The recent announcement that the provincial government will fund a basic income pilot project had Windsor’s politicians clamouring to make the case that our city, struggling with chronically high unemployment and persistent poverty, was the perfect proving ground for a seemingly radical approach to public spending.
While pushing for the pilot project was an opportunity any elected leader would take, it’s perhaps a signal that their often-touted dedication to creating jobs and reducing unemployment is at odds with the trends of a changing world.
It was the auto industry that made Windsor what it is today, a manufacturing haven heavy on blue collar workers. But nowadays those assembly lines have taken on an increasingly robotic look, with companies pushing to increase the bottom line through automation.
And it’s not just on the line. Many facets of production are trending towards removing humans from their equation. From Japan’s first-ever robotic farming operation all the way to grocery stores and fast food chains offering self-ordering and checkout systems.
It was that trend which brought Scott Santens, a freelance writer based in New Orleans, to the idea of a basic income.
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