on the order ot 5%. Also some special taxes on vehicles, tobacco, alcohol and fuel, but I'll keep those separate.
Most goods here are a lot more expensive than abroad. Clothes and shoes are 2-3 times more expensive than in the US. Ditto for furniture and most non-perishable goods you would buy in a store. All food is 2-3 times more expensive, even imported, canned goods. This is in line with the labor required to stock and operate a store. Electronics are usually ~30-40% more expensive than abroad if you get them in the right place, which does more or less match the parity theory. My guess is that this is because buying these goods on the Internet is a viable option (in contrast to groceries, clothes, shoes, food, medicine, furniture etc). Hence these retailers are forced to conform, or go out of business. I am not sure how they are able to do this, whereas a clothing store or a supermarket is not. But this is what I observe. The cheapest electronics retailers are very low on staff and high on automation.
Long story short, locally labor-intensive products are obviously a lot more expensive in expensive countries. But higher salaries also have a very large effect also on the cost of imported goods, because there is a lot of labor involved during the shipping, import and sales process. If you are able to automate away some of this, you have a massive business opportunity. But it's a very obvious opening, so it is not a trivial task.
I understood I was getting 'western' luxuries in an expensive city, but it really drove home the concept of "cost of living" someplace moreso than abstract calculators. :)
1. Automatic drink maker: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PgiT5b8Z5UE
2. Automated drive through machine: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nxz6DSwL17s
3. Electronic order terminal: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UB4wqyVRn7o
4. Full on vending machine convenience stores: http://www.nytimes.com/2003/11/13/us/vending-machines-don-t-... (Failed, or were reduced to Redbox?)
Some projects take off, some fail. I like the automated order machines, but maybe they confuse too many people.
They probably don't roll all this out super fast, because being as large as they are, there's enormous risk in changing everything over night. I'm not sure, they may have to balance the shiny new methods against the interests against franchisees, who don't want to constantly retrain employees. But probably (hopefully) most of the good ideas are being tried out in some McDonald's somewhere.
They probably don't yet have "the robot that makes 360 gourmet burgers an hour,"
But maybe it's easier to experiment with things on the margin at that size, so replacing your entire burger process probably lags a few years behind the technology.
You can say the same for any corporation or institution out there. Why are colleges still teaching the same way since 1850?
So, in terms of this limited real-asset convertability, yes it would be true (see footnote above).
Border is nonexistent for all practical purposes so this is very doable.
Stopped, searched (me, my gf at that time and the car) and drug-tested.
Out of curiosity, I wonder if you can use that money to live somewhere cheaper, maybe without letting the government know. If you can, I think that's a problem to solve before this deal can go through.
I believe this would not be a problem in the long run for the following reasons:
- A lot of boring low-pay work is unnecessary (dealing with the endless paper trail of over-complicated bureaucracies, lots of things that companies do, like telemarketing, just because it's so cheap, etc. etc.);
- A lot of it is necessary, so it would just become more expensive. At some price, people will be willing to do this work despite the basic income. Many people actually enjoy doing meaningful work, be it plumbing or being a doctor. It's the soul-crushing pointless work that is so depressing;
- This would then create strong economic pressure to finally use technology for what it's good: automatize labor. No longer would there be the job loss dilemma;
- Likewise, this would create strong economic pressure to simplify everything: no more pointless bureaucracy, no more over-complicated taxation schemes that require an army of accountants, much less pointless meetings and other corporate fat, and so on.
I'm filled with hope by this idea and honestly believe that it has a chance of working. It's time to step into the next era.
On the other hand, I'm wondering what a minimum livable wage does pricewise and scarcity-wise for all goods and services that those on a minimum livable wage earn. There would probably be an upwards inflationary effect on the prices of those goods, countered by economies of scale. This would apply to pretty much all basic expenses except housing, which would largely only go up because you can't make more land in desirable places.
If there is a minimum livable wage, I would still imagine that opting to only use it and no other income would still force you to leave city centers where rent is too high to afford. You may still have to worry about losing your job, because the minimum livable wage wouldn't cover your rent or mortgage.
You can build up, which most places don't do. What we'd see is fewer houses and more condos/apartments.
> You may still have to worry about losing your job, because the minimum livable wage wouldn't cover your rent or mortgage.
Yes, but it transitions the effects of this loss to "move somewhere else and have fewer luxuries" not "have no home and be unable to eat", which I think is an improvement.
Per capita income in the United States in 2012 was $42,693 . Assuming that would remain unchanged, taxes to fund a basic income of $22,200 that would leave $20,500 per capita.
Per-capita state tax collections are already 2,435.11  and federal tax collections are $8,528.22 . Most states have to run a balanced budget but federal revenue only covers about 65% of outlays, so really we're looking at about $13,000 per capita federal spending that eventually needs to be paid for. So subtract $15,435 to cover current outlays.
Now we're at about $5,000 left over to pay for everything else: food, clothes, utilities, rent/mortgage, education, and all the other local taxes that fund essential services, e.g. local sales taxes, property taxes, various other fees and excise taxes.
Even if you did away with other "safety net" programs such as welfare and food stamps because they are replaced by basic income, there simply isn't enough REAL economic activity in the country to give everyone this kind of basic income.
Given that entitlements are ~60% percentage of federal, this might be easier than you think.
Edit: Back of envelope --
$3800 per adult from cutting MIC spending from $1 trillion to $200B which is still more than any other nation.
$4000 per adult from eliminating Social security including disability.
$4800 per adult in total health care savings from switching from our crappy system to the UK's.
$12,600 per adult
Not quite what the Swiss are proposing but $100 more than the federal poverty line. And we get better health outcomes and fewer wars to boot.
The US is obligated, by treaty and policy, to provide mutual defense to most of the world. The US military has additional moral obligations to minimize civilian casualties, as well as political obligations to minimize both time expenditure and friendly casualties.
These requirements are historically unprecedented and contributes significantly to overall cost. In the 1990's, the US and NATO managed to put an end to ethnic cleansing in the former Yugoslavia through direct military action without incurring any significant casualties. In 1991, the UN-mandated Persian Gulf War incurred so few friendly casualties, it was statistically safer for coalition troops to serve in the Persian Gulf than to stay at home simply because the added casualties from combat were less than the reduced casualties from car accidents.
