First, it’s relatively simple. With the security of a regular, direct basic income, all Canadians are free to manage their own and their family’s unique circumstances much faster and more effectively than any bureaucracy can. Women and men can better rebound from financial setbacks, balance shifting employment and family care needs, protect their health and recover from illness or injury. Parents can save and plan a better future for their children. Adults can take positive steps like getting more education, retraining or trying a job in an emerging sector of the economy, without the fear and real risk of losing almost everything if it doesn’t work out.
Second, it prevents poverty. That means many expensive and often long-term consequences of poverty are avoided such as poorer health, lower success rates in school, higher crime rates.
Third, a BIG doesn’t just help individual recipients – it has a larger impact because it reduces excessive inequalities and human insecurities that are at the root of many societal problems. It fosters resilience and flexibility in a changing economy. It’s good for cities struggling to create vibrant neighbourhoods and strong communities. It’s good for democracy because as much as voting in elections matters, in our monetized society we vote every day with our dollars for the kind of life we want, a vote that increasingly excludes many Canadians.