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Old 29.05.2013, 10:12
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Re: basic income initiative

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The system where there are no incentives for undertaking an activity becomes inefficient. Gradually, over time, there might be less and less goodies to share, because there might be less and less people willing to make them or deliver services.
Anybody heard the big news about Venezuela importing toilet paper because it is unable to manufacture enough of it?
I know the disincentivized, full-employment system first-hand. Nobody could force one to work, but a token value of money would still arrive on one's account. These money would be mostly worthless, though.
Of course the Swiss have a very strong work ethic, very different to some other countries, granted many just look busy
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  #22  
Old 29.05.2013, 10:17
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Re: basic income initiative

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This proposal needs a lot flesh put on the bones, but it is not as crazy as it sounds at first - mainly because the cost of administering and policing a means-tested system is incredibly high, and doing so is actually pretty destructive. I remember reading a paper where someone was proposing a new welfare system for the US which was based on the idea that everyone could get a free meal whenever they wanted, and the government would subsidize the restaurant a fixed amount for giving it. Obviously, only places like McDonald's and such would offer a "government meal." He then applied the same concept to hotels. the bottom line was that, even with massive amounts of freeloading, it cost less than the existing system, with the benefit of guaranteeing that every person would be fed and no one would have to sleep on the streets.

The basic income idea is not a whole lot farther than that, and the advantages of de-stigmatizing assistance and vastly simplifying the administration are actually considerable. All it takes is a willingness to accept a certain amount of freeloading as a cost of doing business, rather than going broke trying to make sure no one undeserving cashes in.

Like I said, though, the proposal needs a lot of flesh put on the bones. There are myriad ways it can go wrong or out of control. For instance - as a business, the first thing I would do is start slashing payroll. Do we, or do we not want to allow that? how do we enforce that? Where are the taxes levied? (remember, one attraction for Switzerland is low taxes...) how is the money distributed? I'm very curious to see what comes.
sounds great in theory until the freeloading overwhelms the system as people realise they can get food and shelter for no effort and the taxes of those who continue have to go up to cover the cost, giving even more incentive to give up work and freeload. Rinse and repeat. It might take three generations but by then it will be too late to reverse the policy without civil unrest. Forgive me if I file this idea and the initiative being discussed in the same place as encouraging teenage girls to getpregnant in order to get a house and income for the next 18 years as a career decision (yes UK I'm looking at you).
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  #23  
Old 29.05.2013, 10:47
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Re: basic income initiative

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B gets 90K, but pays an additional 20K tax. Still smiling because she's now got an income of 70K.
C gets 150K, pay an additional 30K tax, but doesn't frown, because he's no worse off.
...
Everything balances.

...
Depending on any savings from removing bureaucracy, it may even be doable without raising anyone's taxes. The devil will be in the detail. It has to be carefully done to not disincentivise anyone finding work.
Well, I think that's a major problem, and not easily overcome, but more importantly, why do they think it will be less bureaucratically-intensive to have an additional step of handing out, then reclaiming in tax, all those 30k lumps to everyone who's above the threshold? probably something more than three-quarters of the population would then be subject to a lot more bureaucracy than at present, and someone will have to be employed to administer it...
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  #24  
Old 29.05.2013, 10:59
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Re: basic income initiative

Nice! I would quit my job immediately. The hell with future generations anyway, it doesn't matter because in 4 billion years the Sun will die out and the earth will be a frozen tundra

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Old 29.05.2013, 11:04
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Re: basic income initiative

Have any of you non-free loaders tried to live on CHF 2'500 per month?
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Old 29.05.2013, 11:08
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Re: basic income initiative

I have. It is the bare minimum to pay my expenses and grocery bill. If my partner got it also we might even have a little extra.
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Old 29.05.2013, 11:11
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Re: basic income initiative

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Have any of you non-free loaders tried to live on CHF 2'500 per month?
How is that relevant? I don't think anyone's suggesting that it's too much, for those on welfare. Quite the opposite for those currently on RAV wanting to get back to work, in fact.
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Old 29.05.2013, 11:19
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Re: basic income initiative

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Have any of you non-free loaders tried to live on CHF 2'500 per month?
Am I the only one aware of the current system? The numbers are currently not at all lower - "poor" people often get MORE right now. The current system pays some 2k plus the rent of a place or "appropriate" size. Plus additional cash for every child, plus costs for loads of stuff on top depending slightly on the canton.

So if now another ten come up with a free loader argument against the initiative - you can do so right now and a few do. The highest Swiss court ruled that a young guy in Aargau had a right for it even though he did everything to piss the authorities off: not go to their meetings, ignoring their letters, not go to some charity jobs, not apply to any jobs... you name it.

So all the initiative does is to throw out the bureaucracy in between - which was established to distribute the funds fairer - more to the people who need it and less to the people who are fully capable of getting work but decide to not do so.

Is that a good thing? I frankly think it is far less than what some people here think it is - it for example has nothing to do with the RAV - I hope there will be still an unemployment insurance and this has nothing to do with the basic social help discussed here.
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  #29  
Old 29.05.2013, 11:28
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Re: basic income initiative

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Have any of you non-free loaders tried to live on CHF 2'500 per month?
you + partner + 2kids = 10k a month

a couple more kids then 15k a month. sounds good to me!
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Old 29.05.2013, 12:00
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Re: basic income initiative

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Have any of you non-free loaders tried to live on CHF 2'500 per month?
My wife did for many years.

Tom
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  #31  
Old 29.05.2013, 16:06
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Re: basic income initiative

Does this mean all the trailing spouses can just forget about looking for work and take the 30K? It's not much but spouse's salary + 30K is a lot more appealing than plain old spouse's salary alone and stressing trying to find work...

