Unconditional basic income: Swiss village lacks money

"Village tests the future" - this is the name of an experiment on unconditional basic income in the village of Rheinau in the canton of Zurich. But the Swiss do not want to go along with the necessary crowdfunding.

It has been almost two and a half years since the Swiss people voted against the introduction of an unconditional basic income. Filmmaker Rebecca Panian still wanted to start an experiment in the village of Rheinau. Every month residents should receive a basic income. The idea behind it: You should first test the idea before you write it off.

She wanted to finance this through crowdfunding. But now the money is missing, as the portal swissinfo.ch reports. A good 150,000 francs have so far come together (equivalent to about 130,000 euros). But good 6.2 million francs are needed (the equivalent of about 5.5 million euros). Probably nothing will come of the attempt: Deadline is the 4th of December.

Panian: Basic income does not mean a year's vacation

Actually the experiment should start in January 2019, 770 inhabitants wanted to participate. Depending on their age, they would have received between 625 francs (551 euros) and 2500 francs (2200 euros) per month. But filmmaker Panian could not convince her compatriots of the concept.

"There is always the misunderstanding that we want to finance people a year vacation, which is of course not true," says Panian. A resident could only have the courage to become self-employed through the discussion about the basic income.

Worldwide experiments with the basic income

"I do not want to talk about a Plan B, because - in keeping with the democratic discourse that we cultivated throughout the project - the participants should first state whether and how we would continue," says the initiator. But she does not quite want to give up hope: "It would be great if we could continue, we have come so incredibly far."

In Kenya and Finland, there have already been state experiments with the basic income, in California and Scotland more are planned. The intentions behind it are different. Finland wants to save social benefits. In California, one looks for the answer to the question of how to proceed when robots take over the jobs. The initiators in Kenya are interested in fighting poverty. It seems as if it would be too early in Switzerland.

ref: spiegel