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Switzerland to vote on a Guaranteed Mincome

ClassicRobert
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11/28/2013 11:47:57 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
The below article outlines a piece of legislation that will receive a vote in Switzerland to give everybody a guaranteed minimum income, regardless of who they are.

http://www.nytimes.com...

Discuss.
Debate me: Economic decision theory should be adjusted to include higher-order preferences for non-normative purposes http://www.debate.org...

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ClassicRobert
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11/28/2013 11:53:57 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
I'm also just going to throw this out there...

"As Peter Ferrara pointed out in Forbes, the Census Bureau estimates that our total welfare spending is four times the amount that would be needed to lift all Americans currently living in poverty above the poverty line by giving them cash."

http://reason.com...
Debate me: Economic decision theory should be adjusted to include higher-order preferences for non-normative purposes http://www.debate.org...

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themohawkninja
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11/28/2013 12:05:30 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/28/2013 11:47:57 AM, ClassicRobert wrote:
The below article outlines a piece of legislation that will receive a vote in Switzerland to give everybody a guaranteed minimum income, regardless of who they are.

http://www.nytimes.com...

Discuss.

It just seems to good to be true. This is too obvious of a solution to work. I suppose the real problem with this, is that it's free guaranteed welfare. People complain about 'welfare moms' and people that don't work, but rather just live off of heathcare, so therefore giving people more money for not working will only increase the incentive to do so.

On top of the aforesaid problem, how exactly is this going to work? Who gets how much money, and would dependents inherit their providers' income?

Finally (and this isn't related to any problems), why is the right for this and the left against? Isn't this an example of a bigger government?
"Morals are simply a limit to man's potential."~Myself

Political correctness is like saying you can't have a steak, because a baby can't eat one ~Unknown
ClassicRobert
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11/28/2013 12:15:44 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/28/2013 12:05:30 PM, themohawkninja wrote:
At 11/28/2013 11:47:57 AM, ClassicRobert wrote:
The below article outlines a piece of legislation that will receive a vote in Switzerland to give everybody a guaranteed minimum income, regardless of who they are.

http://www.nytimes.com...

Discuss.

It just seems to good to be true. This is too obvious of a solution to work. I suppose the real problem with this, is that it's free guaranteed welfare.

People complain about 'welfare moms' and people that don't work, but rather just live off of heathcare, so therefore giving people more money for not working will only increase the incentive to do so.

We have seen that the disincentive to work is not dramatically increased under this system. This is because it replaces other welfare programs, all of which already provided a certain level of disincentive.

On top of the aforesaid problem, how exactly is this going to work? Who gets how much money, and would dependents inherit their providers' income?

Everybody gets money, and I believe that it is, to a certain extent, based on locational cost of living. I'm not sure about your inheritance question.

Finally (and this isn't related to any problems), why is the right for this and the left against? Isn't this an example of a bigger government?

No, because it comes with removal of the welfare state. You are removing 100+ programs for the sake of one program that allows for personal responsibility in spending.
Debate me: Economic decision theory should be adjusted to include higher-order preferences for non-normative purposes http://www.debate.org...

Do you really believe that? Or not? If you believe it, you should man up and defend it in a debate. -RoyLatham

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themohawkninja
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11/28/2013 12:18:48 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/28/2013 12:15:44 PM, ClassicRobert wrote:
At 11/28/2013 12:05:30 PM, themohawkninja wrote:
At 11/28/2013 11:47:57 AM, ClassicRobert wrote:
The below article outlines a piece of legislation that will receive a vote in Switzerland to give everybody a guaranteed minimum income, regardless of who they are.

http://www.nytimes.com...

Discuss.

It just seems to good to be true. This is too obvious of a solution to work. I suppose the real problem with this, is that it's free guaranteed welfare.

People complain about 'welfare moms' and people that don't work, but rather just live off of heathcare, so therefore giving people more money for not working will only increase the incentive to do so.

We have seen that the disincentive to work is not dramatically increased under this system. This is because it replaces other welfare programs, all of which already provided a certain level of disincentive.

True, true. I don't know, it just seems too obvious. This seems like something that every country short of Communist countries would adopt. Why wouldn't you do this?

On top of the aforesaid problem, how exactly is this going to work? Who gets how much money, and would dependents inherit their providers' income?

Everybody gets money, and I believe that it is, to a certain extent, based on locational cost of living. I'm not sure about your inheritance question.

Finally (and this isn't related to any problems), why is the right for this and the left against? Isn't this an example of a bigger government?

