So who is promoting Basic Income in Canada?

60 posts / 0 new
Last post
Pondering
So who is promoting Basic Income in Canada?

TBC

 

 

 

Pondering

Basic Income is gaining popularity around the world as an approach that works and saves money over the long run. 

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/sen-art-eggleton/art-eggleton-basic-income_...

It's Time For Canada To Test A Basic Income

Sen. Art Eggleton (Liberal)

Canadian Senator and former Mayor of Toronto and Member of Parliament

 

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2016/02/26/ontario-basic-income_n_9328264.html

 the Liberal government of Premier Kathleen Wynne said it would “work with communities, researchers and other stakeholders in 2016 to determine how best to design and implement a Basic Income pilot.”

 

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/guaranteed-income-has-merit...

The federal minister responsible for reducing poverty says he is interested in the idea of a guaranteed income in Canada.

Veteran economist Jean-Yves Duclos, who is Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, told The Globe and Mail the concept has merit as a policy to consider after the government implements more immediate reforms promised during the election campaign.

 

http://www.basicincome.org/news/2016/02/canada-manitoba-liberals-vow-to-...

Rana Bokhari, leader of the Liberal party in the Canadian province of Manitoba, has come out publicly to say that the party will conduct two basic income pilot projects if they are elected in April 2016.

Their proposed projects bear some similarities to the “Mincome” experiment undertaken in Dauphin and Winnipeg (Manitoba) in the 1970’s. The Mincome experiment, however, was cut short when a new government was elected in 1979, and a final report was never issued. Moreover, the Manitoba liberals believe that those results that were recorded from the Dauphin experiment are now dated, and new data are needed to make accurate policy decisions.

The answer to the question posed in the title of the thread is:

Rana Bokhari,(unelected) leader of the Liberal party of Manitoba

Liberal Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, Jean-Yves Duclos, economist

Premier Kathleen Wynne, Ontario, Liberal

Sen. Art Eggleton (Liberal)

 

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

The problem is the Conservatives would oppose it and the Liberals would scrap it to appease them.

Geoff

alan smithee wrote:

The problem is the Conservatives would oppose it and the Liberals would scrap it to appease them.

What is the NDP's position on a basic income? The party was silent on the issue during the campaign. Balanced budgets seems to be a much higher priority.

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

I don't think that matters. The Cons seem to be controlling Parliament because the Liberals are weak-kneed wimps who apparently are unaware that they have a majority government and hold all the cards.

iyraste1313

Basic Income?

Quite the nebulous statement!

When money is fiat, basic income means nothing....when real estate assets inflate in the 100´s of percentage? Food? Hydro? ad nauseum, where Canada thanks to its brilliant economic planners has become totally dependant on practically everything imported!

What is needed is security! Housing guarantees! No foreclosures! Food security! This means No!  to globalization...implement programs for self reliance and regional autonomy......Above all no to predatory perverted capitalism!....the rest is bs! Sorry!

lagatta

I think you might be well-advised to read up on Basic Income, Guaranteed Annual Income and other names for this scheme. Don't tell me you don't think it is important to fight for reforms, including something more inclusive than what EI has become and less humiliating and inadequate than social welfare. There is a hell of a lot of difference between having $500 - or less, they always find reasons to cut it -  than $1000 a month, even though the latter remains below the poverty line in cities.

No foreclosures for people who have (mortgaged) homes, but also more social housing and protection of tenants for those who don't. There is no contradiction between this and "autonomous" solutions such as community gardens and groceries - I don't know what you mean by self-reliance because that can also be a rightwing shibboleth... but I think and hope you mean co-operative labour and initiatives. Sometimes your posts are very hard to follow. I like shit-kicking, but I also like a bit of coherence.

Obviously we also have to fight for socially-useful jobs building and operating public transport, chidcare centres, sustainable social housing (and farming, of course) but it isn't either-or.

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

It could be possible. But the government will have to abandon welfare for corporations and personal pay raises. That's not likely to happen.

I see the opposite extreme taking place where social welfare will continue to shrink,more people will live in poverty and failing companies like Bombardier will continue to receive blank cheques.

Pondering

alan smithee wrote:

It could be possible. But the government will have to abandon welfare for corporations and personal pay raises. That's not likely to happen.

I see the opposite extreme taking place where social welfare will continue to shrink,more people will live in poverty and failing companies like Bombardier will continue to receive blank cheques.

This is going to cost less than our current mix of programs over the long run. That is why Liberals are supporting it. It makes sense economically. 

lagatta

Here is an opinion piece by Art Eggleton (yep, the Liberal):

http://www.nationalobserver.com/2016/02/29/opinion/time-try-basic-income...

I don't think this scheme would "end poverty", but it would reduce the most dire cases. And we still would have to fight for jobs - socially-useful jobs. I'd like more input from labour and popular groups...

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
It could be possible. But the government will have to abandon welfare for corporations and personal pay raises.

Just to make the math simple, let's imagine the government approving a massive 10% pay raise for every MP.  That would be $16,700 x 338 = $5.6M.

If the GAI were set at $20k/year, that would pay for 280 individuals.

 

lagatta

That is true, Magoo, but the idea is also that there is a huge bureaucracy basically finding any way of denying benefits. I agree that MPs pay is a red herring.

mark_alfred

A while ago, which I noted in the Sask NDP thread, the Sask NDP promoted a basic income pilot project (link).  Some right wingers also like the idea, feeling it can be cheaper to just get rid of all the various benefits and tax credits and streamline them into one basic income program.  I dunno.  Might be a good idea.  Devil is in the details, as they say.

