Who better than the Scots to lead us all in a ferocious charge right for the throats of neoliberalism and austerity? None.
Good news, even as winter approaches: in 2017 Ontario can expect to see a basic income pilot project. Hopefully that means that Canada’s largest province is on the path to adopting a benefit regime that will truly secure its people against poverty. We’ve been sold on the idea of a universal right to an income for as long as we can remember. It seems to us that nearly every form of social difficulty could be improved upon if nobody in this society was below a certain level. On the other hand, we could indeed be looking at yet another ‘cycle of consultation’. You know, another rationalised round of reportage, fact gathering and public hearings that kick the issue of poverty down the road and toward the next election. Public pressure might make all the difference, though.
Extra bonus: it would seem a good way to innoculate our society against the rise of Trumpist-style influences, a comprehensive ticket to change for the better. This winter thoughts of a basic income will be keeping the staff at suburban-poverty.com feeling warm inside.
Basic income pilot consultation
Basic income can reduce food insecurity and improve health
University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine
image: chuddlesworth via Flickr/CC
We all love life, right? That’s why longevity is such a sensible measure of the quality of life in a given place. Gaps in longevity data emerge into view quickly thanks to such things as gender and occupation. Ideally, a well off society should find these gaps moderate and when in the right frame of mind it might even challenge these gaps, seek to close them up. A new medical study reinforces our understanding of the role of income in determining longevity with the finding that in Canada high income men are starting to outlive low income women. The incomes of Canada’s richer males is more powerful than the natural characteristic of women to outlive men.
Did you just say ‘holy shit’? We did.
High income men now outliving low income women, study finds
image: Insomnia Cured Here via Flickr/CC
It must be love, the way we keep on coming back to basic income on this blog. Expecting a deeper discussion of the matter in the near future.
A new report from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives: A policy maker’s guide to basic income
(link to 42-page .pdf file)
A second CCPA report:
Basic income: rethinking social policy
(link to 62-page .pdf file)
An item from the Summer 2016 edition of Canadian Dimension which was devoted to the topic of basic income:
More smoke than substance in Canadian plans. Ontario wants pilot project, Quebec advocates tiny steps
Canada: please imitate:
GERMANY: single-issue political party founded to promote UBI
Here’s a discussion on National Public Radio of something with which we are totally down: basic income. Automation is coming, yes. Robots, too. Just the other day one of our interns was in a very well-known Scottish restaurant chain and reported back that they have these new oversized iPod things on which you order your burgers instead of telling an employee what you want.
As our jobs are automated, some say we’ll need a guaranteed basic income (audio 4:18 & URLs)
image: Ellie Myers via Flickr/CC
When payday lending leads to poverty, it’s time for intervention
globeandmail.com (with video 1:58)
See also: (966) We are the loan sharks
image: Jason Comely via Flickr/CC
Scavenging is one of the oldest continuous forms of industry found in human settlements. Never romanticized,
it nonetheless seems to be always with us. The value of aluminium cans and other recyclables travels up and down much like that of say oil. When the price is good scavengers get busy creating a commodity from rejected material and earn some minor income for themselves. Spend any time in a built-up area and you eventually spot scavengers. That bastion of high priced housing and advanced technology, San Francisco, is no exception. Lately, though, the cities network of businesses where pop cans and such are redeemed has begun to thin out. This is tough on the scavengers.
Collecting cans to survive: a ‘dark future’ as California recycling centers vanish. Poor and homeless San Franciscans rely on income earned by trading cans for cash, but their subsistence is under threat as hundreds of centers close down
image: Ken Ishikawa via Flickr/CC
Helicopter money sounds like just plain fun after decades of neoconservative misery. A glib prescription for monetary policy from a senior economist made years ago: toss money out of helicopters over major cities to stimulate the economy. He was only partly kidding. It’s a more fun name for basic income.
This month the Centre for the Study of Living Standards issued a new report all about income gaps, inequality, job quality and other such things that determine much of daily life in Canada. Among the findings: what looks like a slackening of the connection between advanced education and higher income. Canada’s lowest income brackets have seen an increase in the number of PhD holders therein. This may be evidence of something many of us have observed casually over the years? More study is needed to understand the depth and meaning of these particular findings but if they are true this isn’t really good news. We are supposed to be living and working in a society that needs and respects education and rewards strivers. Maybe that proposition has changed?
Low-wage earners with graduate degrees on rise, new study shows
Trends in low wage employment in Canada: incidence, gap, intensity 1997-2014 66-page .pdf file