No, because it comes with removal of the welfare state. You are removing 100+ programs for the sake of one program that allows for personal responsibility in spending.
"Morals are simply a limit to man's potential."~Myself

Political correctness is like saying you can't have a steak, because a baby can't eat one ~Unknown
BlackVoid
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11/28/2013 4:13:35 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/28/2013 11:53:57 AM, ClassicRobert wrote:
I'm also just going to throw this out there...

"As Peter Ferrara pointed out in Forbes, the Census Bureau estimates that our total welfare spending is four times the amount that would be needed to lift all Americans currently living in poverty above the poverty line by giving them cash."

http://reason.com...

Thats pretty interesting. I'll do some research on this.
Wallstreetatheist
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11/28/2013 4:17:29 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
I just left Switzerland. It's a litigious land of boring, rich, white people. I give zero fucks about an inane policy they are enacting. That said, Switzerland is expensive as f*ck. Everything I bought was 2-5x as expensive as it is in the US.

Go there for the views of the Alps and lakes, the cheese, the chocolate. Leave before they start butchering the German language.

YYW was right.
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Wallstreetatheist
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11/28/2013 4:18:38 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/28/2013 4:17:29 PM, Wallstreetatheist wrote:
I just left Switzerland. It's a litigious land of boring, rich, white people. I give zero fucks about an inane policy they are enacting. That said, Switzerland is expensive as f*ck. Everything I bought was 2-5x as expensive as it is in the US.

Go there for the views of the Alps and lakes, the cheese, the chocolate. Leave before they start butchering the German language.

YYW was right.
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Eitan_Zohar
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11/28/2013 5:46:08 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Out of curiosity, have you ever visited other countries before your current trek across Europe?
"It is my ambition to say in ten sentences what others say in a whole book."
Wallstreetatheist
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11/29/2013 10:00:29 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/28/2013 5:46:08 PM, Eitan_Zohar wrote:
Out of curiosity, have you ever visited other countries before your current trek across Europe?

London and Paris for senior trip. We did touristy sh*t. Never again.
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ClassicRobert
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11/29/2013 10:41:30 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Bump
Debate me: Economic decision theory should be adjusted to include higher-order preferences for non-normative purposes http://www.debate.org...

Do you really believe that? Or not? If you believe it, you should man up and defend it in a debate. -RoyLatham

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GeoLaureate8
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11/29/2013 10:51:57 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Already discussed this in this thread:

http://www.debate.org...
"We must raise the standard of the Old, free, decentralized, and strictly limited Republic."
-- Murray Rothbard

"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."
-- Frederic Bastiat
dylancatlow
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11/30/2013 12:00:03 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/28/2013 11:53:57 AM, ClassicRobert wrote:
I'm also just going to throw this out there...

"As Peter Ferrara pointed out in Forbes, the Census Bureau estimates that our total welfare spending is four times the amount that would be needed to lift all Americans currently living in poverty above the poverty line by giving them cash."

http://reason.com...

This is misleading, because our 'welfare spending' goes far beyond merely lifting Americans out of poverty. A negative income tax would be more efficient than the current system, but I don't think by four times.
BlackVoid
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12/1/2013 2:30:43 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/29/2013 10:41:30 PM, ClassicRobert wrote:
Bump

There's a surprisingly miminal amount of research thats been done on this theory, but I'll post an essay on what I've discovered about it sometime tomorrow.
ClassicRobert
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12/1/2013 7:11:37 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/1/2013 2:30:43 AM, BlackVoid wrote:
At 11/29/2013 10:41:30 PM, ClassicRobert wrote:
Bump

There's a surprisingly miminal amount of research thats been done on this theory, but I'll post an essay on what I've discovered about it sometime tomorrow.

This is why you rock.
Debate me: Economic decision theory should be adjusted to include higher-order preferences for non-normative purposes http://www.debate.org...

Do you really believe that? Or not? If you believe it, you should man up and defend it in a debate. -RoyLatham

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BlackVoid
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12/2/2013 12:45:08 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
The most prominent advocate of implementing a similar system in the US is Allen Sheahen, who wrote the book "BIG" (basic income guarantee, what the Swiss are voting on). His proposed system is to unconditionally give $11,500 to every US citizen over the age of 18. To do this requires 1.9 trillion dollars. You already know how this idea is supposedly going to pay for that (cutting all welfare plus social security), but his plan also requires a 35% flat tax on income. In an interview with Mark Crumpton, he also advocates for closed tax loopholes and a .25% stock transaction tax to help pay for it. His plan does not account for the cost of living based on location, which is different from Switzerland's proposed system. You'd get the same amount of money regardless of if you lived in Plano, Texas or New York City.

