I apologize for being cynical about this, but if we don’t speak truthfully, we will never improve our situation.
Today (5 June 2016) Swiss voters will decide whether every citizen in Switzerland shall have a government-guaranteed minimum income (i.e. universal Social Security). Every nation should have this, since jobs are being eliminated by offshoring, by robot automation, and by sheer corporate greed.
However the Swiss measure will fail, because average people in Switzerland don’t want it. Reason: they think like peasants, as do average people everywhere else. They hate and envy each other, and they resent the idea of people (other than themselves) getting government money for not working (like rich people get).
(Being a “peasant” is not a material condition, but a state of mind. Not all average people are peasants, but intelligent people are drowned out by the hate-filled mob.)
In order to rationalize their hatred of each other, the peasants refuse to accept the fact that the Swiss government can create infinite Swiss francs out of thin air. Hence they submit to the notion that the basic income would be funded by an (unnecessary) hundred-per-cent consumption tax — in a country that already has one of the world’s highest costs of living.
This is why pundits and professors get away with lying. They exploit and encourage the peasants’ hatred of each other. When they falsely claim that there is “no money” for free college, the masses accept this lie, because it rationalizes their hatred of each other. Their hatred in turn justifies the lie. This cycle of hatred and delusion among average people is what causes people to remain peasants from cradle to grave.
Many of them spout falsehoods, such as, “If people had a bare minimum subsistence income, then everyone would stop working except for me!”
Or, “I have to pay more taxes so everyone around me can sit on their asses while I toil? Forget it!”
Some peasants complain that the basic income would only be for Swiss citizens, not for foreigners, who make up a quarter of the workforce consists of foreigners. These sanctimonious peasants don’t care about foreigners. They’re just rationalizing their hatred of other peasants. The Swiss referendum organizers have proposed 2,500 Swiss francs per month (equal to under U.S. $2,524 per month). This would let Swiss people hire more foreigners.
How intense is the hatred among Swiss peasants? According to opinion polls in Switzerland (assuming they are not rigged) 70% of Swiss peasants oppose having a basic guaranteed income, and will vote no in today’s referendum.
The top reason given? The peasants say the Swiss government can’t afford it (even though the Swiss government can create infinite money out of thin air).
The Swiss parliament, which is owned by the rich, is overwhelmingly opposed to the measure. Swiss politicians and corporate media pundits claim that it would destroy the Swiss economy (i.e. it would reduce inequality).
This whole thing is a scam designed to silence the few people in Switzerland who do not think like peasants. That’s why the rich are allowing it. Psychologically and politically, the referendum is a pressure relief valve to pacify the peasants as they are stomped by the rich.
Rich people and their puppet politicians are constantly devising pressure relief valves. Whenever they install a new president or prime minister who calls himself a “liberal” or a “socialist,” this is a pressure relief valve. Once in office, the “leftist” does an about face, e.g. Obama and Hollande (of France).
“See? We held a vote, and you people didn’t want it! So shut up about poverty, inequality, and banker-thieves!”
A similar measure is being discussed in Finland. It too is a scam; a pressure relief valve designed to silence the few average people in Finland who have brains. It too is doomed to fail, since Finland’s peasants (like all peasants) hate each other.
Indeed it is designed to fail. Quite simply the Finnish government (unlike the Swiss government) cannot afford to hand out a basic income. Finland is in a severe recession, and has a huge trade deficit, and cannot create euros out of thin air. Therefore the Finnish government (unlike the Swiss government) must borrow all its money. By holding a referendum on a basic income, and by making sure that the measure is voted down, the Finnish government will silence the peasants who are being crushed by debt, austerity, and unemployment. Pressure will be temporarily relieved, so the rape can continue.
Meanwhile rich people in Finland (the rapists) are getting richer than ever.
Robert Reich, the former labor secretary, sees a national guaranteed income as the most likely endgame in an economy with “more and more people getting pushed out of the middle class into the personal service sector of the economy getting lower and lower wages.”
Reich is dreaming. He thinks the cancer (i.e. bankers and rich people) will one day be forced to develop a conscience. The truth is that rich people will never let the peasants have a basic guaranteed income. Why should they? They make their money in the casinos. What do they care if the 99% live in cardboard boxes? Besides, poverty is what the peasants want. For most people, having a decent job and a dignified life is less pleasurable than being able to righteously spout, “There’s no free lunch!” (Except for the rich.)
In the USA the peasants can’t even have single payer health care. And soon Medicare and Social Security will be privatized. This will happen because the peasants would sooner starve to death than stop thinking like peasants.
This is why the peasants submit to ever-greater poverty, and why they will submit to having Medicare and Social Security privatized (i.e. given to the thieves of Wall Street).
The Swiss measure was initiated by people who are worried about the loss of jobs to offshoring and robot automation. YouTube has numerous videos about this, under the heading of Bedingungsloses Grundeinkommen (Basic Income). Unfortunately I do not speak German.
Hate is a product of fear. The antidote to fear is courage. The source of courage is love. That’s what we are short of.
Maybe life is meant to be ugly. Maybe the point of life on earth is express love while everyone around us is full of hate. If everyone loved each other, then our own compassion would be less significant.
I don’t know. I’m just speculating.