Contrary to what most people had expected, the Swiss population is not for establishing a universal basic income to every citizen. As it turns out, only 23% of votes was for this solution. Quite a disappointing result, but also a valuable lesson about free money.
No Basic Income In Switzerland
On paper, the concept of establishing a universal basic income for every citizen in Switzerland sounded great.Independent group Bien-CH managed to obtain enough positions to make residents vote on this proposal, and experts assumed a lot of people would vote “yes.” But as it turns out, they were plain wrong, with less than one in four favoring this solution.
The concept of a universal basic income will not go away all of a sudden, though. It is clear this proposal was rather rough around the edges and needs warrants a lot of rethinking the strategy. Providing 2,500 Swiss Francs per month to every citizen may have been a bit too optimistic. Especially when taking into account how children would receive 625 CHF on top of that.
Moreover, Y Combinator recently announced conducting an experiment with basic income in Oakland. The plan is to pay select people a basic income over the next five years and study their consumerism behavior. Similar experiments are scheduled to take place in Europe later this year and in 2017.
It comes as no surprise to find out the Swiss government was not for the universal basic income by any means. Funding this idea is the big hurdle to overcome, as money cannot be created out of thin air [unless one is a central bank]. Large tax hikes are one option worth exploring, although the consumer would take offense to that.
Another proposal would see all electronic transactions being micro-taxed moving forward. This is another way to ensure cash remains in circulation in Switzerland, rather than going cashless altogether. The numbers would add up for this particular proposal, yet it remains a mystery as to why the government opposed that idea as well.
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