Another source estimated that you could run a 33% flat tax and give everyone around $9800. The high flat tax will seem really high for people in the lower class, but when you account for the yearly grant, there is no conceivable scenario where you are making less money due to the increased tax. Most people will make significantly more.

The links Bobbert brought up tell a lot of the hypothetical benefits of a basic income. Elimination of poverty, for instance. People have more money. Simplification of the redistributive policies. Something not mentioned though is that college becomes much more affordable. Students won't be pressured to work a part time job and manage school at the same time. I mean, jesus. Getting over 11,000 free dollars a year would do wonders for its affordability. And if more people go to college because of these things, that could have several long-term benefits.

Also, since the grant would only be given to legal citizens, immigrating illegally becomes really stupid. Illegal immigration would plummet, if not be eliminated in its entirety.

Combining all these things, it seems that this idea has an enormous potential ceiling.
BlackVoid
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12/2/2013 12:45:39 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Criticisms:

By far, the most common criticism I've seen is that a basic income would disincentivize work. People would either stop working, or work fewer hours. Luckily for us, there's been several trial runs of this system, so we have some empirical evidence to work with. New York City, Nambia, and Iran among others have implemented a lesser version of Switzerland's proposal. Here is a peer-reviewed article explaining how well these experiments went: http://watchplayread.com...

The best study in relation to the OP though took place in various cities spanning 7 US states. Everyone in these cities were given a monthly basic income grant from 1968 to 1979. This is a superior study to measure the work disincentive argument since the money was given for 11 years, in contrast to most other experiments, which ran for 3-5 years. People in the latter trials would know that they would only get the money for a short period of time, and therefore would still want to keep their job. Their findings were that on average, people worked 9% fewer hours. However, this number is heavily skewed by mothers, who worked less to spend time with the kids. Taking them out, the decrease was negligible.

Sheahen himself acknowledges that "some people probably will" choose not to work, but argues that most will stay employed. You can choose not to work, but you'll be right next to poverty level and won't live a fulfilling life. Most people won't choose that path. Ultimately, between this and the empirics, I don't consider work disincentive to be a valid criticism.

There are some other potential problems though that aren't so easy to refute. For one, the elderly would be at a disadvantage. If we give them $11,500 a year, thats $958 a month. However, we remove all welfare plus social security. The average social security recipient gets $1,269 a month - a difference of over $300. Then account for the loss of Medicare.

Another problem is mass immigration. The link under this paragraph brings up the argument that if a country (lets say the US) put in a mincome, expect immigration to skyrocket to levels we've never seen before. People in Mexico can work their butts off and not make $11,000, then come over here and get that much for nothing. Immigration itself isn't a bad thing, but in the context of a mincome, it could become a problem when you account for remittances. Remittance is where immigrants send money they make back to their (usually impoverished) families in their home country. This happens frequently - the US sends over $100 billion out of the country each year. So if we gave every immigrant almost a thousand dollars every month, expect them to send a lot of this cash out of the country. If the number of remittances blows up, it could have a negative impact on the US by taking tens of billions of dollars out of the economy, which in turn would make it more difficult to pay the mincome.

http://www.ssc.wisc.edu...

There's more to this topic, but this is the basic outline of what I've found. Haven't decided if I support it yet.
ClassicRobert
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12/2/2013 2:32:11 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/2/2013 12:45:39 PM, BlackVoid wrote:
Criticisms:

By far, the most common criticism I've seen is that a basic income would disincentivize work. People would either stop working, or work fewer hours. Luckily for us, there's been several trial runs of this system, so we have some empirical evidence to work with. New York City, Nambia, and Iran among others have implemented a lesser version of Switzerland's proposal. Here is a peer-reviewed article explaining how well these experiments went: http://watchplayread.com...

The best study in relation to the OP though took place in various cities spanning 7 US states. Everyone in these cities were given a monthly basic income grant from 1968 to 1979. This is a superior study to measure the work disincentive argument since the money was given for 11 years, in contrast to most other experiments, which ran for 3-5 years. People in the latter trials would know that they would only get the money for a short period of time, and therefore would still want to keep their job. Their findings were that on average, people worked 9% fewer hours. However, this number is heavily skewed by mothers, who worked less to spend time with the kids. Taking them out, the decrease was negligible.

