The Toronto Star
The two richest Canadians have the same amount of wealth as the poorest 30 per cent of the country combined, according to a new report from a group of international aid organizations.
The Oxfam report says the wealth of billionaire businessmen David Thomson and Galen Weston Sr. equals that of about 11 million Canadians.
The group of organizations, under the banner group Oxfam International, published its report “An Economy for the 99%” ahead of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, which begins Tuesday. The report also said that the world’s eight richest people have as much wealth as the poorest 50 per cent of the world’s population.Read more
By Anthony Painter
The Guardian (Opinion)
Universal basic income is the idea that just won’t go away. At heart, it’s a very simple concept – every individual citizen should receive a regular payment on an unconditional basis. However, the actual structure and design varies considerably. Nonetheless, what has become clear in the last year or so is that there is growing desire across the globe, including in the UK, to explore, debate, test, design, and build support for a universal basic income.Read more
By John Rondina
If we hadn’t innovated in the past with respect to our social policy, we would have no Canada Pension Plan. We would have no Employment Insurance. We would have no Guaranteed Income Supplement. These safety nets of our present were unaffordable in our past according to their critics at the time.
Often, what we say is unaffordable is because of a current favouritism to one or multiple sectors of the economy. When we revaluate distribution of income, what seemed impossible or unaffordable begins to look like one giant step forward for humankind.Read more
By John Rondina
Some critics of basic income argue that people will become lazy should we implement basic income in Ontario or Canada. Is there any logic to such thinking?
Is it logical to use deprivation to keep people in jobs that don’t pay? Do we really expect a growing precariat to believe in society if societal attitudes are to carry a big stick when it comes to poverty? Does the mother, the student, the recently unemployed, the person now working a low wage believe in social justice? What happens when people stop trusting in governments, the stock market and other institutions?
We used to use a whip to drive our horses and our buggies forward. Is that how we want to treat our fellow human beings? By using a big stick?Read more
By Roderick Benns
A family doctor says basic income policy represents an acknowledgment “of the right to live a decent life.”
Dr. Danielle Martin, a family physician and Vice President Medical Affairs and Health System Solutions at Women’s College Hospital in Toronto, says increasing social assistance amounts would not achieve that goal because of the punitive way the welfare system operates.
“Rather than loading all kinds of rules onto people about their eligibility and policing their behaviour,” basic income allows for the living of a decent life that “decouples income support from complex eligibility rules.”Read more
By John Rondina
Today, as the world struggles toward political and economic answers to great problems, we have yet to implement workable solutions in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. Automation and the rise of economic disparity since the crisis is painting a picture in tones and hues of gross inequality.
If the new revolution is all about automation, then how can we make technology serve us rather than enslave us? With the rise of populism, it’s clear that people are feeling disenfranchised. Many critics point to populism as a reactionary, if misguided, response to the adjustments brought on by our technology. These critics issue warnings that we must change or face a dim future.Read more
By Tony Kirby, July 17, 2016
Tony Kirby is a retired business communications professional and a basic income advocate. He lives in Vancouver.
A popular myth is that things happen very quickly, that change is fast.
Well, it isn’t and I should know—I’ve been watching proposed initiatives and new products for six decades now—and I know that change is painfully slow.
The reasons are both emotional and financial.
As the first writer in North America to specialize in writing about automation I had an inside track on the impact of early computers. Although it didn’t take too many years before factories were fully automated, the introduction of computers to the office environment was slow.Read more
By Bryan Dean Wright for the San Francisco Chronicle
Two recent studies from the Pew Research Center confirm what many in the U.S. have long suspected: The great economic engine of America — the middle class — is in full retreat, with its children stuck living at home.
As we look for answers, it’s become clear that there are none to be found in the boorish 2016 presidential campaign. What we hear are government solutions that are too expensive (free tuition), too fanciful (a big wall) or too much Uncle Sam (single-payer health care). While liberals and conservatives bicker, the middle class burns. They want their jobs back, along with the security that comes with them.Read more
The recent announcement that the provincial government will fund a basic income pilot project had Windsor’s politicians clamouring to make the case that our city, struggling with chronically high unemployment and persistent poverty, was the perfect proving ground for a seemingly radical approach to public spending.
While pushing for the pilot project was an opportunity any elected leader would take, it’s perhaps a signal that their often-touted dedication to creating jobs and reducing unemployment is at odds with the trends of a changing world.Read more
Roderick Benns recently interviewed Zachary Beaudoin, an entrepreneur living in Edmonton Alberta. He works closely with technology and believes the current economic system is unfit to deal with the shocks that will be created by the coming technological advances.
Benns: From your perspective as an entrepreneur, why is the concept of a basic income guarantee useful to society?
Beaudoin: First I want to explain the benefit of a basic income guarantee that I perceive as a citizen. I believe that a society as a whole benefits from having economic abundance for all. People would spend more time on education, learning, and leisure, become more politically involved and even pursue more fulfilling employment opportunities. The result would be a healthy, engaged, and progressive society with less crime and less suffering.Read more