Tag Archives: social policy

(1066) Food security & basic income

shopping-cart-in-the-snow
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
ontario.ca
Basic income can reduce food insecurity and improve health
University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine

image: chuddlesworth via Flickr/CC

(1063) Trumping the poor of America

trump-backyard-sign
How on Earth could anyone think a whack-job Manhattan zillionaire hijacking the Republican Party and then the Presidency represents the beginnings of anything good for America?  For America’s poor?  Nope. Nope. Nope.
Things are about to get much worse for poor Americans
theatlantic.com
I’m a disabled American.  Trump’s policies will be a disaster for people like me
vox.com

image: Tony Webster via Flickr/CC

(1037) Love basic income

Une affiche qui mesure 8000m2 et pese sept tonne a ete posee, ce samedi 14 mai 2016, sur la Plaine de Plainpalais a Geneve par une centaine de benevoles. La plus grande question du monde y est posee: WHAT WOULD YOU DO IF YOUR INCOME WERE TAKEN CARE OF? concernant la mise en place d un revenu de base inconditionnel qui sera l objet des prochaines votations du 5 juin prochain. Cette affiche bat le record actuel du livre Guiness des records pour la plus grande affiche du monde. (KEYSTONE/Magali Girardin)

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.
To wit:
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

(1031) Basic income & automation

robotHere’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)
KQED/NPR

image: Ellie Myers via Flickr/CC

(1006) A little help has big impact on homelessness [Study]

Help
A US study finds tactical, one-time cash assistance in the amount of $1000 has a really good influence on the lives of those about to tip  into homelessness.  Even the crudest cost/benefit analysis of keeping one person out of homelessness, let alone many, ought to reveal the good common sense of this kind of social spending.  An ounce of prevention…
A bit of cash can keep a person off the streets for 2 years or more
sciencemag.com

image: duncan c via Flickr/CC

(997) Helicopter money: an open letter from economists

helicopterHelicopter 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.
Cash handouts are best way to boost growth, say economists. In letter to the Guardian, 35 economists state that providing money directly to households would be most effective policy

(975) 1980s social housing [Excerpt from Subdivided]

socialhusingTruth for smug Canadians via moments of return from writer Jay Pitter as she walks the Toronto social housing complex she lived in during the 1980s.  Excerpted from Subdivided, City-Building In An Age of Hyperdiversity, a new release from Coach House Press.
A visit to the social housing community of my childhood
nowtoronto.com