Recently, the idea of Universal Basic Income (UBI) became globaly popular. World Economic Forum founder Prof. Klaus Schwab considered that a basic income will be soon required. «We have to think in new ways», he said to Blick, a major Swiss newspaper.
As the first nation globally, Swiss citizens will decide on introducing UBI in a public referendum in June 2016. The first representative survey was carried out in December 2015.
The main results of the survey
Introducing a UBI in Switzerland, only 2% of Swiss people say, they would definitely quit their jobs. The frequently cited counter-argument, that with an UBI no one would continue working, is obviously not a problem Switzerland has to worry about. Also, the counter-argument, that especially young people would become lazy because of a lack of incentives is detected as false: Only 3% of young people (age 18-34), answered, that they definitely would quit their jobs, when receiving a UBI.
53% of Swiss citizens say, they would spend more time with the family receiving a UBI. That fleshes out the statement, that a UBI strengthens the family. Especially people with low income (below 5000 CHF/month) would appreciate to spend more time with the family (66%).
54% of the Swiss want to do further education with an UBI. 56% of women and even 70% of the younger generation (18-34 years) and families with kids (61%) would be willing to further qualify themselves when receiving a UBI. So UBI meets people’s will to cope with the rapidly changing employment markets.
The survey shows another surprizing result: With a UBI, 22% in total would want to start a business or work self-employed. This would strengthen the progressive and innovative position of Switzerland towards the future. On the same hand, 67% state that a UBI would take existential fear off the people. This lack of existential fear empowers initiative. A widely spread majority of Swiss realize this effect from UBI.
A positive sideeffect regarding peoples consumption: 35% state, that with a UBI they would care more about sustainable products. Young people (under 35) even 50%.
From the Generation Y (people under 35 years), 59% assume that in the future a UBI will be reality in Switzerland. This shows: A universal basic income will turn up – sooner or later.
«The Swiss are ready for a universal basic income!»
The first representative survey on universal basic income in Switzerland shows, that UBI is the best way to be a step ahead of the rapid technological progress:
The Swiss have a good background for the introduction of a UBI, because it will strengthen their desire to further educate and qualify themselves. This is also shown by the 67% who state, a UBI would take existential fear away (26% certain, 41% rather).
So the UBI encourages people to cope with the rapidly technological changes through further qualification and self-employment. This shows that UBI doesn’t lead to laziness, but to enhancements and progress. Further studies and qualification brings progress in work and economy. Introducing a UBI is presumably an investment in the future of society.
Significantly more women are for the introduction of a UBI. As an outcome of the socially constructed gender roles, women have a closer perception of the needs in the field of family- and caregiving work. This work, which became connotated as “typical womens work” is a mainstay of our society. With a basic income, it would get higher valued and could be shared more equitably. So, a UBI solves problems especially women had to carry in history (New York Times: «It’s Payback Time for Women«).
And last but not least: With a UBI 40% of all Swiss citizens would engage more in voluntary work. Among the supporters of the UBI-idea even 60% say, that they would commit themselves more voluntarily. This would help to sustain society, in church, sports, clubs, schools and so on.
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