Switzerland votes against UBI

Written By: - Date published: 8:44 am, June 7th, 2016 - 35 comments
Categories: capitalism, class war, employment, human rights - Tags: , ,

Seems the path towards acceptance of the UBI is not going to be smooth:

Swiss voters reject proposal to give basic income to every adult and child

Exit polls suggest 78% voted against scheme to give £1,765 a month to each adult, which supporters say would help fight poverty and inequality

Swiss voters have overwhelmingly rejected a proposal to give the entire population of the country enough money to live on, according to exit polls.

A projection provided to the public broadcaster RTS said 78% had voted against all Swiss citizens, along with foreigners who have been residents in Switzerland for at least five years, being given a universal basic income, or UBI.

Supporters said providing such an income would help fight poverty and inequality in a world where good jobs with steady salaries are becoming harder to find.

The result comes as no surprise, however opinion polls ahead of the vote had indicated more than 70% of Swiss voters opposed the measure. The Swiss government and nearly all the country’s political parties had urged voters to reject the initiative.

Critics have called the initiative “a Marxist dream”, warning of sky-high costs and people quitting their jobs in droves, to the detriment of the economy. “If you pay people to do nothing, they will do nothing,” said Charles Wyplosz, economics professor at the Geneva Graduate Institute. …

The “Marxist dream” framing isn’t exactly helpful in what should be an important and fact-based debate.

35 comments on “Switzerland votes against UBI ”

  1. RedLogix 1

    From the linked article:

    Kundig conceded there was little chance of the initiative passing, but said that “just getting a broad public debate started on this important issue is a victory”.

    And judging by attack lines that were trotted out it was little wonder. While I strongly back the UBI idea it is emphatically not a silver bullet. It can only work as part of a much wider restructuring of tax and redistribution.

    Taking an idea like this to the public needs some careful planning over many years. It’s simply too easy to make up damaging lies and distortions if the public are not reasonably informed first.

    • Colonial Viper 1.1

      it needs to be part of a much wider restructuring and redistribution of freedom and time; the four day working week as standard, and structurally reducing the need for paid employment while making it easier for friends and family to spend more time together to build and enjoy good relationships.

      • aerobubble 1.1.1

        We’re told that job insecurity is related to technological change, that even the existance of jobs due to innovation will be likely. Thirty years ago we were told that we needed a big financial sector to soak up cheap energy. Politicians and media saw the wealth they could achieve due to their influence pedalling and so moved. Nowadays our polticians and media are too fat to see the potential of a ubi. Go figure. Take Hooten today declaring again that Peters will decide the next govt, not the new pact of Labour and Green, this sort of vacuous analysis completely misses the point, that Winston thoug the pact was irrelevant, Hooten thoight it was a disaster. Really, how does Hooten square that, Peters is his metric, yet Hoten does care what he Peters says. Contradicting himself. Its simple when the voters see a Labour leader declare himself and realize he’ll win, everyone who voted Nats to keep Peters out will vote Lab to keep Peter out.

  2. jcuknz 2

    It is and has to be the future if people are not simply going to starve in the ‘no work’ future …. but I am too old to likely see it, mores the pity.
    The doom-sayers of the anti-UBI are simply rose tinted viewers of a failed system crumbling as we live today thanks to ‘progress’.

  3. weka 3

    So was the proposal to give everyone £1,765 in addition to their existing income? Or was it like the system being proposed here, where you would only get it once your income dropped below a certain level?

    £1,765 is high too, much higher than we’ve been talking about in NZ.

    • dukeofurl 3.1

      Our equivalent would seem to be the National Super. Yes its only available after 65 but its paid no matter the circumstances ( except different rate for those married, and a supplement for those living alone).

      Thats probably the sticking point so far, UBI is seen as a retirement income.

  4. Steve Withers 4

    Switzerland is both a very conservative place and a place with an active, thinking progressive minority. Like most places.

    They minority is usually a generation ahead of the rest. So I suspect a UBI will become generally normal in about 30 years.

    Locally, the National Party is at the tail end of denying climate change. The Greens were taking about it 25 years ago.

    Same pattern.

    • dukeofurl 4.1

      Sir Thomas Moores 16th century work Utopia which described a fictional island, had an arguement for a UBI. It seemed to be more in a monastic sense.

