Pandemic proves it's time for basic income for all, economists say

CBC News

The next time the world is blindsided by a global emergency, the economy will better survive it if everyone is paid what they need to survive it -- before it hits, experts say.

And if employers don't cough up the cash, they say, governments should.

"It is now quite clear that virtually everybody in society has a profound interest in lower-income people having the purchasing power to buy food and pay their rent," said political scientist Ron Hikel. 

"It's also quite clear, given the monstrous impact of the coronavirus, that the entire economy can come close to grinding to a halt if they lose that ability."

Many already have.

In the first month of the pandemic, Canada's economy lost more than a million jobs.

As a result, more than seven million people have applied for the Canada emergency response benefit, or CERB, since applications opened on April 6.

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