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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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  #101  
Old 13.04.2016, 23:08
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Re: Basic Income Referendum June 5

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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.
Those who have used up their RAV (unemployment) benefits and live from their savings are generally no longer counted as unemployed. Similarly those who then go on to use up all their savings while job-seeking (or too ill to work but not or not yet granted a disability penion) and thereafter live from the social security benefits. There are administrators at each step of the way, determining when a person fits into which category.

There are also those who have never worked but would like to do so, such as the many trailing spouses on this forum, but they are not included in the unemployment figures at all, since the are regarded as stay-at-home-spouses of their partners who are employed. And others who are not entitled to unemployment benefits in the first place, because their contributions were too long ago. This latter group includes self-employed people who do not have enough work or whose businesses fail.

The various organisations and government departments which monitor the entitlement to such benefits, and administer the pay-outs, all incur their own costs. There is a small industry around providing all the measures now taken in an attempt to re-integrate these unemployed people into the working market, (or to appear so to do) and all of these too, are funded by a range of state pots and state-subsidized organisations (Sozialamt, IV, also AOZ, pro infirmis), all of which are presently funded by tax and to only a very minor degree by donations, and in some cases to a small extent by the medical or accident insurance.

And behind these structures are laws and agreements (and politicians and lawyers creating these, and courts presiding over them, all for a price) which determine the distribution of the financial burden across government departments municipality, canton, and federation.

According to the BGE folk, large chunks of this superstructure would become unnecessary and could simply fall away, which would represent a massive saving.
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  #102  
Old 14.04.2016, 09:05
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Re: Basic Income Referendum June 5

This morning I noticed that there was an episode of the Freakonomics podcast [1] on my phone titled, "Is the World Ready for a Guaranteed Basic Income?" The upcoming referendum was mentioned, but most of the talk was based on US and Canadian experiments.

[1] http://freakonomics.com/podcast/mincome/
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  #103  
Old 14.04.2016, 11:31
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Re: Basic Income Referendum June 5

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This morning I noticed that there was an episode of the Freakonomics podcast [1] on my phone titled, "Is the World Ready for a Guaranteed Basic Income?" The upcoming referendum was mentioned, but most of the talk was based on US and Canadian experiments.
Interesting podcast, however it was clear that it was biased in favour of the idea and there were a few daft arguments put forward to defend it also.

Three things that jumped out at me that came from the studies they cited were:
  1. Primary earners tended not to stop working, however secondary earners (e.g. wives) and tertiary earners (e.g. teenagers) did.
  2. Divorce rates were observed to increase.
  3. All these studies were quite old (20+ years) and in some cases left unfinished.
For me it simply reinforces my suspicion that more research needs to be done and that as an idea it being dismissed unfairly by one side of the political spectrum on ideological grounds, just as the other side of the political spectrum seeks to blindly promote it.
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  #104  
Old 14.04.2016, 11:58
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Re: Basic Income Referendum June 5

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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.
of course it will cost more. there will be many more people claiming which will require many more administrators.

plus some people would quit their jobs which would mean more cost and fewer people to fund, which means it will cost more for those who haven't (yet) quit.
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  #105  
Old 14.04.2016, 12:16
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Re: Basic Income Referendum June 5

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of course it will cost more. there will be many more people claiming which will require many more administrators.

plus some people would quit their jobs which would mean more cost and fewer people to fund, which means it will cost more for those who haven't (yet) quit.
Two things; the first is that the bit I've emboldened is unknown - 'many more' is simply your opinion.

Secondly, for it to cost more, the cost of those extra people claiming and/or quitting their jobs would need to be greater than the administrative savings made in streamlining social welfare administration. Big presumption.

I'm not suggesting you're wrong, but I am saying that this is a very ideologically charged topic, where some are pushing blindly on one side and others are dismissing with arguments like yours, on the other.
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  #106  
Old 14.04.2016, 12:20
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Re: Basic Income Referendum June 5

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Two things; the first is that the bit I've emboldened is unknown - 'many more' is simply your opinion.
It's not an opinion. The scheme means every adult will claim and every child will get money too. i.e 100% of the people, compared to less than 100% of the people now.

So the whole 'administrative savings' will actually not only be non-existent, but assuming currently only 4% of people claim, will increase by 25 times!
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  #107  
Old 14.04.2016, 12:29
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Re: Basic Income Referendum June 5

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It's not an opinion. The scheme means every adult will claim and every child will get money too. i.e 100% of the people, compared to less than 100% of the people now.

