Minimum-Income Ideas Get Widest Airing in 50 Years

Wall Street Journal

As Democrats embrace a more activist government, some are flirting with an idea that hasn’t received serious attention since the 1970s: a minimum guaranteed income for all Americans.

Entrepreneur Andrew Yang’s presidential candidacy has gained traction with a proposal to give a $1,000 monthly “freedom dividend” to all Americans—from the poorest to the richest, employed and unemployed alike.

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A Japanese billionaire is running a $9 million basic income experiment via Twitter


“It’s a serious social experiment.” So says Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa about his plan to give away 1 billion Japanese yen — about $9 million — to 1,000 random Twitter followers this week.

Believe it or not, this is free money, no strings attached. Well, almost no strings: Each recipient will have to fill out follow-up surveys asking what impact the cash has had on their lives. It was not clear exactly how the amount — $9,000 per person — will be disbursed.

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Journey of homelessness, poor mental health, leaves man regretting checkered life

Joli Scheidler-Benns

Gaston Tremblay remembers camping and fishing in Kawartha Lakes and surrounding areas with his family twice a year in the 1970s and early 1980s. It was a peaceful and tragically short time of his life.

He tried three times over the years to get back here, where he believed things might be better for him. By the time he was 14, though, his then-undiagnosed mental health issues sent him on another path — to his first stay in a psychiatric ward.

Afterwards he found himself homeless and on the streets across Canada, an anguished journey that would last more than 18 years and cost him nearly everything he held dear.

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First Nation chief on P.E.I. backs basic guaranteed income for Mi'kmaq people

Journal Pioneer

Lennox Island First Nation Chief Darlene Bernard supports basic guaranteed income in P.E.I. as a strong means to help lift many – perhaps all – of her people out of poverty.

Bernard estimates 50 to 55 per cent of the approximately 1,500 Mi’kmaq people in the province live below the poverty line.

She said the process of accessing federal funding is an ongoing frustration because, she believes, Ottawa is "culturally biased'' in how it doles out money.

“If I want something from the federal government and you want something from the federal government, I jump through 100 hoops,’’ she told The Guardian. “You might jump through 10.’’

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He’s Urged a Guaranteed Income for Years. Are We Ready Yet?

The Tyee

Hugh Segal sees no contradiction in being a conservative who’s long advocated a way to deal with poverty that some call a radical form of wealth distribution.

And as tech disrupts and the gig economy makes jobs more precarious, his idea has been talked up by noted people of many ideological stripes. Barack Obama, Milton Friedman, Elon Musk, cabinet secretaries for Ronald Reagan or Bill Clinton, take your pick. All have endorsed, to some degree, a guaranteed basic income.

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I’d bring back Ontario’s basic income pilot project, Liberal leadership hopeful says

The Star

Liberal leadership hopeful Michael Coteau is pledging to reinstate Ontario’s basic income pilot project, which the Ford government cancelled after promising to keep it during the 2018 election campaign.

Coteau, the MPP for Don Valley East, was involved in the pilot project as a cabinet minister in the Wynne government, and said the three-year study put Ontario “ahead of the game” on strategies to offset the effects of poverty.

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Can $500 a month change a city? Stockton tests universal basic income

San Francisco Chronicle

What could you do with an extra $500 a month? Lorrine Paradela got a better night’s sleep.

The 45-year-old single mother is one of the 125 Stockton residents receiving monthly cash disbursements as part of an attention-grabbing experiment on guaranteed income.

Paradela has been able to pay for a new car after her old one was wrecked in a crash. She bought a video game console for her 16-year-old son as a thank-you gift for his help taking care of his 10-year-old sister.

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