In any case, there's a much better way of overlapping the two: require 2-4 years of national service and then designate the basic income guarantee as a veterans' benefit. (It wouldn't have to be military as there would be other options for conscientious objectors). This would increase military manpower, make it less likely to go to war unnecessarily, reduce youth unemployment, provide near-universal job training to reduce unemployment in the long run, solve the college debt problem via the GI Bill, and reduce social stratification by throwing everyone into the same situation early in life. And if you don't want to do it, then you don't get basic income and you don't get to vote. But that would never happen.
The parties at the other end of those mutual obligations manage to do so at way lower (in absolute, but also in relative terms) budgets. The obligation is not "the USA will save you", but "we will help each other", and that, somehow, has become "the USA will produce an extraordinary amount of weaponry and keep an enormous military force; in exchange, we keep pretending that the US dollar is a sound investment".
Also, nitpicking: I don't think it is most of the world, as it excludes, at the least, almost the entire former USSR, China, and Pakistan.
This is also far from the sole requirement that keeps costs up. Probably the more important factor is the incredible amount of cost expended to minimize friendly casualties. It's not enough to simply win a war, we have to win it very quickly and with very few casualties. China, as a counterexample, has no political need to make sure the war is wrapped up before the next election, nor any PR requirement to keep their own casualties exceptionally low. Instead, they can control their own media and--thanks to the one child policy--practically have a surplus of young men.
For NATO, that's purely the way it gets executed. The only thing special about the USA in http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natolive/official_texts_17120.htm is that it is the place where the treaty is kept. Otherwise, the treaty is symmetrical. There are/were NATO (not only US, but also from other countries; for example, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NATO_Air_Base_Geilenkirchen#Ope... shows there still are 12 other NATO forces in Germany) troops in Germany and not in the USA because that was the most likely front of World War 3.
The USA made tremendous efforts to help Europe in world war 2 and the Cold War, but it could have slowly decreased its effort once the western economies recovered, if it wanted to.
According to Wikipedia, the situation with Japan, technically, also is mutual, but (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_of_Mutual_Cooperation_an...):
"It was understood, however, that Japan could not come to the defense of the United States because it was constitutionally forbidden to send armed forces overseas."
Given that this was forced on Japan by the USA and given the huge geopolitical influence he USA has, I would think they could have changed it, too.
The USA may have laws or morals that make it feel obliged to do more, but that are things it does to itself. I remain that the situation is (utterly simplifying and ignoring lots of facets):
- the USA polices the world, but cannot really afford to do so.
- large parts of the rest of the world keep financing the USA by ignoring that 'cannot afford' part. That keeps the dollar as a fairly strong currency.
And yes, the cost of surgical strikes can be way higher than that of a "win this war, whatever it takes" approach.
How does that follow?
Since reproduction is limited by the female population in humans, any gender imbalance in favor of men is effectively surplus.
It could also make war more likely by increasing the warrior mentality. People in warrior societies don't seem to go to war less, historically.
I don't dispute your major points. However, I would say that your claim that "the US and NATO managed to put an end to ethnic cleansing in the former Yugoslavia" is a bit lacking in nuance.
Having spent a bit of time in Serbia after the Kosovan war, I saw little evidence that NATO reduced the amount of ethnic cleansing going on and a lot of evidence that NATO deliberately killed many civilians. The former Secretary-General of NATO, Lord Carrington, even claimed that the NATO bombing caused ethnic cleansing.
But this doesn't negate your main point and is a little off-topic - sorry about that - I just wanted to mention that not everyone thinks the NATO action in former Yugoslavia was a good thing.
That in now way sounds like it requires the US to spend an extra 800 billion per year on its military.
Consider that many developed nations have compulsory military service (Finland, Norway, South Korea, Singapore, Israel, Switzerland, etc.), and yet people still manage to start new companies there.
If the service is obligatory for all, it means you're taking a million of people at the peak of their intellectual capabilities, and force them to do mundane tasks for half a year, or a year. Also, some people will fake their medical records to get out of this.
If it's not obligatory for students (like it was in Poland), people will find some bullshit universities to skip the service. And the vision of being force to essentially be imprisoned for a year if you get thrown out of university, will not be fun for anyone. This is how it looked like in Poland.
But - if I'm not mistaken - what made Poland change the law were those factors:
- it's costly. you need to mantain 1% of population fed, clothed and so on for a year or so. plus you need to maintain a huge infrastructure for this. that alone would cost U.S. how much - $15k * 4M = 60 billion? a year?
And that doesn't include the fact that those same people would otherwise bring in much more profit to the society - say $40k/year on average. So the hidden cost here goes another 160 billion of a hidden cost in case of U.S.
- it's inefficient. the wars are not won by who has more manpower anymore. they are won by the ones who have better technology, intelligence and logistics. So that 4 million army would be blown away by 100 thousand army of better trained and better equipped soldiers.
Finally - look at the countries you mentioned. They aren't exactly known for their entrepreneurial spirit, are they?
If you reduce national service age and compulsory education age to 16, then national service would take place between ages 16 and 20. Beginning university at 20 after four years of life experience would probably be more beneficial than detrimental, and you've subsidized the training of lots of skilled workers in the process.
Somebody in this thread also mentioned that it's a luxury to own any car in Switzerland - but that's just not true at all. In fact many apartment blocks have underground garages for cars.
It's just that with such an excellent public transport system (really it's unbelievably fantastic) you can pretty easily get by without a car. Especially in the bigger cities like Zürich.
In most of the US, it is a necessity to own a car, as you probably can't get to work without one.
Last time I heard this in 1980s in Communistic Poland from Communistic Party Propaganda Minister Urban explaining to Polish people living under communistic rule why buses are better than cars. You just think you need a car, bus will do :-) Interestingly enough they (communist party) also used the argumentation of lack of private cars ownership as being beneficial to the natural environment.
I'm not confusing anything my friend. You are the one confused by marxist propaganda spread in Europe by people like its President ex-Maoist Barroso. This what I'm talking about is standard of living. I could care less about average income in Switzerland of 100k chf a year if it doesn't buy me a mortgage for a nice house and 2 new cars in the driveway. Enjoy your trains!
The best places I know have people who are working from higher-layer motivations, and corporate cultures that encourage that by treating people as adults, supporting them, giving them wide latitude to get things done, et cetera.
The worse are the opposite. The people there are desperate for money to survive. The corporate cultures are disempowering, controlling, contemptuous.
