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View Poll Results: What would you do if the initiative passed?
Keep working full time (80-100%) 70 70.00%
Work part-time (paid work) and enjoy more leisure time 15 15.00%
Work part-time and do some volunteer work 2 2.00%
Do volunteer work (full time) 0 0%
Just live on the CHF 2500 and enjoy leisure time 9 9.00%
Other (please specify) 4 4.00%
Voters: 100. You may not vote on this poll

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  #81  
Old 11.04.2016, 15:57
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Re: Basic Income Referendum June 5

A large experiment has been done where income has became independent of work, even if the work was made obligatory. The experiment consisted of making farming collectives and transferring the land ownership and crop re-distribution to the state. A largest known famine ensued. It was quenched by letting farmers conserve some of the crops they produced. It was called "The Great Famine", and it caused Mao to terminate the Great Leap Forward.
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  #82  
Old 11.04.2016, 16:03
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Re: Basic Income Referendum June 5

We are discussing Switzerland not Zimbabwe or Swaziland
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  #83  
Old 11.04.2016, 16:31
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Re: Basic Income Referendum June 5

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A large experiment has been done where income has became independent of work, even if the work was made obligatory. The experiment consisted of making farming collectives and transferring the land ownership and crop re-distribution to the state. A largest known famine ensued. It was quenched by letting farmers conserve some of the crops they produced. It was called "The Great Famine", and it caused Mao to terminate the Great Leap Forward.
That's not at all the same thing being discussed in this referendum.....
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  #84  
Old 11.04.2016, 16:39
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Re: Basic Income Referendum June 5

such completely untested experiment which can have any potential result including financial catastrophe with far-reaching consequences on whole federation... this is pretty different from anything resembling swiss way of doing things.

but let's have the referendum, let people say clear NO and keep it burried. once, long time after those isolated one-village experiments currently running here & there will prove consistently successful, why not. most of the world can't currently work like this, but maybe it eventually will. timeframe could be maybe in 50-100 years. But if everybody will have at least such an income in this world, you will buy 2 croissants and maybe a coffee for it, nothing more.

my personal take is - this would change very fabric of society in such a dramatic way, that positive outcome would be great. but it's so complex that if one part starts failing (one out of endless examples - we find out most people are actually lazy slackers at their core, or some start to game system and make it less effective, etc), domino effect can easily bring down that society (or at least economic aspects of it, so pretty big portion at the end). Also so many corner cases where certain groups might end up screwed by the system and others gain for nothing will create a lot of unfairness.

in short - too communist even for russia to work. if introduced, will fail because of people.
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  #85  
Old 11.04.2016, 16:52
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Re: Basic Income Referendum June 5

This affects the liberal labor market in Switzerland. I do not believe the Swiss want something like this. That would properly destroy a lot of jobs
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  #86  
Old 11.04.2016, 18:18
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Re: Basic Income Referendum June 5

This stupid idea doesn't stand a chance anyway. Thanks, but I'm not up for socialist experiments that are, as per usualy, not even remotely thought through (yes cause who cares about how this will be financed exactly - it's just some 200bn. No biggie). So of course I will vote no.

But in the extremely unlikely case this passes, I have no doubt that some households would survive on 5000-6000 (assuming it's two adults and 1-2 kids). A large majority of the population lives on that money. I wouldn't change anything. Of course not working is not an option, cause I live in a single household and couldn't afford it, nor would I want to.
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  #87  
Old 11.04.2016, 20:00
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Re: Basic Income Referendum June 5

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The initiative’s backers say it aims to break the link between employment and income https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basic_income
Hilarious
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  #88  
Old 11.04.2016, 20:33
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Re: Basic Income Referendum June 5

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That's not at all the same thing being discussed in this referendum.....


Fine. So I'm okay with that idea if the myriad of taxes and contributions I'm paying already won't increase by a cent. And no, I don't want that money, thanks.
In all the countries I know where there was no incentive to work, the overall cake to share shrunk until such a system collapsed.
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  #89  
Old 12.04.2016, 11:10
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Re: Basic Income Referendum June 5

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That's not at all the same thing being discussed in this referendum.....
To a degree it is, although the potential consequences are highly unlikely to be on a par with Mao's Great Leap or Stalin's Five Year Plans.

These were socioeconomic experiments that looked good on paper, but ultimately relied on too many axioms and when these turned out to be false, the negative consequences were devastating. You won't see famine here if it all goes wrong, but it will leave a big economic mess nonetheless.

