Within the European Union, a profound awakening of public consciousness is taking place as organizers seek to obtain one million signatures on a petition in favor of a basic income guarantee for all citizens.
Under the EU constitution, this number of signatures is required for the proposal to undergo formal study and debate by the European parliament.
In Switzerland, however, voters have seized the initiative through their own petition to have the Swiss government vote on a basic income guarantee of $2,500 Swiss francs per month, equivalent to $2,800 U.S. dollars.
A basic income guarantee is the only economic measure sufficient to resolve the growing worldwide discrepancy of income between those who have and those who don’t. The fact is that the tremendous productivity of modern industry should mean that fewer people should have to work to produce the goods and services everyone needs to survive and even prosper. This is the fabled “leisure dividend” that economists promised long ago as the potential of modern industrial methods but that no nation on earth has ever delivered. The reason is that the fruits of the productivity miracle have been stolen by the kingpins of high finance who assure that all profits eventually flow into their own hands rather than the world’s populace.