The people of Switzerland have voted down a monthly income ballot proposal by a huge percentage. About 78% said ′No′ to the Swiss government guaranteeing a monthly check of 2,500 Swiss francs, around $2,563 US dollars. Some called it the ″Money For Nothing″ proposal, as it would have given this sum to every Swiss adult regardless of income or circumstance. Even children under 18 years of age would get a check, too, for 625 francs. The program would have cost the Swiss government some 208 Billion Swiss francs per year. Mind you, Switzerland, the best run democratic-republic on the planet, has a GPD of about $685 Billion dollars per year. Dividing that by around 8.2 Million citizens you have a per capita average of around $83.5 Million dollars per person. The United States, in comparison, is said to have a GDP of about $17 Trillion dollars with nearly 320 Million people, about $53 Million per person.
Now, mind you, the Swiss already have one of the best social safety nets in the world, if not THE BEST! Their national budget on such is already close to $180 Billion per year, so there is not much of a difference. Only about 7% of the Swiss population is considered to be poor, as opposed to 9% here in the US. Still, it is interesting that Switzerland has rejected this move towards Socialism. That, in itself, is something to celebrate!
Of course, one hitch in the problem is that the Swiss practice the single, greatest evil to individual liberty, debt-based currency. In 2000, the Swiss ended the backing of the Swiss franc by 40% gold from their reserves. Nearly a century of a zero inflation rate went out the window. Mind you, thanks to the Swiss constitution, which does NOT allow their elected officials to raise or create taxes, they still have very little debt and therefore, very little inflation.
At some point in the very near future, thanks to improvements in technology, we will enter the era of the ′Economy of Abundance′. In many respects, we are already there. However, our economic, social and political systems are still functioning based on the economics of limited resources. By 2020 through 2025, assuming that we do not have some major ′Black Swan′ event that send civilization back to the early or late 19th Century, let alone the Stone Age, we will have to completely rewrite the books and change the structure and format of every single social institution we have.
Not just how we educate people or govern ourselves, but also our economic system. This is why I advocate switching over to a ′Credit-based′ currency system I like to call ″Life-Base Economics″. This is where the government only prints new money as babies are born, with the new born getting a nice chunk of it up front as his or her social safety net. Yes, we would have safeguards to protect the inheritance from greedy, selfish parents. Even from foolish behavior by the young adult as he or she comes of age. But if we do it as I have outlined often before, we will not only end poverty once and for all, but provide the economic base to fuel the Age of Abundance.
Believe it or not, our planet is probably easily capable of sustaining a population of 40-50 Billion people. By the time we reach that mark, we′ll already be colonizing outer space. Either with settlements on moons, planets and asteroids, or by building massive space stations as outlined by Prof. Gerald O′Neil, Father of the L-5 concept. So I′m not worried about the distant future. What concerns me is just making it during these next few years, at least a decade or so, until we reach the Age of Abudance. The future is going to be very cool and very wild!
Take, for example, just the advances in 3-D printer technology. Machines today that cost about $400 can do more faster than machines 10 years ago which cost over $10,000. In a few more years, they will be so cheap that every household will have one. You need a new pair of shoes? You′re not going to go to a store to buy them. You′re going to buy, via your smartphone, an app to make the design you want right in your home! Hungry? Why waste fuel and time driving to a fast food place or to the grocery store. You load a protein and carbohydrate cartridge into your 3-D printer and make yourself a Big Mac buying an app from McDonalds using your smartphone. Eventually, you won′t even need the smartphone because the paint on your walls will be your computer. You′ll be wired in no matter where you go, no matter where you are.
So, I suspect that at some point, Switzerland, and every other technologically advanced country, probably will be paying their citizens for doing nothing. Although, it will probably be as I have suggested, a function of a credit-based, life-based, monetary system. Your ′J-O-B′ in the future during the Age of Abundance will be as a consumer. We will always have creative people who will come up with new stuff that we will want to try and buy. Thanks to technology, it will be extremely cheap. Hand-made, human-made products will themselves become luxury items. Created by creative people and sold to the new wealthy.