Switzerland may end up guaranteeing every citizen a modest living just because they are living.
This idea was popular on the high prairies in Canada and in Quebec for some time and had representation in Ottawa, and occasionally were the governing party in a province, but they never came close to forming a government, and the provinces were in no position to issue currency.
I was brought up to mock it. Indeed it was probably premature when they proposed it in Canada in the 30s, and as I understand it had already declined into racist and incoherent rural crankdom when I was a kid. They had split into the SoCreds in the prairies and the Creditistes in Quebec and held on to a couple of seats in the federal parliament well into the 60s before fading out altogether. So the idea had a long history in Canada but was never really tried.
Nowadays, though, Social Credit as an idea makes perfect sense. There isn’t enough productive work to go around. The current system forces us to find destructive work instead. This is a bad idea.
Guaranteeing everyone a bed and three squares is not an obviously bad alternative. It is time to reconsider it. I propose a global compact that nobody starves anymore; then we won’t have to work quite so hard playing musical chairs.
From the linked Salon article:
The proposals that are floating around the world vary a lot. But the basic idea is, no matter what you do, if you’re a resident — or in some cases, a citizen — you get a certain amount of money each month. And it’s completely unconditional: If you’re rich you get it, if you’re poor you get. If you’re a good person you get it, if you’re a bad person you get it. And it does not depend on you doing anything other than making whatever effort is involved to collect the money. It’s been a topic of discussion for several decades. Why is it happening right now? I think it’s obvious that it’s a reaction to the high level of economic inequality that we’ve seen. Most European countries haven’t had big increases in inequality at the same scale that we [in the U.S.] have, [but] some of them have had much more than they’re used to.