An unconditional basic income is a logical response to how the economy is evolving

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Ralph Kundig – Published on Friday, February 5th, 2016 on (FR)

An unconditional basic income (UBI) for everyone, the subject of a popular vote in Switzerland on 5 June 2016, is - according to Ralph Kundig - the logical response to developments in the economy. These imply less and less connection between employment and the economy, and consequently between employment and the social safety net. Ralph is the president of BIEN-Switzerland, the association fighting to introduce an UBI in Switzerland

Big data, learning machines, digitization, open source: all are developments which threaten jobs, even highly qualified ones. Unemployment is rising and social security costs are mushrooming, with fewer and fewer workers to pay for it and feeble economic growth. The way things are going means that neither the economy nor social security can any longer remain dependent on employment.

We are already seeing that salaries no longer bear much relation to the usefulness of the work done. The proportion of the population whose revenue is derived from work is a mere 40%; all the others accomplish tasks which are equally necessary to value creation but are unpaid, such as caring for family, learning, volunteer work or art and culture. In the 21st century, the concept of paid work as the sole source of income, social integration and human value creation has become obsolete.

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