By Roderick Benns
As a youth, Tommy Douglas was a championship boxer. His success in the ring is all the more remarkable considering that years earlier he had nearly lost his leg to amputation when an infection set in.
As his many biographers point out, a travelling surgeon agreed to operate for free, as long as his parents consented to allow his medical students to watch. After several operations, he not only walked again, he thrived as an amateur boxer and then built his reputation as someone who fought for the underdog in the political arena as well.
Douglas never forgot his childhood experience and resolved that no one should have to pay for necessary medical care. His efforts are now celebrated within Canada’s history, for not only did he establish Medicare, he also established democratic socialism within the country and its politics.Read more
By David Calnitsky
By now the Mincome experiment is well known. In the 1970s, every resident of Dauphin, a small Manitoba town, was given the option to collect substantial cash payments without work requirements.
Economist Evelyn Forget’s findings about Mincome’s positive effects on health and education helped to resuscitate the concept of a basic income in Canada. With basic income pilots on the horizon, it is worth considering new lessons from an old experiment.Read more
By Roderick Benns
The federal Liberals have voted to shake-up Canada’s social policy by moving toward a “minimum guaranteed income” model.
At the party’s national convention just held in Winnipeg, the resolution states the party will, in consultation with the provinces, “develop a poverty reduction strategy aimed at providing a minimum guaranteed income.”
Reaction from the Basic Income Canada Network (BICN) was swift.Read more
Switzerland’s traditionally conservative electorate will next month vote on the superficially preposterous idea of handing out an unconditional basic income of SFr30,000 ($30,275) a year to every citizen, regardless of work, wealth or their social contribution.
Opinion polls suggest the June 5 referendum will be heavily defeated. And even if some kind of electoral convulsion results in the proposal being unexpectedly approved by voters, it is certain to be shot down by the 26 cantons that would have to implement it.Read more
By Lorna Turnbull for The Winnipeg Free Press
‘We are a ‘have’ province," Brian Pallister proclaimed in his victory speech April 19, "(and) we will build a better future for all Manitobans."
On Monday, the premier set the tone for the future of Manitoba with his throne speech mapping out the new government’s agenda.
A few weeks from now, the Conservatives’ first budget will let us see if they will put our money where their mouth is.Read more
By Dylan Matthews for VOX
Basic income is having a moment.
The governments of Finland, Ontario, and Utrecht are all launching tests of the policy proposal, under which everyone in a given country would get a set amount of money every year, no strings attached. The charity GiveDirectly is set to give basic incomes to 6,000 people in Kenya, and the tech industry powerhouse Y Combinator is funding an experiment evaluating the idea.
Andy Stern — the former head of the major union SEIU, and a close confidant of the Obama administration — argues at length for basic income in a forthcoming book, Raising the Floor.Read more
By Stanislas Jourdan
The first EU-wide opinion survey on basic income finds a great majority of Europeans know about basic income and are supportive of the idea.
While it is no surprise that basic income has gained a lot of popularity over the past few months, it is difficult to grasp exactly how mainstream basic income has begun. That’s where opinion polls can help.
In Europe – where most of the political developments are happening in Finland, the Netherlands, and France – a new poll survey shows the magnitude of the trend – and it’s very encouraging.Read more