By Roderick Benns
Publisher of Leaders and Legacies, a social purpose news site
It’s a dubious milestone, but one we must acknowledge. According to Oxfam, this is the year in which the wealthiest one percent will surpass the combined wealth of the rest of the world.
And because it’s 2016, perhaps we should wish to do something about that.
What can Canada do, a country with only .50 percent of the world’s population?Read more
By Christian Ledwell
Nothing is as powerful as an idea whose time has come, and a basic income guarantee’s time has come.
A basic income guarantee is a simple policy that is popular across the political spectrum. Libertarians and conservatives like the idea because it would be straightforward to administer, meaning less bureaucracy and opening the door for smaller government. On the left, the idea is popular as a solution to poverty that could make a real change in the lives of low income families.
A basic income guarantee works like this: we agree on an amount of income that lets people meet their basic needs and live with dignity, regardless of work status.Read more
Roderick Benns, publisher of Leaders and Legacies, recently interviewed Robin Boadway, a retired economics professor. Boadway studied economics at Oxford University on a Rhodes Scholarship. He has his doctorate in economics from Queen’s University in Kingston.
Benns: How did you come to be involved in this issue?
Boadway: I spent my academic career as a public finance economist studying optimal policies for achieving a just and fair society, particularly with regard to those most in need. Naturally, guaranteed annual income is one important element of redistributive policies. I was especially influenced by economists like Anthony Atkinson and Amartya Sen for whom basic income was both fair and conducive to equality of opportunity. The views of philosopher John Rawls were also influential, particularly the idea that societal outcomes owe much to luck at birth, and those of us who are luckier than others owe it to the less fortunate to share in our luck. Having spent most of my life teaching and studying the importance of a basic income guarantee, the BIG group in Kingston offered an irresistible opportunity to have some practical effect.Read more
Roderick Benns, publisher of Leaders and Legacies, recently interviewed Tara Kainer, a long-time anti-poverty advocate, about basic income guarantee policy.
Tara Kainer grew up talking about social justice issues around the dinner table. In the 1950s, when she was a small child, her family lived in Tennessee where segregation was still in place and poverty, especially in the rural areas, was extreme.
Because her mother worked in the emergency department of a local hospital she often talked about the people who were turned away from medical services because they couldn’t pay. After leaving Tennessee they lived in Saskatchewan where the CCF government brought in Medicare before it was adopted by the federal government in 1966. Her parents were fervent supporters.Read more