Growing income inequality around the globe has inspired some nations to think beyond regressive austerity measures; instead of attempting to criminalize poverty, more countries are now considering innovative policies such as a universal Basic Income. Guaranteeing a minimal income helps all people to meet their most basic physical needs, like housing, food, clothing, and the essentials for survival.

basic income

In an attempt to reverse rampant extreme poverty and severe economic inequities, the Swiss populace is now demanding a vote to implement a Basic Income for all of its citizens. These proposed economic reforms would mandate $2500 francs monthly for every adult; regardless if they are rich or poor, all people would be treated equally. Creating a universal minimum income allows each individual to choose where they invest their hard work and energy, spurring entrepreneurship and more sustainable local economies. Initiative organizers state that this reform could be funded from the social insurance system in Switzerland and from a small financial transaction tax.

Beyond organizing in support of Basic Income, the Swiss have also implemented a number of other sustainable economic reforms recently. Earlier this year, voters demanded strict regulations to controls excessively high executive pay, and also now legally mandate that company shareholders must vote to approve executive compensation. Another measure aimed at diminishing wealth inequality in this european nation would require that CEO pay be no more than twelve times what the lowest-paid worker earns in a year. Citizens will vote upon this the initiative on November 24.

If you would like to learn more about Basic Income, please visit the Basic Income Earth Network website:

Image via Basic Income