Tad Donaghe has been fond of saying that as the changes in the economy result in severe economic disruption, governments will have to start moving toward paying a guaranteed income to their citizens. In response to an earlier list for Barack Obama, Donaghe offered this suggestion:
As automation comes on line, jobs overseas will become irrelevant. We should instead be focusing on how to deal with all the unemployed citizens we’ll soon have. Basic guaranteed income may be our only hope.
I’m not quite prepared to go that far in my thinking yet – I still believe that the current economic disruption will take care of itself, and new high-paying jobs will be created to replace the ones that are going away.
But if I’m wrong and Tad is right, perhaps this new future is beginning now. But it was a surprise to me to see where it’s beginning.
[T]he Swiss people have gathered enough signatures to force a referendum on whether they should guarantee $2800 in monthly income for all adults.
In response to growing inequality in the European bastion of wealth, a grassroots committee has forced a referendum on whether the state should guarantee $2800 in monthly income….
Yes, Switzerland – a country that I always assumed would be somewhat sheltered from economic dislocation – appears to be taking steps to address it.
Gawker adds, however, that no date for the referendum has been set. And of course it’s quite possible that the referendum will fail.