Switzerland rejects free money for all

May 2016
71
UK
#1
A landmark vote in Switzerland on the introduction of a basic income was expected to fail at the time of writing.

The proposal would have entitled every adult resident to $2,555 a month whether they were working or not. Those in favour of the idea claim that it will help support those in unpaid work, as well as unemployed people displaced by robots and computers in the workplace.

Critics argue that it will encourage laziness and make the country a target for millions of migrants around the world.

A similar scheme is already being trialed in Finland.

What are your thoughts on this?
 

Naomasa298

Forum Staff
Apr 2010
32,538
T'Republic of Yorkshire
#2
It would perhaps make sense if the government was making money in its own right, rather than through taxation. Otherwise it's asking those in work to support those who do not. Alternatively, as long as it was funded entirely by corporation tax, then it there might have been a case for it. But Switzerland has historically low corporation tax rates.

I believe the $2,555 figure was not actually set in stone - it's just a figure that was considered. The Finnish trial is a lot less, more like $8,000 a year.
 

Nemowork

Ad Honorem
Jan 2011
8,320
South of the barcodes
#7
As an individual if someone was offering me free money to top up my wage i'd have my hand out in a shot and say thanks.

?Unfortunately it never quite stops there.

As a general rule paying people to accept handouts is a bad idea, a society that expects the status quo, for the state to provide and for benefits to magically appear is destined for inertia.

the state is too big and unmanageable to innovate and change, that needs individuals coming up with new ideas, working out their own solutions to problems and choosing to make changes.

training them from an early age that te state will provide is a bad idea.
 
Apr 2016
900
Netherlands
#9
Here in the Netherlands there already is a "social minimum" which is an amount to which your income will be raised if you somehow fall below it.

It is around 1500 eu a month but I don't really know the details. But there are things such as having to mandatory search for a job and/or accepting government supplied jobs.

Personally I think it is a good idea, supporting people in poverty (for whatever reason) costs society a lot less than not doing so. Crime rates drop, there all less costs due to bad health and these people have a lot better chances of getting to supporting themselves again.

People always say that lazy people will abuse the system, but it turns out these people are there but are a rarity. But things like this are not about whether or not it it is fair on an individual basis, the question is whether or not it works as a system and it does.
 

Willempie

Ad Honorem
Jul 2015
4,940
Netherlands
#10
Here in the Netherlands there already is a "social minimum" which is an amount to which your income will be raised if you somehow fall below it.

It is around 1500 eu a month but I don't really know the details. But there are things such as having to mandatory search for a job and/or accepting government supplied jobs.
It is a bit lower and more complex.
Personally I think it is a good idea, supporting people in poverty (for whatever reason) costs society a lot less than not doing so. Crime rates drop, there all less costs due to bad health and these people have a lot better chances of getting to supporting themselves again.
Problem is that that it isn't just that. You get renting subsidies, child support, etc. Basically you name it and we have a subsidy or support for it. Eg a friend of mine with the exact same family situation earns half my salary, yet his net income his higher.
People always say that lazy people will abuse the system, but it turns out these people are there but are a rarity. But things like this are not about whether or not it it is fair on an individual basis, the question is whether or not it works as a system and it does.
It doesn't. Health care costs are an increasing burden on everyone, but the richest. We run a big deficit even without all the sinterklasing (translation giving away) to the PIGS, Ukraine, EU and 3rd world.

Basically there are 2 problems with the system we have:
-The money isn't used for what it is meant for. Eg. We pay into unemployment, but that money is spent elsewhere.
-There are too many of them. Leading to weird situations, abuse and a civil service that would make Kafka jealous.
 

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