Last week progressives held a public debate in Toronto on the matter of basic income. Some of us think such a thing could stop poverty dead while helping us cope with automation. It was great to see over two hundred people turn out for a live event on behalf of ideas and policies for a better society. We are big on basic income here but heard powerful moments of caution from the negative side of the debate.
There is a fear that a basic income could be a poison chalice of sorts. Austerity regimes might use the implementation of a basic income to sweep away what is left of the social contract. An effective amount is required to prevent that. Basic income also needs bolstering by other mechanisms that support social justice. That includes everything from good public transit to strong post-secondary education systems and more in between. Basic income won’t work in a bubble.
Ontario embraces no-strings attached basic income experiment. Province to follow trail blazed by Manitoba in the mid-1970s with plan to lift people out of poverty with unconditional monthly payments
Transparency legislation is the recommended tool for clarifying, and then presumably doing something about, the gap in incomes between men and women in Ontario. Looking quickly through social media and the mass media there appears to always be lots of dumb commentary denying the entire idea of a pay gap by gender.
Yes, there’s plenty to consider in regard to who gets what in the economy and why they get it. Factor in race and things become even more complex. Complexity, however, should not mean ‘impossible to comprehend fairly’. The incentive is a common sense one: when women do well in the workforce everybody benefits, children, partners, other women, pets, and yup, even the men.
Ontario urged to tackle gender pay gap with transparency law. Gap between men and women’s pay has barely narrowed in three decades, advocates say
Who is minding the gap? New data show the split in annual earnings between men and women persists in Canada, Tavia Grant reports. If the trend isn’t addressed, long-term drawbacks for our economy will be unavoidable
Equal pay day: a wage gap fact check. How would someone go about finding the true wage gap numbers across gender and race groups in the US? Mona Chalabi investigates on Equal Pay Day
These are reasons why we need Equal Pay Day
A business of any size should be able to realize a benefit in worker behaviour and community image by paying a little more than minimum wage. That’s the simple (and lovely) idea behind the living wage movement, represented in Ontario by a non-profit advocacy group or two and, it would seem, a small-but-growing number of employers. This can only be a good thing.
No, the beer isn’t free yet, but for Canadians, it’s only fitting that a brewery is among the early adopters of living wages! Now to get the big players in every sector doing this. If someone works forty hours a week and is still in poverty something is wrong.
‘Treat your staff right’: pay employees a living wage, new business alliance says
with 2 videos
Fighting reality usually makes its negative aspects worse. Yet, who doesn’t find the idea of a detached home with a few trees and some other bits of greenery surrounding it seductive? It does seem that the reality around that is way ahead of what just may be our biggest commonly held desire. Funnily enough, when reading Matt Elliot’s piece addressing our housing reality in today’s Metro banner ads popped up featuring a nice three-storey with big trees either side.
Why we should give up on the detached home dream.
Housing deserves a broader conversation. One that recognizes that Toronto must continue to move past its suburban roots
image: Bryan Siders via Flickr/CC
Economic systems tend to be somewhat stacked against young people from the start because they simply have had less time to accumulate things of value in those systems. With the so-called gig or sharing economy it is starting to look like a significant structural disadvantage to younger persons has begun to reveal itself. Many a young worker has education and tech savvy to contribute. Frustration is rising early on the occupational path as young workers with few options are often encounter the working conditions imposed by app-based and online employers.
“Sharing economy” or on-demand service economy?
A survey of workers and consumers in the Greater Toronto Area
Toronto’s ‘gig economy’ fueled by young workers starved for choice. A new survey by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives takes the first look at who is working through online platforms in the GTA
image: stavos via Flickr/CC
From time-to-time, we do give some thought to who gets what in this economy. There are worse places when it comes to inequality and the general discourse on status than Toronto and area. Still, some more thought could be directed to where the wealth comes from, Toronto’s role in a global economy. This feature brings our eyes and minds to one of our most important economic inputs: mining. An input that helps make Toronto what it is but which remains obscure, unconsidered.
Toronto’s buried history: the dark story of how mining built a city. Even most residents don’t know Toronto is the global headquarters of the mining industry – but scratch the surface and some uncomfortable truths are revealed