It's commonly thought in the US that these are just two different sorts of people, the high-class creatives who should be given latitude, and the low-class proles who must be controlled like surly teens if they are to get anything done.
But that's not true. For example, Toyota's great success comes mainly from treating factory workers with deep respect.  And it works here, too. This American Life tells the story  of Toyota turning GM's worst plant into one of the best. Same people, just a different culture.
So if people are receiving a basic income, jobs will have to shift toward the model that motivates people through the higher end of Maslow's hierarchy. Money will be part of why people show up, but it would not longer be the only reason.
 Liker's Toyota Kata is a great book on this.
For menial labor, most of it can/will be automated.
For undesirable jobs that can't be automated away, employers will have to make the jobs desirable. One way to do that will be to increase the pay, but, that is not the only means for doing so. There are many things employers can do to make employment more desirable that have a low or zero net cost. I'd even argue that some of those things would save money/resources in varying amounts even absent the pressure to do so.
One very good and interesting effect that I predict is that individuals whose employment places them in ethical dilemmas will no longer have as much pressure for compliance with potentially unethical demands, since the entirety of their livelihood no longer depends upon compliance.
hn commenter on minimum wage threads: everyone work for minimal sustenance.
bay area employees: Look how good we are at pushing ads on people!
If you're less concerned about supporting yourself, you can spend time on problems that are important but aren't profitable.
That statement says a lot about how you think; everyone is not like you. Many people take pride in what they do and do it well regardless of compensation, it's not about the money, it's about the fulfillment one gets from a job well done.
I would love to see a small country like Switzerland incubate this policy.
Recognizing reality does not mean that you personally have some fundamental flaw in how to view work.
If you believe this utter nonsense then you have not seen much of the world.
I do not mindlessly ascribe my value system to the rest world, you have to take the world for what it is and not what your quixotic idealism would have you believe.
I think that with basic income, this question would not make sense, and that's exactly the reason that I like the idea so much. The reason why people do boring, dirty and dangerous work for little money is that there are folks who have no skills that would enable them to get a more fulfilling, cleaner, safer job that pays more. Those people depend on income, any income, to live, so they do the dirty jobs, and since there is a large pool of these workers, the shitty jobs can even pay just enough to survive.
With a decent basic income scheme, i.e. the basic needs of the people taken care of, the job market would probably flip: You would have to pay people very well for doing unpleasant work, and not so well for fulfilling jobs.
In those cases, all the "dirty" labor is done by legal/illegal immigrants that are not eligible for said basic income and thus willing to work for much less.
IMO this is the central problem with the idea of a basic income. Either it has to be so low that it is on the "just don't starve" level (thus making it unattractive compared to any job), or you have to lock your borders, shutting down migration.
(Don't just reply with the obviously-bad first-order effect on the country receiving the immigrants; remember that bad things would also be happening to the labor pools of all countries without this policy.)
In the case of Switzerland, I think the first-order effect greatly exceeds any other effect on the neighbouring countries's labor pools. Because Switzerland is freaking small (7 million people - the size of a big european city) and is surrounded by large countries (Germany, France, Italy).
So let's say you get 2 millions people from each of the 3 large countries, that's 6 million people. For the large countries, this isn't such a big loss. But for Switzerland, it's almost doubling the population, which is going to be a huge problem in term of finance, housing, transports, etc...
I would never say people of a minority culture/ethnicity can't be racist against that culture, but I think we often have a more nuanced view of "racism" than people of the majority culture/ethnicity. My family immigrated to the U.S. from Bangladesh, and integration is an important issue to us. We see a lot of immigrants who refuse to assimilate, and we believe that it's detrimental both for them, because it makes it harder for them to take advantage of all of the opportunities of American society, and detrimental to the people who live around them, because there presence creates cultural schisms within communities that cannot be reconciled. I don't think there is anything "racist" about pointing these basic facts out.
(Mildly interesting that you mention Muslims and sharia, but don't mention Jews and Beth Din).
There are some serious failures of the UK method - faith schools are a scary abomination; Beth Din and Sharia courts have led to child abusers and wife beaters not being reported to police, but just moving to a different part of the country (to continue abusing), women are unable to obtain a religious divorce, etc.
But there is a problem with "assimilation" - it means different things to different people. I'm happy if people can either speak the language or are learning the language or have made some effort to learn the language. And I'd like people to have some understanding of the EU human rights stuff we've signed up to. And I'd prefer people not to wear a full face cover when they're providing me medical treatment. And I'd prefer schools to conform to a national curriculum.
But other people are just racist, and they'll use "assimilation" to complain about other people. They'll often talk about things that just are not true (IMMIGRANTS GET HOUSES QUICKER!!) or they'll confuse terms ("Asylum Seeker" vs "illegal immigrant" vs "immigrant" vs "migrant worker"). As a nasty example of this see the GreenWave group, set up by the far right National Front as a stealth recruiting group, campaigning on ritual slaughter and drawing people into other far right issues once they've signed up.
We address assimilation by giving people a computerised quiz: "Life in the UK".
Assimilation is something that the Borg does. It can be forceful and is primarily an act of the collective.
"Integration" on the other hand comes from a desire to be part of a society. It's more of a soft osmosis type effect.
Wait, why is the grandparent post considered racist and yours is not ?
Wife beating ("preferably" using nothing more than locking them up and a twig) and doing anything you want to (your own, or bought) children, is perfectly legal in islam (/sharia, which is the same thing). So you claiming that those things are bad, is no different from saying islam is bad, which is far more racist than what the grandparent post was saying. He merely claimed that large amounts of muslim-only areas are causing problems, whereas you're the way of life that makes someone a muslim is immoral.
Believe it or not, different religions don't just differ in dress and the form of the cross in the front of the building, they have different values. Islam was created by a military conqueror, it's values center around that. The basic promise of islam is not that allah will give muslims a good or healthy or happy life like Christianity promises, it's that allah will make them victorious over others. The return effort that is demanded from muslims is that they should make allah victorious. And yes, that last statement is followed by, if possible without fighting if needed by any means necessary.
As if that wasn't enough to make your post racist, you put another whopper in there : "And I'd prefer schools to conform to a national curriculum". You want to take the right of people to educate their children as they see fit away ... How is forced education into a state-sanctioned ideology any different than what's called indoctrination in China ?
