Posts Tagged ‘Switzerland’

toward universal income in Switzerland

Saturday, November 23rd, 2013

This is a news story that I had missed: the Swiss will soon vote on whether to provide a basic income grant to all adults.

A grassroots committee is calling for all adults in Switzerland to receive an unconditional income of 2,500 Swiss francs ($2,800) per month from the state ….

Under Swiss law, citizens can organize popular initiatives that allow the channeling of public anger into direct political action. The country usually holds several referenda a year. ….

The timing of the vote has yet to be announced ….

Swiss to vote on 2,500 franc basic income for every adult“, Reuters, 4 October 2013.

I was alerted to this by a column of FT ‘undercover economist’ Tim Harford. If the initiative passes, Switzerland will become the first country in the world to provide all its citizens with a basic income.

[Universal income] is endorsed not only by experts on inequality such as Oxford

executive greed

Thursday, November 14th, 2013

Switzerland will soon hold a referendum on reforms to limit compensation of top executives to 12 times that of the lowest-paid employee of their company. The Financial Times agrees that excessive remuneration of executives is a problem, but thinks that a legal cap on earnings would be “a step too far”.

There is a problem with excessive top pay. Bosses of big US companies earn 340 times as much as the average worker, while in the UK the figure is 133 times. At Switzerland

the European project

Tuesday, April 10th, 2012

the problem with insurance mandates

Sunday, October 25th, 2009

An op-ed column in today’s New York Times is flawed, but not fatally, as

the US healthcare bill

Monday, October 19th, 2009

Everyone agrees that the health bill approved by the Senate finance committee last week is a flawed bill. Nonetheless, argues Financial Times columnist Clive Crook, “the bill is a breakthrough” and Barack Obama is right to call it a

reform of US health care

Sunday, September 13th, 2009

Jeffrey S. Flier, dean of the Harvard Medical School, advocates a cautiously conservative reform of US health care. His main recommendation is to extend the tax subsidy for health insurance, currently limited to employers, to everyone. This measure, according to Flier, “would enable the uninsured to use tax-sheltered money to buy health insurance for themselves” and give insured employees the freedom to choose their insurance provider. I see at least three problems with such a policy. First, it does not address the very serious problem of the high cost of US medical care. Second, it provides no help for the unhealthy, who find it impossible to purchase personal insurance at affordable rates. Third, most of the benefits accrue to those with high incomes: tax shelters are of little or no value to those with little or no taxable income.

Harvard economist Greg Mankiw posts an excerpt and a link to Flier’s article, but fails to mention that the online journal that published Dean Flier’s views contains a number of articles on health care reform in its current issue. One of these, authored by Professor Marc Feldmann of the Imperial College School of Medicine in London, UK, offers an international perspective. Here is an excerpt:

American medicine has much to be proud of. …. But there are also problems on a huge scale, which means that the US