The truth is that it's an interesting socioeconomic experiment that has some legs, but it's just not been tested enough to try on a national scale. None of the national proposals I've seen for this in other countries stand up to much scrutiny, and from the little I've seen of what's proposed for Switzerland, neither does that.
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  #90  
Old 12.04.2016, 14:45
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Re: Basic Income Referendum June 5

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Let's assume middle age unemployed couple living in Zurich without a child:

Monthly expenses:

Spouse #1: pays rent CHF2500 (short off CHF100)
Spouse #2: tops up the rent CHF100
pays insurances (cheaper option) x2 CHF600
buys food and other household stuff CHF800
pays 3rd pillar x2 (they don't get the 2nd pillar and want to top up their pesion) CHF1000

Lets assume that they get subsidized with insurance (subtract CHF600).
They can hardly go out and enjoy their hobbies, they just go jogging and walking in the park. I didn't include the public transport costs to go either to the mountains or visit their friends, relatives and who-nots. Cinema, gym and other amenities ... ?

Yeah, apparently it looks great. Enjoy your life.


P.S. Perhaps what they could do is sublet the place. What about the visitors staying over then?
At least some of those proposing a BGE would actually argue along similar lines (although I do think your insurance figures are rather low). They say that for some households the income will drop, unless people are prepared to work very hard in jobs paying higher salaries. Which jobs those will be might, in a BGE society, be other than now, for example doing the dirty work of cleaning the toilets might be something far fewer people than now would be willing to do at all, if they had the alternative of a BGE. Therefore, the salary for a toilet-cleaner might increase considerably.

For anyone whose income dropped, moving out of the city would be one but not the only option. Others include all sorts of collaboration and sharing and economies of exchange.

Some proponents of the BGE say that this is one of the central points: that the lower income (at least for some households) is a good thing, because it would naturally promote people's creativity in finding ways to consume less overall, necessity being the mother of invention. Then, there would be, over time, a lesser need for workers in, say, the construction industry, because folk would become more cooperative in sharing space. And fewer needed in all the areas providing general care of other people, because folk would have more time to care for their own rather than outsource this. Less building, less transport, less trade. Overall, a notch poorer, except for those now at the very bottom, who might well be a notch safer.
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  #91  
Old 12.04.2016, 14:51
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Re: Basic Income Referendum June 5

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pays 3rd pillar x2 (they don't get the 2nd pillar and want to top up their pesion) CHF1000
Why would they do that? As pensioners they would also receive the basic 2.5K each so what would be the purpose of saving for a higher income in retirement than that they had when younger.
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  #92  
Old 12.04.2016, 15:06
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Re: Basic Income Referendum June 5

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At least some of those proposing a BGE would actually argue along similar lines (although I do think your insurance figures are rather low). They say that for some households the income will drop, unless people are prepared to work very hard in jobs paying higher salaries. Which jobs those will be might, in a BGE society, be other than now, for example doing the dirty work of cleaning the toilets might be something far fewer people than now would be willing to do at all, if they had the alternative of a BGE. Therefore, the salary for a toilet-cleaner might increase considerably.

For anyone whose income dropped, moving out of the city would be one but not the only option. Others include all sorts of collaboration and sharing and economies of exchange.

Some proponents of the BGE say that this is one of the central points: that the lower income (at least for some households) is a good thing, because it would naturally promote people's creativity in finding ways to consume less overall, necessity being the mother of invention. Then, there would be, over time, a lesser need for workers in, say, the construction industry, because folk would become more cooperative in sharing space. And fewer needed in all the areas providing general care of other people, because folk would have more time to care for their own rather than outsource this. Less building, less transport, less trade. Overall, a notch poorer, except for those now at the very bottom, who might well be a notch safer.
I lowered purposefully those figures for healhy mid-age couple ready to pay excess of CHF1500 in case of claims. In reality those figures can be upped close to CHF500 per month depending on the policy and amenities.

I think many households are already forced to ebrace self-inflictated austerity packages and limit their consumption e.g. less going out, no dinners in fancy restaurants, less holiday makers and more shopping across the border to manage to save a few chuffs.

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  #93  
Old 12.04.2016, 15:11
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Re: Basic Income Referendum June 5

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Why would they do that? As pensioners they would also receive the basic 2.5K each so what would be the purpose of saving for a higher income in retirement than that they had when younger.
True. I was thinking in contest of those who worked and planned to up their pensions in the future to be able to live their incredible lifestyles.

On the other hand, as you already mention it, this referendum has a potential to blow up the 3rd pillar schemes. Another thing is, if they are that badly needed anyway. Other than reducing taxable income and mediocre interest rate on them.
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  #94  
Old 12.04.2016, 15:28
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Re: Basic Income Referendum June 5

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A couple could easily live in a 2.5 pcs apartment. Why do they need 3.5? They would just fill it with junk they can't afford.
In our case, we have 4.5, and it is filled with inherited artwork and antiques worth several times the value of the apartment.

Tom
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  #95  
Old 12.04.2016, 19:59
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Basic Income Referendum June 5

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In our case, we have 4.5, and it is filled with inherited artwork and antiques worth several times the value of the apartment.



Tom

We have a 5.5, two people and a dog. Not much artwork, or value, just books. Books. Books.............
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  #96  
Old 12.04.2016, 20:24
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Re: Basic Income Referendum June 5

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In our case, we have 4.5, and it is filled with inherited artwork and antiques worth several times the value of the apartment.