Your post is not just far more racist than the posts you're complaining about, it's also far more worrying. If the state thought like you did, we might as well ask Saudi Arabians to take over our government.
> many muslim immigrants refuse to assimilate to the point of wanting to be governed by separate sets of laws
That's a tiny minority of the UK's immigrant community. Drawing general conclusions from such an unrepresentative sample is intellectually dishonest. It's the kind of argument seized upon by hate-mongers.
(the "soft" examples with some balanced views)
Just go ahead and pretend that this is not a bomb ready to go off in about 10-30 years when the minority becomes the majority.
Then ignore facts and basic crime stats, dangerous religious views being encouraged, increases in violence and hostility, the formation of no-go zones, active tribalism practices amongst the immigrant groups even passed the 3rd generation, rejection of democracy, etc.
Pretend those are all just figments of our imagination.
Then use words like "racist" and "hate-monger" towards anyone that does not subscribe to your fiction.
The truth is a badly implemented immigration policy based on false premises dose nothing but change a society with a few miserable people to a society completely full of miserable people (on both sides - native and non-native).
It does not even matter it is only a "minority"...
It takes 100s of people, and 1000s of man-years, to construct a building.
It takes 1 person 5 minutes and 1 gallon of gasoline to burn that building down.
Center for Social Cohesion: One Third of British Muslim students support killing for Islam
And I'm the ignorant one.
Five or ten years ago, I would have told you that this kind of politicised bigotry was entirely outside the British mainstream... only practised by a tiny, shabby fringe. These days, I'm dismayed to admit that the BNP and their UKIP mini-me's have managed to spread their filthy ideas much more widely.
However, it seems to me that you feel so strongly about the issue that, even if immigration did create big social problems that wouldn't otherwise exist, you still would be accusing anyone who pointed that out of being racist. Basically, "that's racist" is not the conclusion of your argument, but rather the premise, and you're using it as a thought-terminating cliché.
Or at least that's my impression as an uninvolved observer, even though I'm more sympathetic to your position.
[1: I hope the British hackers don't get too offended, that was largely tongue-in-cheek.]
"LOL... Multiculturalism doesn't work"
When issues are not addressed on time they produce nazi states.
Politicised Islam in Britain - and the associated terrorist actions that result - has done a great deal to generate support for parties and groups such as BNP, UKIP, or EDL.
Look at the low income rates for Pakistanis and Bengalis. Immigration of those people to the UK is not recent.
(1) Racist is a good shorthand term for these people, idiot is another.
A great influx of immigrants lured by the "basic income for everyone" concept will most probably greatly lower economic efficiency. This is not because the immigrants would be lazy; this is because they would mostly lack appropriate education, work qualifications, knowledge of the language, and the general culture fit. They'd have hard time becoming as productive as an average American even if they all wanted to.
Of course, the government would be able to print enough money to keep the nominal basic income sum the same — but not the standard of living.
Switzerland, a country with great and deep-ingrained work ethics, could consider such an experiment for _its citizens_. Doing this for any strangers that care to show up is another thing entirely.
For anyone in the US; In Denmark, there is practically no jobs that pay so little, as to be insufficient for keeping a humane standard. And anyone who argues otherwise, simply doesn't know how it is outside Denmark.
If you are on bistand (Danish unemployment benefit) you get about $22,894 per year (https://www.borger.dk/Sider/Kontanthjaelp.aspx). Obviously the figure is higher if you are on dagpenge (unemployment insurance), but this is not directly comparable to the dole since it is partly financed by workers through AKasse membership.
As regards Doven Robert, I'm well aware of his case, but one lazy punk with a talent for self-promotion is not representative of unemployed people in general. This is the intellectual habit that leads people to say, "but it was cold today, therefore there is no such thing as global warming!".
It's true that Denmark doesn't have minimal basic income by law, but since most jobs are unionized, the unions have set a basic income. See this translated version of minimum wage on the danish wikipedia .
> is in paid employment
> is self-employed
> provides services in Denmark
> is a retired worker, retired self-employed person or retired service provider
> has been seconded
> is a student at an educational institution accredited or financed by public authorities, and s/he is able to support him/herself during the period of residence in Denmark or
> disposes of such sufficient income or means so that s/he is presumed not to become a burden on the public authorities
There is also a family reunification clause, which I've been told is very rarely granted. As for the registration certificate, it gives you a social security number, without which you are a non-person in Denmark.
In general, the previous Conservative, extreme right-wing supported government toughened the laws on immigration.
So the introduction of a basic income would make demand for illegal immigrant labor increase. By standard economics, this means that the price of illegal immigrant labor would increase, so even the illegal immigrants would benefit. Sounds like a win/win to me.
This is an interesting premise.
It would probably cause a lot of firms to be started, that compete to do those 'shitty jobs' - that could potentially drive the cost down and be done much better.
This experiment would be VERY interesting indeed.
And it's that big a political experiment that the most powerful country in the world still doesn't dare to replicate it in its entirety.
That's the problem with those comparisons: it's easy to point at the precise body count of radical experiments that went the wrong way, but quite hard to enumerate the lives saved due to those that worked out. Kind of survivorship bias in reverse.
I'd guess the establishment and enforcement of sanitary standards (which, at the beginning, was considered quite radical) saved more people than all dictators of the world together managed to kill. But that's as hand-wavy as anything else in this subthread.
As a rule they tear down, or kill all of the people who oppose them. Which leads to a radical shifting of institutions in a country, to such a degree that post dictator, the places almost never revert to a state that resembles what they were like pre-dictator.
Dictators consistently alter the course of history for the places they rule.
I understand that you are saying that as we know the results, these things are not radical. I disagree, known results can be very radical.
I'd imagine that in the absence of communal action, the tendency would be for wealth to accumulate to the minority that own the automatons. Either the ownership of the automatons would have to be distributed or people would need to receive a "free" income. The latter seems like a gilded cage?
Isn't that already the case? Boring jobs = accountant, lawyer, engineer (to most people), fun jobs = musician, actor, artist (again, to most people, or at least teenagers). I shudder to think what the median income is for those fun jobs.