So the whole 'administrative savings' will actually not only be non-existent, but assuming currently only 4% of people claim, will increase by 25 times!
IMO you should include pensioners in that calculation so that would be nearer 20% and 5 times. Doesn't invalidate your arguement tho...
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  #108  
Old 14.04.2016, 12:37
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Re: Basic Income Referendum June 5

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It's not an opinion. The scheme means every adult will claim and every child will get money too. i.e 100% of the people, compared to less than 100% of the people now.
But you need to weigh that against the opportunity cost of giving up that work - so yes, it is your opinion because you don't know what that opportunity cost is, let alone how elastic willingness to work for higher income is, you're simply speculating.
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So the whole 'administrative savings' will actually not only be non-existent, but assuming currently only 4% of people claim, will increase by 25 times!
What do you base that calculation on? Do you have data that has been kept from the rest of us or are you just picking figures out of the air?
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  #109  
Old 14.04.2016, 12:38
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Re: Basic Income Referendum June 5

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What do you base that calculation on? Do you have data that has been kept from the rest of us or are you just picking figures out of the air?
100% of the people, compared to less than 100% of the people now.
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  #110  
Old 14.04.2016, 12:47
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Re: Basic Income Referendum June 5

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100% of the people, compared to less than 100% of the people now.
Yes, but that's not how macroeconomics work. You do know that this does not imply "many more people" - technically it does not even imply any more people. Maybe if you addressed what I said?
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  #111  
Old 14.04.2016, 12:59
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Re: Basic Income Referendum June 5

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Yes, but that's not how macroeconomics work. You do know that this does not imply "many more people" - technically it does not even imply any more people. Maybe if you addressed what I said?
so how many people do you think claim support? happy to use your figure.

if less than 100% that means more people will claim. it's just basic maths.
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  #112  
Old 14.04.2016, 13:15
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Re: Basic Income Referendum June 5

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so how many people do you think claim support? happy to use your figure.
We don't know. That's why I've been arguing that not enough study on this has been done to justify it's implementation, as things stand.
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if less than 100% that means more people will claim. it's just basic maths.
We're talking economics, not maths though. And economics are more like a donkey than a clockwork mechanism - slap it on it's rump and it may move forward as intended, but it could also kick you instead. You can't even make the assumption that less than 100% will mean any more people will claim.

Secondly, you didn't simply say "more people" but "many more people" - are you backtracking now or was your original claim hyperbole?
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  #113  
Old 14.04.2016, 13:27
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Re: Basic Income Referendum June 5

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We don't know. That's why I've been arguing that not enough study on this has been done to justify it's implementation, as things stand.

We're talking economics, not maths though. And economics are more like a donkey than a clockwork mechanism - slap it on it's rump and it may move forward as intended, but it could also kick you instead. You can't even make the assumption that less than 100% will mean any more people will claim.

Secondly, you didn't simply say "more people" but "many more people" - are you backtracking now or was your original claim hyperbole?
Nope. Because I can apply common sense.

We know that all people under the proposal can claim so, say 100%.

We also know that many people currently don't claim. So as a result of the change many more people will claim.
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  #114  
Old 14.04.2016, 13:42
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Re: Basic Income Referendum June 5

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But you need to weigh that against the opportunity cost of giving up that work - so yes, it is your opinion because you don't know what that opportunity cost is, let alone how elastic willingness to work for higher income is, you're simply speculating

Who is founding the budget in this country (or any other OECD like country)?
VAT, and then income tax, and then corporate tax probably.
So now we're talking about increasing workers tax to found others' "opportunity".
Hm, I know how such redistribution works from EU programs: they subsidize dying off industries prolonging their demise at a cost to other businesses who have to both survive and subsidize the unprofitable ones.
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  #115  
Old 14.04.2016, 13:52
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Re: Basic Income Referendum June 5

According to this only 3.2% of people in Switzerland receive social help

http://www.bfs.admin.ch/bfs/portal/e.../22/press.html

I don't know if there are some other %s named differently, but it is not very likely that only 3.2% would receive the 2500/month even if we take out the retired.
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  #116  
Old 14.04.2016, 14:28
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Re: Basic Income Referendum June 5

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According to this only 3.2% of people in Switzerland receive social help
Social Help is quite particular here. If you're getting ALK Geld, you're not on social help. Indeed, to even qualify for social help you'd need to have savings under 4k, I believe.
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Nope. Because I can apply common sense.
No. You're applying your understanding of how things work in an area where they work differently.
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We know that all people under the proposal can claim so, say 100%.

