What basic income could do for our health


In this sixth episode of Upstream Radio, the team speaks with Dr. Evelyn Forget, Armine Yalnizyan and Dr. Danielle Martin (pictured) about the costs and benefits of a Canadian basic income policy, including opportunity costs, focusing on what it could all mean for our health.

Smiths Falls advocate works to get Council to revisit their decision on Basic Income

By John Rondina

Carole Anne Knapp, recently took up a placard and marched out onto Beckwith Street in her Ontario home town of Smith Falls. She wanted to raise awareness about basic income, and Smiths Falls’ vote on Ontario’s basic income pilot. City council had decided it didn’t even want to be in the running for the pilot, and that didn’t make sense to Knapp.

Her sense of how basic income could help the people of Smiths Falls comes from her own personal experience as a caregiver.

“I’ve been an advocate for basic income for years,” she says.

“I lived with my mom when she had cancer,” she explains. “I was her caregiver. She was very sick and sleeping a lot. I got online and stumbled across the concept of basic income.”

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Two richest Canadians as wealthy as poorest 30 per cent, report says

The Toronto Star

The two richest Canadians have the same amount of wealth as the poorest 30 per cent of the country combined, according to a new report from a group of international aid organizations.

The Oxfam report says the wealth of billionaire businessmen David Thomson and Galen Weston Sr. equals that of about 11 million Canadians.

The group of organizations, under the banner group Oxfam International, published its report “An Economy for the 99%” ahead of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, which begins Tuesday. The report also said that the world’s eight richest people have as much wealth as the poorest 50 per cent of the world’s population.

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Rising inequality threatens world economy, says WEF

The Guardian

Rising income inequality and the polarisation of societies pose a risk to the global economy in 2017 and could result in the rolling back of globalisation unless urgent action is taken, according to the World Economic Forum.

Before its annual meeting in Davos next week, the WEF said the gap between rich and poor had been behind the UK’s Brexit vote and Donald Trump’s election victory in the US.

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John A. Macdonald would have supported a Basic Income policy

Roderick Benns

If there’s one thing Prime Minister John A. Macdonald could do exceptionally well, it was to recognize where the political winds were blowing. That’s not a criticism. The most able of politicians help move societies where they actually want to go anyway. Leaders and governments merely ensure a smooth transition, if they are doing their jobs well.

As we get set to celebrate Macdonald’s birthday on Jan. 11, there is a fascinating development occurring on the policy front in Canada that our sage first leader would have already seen coming – the implementation of a basic income policy.

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Andrew Coyne: The basics of a guaranteed basic income

National Post

The old line on the guaranteed annual income, or as it’s called nowadays the basic income guarantee, was that it had support across the political spectrum. Conservatives, it was said, liked it for its emphasis on reducing the traditional welfare system’s punitively high clawback rates on benefits, while liberals were attracted by its promise of a social safety net that was simpler to navigate and intruded less on people’s lives.

These days, it seems like the basic income enjoys something closer to bipartisan hostility. Not a day goes by without another piece attacking the idea as either a utopian fantasy or a Dickensian nightmare.

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How will we define ourselves in a ‘post-jobs’ society?

By Leah Eichler

The Globe and Mail

With a new year comes New Year’s resolutions.

On a personal level, they may include dieting and exercising, but professionally many of us set goals to work harder and achieve more, believing the extra work and obligations will make us better people.

But what if they don’t?

Politicians and pundits often talk about employment as the ultimate solution to a variety of social problems, but we are already close to full employment. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development has said a U.S. unemployment rate of between 4 per cent and 6.4 per cent constitutes full employment. Currently, the rate in the United States stands at 4.7 per cent and in Canada at 6.9 per cent. Rather than focus on creating more jobs, we need to recognize the correlation between income and work may no longer make any sense.

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