However, going some decades into the future the whole thing might look different. Given that we can manage to still gather the planets ressources without stagnating, uneducated jobs will become less and less important as more and more can be automated through robots, intelligent information systems such as Watson's successors and so on. At that point the ratio of revenue to salary will be extremely skewed towards highly educated jobs, making it (a) easier and (b) probably necessary to channel some of this wealth to insure everyone can keep up with education. Note that we already do that now through a wellfare system that allows anyone to get by and get a degree, even at the prestigous ETH Zurich (tuition 1400$/year). At some point a basic income may become cheaper than a welfare system, but that's not now.
The proposed basic income seems to come out at around 34%. Now tell me (a) what basic income will achieve more than what we have already in Switzerland and (b) how we should come up with the remaining 14%.
 http://www.pa.uzh.ch/news/NeueLohnreglemente/Sozialversicher... left column: percentage of salary paid by employee, right column: percentage paid by employer, so just add all those numbers up
For the greater good of humanity (and Norwegians), Switzerland will make a useful laboratory. It might even work. Sorry, but that's how it is.
On a related note: In the light of recent history I more and more come to believe that exactly these checks are what's missing in the USA. We Europeans have a lot to thank the Americans, first of all the Republican system they pioneered - however our nation founders have gradually improved on their template. It'd be about time for them to roll out version 2.0, based on all the things that have been learned about shortcomings. Step one would be to not allow a single person to completely blockade a political process in congress.
Compared to you guys (Swiss Federal Constitution: ratified 1999) we aren't even driving horse and buggies. We're on some wobbly farmer's cart pulled by a mule.
The thing is - as you say - it's important to not be dogmatic about these sort of things - and dogmatism often seems to me part of the American way unfortunately. While the latest amendment to the US constitution apparently has been passed in 1992, the constitution has never been completely revised. Noone seems to even propose such a thing, since the 'founding fathers' obviously haven known best. Many shortcomings, like the election system and the lack of direct democracy, seem to go back to the limitations of information travel and organization back in the late 18th century. Others, like the president's veto power, are stranger, since the idea of a clear separation of powers go back to well before the founding of the USA - it's hard for me to explain how George Washington was able to get this through, but it seems obvious from a European, French Republic influenced standpoint that it doesn't belong there. And the ability of the speaker of the house to block a vote? Come on, that's a systemic bug that should be squished with the reaction time of a Microsoft hotfix.
There is little worse than creating jobs—I equate that with creating inefficiency. (Creating careers is another story.) But the more things we can automate, the more humans can live leisurely, thoughtful, happy lives. I for one would enjoy nothing more than to work full-time on my programming language projects without worrying about where my next meal will come from.
P.S. Hi Tikhon! Coming to BA Haskell User Group on the 18th? https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/bahaskell/W0g4J-c5Dh...
I wonder how much of that is due to habits and regulations that are necessary in the absence of basic income. When most people are full-time workers, and when most people need to be in order to survive, it's not surprising that the entire economic system gets optimized for full-time work.
Lots of government regulations are also designed with full-time workers in mind, with the assumption that most part-time workers want to "upgrade" to full-time a.s.a.p. For example, in some jurisdictions it is illegal for an employer to employ a part-time worker for more than X hours a week (nearly full-time) without giving them benefits equivalent to what full-time workers get. This makes it very difficult for an employer to maintain an ongoing relationship with someone who prefers to work 20 hours a week. Not enough hours to justify full-time employment but too many hours to keep on the part-time payroll.
Policies like that are necessary to protect workers in a world without basic income. In the long term, I imagine that a guaranteed basic income would make a lot of current employment-related regulations unnecessary, leading to more flexible terms of employment. But it will probably take a decade or more for Switzerland's economic system to adjust to basic income, and I really hope that the pain of the transition period doesn't make them call it a failure too soon. (I can already see the FOX News headline: 3 years after Switzerland implements basic income, their unemployment rate is up 20%! See what happens when Commies take over your country! etc. etc.)
We can (and most likely will) move towards a large part of society working part-time - why should that part have less labor rights than everyone else?
I don't expect everyone to agree with me on the following, but I think "labor rights" as we know it are not inalienable human rights, but a set of legal mechanisms to improve the bargaining position of employees. If something like basic income makes it possible for people to quit unfulfilling jobs without having to worry about putting food on the table, I think that will dramatically improve employees' bargaining position and make a lot of existing labor rights redundant.
That said, I don't think a basic income experiment with a successful outcome would cause us to take the notion seriously in the US.
Portugal's decriminalization of drugs in 2001 comes to mind. By all accounts, it was a great success, which we've largely ignored. The dozens of countries with single-payer health care systems that deliver better care for far less money are another regrettable example.
Here's hoping Switzerland undertakes what looks to be a fascinating experiment.
There's zero chance they'll switch to direct payments. It does away with the power, which is the entire point of having a sprawling bureaucracy - so people like Reid and Boehner and Pelosi can act like they're little kings.
This is dogma on the right, but it echoes surprisingly often from the left as well.
I am absolutely in favor of cash as the best anti-poverty method. It's also the most respectful of people who are, after all, citizens. If you wouldn't like to be told by the government what foods you are permitted to buy for your family, why should you feel good about imposing those restrictions on anyone else?
The difference is that when one is receiving charity it's expected that the giver is free to apply conditions. If I see you're starving and give you money for food and you instead spend it on a weapon so you can rob people then I'm going to next time buy the food first and give you that.
As food transport is costly and solved within the markets already food vouchers make sense.
I would prefer to be given food than to starve. Indeed I think an identity linked card with food credits would probably be best, then the vouchers can't be stolen.
Of course people could barter away the food ...
Perhaps a path from basic subsides that encourages people to think about how to manage their own cashflow: a) credits for specific basics as a starting point and fallback and b) after education and coaching, incremental more fraction of cash (as atm/check card) given as budgeting and receipt tracking skills are demonstrated. If they slip (off budget or failure to track), it's back to plan a) and possibly trying to get back on plan b) again. This way, people can choose to become more accountable for managing their own existence rather than assuming big mother "always knowing best." It also has the side-effect of instilling some self-confidence, regardless if the person is otherwise capable or not of gainful employment. It might give just enough confidence to pull someone up out of their condition to a less stressful existence or perhaps occasionally into self-sufficiency.
The main interest of minimal income is to shift the power balance between employer and employees: today, most employees have a choice between complying and starving. Actually in many countries they have to do both. With minimal income, it becomes a choice between compliance and comfort rather than survival. Negotiation between them and their employers can happen again (people still value comfort)
Really? What's the grand total number of starvation deaths in United States or Switzerland?