It's not hard to imagine that even more EU and non-EU folks would want to come here, and only have one spouse work while the other just gets the dough.

Or am I missing something? Please tell me I am because otherwise this sounds like a pretty bad idea.
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Old 29.05.2013, 16:17
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Re: basic income initiative

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From general taxation. Again a simple example.
There are four people in Switzerland.
A is out of work and entirely dependent on the state.
B earns 60K
C earns 120K
D earns 1M.

The cost of administering A's support comes out of the tax that B-D pay, and is 30K.

Under the new system:

A gets 30K
B gets 90K, but pays an additional 20K tax. Still smiling because she's now got an income of 70K.
C gets 150K, pay an additional 30K tax, but doesn't frown, because he's no worse off.
D gets 1M+30K, pays an additional 40K. She's a bit fed up paying more tax, but it's only a tiny amount compared to her take-home pay, so sucks it up.

A's additional income comes from the additional 10K D pays, + 20K of savings (i.e. out of B-C's other tax payments)
B's additional income comes from the remaining 10K of savings (i.e. out of B-C's other tax payments).

Everything balances.
Depending on any savings from removing bureaucracy, it may even be doable without raising anyone's taxes. The devil will be in the detail. It has to be carefully done to not disincentivise anyone finding work.
FYI, the number of people with net salary >240k is less than 2%. Since these guys have to fund the entire scheme (rest are net takers or even under your proposal).

~10m people x 30k each = 300 bn chfs needed per year

so these people with net salary of > 240k, would need to pay 1'500k per year in new taxes (on top of their existing taxes). so unfortunately, the numbers do not add up.

also 300 bn is a shade under half of switzerland's GDP.
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  #33  
Old 29.05.2013, 17:26
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Re: basic income initiative

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FYI, the number of people with net salary >240k is less than 2%. Since these guys have to fund the entire scheme (rest are net takers or even under your proposal).

~10m people x 30k each = 300 bn chfs needed per year

so these people with net salary of > 240k, would need to pay 1'500k per year in new taxes (on top of their existing taxes). so unfortunately, the numbers do not add up.

also 300 bn is a shade under half of switzerland's GDP.
And I was already wondering why the German Sozialhilfe is only 382 Euro per month...
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Old 29.05.2013, 18:17
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Re: basic income initiative

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sounds great in theory until the freeloading overwhelms the system as people realise they can get food and shelter for no effort and the taxes of those who continue have to go up to cover the cost, giving even more incentive to give up work and freeload. Rinse and repeat. It might take three generations but by then it will be too late to reverse the policy without civil unrest. Forgive me if I file this idea and the initiative being discussed in the same place as encouraging teenage girls to getpregnant in order to get a house and income for the next 18 years as a career decision (yes UK I'm looking at you).
Which I might believe if being rich ever stopped being an attractive proposition. But being rich is, self-evidently, a desirable thing. I think it's a bit cynical by two halves to say that "if being poor doesn't suck enough, no one will want to be rich." People will ALWAYS want to do better than the minimum, even if only for the most crass of reasons, like wanting a nicer car.

Again, a full proposal needs to be on the table, and I'd like to see one before I react. But all I'm saying at this stage is that we drastically underestimate how much we pay to make sure only people we feel "deserve" help get it.
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  #35  
Old 29.05.2013, 19:52
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Re: basic income initiative

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Can do the numbers again with 0.001% in category D, 1.5% in C, 35% in A and the remainder in B? Because if your plan requires 50% of people to be earning over 120k and 1 in 4 people earning 1m+, then I think I've found a flaw in the plan...
Every great idea has flaws. In order to make it work I suggest to change the proposal a little. First let's split the group into three parts:
- freeloaders
- supporters of freeloaders
- non-supporter of freeloaders.

Everyone can choose his/her group. To keep everyone happy the freeloaders will only be financed by their supporters, no obligations for non-supporters. The supporters will be taxed until the freeloaders are happy with their allowance. After all, it's optional and for sure a lot of people will choose to pay more than what they pay today. To make the system stable the supporters will sign a 20 years contracts. Life contracts can be considered, too.

As simple as that. "From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs". Inside freeloader/supporter group.
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Old 19.05.2016, 12:57
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Re: basic income initiative

This initiative will be voted for/against on Sunday June 5th.
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Old 19.05.2016, 15:02
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Re: basic income initiative

YES!

Tom
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Old 21.05.2016, 07:18
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Re: basic income initiative

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YES!

Tom
Is that how you voted?
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Old 23.05.2016, 15:00
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Re: basic income initiative

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Is that how you voted?
Not yet, but we will.

Tom
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Old 23.05.2016, 15:30
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Re: basic income initiative

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Every great idea has flaws. In order to make it work I suggest to change the proposal a little. First let's split the group into three parts:
- freeloaders
- supporters of freeloaders
- non-supporter of freeloaders.

Everyone can choose his/her group. To keep everyone happy the freeloaders will only be financed by their supporters, no obligations for non-supporters. The supporters will be taxed until the freeloaders are happy with their allowance. After all, it's optional and for sure a lot of people will choose to pay more than what they pay today. To make the system stable the supporters will sign a 20 years contracts. Life contracts can be considered, too.

As simple as that. "From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs". Inside freeloader/supporter group.
Can't wait to see if you change your tune if you're one of the people likely to be impacted by as many as 47% of jobs becoming entirely automated (white collar stuck behind a desk work, as well as blue collar manual labour). Although I'm sure if you're personally unaffected, you'll still attempt to claim just under half the population a 'freeloaders'.

http://www.oxfordmartin.ox.ac.uk/publications/view/1314
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