Sheahen himself acknowledges that "some people probably will" choose not to work, but argues that most will stay employed. You can choose not to work, but you'll be right next to poverty level and won't live a fulfilling life. Most people won't choose that path. Ultimately, between this and the empirics, I don't consider work disincentive to be a valid criticism.

There are some other potential problems though that aren't so easy to refute. For one, the elderly would be at a disadvantage. If we give them $11,500 a year, thats $958 a month. However, we remove all welfare plus social security. The average social security recipient gets $1,269 a month - a difference of over $300. Then account for the loss of Medicare.

This problem isn't too big of a deal to me, because honestly, I'm not too set in that specific number, and the proposal isn't set there either. For example, Switzerland's proposal offers almost three times that amount per year. Also, there could be a certain amount of means testing.

Another problem is mass immigration. The link under this paragraph brings up the argument that if a country (lets say the US) put in a mincome, expect immigration to skyrocket to levels we've never seen before. People in Mexico can work their butts off and not make $11,000, then come over here and get that much for nothing. Immigration itself isn't a bad thing, but in the context of a mincome, it could become a problem when you account for remittances. Remittance is where immigrants send money they make back to their (usually impoverished) families in their home country. This happens frequently - the US sends over $100 billion out of the country each year. So if we gave every immigrant almost a thousand dollars every month, expect them to send a lot of this cash out of the country. If the number of remittances blows up, it could have a negative impact on the US by taking tens of billions of dollars out of the economy, which in turn would make it more difficult to pay the mincome.

As you said earlier, the incentive to immigrate illegally is pretty much removed, and in addition to that, we do have quotas to limit legal immigration, so that isn't exactly a problem. Additionally, the quotas can always be lowered.

http://www.ssc.wisc.edu...

There's more to this topic, but this is the basic outline of what I've found. Haven't decided if I support it yet.

I would also like to add that I don't see it as replacing public health care, but I'm not sure if that's along the mainstream of the movement.
Debate me: Economic decision theory should be adjusted to include higher-order preferences for non-normative purposes http://www.debate.org...

Do you really believe that? Or not? If you believe it, you should man up and defend it in a debate. -RoyLatham

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GeoLaureate8
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12/2/2013 2:48:37 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/2/2013 12:45:39 PM, BlackVoid wrote:
Their findings were that on average, people worked 9% fewer hours. However, this number is heavily skewed by mothers, who worked less to spend time with the kids. Taking them out, the decrease was negligible.

"Reducing the working week from 40 hours to 30 is not what all employees exactly crave, but it could be economically beneficial, the New Economics Foundation says. Fewer working hours would create more jobs, improve health and stimulate social life.

Modern life provides people with a number of opportunities as never before. However, work consumes free time and drains energy. In order to decrease working hours and make-part time full-time, companies can give their employees more leisure time instead of increasing wages."

A group of eight economists from the New Economics Foundation suggested, that the passage from a 40 to a 30-hour working week would ease employees' lives, improve health, open up more opportunities and stimulate social life."

http://rt.com...
"We must raise the standard of the Old, free, decentralized, and strictly limited Republic."
-- Murray Rothbard

"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."
-- Frederic Bastiat
BlackVoid
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12/2/2013 3:33:53 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/2/2013 2:32:11 PM, ClassicRobert wrote:

This problem isn't too big of a deal to me, because honestly, I'm not too set in that specific number, and the proposal isn't set there either. For example, Switzerland's proposal offers almost three times that amount per year. Also, there could be a certain amount of means testing.

Keep in mind that the cost of living in Switzerland is exponentially higher than in the US, at least according to the consumer price and rent index. However, you're probably right that we could slightly adjust the quantity to mitigate this problem.


As you said earlier, the incentive to immigrate illegally is pretty much removed, and in addition to that, we do have quotas to limit legal immigration, so that isn't exactly a problem. Additionally, the quotas can always be lowered.

Thats a fair solution, much better than the one proposed by the paper I linked. Their "solution" to mass immigration was to have a globalized basic income, which is even more of a pipe dream than this is.

I would also like to add that I don't see it as replacing public health care, but I'm not sure if that's along the mainstream of the movement.

Its probably not, so you'd have to find a way to make up for the money you're not getting by removing it.

You ever heard of the Intelligence Squared debate series? The Washington Post is doing something similar on this exact topic. They're having a group of experts sit down and debate a basic income tomorrow. I hope they upload it to Youtube. We could get a lot of information about this if they do.

http://www.washingtonpost.com...
BlackVoid
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12/2/2013 3:36:17 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/2/2013 2:48:37 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
At 12/2/2013 12:45:39 PM, BlackVoid wrote:
Their findings were that on average, people worked 9% fewer hours. However, this number is heavily skewed by mothers, who worked less to spend time with the kids. Taking them out, the decrease was negligible.