Grandparent was implying that the only choices are sub-par employment or starvation, end of story, which sounded a bit sensationalist.
Switzerland's per capita GDP is about USD 79000/year, so assuming 80% of the Swiss population are adults and citizens, this would cost about 34% of GDP, which may be unaffordable.
It's really annoying that people say "it's unaffordable" to mean "we don't want to pay", when the phrase is supposed to mean "we can't pay, we don't have enough money". I understand why people don't want to part with money, but at least let's be honest.
If you sort everyone from poorest to richest, and plot their incomes on a graph, basic income just means that the slope is flatter than before . As long as the area under the graph (GDP) remains the same, it's technically affordable.
The flattening is accomplished by (a) taxing the rich more, and (b) a gradual reduction of salaries and/or working hours as the market finds a new equilibrium.
What matters is political will, and it seems that Switzerland has more of it than most of the other developed countries.
 http://i.imgur.com/IGkHoma.png (Sorry, it looks like crap because I just drew it in MS Paint.)
Edit: Fixed graph. The red line is now curved properly.
In civilized countries you're not going to pay $30,000 for any required medical procedure... There are some advantages to universal health care...
The affordable question is one of: where the money's going to come from? How will small or large businesses, poor/middle-class/wealthy private individuals be required to support it?
The initiative's organizing committee said the basic income could partly be financed through money from social insurance systems in Switzerland.
I don't think the initiative people really have a clear idea.
Isn't that the whole point of any policy that implies a massive redistribution of wealth? Of course the money needs to come from higher taxes. Ergo, "What matters is political will."
As I said, it's really annoying that people say "it's unaffordable" to mean "we don't want to pay". This usage masks the real problem, which is political will (or lack thereof), not the physical scarcity of USD or CHF.
"It's unaffordable" can certainly mean "we don't want to pay". It can also mean "Are there enough rich enough people and businesses that can pay, that this can be passed, or can reasonably be collected?"
It is a question of political will, and it's annoying when people lambast that question with criticism as simple selfishness.
Redistribution often hits hard on middle income earners. I'll be impressed should something like this be passed, and the earning figure simply pivots on the median earner instead of gouging earnings from the middle-class.
I wonder at what point Swiss high earners, or wealthy Swiss companies, will move to somewhere like Luxembourg to protect that wealth? Or is it simply not possible in the mind of a Swiss national to do so?
Unless/until the money runs out, which might happen more quickly than you think if, indeed companies and wealthy individuals start packing up and leaving the country.
The Swiss people might not want to pay the amount of tax that would be necessary to have citizens income at that level.
I think Georgism ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georgism ), which doesn't tax income, but it only taxes land (so, not earned income) is a better approach to get a sustainable and more fair distribution of wealth.
I try to look at the whole system, and I don't see how it would work.
Also, see http://thelastpsychiatrist.com/2012/11/hipsters_on_food_stam...
I understand the tax would be on the value of the land, not on its size (from your comment I'm not sure if you understood in the same way). The tax only "forces" you to sell assets/property that you don't need or use to generate your income. I don't think this is bad.
I don't see how taxing (land) property you are taxing liquid income too. The tax amount that you will have to pay doesn't depend on your income, so it doesn't penalize your productivity (which typical tax systems do, as they require you to pay more when you earn more).
Your statement about productivity might hold true, if it weren't for the fact that (at least here in my state), the tax value of land is based not only on unrelated market factors, but also on improvements and use of the land. Therefore, if you remodel your kitchen, the taxes on your home will increase. (Yes, they often do here - you have to pull permits to do this work within the city, and the county assessor monitors permit issues.)
However, I do generally agree with the concept that property taxes are better than income taxes (which is one reason why I live in a state that utilizes this model), however, I can see that it creates downstream problems, especially for renters. That is to say, if I am renting a property, I would be foolish to not charge a margin on all costs - therefore a 5% tax to me becomes a 5.5% cost to you - I would charge a margin for fronting the taxes for you, and to compensate for periods where the property is un-rented.
Actually, I think Georgism is designed to make it difficult to get money by renting property (unless you provide additional value)! This would help to better distribution of wealth because it would make it difficult for rich people to get richer by just buying and selling (or renting in this case) without providing additional value.
BTW, what's your state?
> This would help to better distribution of wealth because it would make it difficult for rich people to get richer by just buying and selling (or renting in this case) without providing additional value.
I can't disagree with this more. Typically, real-estate investors bridge a temporal problem between a selling user today, and a buying user tomorrow. If there were no such investors, selling users would be inhibited from realizing the value of their property until another suitable user was ready to purchase the land. This could create a complete standstill in some markets, and cause lots of property owner-users to face major issues in hard economic times, when selling their property could get them well over it. There is an entire section of town where live (Houston, EaDo) where this temporal bridging allowed a lot of industrial users to move out of the city to less expensive locales, and then eventually that area to turn into more residential and mixed-use because the industrial users were able to sell it at a reasonable price when they needed to, and the investors took the risk of holding on to the property for years (in some cases decades) until the market demanded more value for the area.
There are many that would argue (myself included) that the taking of risk by the investor to capitalize the user-seller today, even if there is no existing user-buyer, is providing additional value in the market. Without going into meta-discussion here, much of the underpinnings of our entire system are based on the recognition of value in resolving these sorts of temporal problems.
Moreover, making it more difficult to rent property will do more harm to the poorest amongst us, who can least afford to outright buy it. Most of the rental houses I've seen available are not owned by extremely wealthy people (for good reason: rental houses are generally poor performers in regards to ROI), but instead by middle-class families, who choose to rent out a house rather than sell it. There are, yes, rental blocks of apartments - but I would argue these are the kind of activity you want, most of the large ones I know of are owned by REITs, who tend to pool a large amount of money from a large amount of people (mostly institutional ownership, and IRS rules limit the individual ownership in a REIT) to purchase, develop, and then operate land. If there is no possibility to continue to rent land once developed, then what purpose is there to develop it?
The state I live in is Texas.
If you want to create better distribution of wealth, preventing people from investing in real-estate seems like a very rough and roundabout way of achieving this. Why not address the low-hanging fruit first, like incentives from the government. Here's one I'd start with: extend the time to hold on capital gains (and while we're at it, take a good look at carried interest and washing rules for tax-loss harvesting!), and give a refundable tax credit for putting money in qualified college savings accounts.
