If there’s one thing Prime Minister John A. Macdonald could do exceptionally well, it was to recognize where the political winds were blowing. That’s not a criticism. The most able of politicians help move societies where they actually want to go anyway. Leaders and governments merely ensure a smooth transition, if they are doing their jobs well.
As we get set to celebrate Macdonald’s birthday on Jan. 11, there is a fascinating development occurring on the policy front in Canada that our sage first leader would have already seen coming – the implementation of a basic income policy.Read more
By Kate McFarland
Inspired by the popular initiative for a basic income in Switzerland — where citizens will vote on a basic income on the 5th of June — the group Omnibus for Direct Democracy has joined forces with several basic income advocacy groups to launch a campaign for a basic income referendum in Germany.
An important difference between the two countries, however, is that Germany does not currently permit referendums at the federal level. The main goal of Omnibus for Direct Democracy is to reform the German democratic system so that citizens can introduce and vote on national referendums — as reflected in its slogan, “Wir wollen abstimmen” (“We want to vote”).Read more
Could a state-funded universal basic income eliminate poverty? One of its most outspoken proponents, Professor Guy Standing, certainly thinks so. As well as teaching economics at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, Standing is the co-founder of the Basic Income Earth Network. His 2011 book The Precariat: The New Dangerous Class blames globalization for an emerging social class without job security. He speaks to Equal Times about why a basic income makes sense to him.
Why is there a need for a basic income in developed regions like Europe?
Basic income is essential in Europe because of the growth of the precariat. And the fact is our existing social protection system doesn’t reach the precariat. The system puts people in horrendous poverty traps. A poverty trap means that if you go from receiving a state benefit to a low-wage job available to the precariat, in many European countries and elsewhere, you face in effect a high marginal tax rate, if you factor in the loss of state benefits for taking a paid job.Read more
By Roderick Benns
Publisher of Leaders and Legacies, a social purpose news site
The combination of people in short-term and contract jobs and those in other precarious work and living situations, has grown into a massive new class of people. Named ‘the Precariat’ by renowned economist Guy Standing, he says it is the only class of people in the history of the world that wants to eliminate itself.
Speaking in Toronto earlier this year to support his latest book, Precariat Charter: From Denizens to Citizens, Standing told an energized crowd that he estimates the Precariat class is approaching 40 percent in Canada.
Standing observes that precariousness is becoming the new normal after years of neo-liberal policies that have broken down the old order. (Neo-liberalism emphasizes privatization, deregulation, and globalization — the so-called right wing policies that promote a laissez-faire atmosphere for economic development.)Read more