Tag Archives: social policy

(1300) CEOs open letter on BI


Here’s a link to that open letter from the people managing something like one point eight  billion dollars worth of the national economy.  Contrast the thinking behind their interest in universal basic income with that other item from same news cycle in which we find Tory/neoliberal playa Patrick Brown (MPP, Simcoe North) needed three hundred grand for his office expenses for two months.  This man is part of an AUSTERITY government.  One that just foisted a hospital cancellation on Brampton,  one of the fastest growing cities in Canada, among other things.
What a curiosity these times are.  Firstly that a right wing government member can be a hog wild spender with a robotic interest in power who also projects a surface interest in fiscal probity and professionalism mainly expressed through talking like a businessman.  Secondly, the actual business managers are, here, in the role of social conservation.
Are these times in which the messages are mixed?  You fucking bet they are.
CEOs open letter on basic income test pilot
cesoforbasicincome.ca
image: Joe Brusky via Flickr/CC

(1293) Beertario


Looks as if we are not the only ones who feel an almost homonymic gravity of some kind drawing the phrases ‘buck-a-beer’ and ‘go fuck yourself’ into the same orbit.  This piece captures the general atmosphere of a hyped up, hot, and violent summer in a province that needs a sex-ed snitch line like it needs another massive forest fire.
Please read and share this powerful piece.
What buck-a-beer feels like to an alcoholic. I’ve been sober for five years, but my province is being led by a politician who seemingly prioritizes cheap beer over other, more urgent, issues—and it sucks
flare.com
image: Tatsuhiko Miyagawa via Flickr/CC

 

(1274) Words from Ontario basic income trial


Ontario’s basic income pilot has begun to produce some observations and anecdotes.  A thorough, high level analysis will need to be done at the conclusion of the three-year, three-community trial but expectations are high.  The pilot project is not quite a full-on basic income, more of a test apparatus designed to gather evidence of what actually happens in the lives of a recipient.
Yes, there is still a fair bit of naysaying and skepticism out there.  Some of it from surprising directions like a major anti-poverty activist here in Ontario and from union figures.  Another hurdle may be the upcoming provincial election.  All kinds of right wing critters and neoliberal reactionaries are looking for power, for gravy trains to stop, as it were.  The pilot project may be an early target in the election and for whoever gets into the premier’s office.  In the meantime, words from the participants are appropriate.
From ‘barely surviving’ to thriving: Ontario basic income recipients report less stress, better health. The three-year pilot project, which began last summer, is testing whether no-strings-attached cash support can boost health, education and housing for people living in poverty
thestar.com
image: Hefin Owen via Flickr/CC

(1231) Stockton, CA

Stockton, California did a post-2008 crash-and-burn rivalled perhaps only by Detroit in terms of American municipal financial disaster.  By embracing an economy built on minimally regulated suburban real-estate development and low taxes the city of about three hundred thousand in the San Joaquin Valley ran maximum risk with its economic health.  The result?  Maximum bust.
Stockton, CA: one of America’s most miserable cities just got more miserable
forbes.com
All the woes of America from foreclosures to rising crime and obesity and declining schools seem to beset Stockton and grip the city in a depressing vice.  A new mayor, however, has begun to reconceive Stockton with a modest basic income program as part of his plan for trying to move things forward.
Three years ago, Stockton, California, was bankrupt. Now it’s trying out a basic income. A city on the outskirts of Silicon Valley is using Facebook money to fund a basic income trial
vox.com (numerous links)