It would still be possible to continue renting land once developed, but people that want to do that should think about ways to provide an added value that they can charge for. The real-estate business would certainly change with this new taxation.
I agree that there may be small changes that could help to create a better distribution of health, but I don't think they would be so effective. Besides, things like what you suggest, even if helpful, they complicate the government even more, with more laws, more incentives (which I think distort the reality, sometimes causing more problems than solving them), and another aspect that I like of Georgism is that it simplifies things a lot (there would be only a single tax).
Maybe some people find it too radical, I don't know, but what's clear for me is that the current system is not sustainable. Maybe when the current system collapses completely it wont't be too radical anymore :)
By the way, one of the replies on Twitter says the curve on the right should be linear. Nope. The fact that the curve on the right still has a noticeable slope is the only thing that keeps Friedman, Hayek, and all your favorite (left|right)-libertarians on board the scheme.
We can argue of course about the indirect consequences to the economy, e.g. how it would affect the competitiveness of Switzerland if unpleasant jobs suddenly require a more attractive salary.
ii) You protect children, because they are innocent victims.
iii) People taking drugs might be addicts, and need health care to treat their addiction.
But other than that, once they spend the money it's gone and if they don't have food then they go to a charity or route around in bins.
We talk about the social housing in the UK, but it's hard to get social housing, and being a person who is homeless because of drink means you're going to end up in hostels at best.
Edit: fixed typo.
In today's Swiss welfare state, all people living in Switzerland already have full access to what actually already is a basic income (or even more), just not fully unconditional.
You're right -- so my initial figure was more accurate.
Basic income is just a redistribute tax mechanism, but it's one that tries to remove bureaucracy and politics from social security programs surrounding qualifications, etc.
So, yes, this programme would cost _something_, but it wouldn't cost 34% GDP.
If you consider progressive taxation as a high tax rate with a discount for lower incomes so they get enough money to live, then basic income, which provides enough money to live, can replace that discount. Just like it replaces welfare, unemployment benefits, etc. It's going to make social security and the tax system both a lot easier, and cut down a lot on bureaucracy.
"One of the main questions about something like this
is about who would do boring, low-paid work with
this sort of basic income. What I would really hope
is that people would still do many of those jobs,
but for far fewer hours--largely as a way to get
money for incidental expenses and luxuries beyond
the basic income. One problem I find with most jobs
is that it's much easier to get more pay than less
hours, even if I really want the latter. There is a
large drop-off between full-time and part-time work."
I guess you know because you've seen it tried so many times?
Here is a fact for your non-economist economic model. Automation is displacing labor.
And, here is a prediction: Automation will continue to displace labor until most menial labor tasks are gone.
"Because robots ..."
You didn't really counter the argument against inflation. It's actually a very reasonable position, the appearance of Cylons really doesn't change anything.
When automation increased productivity during most of the last century, demand grew and economy prospered. When towards the end of the century, automation started to cannibalize jobs, we started to rely more and more on debt. And that's where we are today.
While there is likely some inflation, it would be really interesting to see how it balances out (if it does) against the benefits of added extra demand.
Demand for labor, or demand for products?
>When automation increased productivity during most of the last century, demand grew and economy prospered. When towards the end of the century, automation started to cannibalize jobs, we started to rely more and more on debt. And that's where we are today.
You're hinting around the most important distinction between then and now (or the not too distant future). For many goods, we are entering a time where we can produce more than we are able to consume. We can continue creating artificial scarcity to keep people employed, which kind of makes labor the product. Or we can relax our ideas about how to distribute the proceeds of peoples' collective efforts. I don't think that it is tenable to continue with the artificial scarcity model because automation is just too attractive to industry.
Actually, this is less of a problem in Switzerland than in other countries. Specially at the low end of the income scale, it's easy to get jobs in the 30-50% range (100% being 40h/week). Just the fact that people here think in terms of an x% job should tip you off that it's pretty common.
A cup of coffee in Starbucks may cost $6. A cup of (a better) coffee in any cafe 2-3 CHF. Can of Coke is about the same if bought in a touristy place, but in a grocery shop it's a 2L bottle that will be that much.
> Cost of living is extremely high.
It's not. Cost of luxurious living is extremely high. In Geneva, in Zurich, perhaps in Bern and Basel. But you drive 10 minutes out of these cities and you have people who earn 40K CHF and live safely and decently, while still working in Geneva, Zurich, Bern and Basel. Things do cost more than in other countries, on average, but then an average Swiss lives well enough not to ever need a Wallmart.
(edit) You can downvote me all you want. I lived in Switzerland for few years, so $6 can of Coke is the Swiss version of bears on Moscow's streets - it's a cute bullshit.
Swiss cities often rank at the top for most expensive cities in the world so yeah, I'd say cost of living is certainly on the high side. Of course they also rank at the top for quality of life but that's another side of the same coin.
Lastly, my numbers may not be current or correct (last I went to Switzerland was July '13) but your tone is certainly rude and out of line. Sorry I didn't represent Swiss prices correctly, thanks for the correction.
Also, you should realize that people who might be interested in these 2500CHF will not be living in Zurich, which is more of an exception in terms of cost of living in Switzerland rather than the norm.
A simple google search shows Switzerland as one of the most expensive countries in the world. Usually following Norway or Denmark. So why am I factually incorrect?
I searched for 'worlds most expensive countries'. Maybe I did something wrong ?
Of course I know everyone doesn't live in Zurich but the average cost of living is still relatively high outside of Zurich/Geneva. Also, I mentioned in my initial post that this is a good deal so we are in agreement for the most part.
Look up Switzerland within any measurement of it.
Income taxes are low, but you get reamed in the store for daily goods and food.
What's really pathological about the US system is that there are gaps where work or other effort is either directly disincented or is so foreign to poor/unsuccessful people that they view being successful as being a traitor to their culture/race/neighborhood/etc. And that for large groups of people, the only way to achieve success appears to be zero sum.
There are plenty of places in the states where there is absolutely no opportunity. Take the Mississippi delta for example. Spend some time there and your view on poverty will probably change a bit, it is very much like a third world country where hard work won't get you much beyond survival.
I didn't realize the Swiss have slums and projects. The only Swiss people I know are high-SES, and from my limited time (<3 days) in the country, I didn't see anything less than awesomeness.
