Switzerland will vote to give all adults guaranteed $2,800 monthly income.
Grassroots organizers were able to collect the 100,000 signatures required to force a referendum on the proposed initiative. The move is the latest by Swiss grassroots activists who are pushing for reforms following the European financial crisis.
Activists dumped 8-million 5-cent coins on Oct. 4— one coin for each person living in Switzerland— in the center of the Federal Square outside of Switzerland’s parliament in Berne.
A very handy reminder that there’s what most Americans consider left-wing, and then there’s the kind of conversation on social justice you sometimes find in European democracies. However foreign the notion of guaranteed monthly income may be to many Americans, Switzerland also passed a piece of progressive drug policy last week familiar to American liberals — the decriminalization of marijuana.
It’s interesting to point out that Switzerland is probably the most pro-market, and libertarian of the European democracies. So this is a big deal. It also shows how different American “conservatives” are from European ones (particularly since the latter tend to emphasize things like helping the poor and maintaining social safety nets).
In case you want some evidence for Switzerland’s free market credentials:
- Switzerland ranks as the 4th “most free” economy according to the conservative Fraser Institute’s Economic Freedom of the World index (the US ranks 18th).
- Switzerland ranks as the 5th “most free” economy, according to the conservative Heritage Foundation’s Index of Economic Freedom (the US ranks 10th).
- Former Libertarian activist, Nick Wilson, ranks Switzerland as the 2nd “most free” country in the 2013 State of World Liberty index (the US doesn’t make the top 10, but does make the top 20%).