Every democracy’s internal legitimacy is tied to how fair the residents of that country feel their society is or tries to be. The fairness of laws, the fairness of government generally, the mix of fairness and opportunity writ large across the entire economy, fairness in the workplace and fairness of the tax system—these all matter.
That’s why successful economically prosperous economies have a special duty to keep working at fairness and reducing the pathologies that poverty imposes in ways that deny opportunity, expands the bureaucratic state and widens the gaps between haves and have nots. And we’re seeing just how important this duty is: Recent electoral outcomes in the U.S. and Europe underline that, while perceived economic fairness is not an exclusive determinant of political temperament, it certainly does count. When unfairness is broadly perceived to be pervasive, extreme and simplistic solutions and political voices championing them usually gain strength.Read more
Advocates are calling on the provincial and federal governments to provide a basic personal income — something they say could be a major step toward eradicating poverty.
Basic Income Guarantee Nova Scotia (BIG-NS) made its case at Province House Wednesday, hosted by NDP MLA Lisa Roberts. The group asked government to study the feasibility of paying a guaranteed basic income to anyone living below the poverty line.Read more
James Collura is receiving a basic income through the Ontario Basic Income Pilot Program, in Hamilton. He has been using it in a way that serves his community. Journalist Roderick Benns interviews Collura on exactly how – and why – he is using his new income floor in this way.
Benns: How did you find yourself in the position you were in so that you were able to begin receiving basic income?
Collura: I studied economics at McMaster and graduated with a BA. Like most students in my program, I realized my education didn't exactly qualify me to be an economist or execute any valuable job-skill. I ended up working as a teller at a bank, where I found the most valuable aspect of my job was the personal interactions I had everyday. Meeting new characters, discovering their needs, witnessing their spending habits and lifestyles, and getting to know people from all walks of life. I had a big interest in the future of technology, because at my age, I need to anticipate what’s to come - the future of jobs in an automated world. At the bank, I realized my job was quickly becoming 'app-ified', and my top assignment was to convert customers to 'digital banking'.Read more
Sherry Mendowegan has accomplished a lot in the past six months. The mother-of-two bought her first vehicle and graduated with her high school diploma in March.
"Next is my college, post-secondary, and then hopefully I get some work," she told HuffPost Canada.
Going to college would have been out of reach for Mendowegan even last year. But as a participant in Ontario's basic income pilot program, she and her husband, Dan, can now afford the tuition. She starts at Thunder Bay's Confederation College in September to study office administration.Read more
Sherry Mendowegan says these days, "life is good."
The 41-year-old mother of two, who lives in Thunder Bay, Ont., can't stop smiling as she describes the ways in which her life is different, since she was selected to be part of Ontario's basic income pilot project.
"My life has changed so much," she said, explaining that her family can now afford a car, and that she and her partner now have enough money to take their children out to enjoy recreational activities.
What's more, Mendowegan, who recently earned her Grade 12 diploma, plans to attend college this fall. It's something that would have seemed impossible a year ago.Read more
Basic Income Earth Network (This article originally ran in 2011)
I can’t believe the news. We are in the midst of the worst global depression in 70 years, and the governments of almost every major industrialized country are talking about austerity. They’re cutting government services; laying off public sector workers; cutting pay, pensions, and benefits for public employees—all in the name of austerity and balanced budgets.
This astounds me because we’ve been through it before. We’ve seen what works, and we know that austerity is not the way out of a major depression. Austerity makes depressions worse. To get out of a depression, the government needs to spend money—and lots of it. The lessons of history are clear, and the reading of history I’m going to discuss to make my point is not terribly controversial among economists. Let me explain.Read more
Peterborough This Week
The Basic Income Peterborough Network is hosting a panel discussion on Thursday, May 3 with representatives from Lindsay (Dana Bowman, who is registered for the Ontario Pilot, Lindsay Advocate Publisher Roderick Benns, and Chief John Hagarty) to learn more about the Ontario Basic Income Pilot and its impact on the community.
Over the last few months, Lindsay residents have had the opportunity to enroll in Ontario’s Basic Income Pilot. ‘Basic Income’ is a monthly payment that makes sure all people have sufficient income to meet their basic needs.Read more
Political philosopher and economist Karl Widerquist remembers a poll from 10 years ago that showed just 12 percent of Americans approved of a universal basic income.
That's changed — and quickly. Today, 48 percent of Americans support it, according to a recent Northeastern University/Gallup survey of more than 3,000 U.S. adults.
The survey looked at universal basic income as a solution for Americans who have lost jobs to automation.Read more
New York Times
“Thank goodness that this experiment is coming to an end,” the Fox News commentator Stuart Varney said recently, after the Finnish government decided to stop its trial run with universal basic income (U.B.I.) at the end of the year. “You want money, get out there and work for it, please.”
Jussi Halla-aho, the leader of the far-right Finns Party, applauded the decision, arguing that “work is the best social security.” Some center-left politicians also have been skeptical. Antti Rinne, the leader of the Social Democratic Party, said last year, “I don’t need any basic income. I have a good salary, and if I happen to lose my job, I’d have unemployment benefits.”
But the demise of the U.B.I. experiment in Finland can’t be said to mean that U.B.I. has failed here. Not only are preliminary official results not even expected until 2019, but the Finnish government’s U.B.I. pilot project never really was about U.B.I.Read more
Basic Income Earth Network
The World Bank has released a draft report, published on the 20th of April, titled “The changing nature of work”, in which basic income is suggested as policy to “be read through the lens of ‘progressive universalism’”. This progress to a universal system should depend, according to World Bank analysts, on “basic social insurance” and also on a reliance on “flexible labour markets”, in a relationship that would not do without, though, targeting social assistance schemes.Read more