Basic income can't be ignored, says Vatican expert

A basic income guarantee, such as the pilot project currently running in three Ontario communities, is not an infallible teaching of the Catholic Church, but it can’t be dismissed, one of the Vatican’s top economic advisors told an interfaith conference on basic income.

“There’s no Catholic economic policy,” conceded economist Charles Clark in a keynote address to about 40 academics and basic income advocates at the University of St. Michael’s College in Toronto Oct. 20.

“We can’t call up the Fed and say ‘We want the Catholic interest rate.’ ”

However, Catholic social teaching clearly favours a more equal society, he said. That means Catholics are obliged to discover and promote economic policies that will produce less poverty, promote greater social mobility and inclusion, and result in distributive justice, Clark said.

Basic income won’t magically solve every problem, he said.

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