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A Living Wage

celebrating in Bern                                                                                  Denis Balibouse/Reuters
Somewhere not too long ago, I read a piece about the workplace of the future ~ or rather, the non-workplace of the future. The idea was that with so much work being automated, there will be that many fewer jobs for humans, so our whole system and way of thinking will have to change to accommodate the reality of people not having to actually work. There is a concurrent thread winding its way through the ethos about how our long-accepted financial system is causing a quickly widening gap between the ultra-poor and the ultra-wealthy of this world. In a study that combines the two premises, the Silicon Valley company Y Combinator will be paying 100 families in the city of Oakland, California, a minimum wage, no strings attached, for six months to a year. "The study," according to the article, "will test payment methods and data collection, as well as whether the money meets people’s core needs, and how it affects people’s 'happiness, well-being, financial health, as well as how people spend their time' ":
   Switzerland, the world's fifth-richest country, will be voting on this very issue on June 4. The referendum is on whether the government should guarantee every citizen a minimum income:

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