Progressive Graffiti

The Swiss Voted Down Basic Income Last Sunday

Switzerland’s Basic Income Referendum was rejected last Sunday. But proponents were pleased that 23.1% of the voters were for it. It is veritable progress, and the Basic Income movement continues on.

It took years to build support for a petition to get the 2016 Basic Income Referendum on the ballot. Below is a 2013 video of a creative action that Basic Income advocates used to heighten public awareness…

Cash Bern: Swiss May Grant Unconditional Income for All | RT


Thom Hartmann conducted a phone interview this week with Enno Schmidt, co-founder of Basic Income Switzerland. Interestingly, we learn that the proposed Basic Income amount wasn’t considered high enough.

The Swiss Rejected A #BasicIncome Because It Wasn’t High Enough! | Thom Hartmann…

“Thom speaks with Enno Schmidt, Co-Founder of Basic Income Switzerland, about the recent vote on a minimum basic income, and why a guaranteed income is the right plan for all people.” ~ Thom Hartmann Program


Further commentary on the 2016 Swiss Basic Income Referendum vote…

SOURCE: Why Switzerland’s Basic Income Idea Is Not Crazy | Politico

“Switzerland has voted against providing everyone a monthly pay check for life, but Sunday’s unsuccessful Yes vote of 23.1 percent won’t be the country’s last word on the issue. Opinion polls and long experience indicate this is just the beginning. […] So why did the Swiss reject the idea? Forty percent felt very strongly the idea was not financially feasible. Given that the exact amount of the basic income was not being voted on, and neither was any explicit funding plan or potential replacement of existing programs, this makes sense. These details were not really part of the discussion. […] ~ Scott Santens

The 2008 film that Santens refers to in his article is below.

“Basic Income: A Cultural Impulse” (English Subtitles)

“An income is like the wind beneath your wings,” it says at the start of the film. Should this be an unconditional right for everyone? Is this at all possible – a financial human right? The film is exciting, moving, motivating, and focuses on a precise rational point of view. It places the relationship and the main task of money under a new light. As a theme it is of the utmost relevance to our time. ~ Film makers, Daniel Häni and Enno Schmidt


Naturally, there are more conservative views regarding Switzerland’s denial of the Basic Income Referendum…

SOURCE: Guaranteed Basic Income? Why Switzerland Said ‘No Thanks’ | The Christian Science Monitor

Almost 80 percent of Swiss voters rejected a guaranteed monthly income [last] Sunday. Under the proposal, Swiss adults would receive a government check of 2,500 Swiss francs ($2,563) each month, and children under the age of 18 would receive a check worth 625 francs. Although the proposal had almost no political support, it gathered more than 100,000 signatures, so it was put to a public vote under Switzerland’s popular initiative political system. […]


But the majority of Switzerland doesn’t buy this argument and are instead wary of the idea, believing it would cripple the Swiss economy by eliminating all motivation to work. “If you pay people to do nothing, they will do nothing,” Charles Wyplosz, an economics professor at the Geneva Graduate Institute, told AFP.


And other opponents say a guaranteed basic income would cause international implications. “Theoretically, if Switzerland were an island, the answer is yes,” Luzi Stamm, who opposes the idea as a member of parliament for the right-wing Swiss People’s Party, tells the BBC. “But with open borders, it’s a total impossibility, especially for Switzerland, with a high living standard. If you would offer every individual a Swiss amount of money,” he said, “you would have billions of people who would try to move into Switzerland.” […]


Story Hinckley


About the author

JoAnn Chateau

JoAnn Chateau likes progressive politics and loves the canines. She sometimes writes fiction about Chester (the Alpha Bichon) and his friends -- with a dash of humor and dab of Poli-Sci. JoAnn's views and insights are tinted by her past profession in Counseling, Christian theological studies, and Library and Information Science training. Retired now, JoAnn enjoys the creative life.


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