Tom
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We have a 5.5, two people and a dog. Not much artwork, or value, just books. Books. Books.............
We have a 6, two people and it's filled with ... well the OH thinks it's all valuable anyway.
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  #97  
Old 13.04.2016, 02:17
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Re: Basic Income Referendum June 5

Ideally with two children I would like to have a 5-room if same sex, 6 if different sexes (living room, bedroom, children's rooms, home-office, instrument/relaxation/guest room) but I definitely could survive with less. I grew up in a three-room apartment in an upper-middle-class family.

I am not sure though why our ideal wishes are so relevant. Is the discussion if 2500 enough for a nice comfortable life or if it is enough for having a decent place to stay, enough to eat healthy and to have health-care?

For the first one no, for the second one: yes, with surplus (not sure how health costs are covered for chronically ill in need of expensive care). Furthermore, definition of "comfortable" is different for everyone depending on how expensive their free-time activities are and there is always plenty of cheap ones.

My personal guess would be that if the referendum would pass, many people from lower earning range would have little incentive to work and those used to earning more are not too likely to want to earn less.

If I remember correctly Switzerland has around 85% employment rate, i.e. a big difference between officially "unemployed" and actual "unemployed". Some of these will be those who could find a job but prefer to not work. There most be also those who'd like to not work but need for financial reasons and with the 2500 incentive this gap is likely to increase.

But I will myself give some arguments against this:
- social contributions are not that low at the moment for some, but not sure how one gets into the "correct" category, while others not. Not everyone is trying to get into it, so maybe they won't be that keen on 2500 either
- some may want to have a plan B for the case the system is abolished after some years. not pleasant to count on the 2500/month and be suddenly 60 years old without job or pension fund
- there may be some social stigma associated with not working
- there will be people who will feel better working
- things not popping up on my mind atm

While some jobs may get higher pays because noone will want to do them, some of them are already destined to disappear, e.g. cashiers (they must not be very happy with lots of self-paying systems around recently)
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  #98  
Old 13.04.2016, 08:15
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Re: Basic Income Referendum June 5

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some may want to have a plan B for the case the system is abolished after some years. not pleasant to count on the 2500/month and be suddenly 60 years old without job or pension fund

Once such a social arrangement is ingrained it is hard to change - look at France, where the gov't wanted to relax the employment laws - and who is protesting? The students.
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  #99  
Old 13.04.2016, 08:50
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Re: Basic Income Referendum June 5

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So basically it aims to turn switzerland into a totally socialist society...
The idea has been around in various countries for years and isn't limited to one particular political leaning. In the late 80s right wing think-tanks in the UK were discussing it. The right wing traditionally like to make the state run as little as possible. With a citizen's wage (as they called it), you could vastly reduce the welfare state, as you'd no longer need administrators for all those complex benefits.

They also like to encourage people to get on their bikes (as the Tebbit once said ). Welfare dependency keeps people poor. If any extra income you earn you get to keep (up to a certain limit), then people are encouraged to work. Taxation would be adjusted so from one point, you pay a little more tax, slowly eroding the citizen's wage, until the extra tax you pay exactly matches it.

The idea then was that it would be funded by savings from having a much smaller social services, and via taxation - direct/indirect whatever. Overall, the plan was that it should cost less than the current system.

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It is not easy, but is possible, for one adult to live on Fr. 2500 per month. In other models, I’ve also heard of lower sums proposed. In any case, as soon as several adults agree to share costs, especially but not only those of accommodation and transport, everyone’s life become more affordable.
Yep - that's why I'm able to support comfortably 6 adults on my income alone. Four students, myself and my wife.

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until you realise that the money has to come from somewhere and that businesses and taxpayers will ultimately have to bear the cost.
The basic income would reduce/remove other benefits and the need for administrators. It doesn't necessarily have to cost more. As I noted above, for higher earners the 2.5K could be clawed back via the taxation system. For those people there would be no additional cost to the state.

I don't, however, think it will get through, and I'm not convinced it's a good idea.
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Old 13.04.2016, 11:54
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Re: Basic Income Referendum June 5

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My personal guess would be that if the referendum would pass, many people from lower earning range would have little incentive to work and those used to earning more are not too likely to want to earn less.
This would be quite true in many cases. For example, I have a colleague at work who earns about 5k per month; his background is young, no qualifications, married (wife stays at home), no kids, not much hope of an increase in salary without further, significant, study.

Were he and his wife to each receive 2.5k per month, it really becomes a bit of a no brainer. Not only would his overall income remain largely unchanged, but he'd be freed up to pursue full time education if he so choose.
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If I remember correctly Switzerland has around 85% employment rate
I'd take Swiss unemployment statistics with a pinch of salt. I believe that most of what's called frictional unemployment never appears on the books, unlike in many other nations.
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- there may be some social stigma associated with not working
You'd be surprised how mutable social mores are. Anyone remember what were common and acceptable attitudes towards homosexuality thirty years ago?
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