"Reducing the working week from 40 hours to 30 is not what all employees exactly crave, but it could be economically beneficial, the New Economics Foundation says. Fewer working hours would create more jobs, improve health and stimulate social life.

Modern life provides people with a number of opportunities as never before. However, work consumes free time and drains energy. In order to decrease working hours and make-part time full-time, companies can give their employees more leisure time instead of increasing wages."

A group of eight economists from the New Economics Foundation suggested, that the passage from a 40 to a 30-hour working week would ease employees' lives, improve health, open up more opportunities and stimulate social life."

http://rt.com...

Your argument is noted, but the evidence and logic both suggest that work hours will not significantly decrease, so this isn't exactly related to a mincome.
wrichcirw
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12/3/2013 6:32:33 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/28/2013 11:47:57 AM, ClassicRobert wrote:
The below article outlines a piece of legislation that will receive a vote in Switzerland to give everybody a guaranteed minimum income, regardless of who they are.

http://www.nytimes.com...

Discuss.

I think the idea of "welfare for all" is a great idea, except for the implementation. Instead of checks that can be used for drugs, booze, name-your-vice, I'd rather the funds be used to create "welfare centers" that provide the basics - food, shelter, maybe medical care. No money.

The reason.com article gives an interesting perspective, that we shouldn't treat people like children and tell them what they should spend their money on, yet another reason to get rid of money altogether in the solution for welfare. If you want money, money and property in general being the "pursuit of happiness", get a job. As it is, your right to life is guaranteed.

The forbes article is a bit too biased for my tastes, it frames welfare as the "welfare empire" or some sort of evil that creates a "non-working class". IMHO any welfare solution should be neutral in regards to one's proclivity to work.

Anyway, very interesting, thanks for sharing.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
sadolite
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12/5/2013 12:07:13 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
The results to be spun as an astounding success. Mean while small business disappears from the face of the planet and unemployment sky rockets. But those still working are earning $15.00 an hour or more.
It's not your views that divide us, it's what you think my views should be that divides us.

If you think I will give up my rights and forsake social etiquette to make you "FEEL" better you are sadly mistaken

If liberal democrats would just stop shooting people gun violence would drop by 90%
FREEDO
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12/5/2013 1:01:12 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
Guaranteed income was tested once in a single Canadian city to study whether people would work less. Only two groups of people worked less, mothers and teenagers. The economy improved, crime disappeared and graduation rates increased. However, the experiment did not test whether such a policy could be sustained for an entire country.
GRAND POOBAH OF DDO

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GeoLaureate8
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12/5/2013 1:12:55 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/5/2013 1:01:12 AM, FREEDO wrote:
Guaranteed income was tested once in a single Canadian city to study whether people would work less. Only two groups of people worked less, mothers and teenagers. The economy improved, crime disappeared and graduation rates increased. However, the experiment did not test whether such a policy could be sustained for an entire country.

Finally a Libertarian policy you can support.

"F.A. Hayek famously endorsed a minimum income for every person in this country."
http://theumlaut.com...

http://reason.com...
"We must raise the standard of the Old, free, decentralized, and strictly limited Republic."
-- Murray Rothbard

"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."
-- Frederic Bastiat
YYW
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12/5/2013 1:49:20 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/28/2013 4:17:29 PM, Wallstreetatheist wrote:
I just left Switzerland. It's a litigious land of boring, rich, white people. I give zero fucks about an inane policy they are enacting. That said, Switzerland is expensive as f*ck. Everything I bought was 2-5x as expensive as it is in the US.

Go there for the views of the Alps and lakes, the cheese, the chocolate. Leave before they start butchering the German language.

YYW was right.

I have spent some time there...
Tsar of DDO
YYW
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12/5/2013 1:49:52 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/28/2013 4:19:12 PM, Wallstreetatheist wrote:
What just happened... :O

Did you go to Zurich?
Tsar of DDO
Wallstreetatheist
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12/6/2013 7:13:05 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 12/5/2013 1:49:52 AM, YYW wrote:
At 11/28/2013 4:19:12 PM, Wallstreetatheist wrote:
What just happened... :O

Did you go to Zurich?

I went to Zurich and Zug. The Christmas markets were so beautiful :)
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