One nice thing about Swiss: there are no homeless people, they'll put any they find up in a shelter or hostel until they can find permanent housing for them; though some younger tourists will squat in various abandoned buildings, it's their own choice.
Also the high prices often also have a quality bias with the Swiss normally buying higher quality. An example of this is discounters such as Aldi or Lidl having a small market share even though they offer fresh products (which they do to a much lesser extent in other countries).
But our costs aren't even remotely comparable to Zurich's. You need a lot more money to live there, especially if you even semi-regularly go out to eat. It's bad enough that when Swiss people come back through customs from other countries, their trunks are searched for groceries, not drugs.
Not even the Swiss German speakers ;-)
$33,600 * 100 million = $3.36 trillion (20% of GDP)
Good luck with that. That by itself is about $900 billion more than the total federal tax haul for 2012. Then throw in the other 50 million adults making less than $33.6k per year, assume a solid added cost of at least 25% of GDP.
It's pure fantasy, and completely falls apart when you start doing the actual math.
It's actually a very good idea, supported by people all across the political spectrum. You should read up on it before dismissing it.
Worse still, the way in which these people are currently given the money makes it economically idiotic for them to go and find a small amount of work, since they'd often end up getting less money overall, so they're trapped in this life of which you don't approve.
But I have a thought experiment for you.
"One of the main questions about this is who would do boring, low paid work..."
First, let's assume we are starting from scratch and reassigning what "work" is compensated with pay and what work is not.
For the purposes of our thought experiment, ignore "low paid" and "high paid" below, because we have not yet decided what work will be compensated with pay, let alone how much pay. Hence "boring, low paid work" becomes just "boring work".
Next, let's further assume that "boring work" describes the type of work that people do not normally want to do.
And here's the though experiment: What if the converse of "boring work" (e.g., "interesting work") was not actually "work"?
That is, what if "interesting work" was not compensated? What if people were not paid for doing what they are naturally inclined to do, i.e., for doing what they love?
What if we only compensated people for doing "boring work"?
Remarkably, this actually does not sound too far from reality. Because that is exactly what many people do in order to be compensated: boring work. Similarly, many of us do plenty of "work" for which we are not compensated.
What's different about the thought experiment is that we reassess whether persons who refuse to do boring work in favor of interesting work should actually be paid. After all, they are doing what they love. And they would presumably do this regardless of payment.
If only the "grunt workers" get paid, then we have created an incentive to do grunt work. We have not removed the incentive to do more interesting, "higher level" work because that incentive does not find its basis in compensation, for this is the "work" that people actually want to do, regardless of payment. Or so that's what they always tell us.
The people who already do them: immigrants, which make up more than 20% of the population of Switzerland.
people who talk about this always do so with the assumption that someone else would do the boring, low-paid work. but if you think about it, why should boring work be low-paid? it's unpleasant and time-consuming, so it should ideally be paid commensurately.
You would essentially create the startup-country #1. Everybody could now cherish their dreams again and make them real. You don't believe it right, that's "stupid eastern communism thinkblarg", right? How comes you Sir, Madam believe in Kickstarter, Crowdfunding, Bitcoin, P2P, Wikipedia.. and the individual freedom, so to say the american dream, when you actually have to rely on the mercy of the rich and your leading political party? Isn't that a wet dream reserverd for the 1:100.000? Let's chill and put into retrospect on what would happen if you were getting a salary that allowed you to get your basics needs fulfilled. You would be less sick, stressed, worn out. You would now be able to do what you always wanted to do in your life. Hey admit it, you wanted to buy a house at some time and have a wife and children and you knew that you'd have to work hard, the half of your life to get there. Believe it or not, but giving people freedom doesn't mean blindly trusting them. You are only one and the community you live in that government that likes to keep you locked into boundaries called country, consist of many of the smartest people on the world. Why not let them free, who do you trust if not them?
We're far from a Star Trek world, where anybody get's free access to medicine and any food or resource he needs.
Dear patriots, don't be afraid that your Governments managed it to go bankrupt, they've managed that already and not for the first time. It's time you your friends, families understand that the people you thought were the cause, aren't the cause. It's your Government stupid. I don't say hate Governments, but do you blindly trust a complete stranger to care for your baby? Certainly not.
For those who're not still convinced that an unconditional income is a good idea:
Why do you blindly trust your Government word-by-word to judge on your and everbody else's life's? When these people cannot even cooperate with just a few hundred other politicians? You see how wrong it is to not trust all people, but a selected few. Let's get over the indoctrinated prejudices and get to know each other again. Hi =)
http://www.globalincome.org/English/BI-worldwide.html covers the tests - not unbiased but has useful facts and data on where to get more info.
The permanent income hypothesis was formulated by the Nobel Prize winning economist Milton Friedman in 1957 and can be read in his Book .
Just as an understatement, you can see which country has the highest backing of entrepreneurial activity .
 http://thumbnails.visually.netdna-cdn.com/which-country-back... and http://www.internationalentrepreneurship.com/total-entrepren...
Computers and robots.
Not true quite yet, but will be in the next few decades.
Half jokingly, I would say "Portuguese immigrants". I once went to Zurich for a conference and, on the day of the flight, was unshaved, poorly dressed (two hour sleep night before the fligbt). Man, was I drilled by the border police about my intentions in Switzerland. They were convinced I'd be moving there to serve tables or such (I'm a s/w engineer...). Apparently, there is a huge flow of my compatriots over to Swiss menial jobs.
If it's more expensive to hire people to do crappy work, then the relative utility of robots goes up. It doesn't strike me as a particularly complex problem to make robots to collect people's trash, or similar jobs. Most of the low-wage jobs are very mechanical and routine in nature.
My (probably wrong) impression was that hardly any Swiss work those kinds of jobs anymore as it is, and that the country relies on migrant temporary workers. How true is this?
Also, your comment is great in general. It really made me think.
But more than that, it's quite possible that boring, low paid, unattractive jobs will have to become better paid or more interesting if they're essential jobs, and they might disappear entirely if they're not essential. I think the quality of jobs is likely to increase because of this.
Switzerland is incredibly expensive. I don't really think it's accurate to do an actual comparison with exchange rates.
The cost of living in Switzerland is among the highest in the world.
that salary would barely cover my cheap rent, and maybe 3 month of food...
it is like living in san francisco with a "good salary" from the outskirts of idaho.
Software and automation.