Dec 10: Recent Basic Income News and Resources of Interest

Today is international Human Rights Day, “observed every year on 10 December – the day the United Nations General Assembly adopted, in 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights….the most translated document in the world, available in more than 500 languages.” In keeping with this Day, we recommend this in-depth analysis by Philip Alston, the UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, of the potential of basic income to help alleviate and prevent extreme poverty. See also this short paper arguing for the human right to a basic income.

In Toward a National Universal Guaranteed Basic Income, Wayne Simpson and Harvey Stevens of the University of Manitoba explain how a $51 billion federal basic income program or a $82 billion federal-provincial basic income program could be funded by converting select Non-Refundable Tax Credits (NRTCs) and the Federal Sales Tax Credit (GST) into the revenue base for a partial basic income, with significant positive impact on the incidence and depth of poverty and on income inequality in Canada, and minimal impact on labour supply.

In Harnessing automation for a future that works, the McKinsey Global Institute finds “that about half of all the activities people are paid to do in the world’s workforce could potentially be automated by adapting currently demonstrated technologies.” In the Institute’s related report, McKinsey states that “[i]f automation does result in greater pressure on many workers’ wages, some ideas such as earned income tax credits, universal basic income, conditional transfers, shorter workweeks, and adapted social safety nets could be considered and tested. As work evolves at higher rates of change among sectors, locations, activities, and skill requirements, many workers may need assistance in adjusting to the new age” (bold lettering added for emphasis).  

In this article on the Economic Security Project’s website, the writer reviews what happened when some 1000 families in Tennessee received a basic income (of sorts) provided by Dolly Parton’s Dollywood Foundation, in response to devastating fires in 2016 in Parton’s home county. 

Don’t miss the February 12th deadline for responding to the Call for Participation in the May 24-27, 2018 North American Basic Income Guarantee (NABIG) Congress, at McMaster University in Hamilton!

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