Basic Income Coming Soon?

Basic Income Coming Soon?

Basic income coming soon blog

The Swiss Vote on introducing an Unconditional Basic Income (UBI) on June 5, 2016. The intention behind this groundbreaking citizens’ initiative is less about proposing a solution to social problems (like fighting against inequality, helping the working poor …), rather it is an invitation to think about and publicly debate some fundamental questions that concern us all globally. This initiative invites us, for example, to think about the different meanings of “work” and their relationship to ‘income”. It challenges us to debate and compare the conditions that force an individual to work for money (labour) or enable it to do what he or she considers meaningful. More generally, it challenges us to think about what it means to be a human being in the 21st century.

However, we can also ask ourselves what kind of social problems guaranteeing a basic income would solve or create. But before entering into these debates in a next blog entry, let me begin with some facts and questions. How is it that the Swiss voters can propose and decide constitutional amendments? How is it possible that they can propose, debate and decide even revolutionary measures? And the introduction of an UBI is revolutionary, perhaps. What happens if the government and parliament disagree? Is there no control, are there no limits to what the voters in Switzerland can decide? Should there be limits? What kind of limits? Who sets them? Who controls them? And then what are the consequences for democracy, that is, people deciding their own affaires by themselves, as equals? Continue reading …

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