      • Li 4.1.1

        Is that any good? I think I have it around somewhere but haven’t picked it up yet.

    • aerobubble 4.2

      Ubi is part of the bigger debate about redistribution, even if the society cannot imagine incentives for the poor while protecting incentives for the wealthy despite it harming poor and the wider economy. Essentially its tthe classic story let them eat cake, dont deal with the crisis just keep agititating and streesing the masses.

  5. Sirenia 5

    A good start. That’s about a quarter voting in favour in a conservative country. Only needs a little more than double that next time to come in. Give it maybe 10 years.

    • dukeofurl 5.1

      First Swiss referendum on giving women the vote ( at national level) was defeated by 67% ( of men) in 1959. It was finally passed in 1971.
      First canton level vote in favour was 1959, the last in 1990.

      Generally you can see their referendum system often as just beginning of an idea not the end

  6. NoThanks 6

    Uneducated lefties have time to complain about the state not giving them free cash but don’t have time to learn C++ or C or C# or Python, the premium languages for automation and robotics. No one owes you anything and it’s free to freeloaders.

    • RedLogix 6.1

      Given I’m one of the longest standing supporters of this site, and that I’ve a thirty-five year career in industrial automation and a decade before that in electronics … your sneering comment above died before it got out of bed.

      And no …. the C variants or Python are emphatically NOT the languages you typically find in real industrial settings. You might want to educate yourself about this.

      • BM 6.1.1

        What is?

        • RedLogix 6.1.1.1

          The four classic ‘old-school’ languages that have been around for decades are:

          1. Ladder
          2. Function Block
          3. Structured Text
          4. Sequential Function Charts

          The vast majority of installed code will be one of these four. And at first glance they look simple, but modern controllers support some pretty sophisticated techniques that can be achieved with them.

          Along the way I’ve run into VBA, C++ and some other specialised languages such as Cicode … and given the rapid convergence that the “Internet of Things” is bringing to the field … a young guy starting out will probably need a broader toolkit than I have.

          But the four core languages listed above will be around for a while yet; they have many features highly adapted to the task. Also they are very visual languages that give a graphical view of the machine state in real-time; most text-based languages simply cannot do this.

          Plus most industrial automation platforms will handle multi-user, dynamic recompiling (in other words multiple users online to the controller all performing edits to the code while the process is still in run mode) that is essential when you are controlling a process plant that cannot be stopped. Most script based systems are only just starting to think about this kind of functionality that we’ve had for decades.

          • BM 6.1.1.1.1

            Very interesting, I haven’t heard of any of those, probably because I have nothing to do with robotics or automation.
            Do you use any particular IDE?

            Plus most industrial automation platforms will handle multi-user, dynamic recompiling (in other words multiple users online to the controller all performing edits to the code while the process is still in run mode) that is essential when you are controlling a process plant that cannot be stopped. Most script based systems are only just starting to think about this kind of functionality that we’ve had for decades.

            So a move to interpreted languages like Ruby, JS,etc (Hopefully not Python, no braces???? and that nonsense with indentation, WTF)?

            Makes sense with artificial intelligence, couldn’t quite see how that would work with a compiled language?

          • Lanthanide 6.1.1.1.2

            NoThanks isn’t talking about industrial automation, though. NoThanks is talking about the robots that will replace (and in some cases already are) people in takeaway shops, and are projected to increasingly take over even professional jobs like doctors and lawyers.

            I’ve never heard of any of the languages you mentioned.

      • NoThanks 6.1.2

        Beg your pardon sir, coming from a mathematical and science background working in strategic advisory, the only automations I have done are COM and mathematical calcs automation so I don’t have to click on the software which I need to operate. I’m not an expert on robotics. 😛

        The point is, people need to learn some useful stuff before they open their big mouths south of their tiny brains which have stored nothing but some selected quotes from Lenin. Such idiots deserve starvation.

        • dukeofurl 6.1.2.1

          A Typically know all computer guy. Hasnt read a decent book in years.
          Once the rigid rules would have attracted them to the army life and occupation of others people countries. Now there are other occupations with rigid rules and the chances to right off anybody else as ‘idiots’

          • NoThanks 6.1.2.1.1

            I’m not a computer guy, a computer is only useful for calculations.