We also know that many people currently don't claim. So as a result of the change many more people will claim.
So you are saying there is no diminishing marginal utility on paid free time and no opportunity cost other than income to being unemployed that may affect such a simplistic relational model?
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  #117  
Old 14.04.2016, 14:30
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Re: Basic Income Referendum June 5

There's more to the idea of a basic income than "ZOMG I'll be paying for freeloaders!!!1!11". In theory there are quite a few auxiliary benefits like less costs and bureaucracy. It could even be a boon to nationalistic employment policies and less frontaliers for low-paying jobs, as Swiss citizens would be encouraged to take them because they'll be supplementing an existing income, unlike people from across the border. There's also intangible benefits with unknown outcomes like more people pursing their interests and not working jobs they hate. That said, the current initiative isn't well thought out AFAIK. It should have been bundled with cost-saving measures like getting rid of first pillar, invalidity insurance, etc.

It won't pass, and in its current form I don't even want it to. But everyone who finds the idea ridiculous is in for a rude awakening in a few decades when more and more jobs (maybe even yours) start being automated away.
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  #118  
Old 14.04.2016, 14:41
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Re: Basic Income Referendum June 5

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So you are saying there is no diminishing marginal utility on paid free time and no opportunity cost other than income to being unemployed that may affect such a simplistic relational model?
You are getting confused and conflating 2 different areas:

1. Is the cost of administering
2. Is the benefit/disbenefit

On the one hand you are counting a gain from getting rid of administration, when I am arguing that we will have more administration.

Then you triple-count it by saying that the administration staff will be free now to earn even more money and pay taxes.

To break it down:

1. Every adult gets 2'500
2. This means that many more people will be claiming this 2'500 which will need administration and infrastructure to deal with the claim (not to mention fight the inevitable fraud)
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  #119  
Old 14.04.2016, 14:56
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Basic Income Referendum June 5

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There's also intangible benefits with unknown outcomes like more people pursing their interests and not working jobs they hate.
I have no problem with that if their pursue of happiness is not financed by placing their mundane things like sanitation, health care, transportation, safety, food, housing and you name it on my shoulders. Because I'd like to reap the rewards of my effort. Otherwise - why bother?
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  #120  
Old 14.04.2016, 14:59
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Re: Basic Income Referendum June 5

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1. Every adult gets 2'500
According to the following article, this is not so. The Fr. 2500 per month is guaranteed, and paid only to those who do not already earn a slice of Fr. 2500 in their salaries.

Here’s a rough summary translation of the main points made in this link (in German), dated 17 March 2016.
http://www.eidgenoessische-abstimmun...ostet-das-bge/

START summary translation
***********************

The BGE will cost 25 billion Francs.
So the line of reasoning that the BGE is simply not fundable can be dropped.

The Swiss government reckons with a total cost of 208 billion Francs per year.
However, the Fr. 2500 BGE are already included in the salaries of employees (= do not have to be paid on top of this, out of some other pot). This sum totals approximately 128 billion Francs per year.
Reallocating the money now paid as Social Security benefits and other social payments would save a further approximately 55 to 70 Billion Francs.

Therefore, the BGE will cost a maximum of 25 billion Francs per year.
(208 – 128 – 55), which would have to be funded from other sources.
This amount can be financed with a minimal transaction tax of 0.05%.

The latest official calculation of the federal government department for social insurances can be accessed by searching "Bedingungsloses Grundeinkommen" with "Hintergrunddokument Kosten und Finanzierung".

The funding of the BGE is realistic. Moreover, the Swiss government could, by introducing the BGE and a transaction tax, even end up spending less money, not more.

END summary translation
*********************

That article also includes a link to the proposed transaction tax.
http://www.eidgenoessische-abstimmun...aktionssteuer/
Sorry, haven’t translated that part.

If one further takes into account other indirect savings which would not show immediately but in the medium and long-term (such as lower costs of unskilled general nursing, lower health care costs altogether, fewer costs for running hospitals, fewer child-care centres, and perhaps fewer old-age homes, perhaps fewer cars and car accidents, or perhaps less need to expand the transport systems) there seems to be at least some basis for considering the arguments.
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