The concept of universal basic income (UBI) is simple: provide a set amount of “basic income” for survival to every citizen regularly with no strings attached.
Supporters on the left believe that it will lift people out of poverty and increase the quality of life. On the right, supporters believe that UBI could reduce the burden on the state’s welfare system and maximize individual choices instead.
In recent years, UBI has attracted more considerable attention with increased concerns over growing economic inequality and the effect of automation upon the labor market.Read more
As our people and small businesses hold on for their lives and livelihoods, many are wondering what happened to the grand promise of unfettered capitalism. What happened to the promise of endless growth? Of the greatness of the free market?
The sheer inadequacy of the market to respond to this pandemic, the utter weakness of big business to pull us out of this mess is itself a master lesson in economics. It’s also an indictment of extreme capitalism.
It’s not the markets that are saving us now; it’s our governments, led by a prime minister and premiers and talented bureaucrats who have learned that they have the tools at their disposal to chart a course for the public good. And how silly we ever once thought that hundreds of corporations, all working in their own self-interest, could a country make.Read more
What a difference a year makes.
Last March, Ontario’s basic income pilot project was cancelled, leaving about 4,000 Hamilton, Thunder Bay and Lindsay residents scrambling to recoup a monthly financial stipend they said had transformed their lives.
Under the program, individuals would receive about $13,000 per year, while couples got about $19,000 regardless of employment status. Individuals receiving the financial help said knowing they would have a sustainable and secure source of money immediately bolstered their health, improved their self-esteem and allowed them to look for a job or establish a path to carve out a career.Read more
Globe and Mail
Last month, at remarkable speed, national politicians from all parties set aside their usual partisan dynamics to introduce the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) in response to the coronavirus-generated economic crisis. The federal government, Parliament and officials involved deserve great credit, and while the CERB currently does not provide benefits to all Canadians, the program is still evolving.
COVID-19 has forced federal and provincial governments to see the limitations of our current income-security framework. Employment insurance (EI) has been revealed as a creaky relic of a bygone economy.Read more
The P.E.I. Legislature's special committee on poverty heard testimony Wednesday on whether it is feasible to create a basic income guarantee for Prince Edward Islanders.
The idea behind a basic income guarantee is to make sure everyone has enough money to live on. Rather than calculating assistance based on ability to work or find a job, people would be guaranteed a certain income under any circumstances.
The committee is working on how the province could afford such a system.Read more
The PEI Working Group for a Livable Income, established in 2003, is receiving support from across Canada for its work toward establishing Basic Income Guarantee (BIG) in PEI. The Working Group had developed its campaign in 2013 and called it C-BIG PEI (https://cbigpei.wixsite.com/c-big-pei)
In late November a national initiative group on BIG was formed, made up of promoters representing nine provinces and one territory. The Kingston and Area Group for BIG were the original motivators, having previously identified PEI as an ideal place to start a Basic Income program. The understanding is that it would be a permanent, fully-funded, federal-provincial program. The promoters from across the country see the advantage of having BIG established in a complete provincial jurisdiction.The size of the PEI provides minimal complications.Read more
If it weren't for the cats sometimes, I don't know if I'd bother rising to face the darkness of another day in this so-called happy new year. Apparently the days are getting longer but I'm not feeling it.
I'm usually more like the people in Newfoundland, recently extolled for their seemingly collective reply to the blizzard of blizzards, "Let's make beer fridges out of snow banks!"Read more
Basic income (BI) schemes are a political and social issue. BI addresses inequality and could help to eliminate poverty. Doug Ford cancelled the Ontario BI Pilot program.
On January 23rd, the Basic Income Canada Network (BICN) released its “Basic Income: Some Policy Options for Canada” report. The researchers were Chandra Pasma and Sheila Regehr.Read more
“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.Read more
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.Read more