Switzerland is proud of the progress and adapt itself to new conditions, to robots, machinery, computers and automation.
The new money distributed will not come from taxes or wages, but will
distribute the abundance made possible by automation and the
creation of money which is now actually "given" by the bankers billion
or more centuries ...
These quantitative easing should be given
to the people, not for wars and premiums to rare happy fews ... The
new Swiss society for true economic democracy finally distribute the
income of technical progress, natural resources, automation more
efficient, thanks to robots, computers and machines.
A new world, the animals are free, it's our turn, free human beings, we free ourselves from the chains of bondage.
We Swiss are all kings, and the first duty of a king is to control the money supply.
A government-guaranteed basic income
The check is in the mail
WHAT if America were to scrap all its anti-poverty programmes—welfare, food stamps, unemployment benefits, the works—and replace them with an unconditional basic income (UBI) for everybody? Even in a Congress beset by less extraordinary levels of dysfunction, the idea would have little chance of becoming law. It’s fun to theorise, though. And if Switzerland approves a referendum to send all of its citizens $2,800 a month, the debate will have a fascinating new reference point.
Whatever else they say about a basic income, everyone seems to assume that it would decrease income inequality. But those who support the proposal as an egalitarian salve should think twice. Raising the floor for all by adopting an annual UBI would make no dent in the wealth gap. Everybody from a homeless person to a middle-class teacher to a hedge-fund billionaire would receive the same check from the government. While the extra thousands would make the most difference to those on the bottom of the pile, the cash would be in lieu of all existing welfare benefits. And the income would not be sufficient to launch most of the poor into the lower middle class. Even if the income could bring a family of four above the $23,550 poverty line—a figure that would cost trillions—it would still leave many Americans in effective destitution, particularly those living in expensive urban centres like New York City where the average monthly rent is now $3,000. Compounding the problem would be upward pressure on housing prices that a UBI may spur.
Beyond these economic uncertainties, a basic income would do little to ease the indignity of the wealth gap. T.M. Scanlon, a Harvard philosopher, catalogues several reasons inequality is objectionable. The stigmatisation of the lower orders would remain a problem in highly inegalitarian societies like America:
One consequence of extreme inequality in income and wealth can be that it forces the poor to live in a way that is reasonably seen as humiliating. As Adam Smith observed, there is a serious objection to a society in which some people are so much poorer than others that then have to live and dress in such a way that they cannot go out in public without shame. Here again, the evil is comparative—it is not merely an objection to having ragged clothes, or poor housing, but of having to live and to present oneself in a way that is so far below the standard generally accepted in the society that it marks one as inferior, and as someone that others would not want to associate with. This provides a reason not only to improve the lot of the poor, but also, even if their lot is, in absolute terms, not so bad, to object to the creation of a much higher standard of living for others. This may not, in some cases be a sufficient reason to deny others these benefits, but it is a recognizable cost that these benefits bring, and one that cannot be put down to irrational envy.Mr Scanlon isn’t exactly arguing for levelling here—notice his hedge in the last sentence—but he does identify the harms of inequality that a UBI might leave untouched. To cancel every anti-poverty measure and reallocate government funds for a UBI would entrench inequality unless financed with a heavily progressive tax. There are other risks, too. Some poor families receiving a lump sum from the government will make wise financial decisions. Others won't, making fungibility a liability. Libertarians like Charles Murray are untroubled by this possibility. "The [guaranteed income] says just one thing to people who have never had reason to believe it before," Mr Murray writes. "'Your future is in your hands'. And it is the truth."
(Photo credit: AFP)