In a social experiment watched by the world, Swiss may pay people $2,500 a month for doing nothing

While this sounds great for some people I'm sure, the pure idiocy and more importantly, the poor economics of it made the vote destined to fail... which it did with 77% voting against it. Sure, it would be awesome to get paid to do nothing but surly what the people that came up with this ludicrious idea forgot to consider is that as with anything else that's free, someone has to pay or it. Taxes and/or huge spending cuts would happen and in reality would negate the whole thing and likely make things worse for the poor in effect hurting the people they think they are trying to help. One can only imagine what would happen if this somehow got passed here in America.. it would devastate us, make us 3rd world if anything.

Catherine Bosley, Bloomberg News | May 23, 2016 | Last Updated: Jun 1 3:34 PM ET

The Swiss are discussing paying people $2,500 a month for doing nothing.

The country will vote June 5 on whether the government should introduce an unconditional basic income to replace various welfare benefits. Although the initiators of the plan haven’t stipulated how large the payout should be, they’ve suggested the sum of 2,500 francs ($2,500) for an adult and a quarter of that for a child.

It sounds good, but — two things. It would barely get you over the poverty line, typically defined as 60 per cent of the national median disposable income, in what’s one of the world’s most expensive countries. More importantly, it’s probably not going to happen anyway.

Switzerland’s People Power

Plebiscites are a common part of Switzerland’s direct democracy, with multiple votes every year. The basic income initiative is taking place after the proposal gathered the required 100,000 signatures, though current polls suggest it won’t get any further. The idea of paying everyone a stipend has also piqued interest in other countries, such as Canada, the Netherlands and Finland, where an initial study began last year.


The initiators say the sum they’ve mentioned would allow for a “decent existence.” Still, on an annual basis, it would provide only 30,000 francs — just above the 2014 poverty line of 29,501 francs.

Nearly one in eight people in Switzerland were below the level in that year, according to the statistics office. That’s more than in France, Denmark and Norway. Among those over 65, one in five were at risk of being poor.

“It’s not like you see abject poverty in Switzerland,” said Andreas Ladner, professor of political science at the University of Lausanne. “But there are a few people who don’t have enough money, and there are some people who work and don’t earn enough.”

Great Experiment

Among the proponents of basic income is former Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis, who says it’s necessary as automation and robots increasingly eliminate jobs.

“A rich country like Switzerland has the great opportunity to try out this great experiment,” he said.

The initiative doesn’t lay out the conditions under which non-citizens would qualify.

The proposal is opposed by the government, which says the stipend would mean higher taxes, create disincentives to work and cause a skills shortage. The economy is already hamstrung by the franc’s strength, with businesses warning they’ll move production to less pricey locations to reduce costs.

“We’ve come to the conclusion that such an initiative could weaken our economy,” said Interior Minister Alain Berset.

That view has struck a chord with the electorate: Polls show some 60 per cent also oppose it.

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Good post Dave. It's not enough to say that those proposing this idea are foolish morons but people who even consider supporting this as a legitimate option to people working and earning their own living is beyond logic and reasoning. This progressive liberal mental disease that is infecting much of the Worlds free societies must be stopped. The socialist agenda that is overtaking Europe is also threatening the U.S. The Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton and ex Mayor Heartwells of the World are wielding way to much influence. One has to wonder, what are these people thinking and where this will stop?


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