            And I have read a book only recently, it’s called “Margaret Thatcher: Power and Personality” which is a fascinating, sometimes a bit verbose, writing on the life of the ex-UK PM.

            And I share her sentiment on those who blame their problems on ‘society’ and ask ‘society’ to sort out their own mistakes: there’s no SOCIETY only MEN, WOMEN, and FAMILIES, and nothing can be done without these PEOPLE who should start looking after themselves first. While I agree the housing market is a problem, but those homeless people who still have time to get knocked up for more benefits are those people without disciplines, education, and any working ethics and they were probably those trouble-making waggers who can’t even tuck their shirts in back in high school days. Pretty damned hopeless. And I’m not interested to pay tax to reward their stupidity while I still have study after work for my Prince qualifications, MBA and all these stressful stuff. I do these extra work for ME and MY family, others can eat cakes. 🙂

            • dukeofurl 6.1.2.1.1.1

              Aitken the author, a friend of Thatchers used these words or quotes of others words about her
              : phoney, bullying, obnoxious, hypocritical, deplorable, unpleasant, alienating, opportunistic, confrontational, monomaniacal, disloyal, dysfunctional, snarky, pedestrian, hesitant, insufferably rude, foolish, arrogant, grudge-bearing and an anachronistic bigot.” – Guardian review
              http://www.theguardian.com/books/2013/oct/16/margaret-thatcher-jonathan-aitken-review
              Could be writing about you ? Im sure your ‘glittering career’ will end like hers, all bitter and twisted.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 6.1.2.1.1.2

              Hey, hate-speech-boy, why have so many more people made bad decisions (leading to homelessness according to your rote-learned hate speech) since 2008? Is the National Party a bad decisions factory or what.

              Face it, your hate speech says something about you, and nothing whatsoever about people or society.

              • dukeofurl

                Seems like you read even less than I thought, facebook even has this info for your education.
                Hate speech.
                “Content that attacks people based on their actual or perceived race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sex, gender, sexual orientation, disability or disease is not allowed. We do, however, allow clear attempts at humor or satire that might otherwise be considered a possible threat or attack.”
                The fact you are arrogant or insufferable bore, for example, doesnt make the hate speech grade. No points for playing the victim card but im sure you have an emoji short cut for that

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  those homeless people who still have time to get knocked up for more benefits are those people without disciplines, education, and any working ethics

                  Certainly meets the definition, although getting a definition of anything from Facebook is inadvisable if you ask me.

                  Edit: learning who a reply is to by using the numbering system is probably worth a try though.

                  • dukeofurl

                    You cant have a group of one for it to be hate speech.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      You think NoThanks (what a good name for an ingrate) is referring to a group of one?

            • Li 6.1.2.1.1.3

              Yeah that quote was a lame attempt at trying to individuate the problem like we aren’t creatures bound by our relationships and environment.
              But woteva… Boot straps! Boot straps!

    • leftie 6.2

      Nothanks. “freeloaders” equates to the rich hiding their ill gotten gains and not paying tax, while everyone else, (including lefties), pay tax… you mean?

  7. Li 7

    Of course… economic incentive is the only thing that makes us do anything.
    I never even get out of bed until someone waves a 20 dollar under my nose. This is the same old capitalist mind wash shit. We get raised into thinking that selflessness is a thing of fiction and everyone’s just out to get theirs so we have to too. People only want community when it’s gated.

    • dukeofurl 7.1

      “economic incentive is the only thing that makes us do anything”
      very little evidence of that- there would be a majority of couples as ‘dinks’ if that was remotely true.

      • Li 7.1.1

        I agree. It’s a complete misrepresentation of human drives but it’s the argument this dude in the OP makes, “If you pay people to do nothing, they will do nothing,” said Charles Wyplosz, economics professor at the Geneva Graduate Institute”

        Like whether I got paid as some form of UBI or because of being a nurse. I would still be a nurse. However, I would feel like I had more breathing room with a UBI which is what I feel it is all about really. Giving people more economic security and freedom so we ain’t so claustrophobic all the time with the threat of starvation arriving with every bill.

        • dukeofurl 7.1.1.1

          Good grief man, plenty of jobs do that exactly. Heard of fireman/woman.
          Which has a large volunteer component as well.
          A double contradiction for Professor Wyplosz.

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