ETA:  Here's a list from Wikipedia of some people/groups who've expressed some support for the idea:

Quote:
As of 2014, the Liberal Party of Canada,[2] the Green Party of Canada,[3] the Pirate Party of Canada,[4] provincial party Québec Solidaire[5] and former conservative senator Hugh Segal[6] advocate for basic income in Canada. Mike Redmond, leader of the New Democratic Party of Prince Edward Island, supports a basic income pilot project in Prince Edward Island.[7]

Neither the LPC nor the GPC had it in their platforms.

iyraste1313

There is a hell of a lot of difference between having $500....

...you miss my essential point!
Nor do you appreciate the fact that we are entering a new era, which previously lasted from the second world  war til the beginnings of the bursting bubbles, til now where as G20 just pointed out...Keynesism is dead, there are no more financial solutions by Central Bank/Government cartels....

I´m talking about the death of fiat currencies!

$500, $1000, take your pick! Will be nothing, no purchasing power! zero!

So yes reformism is dead!

It´s time for new strategies, newq visions! 

mark_alfred

Here's an official parliamentary petition calling on Canada's Minister of Finance, Bill Morneau, "to join with interested Provinces, Municipalities and Indigenous communities to fund and launch experimental pilot Mincome projects, as soon as possible, in order to determine the efficacy and viability of a Guaranteed Minimum Income in Canada, and to include funding for these projects in the 2016-2017 budget."  So sign today!

https://petitions.parl.gc.ca/en/Petition/Details?Petition=e-211

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Quote:
It could be possible. But the government will have to abandon welfare for corporations and personal pay raises.

Just to make the math simple, let's imagine the government approving a massive 10% pay raise for every MP.  That would be $16,700 x 338 = $5.6M.

If the GAI were set at $20k/year, that would pay for 280 individuals.

 

Here in Québec,our government,in the middle of an austerity agenda,rewarded themselves a $50K pay raise. THat's more than 10%. And whether that money would benefit anyone for a basic income is not the point.

The point is that money spent,especially the billions spent on corporate welfare,should be redistributed to public spending.

You hear it all the time. 'We don't have the money' . 'Balanced budgets' , 'fiscal responsibility' etc...

The fact is that they DO have the money. It's just that they want to use that money to pad their pay cheques and pensions and throw boatloads of money at corporations who take the money and turn around and lay off thousands of workers.

The days of public spending,particularly spending on social programs,are over. And that's been the case for decades now. I'm sure you're bright enough to recognize that.

The idea of a minimum income is social justice. Do you really believe our governments,provincially or federal give a rat's ass about that? There's no money to be made for their corporate masters,so forget about it.

montrealer58 montrealer58's picture

There are many capitalists who do not buy into austerity. 

miv

iyraste1313 wrote:

What is needed is security! Housing guarantees! No foreclosures! Food security! This means No! 

Not sure what you really have in mind here, but it sounds like some version of a strong, activist state that gets properly stuck in, protecting people and directing their lives in a fairly intrusive and (at best!) paternalistic fashion, making decisions about how much food they need and where they deserve to live. 

A lot of people -- on the left, I mean -- don't really see this as something for which governments have much talent.  They see basic income as a way  of making poverty history which doesn't grant the state, with it's great clumsy hands and its perennial confusion of motives (many of them not remotely admirable or people friendly) the role of universal busibody and moral authority. 

Combine the basic income with a massive increase in non-market housing - ideally as co-operatives, built or compulsory-purchased from a private housing sector (which it would be easy to first trip into a downward value spiral with a regime of draconian rent controls, standards and crippling fines!).  The result would be, effectively, an end to poverty which also sets people free -- individuals, families of every sort -- from the predations of capital and the ambiguous ministrations of the state.  

If I wanted to wax lyrically idealistic (idealistically lyrical?), I'd suggest this could be a first step in granting people local, collective historical agency over their own lives - giving them the opportunity to forge the cultures, and social networks, and institutions of an everyday life that reflects human needs, rather than one shaped by the conscripting, co-ordinating managerialism of the state and the exploitative imperatives of capital. 

If local economies, made up of community enterprises and worker co-ops, could be nurtured in this environment, then history could find itself in sight of the moment when it can give the finger, out its rear window, to capitalism and the managerial state. 

 

 

miv

iyraste1313 wrote:

What is needed is security! Housing guarantees! No foreclosures! Food security! This means No! 

Not sure what you really have in mind here, but it sounds like some version of a strong, activist state that gets properly stuck in, protecting people and directing their lives in a fairly intrusive and (at best!) paternalistic fashion, making decisions about how much food they need and where they deserve to live. 

A lot of people -- on the left, I mean -- don't really see this as something for which governments have much talent.  They see basic income as a way  of making poverty history which doesn't grant the state, with it's great clumsy hands and its perennial confusion of motives (many of them not remotely admirable or people friendly) the role of universal busibody and moral authority. 

Combine the basic income with a massive increase in non-market housing - ideally as co-operatives, built or compulsory-purchased from a private housing sector (which it would be easy to first trip into a downward value spiral with a regime of draconian rent controls, standards and crippling fines!).  The result would be, effectively, an end to poverty which also sets people free -- individuals, families of every sort -- from the predations of capital and the ambiguous ministrations of the state.  

If I wanted to wax lyrically idealistic (idealistically lyrical?), I'd suggest this could be a first step in granting people local, collective historical agency over their own lives - giving them the opportunity to forge the cultures, and social networks, and institutions of an everyday life that reflects human needs, rather than one shaped by the conscripting, co-ordinating managerialism of the state and the exploitative imperatives of capital. 

If local economies, made up of community enterprises and worker co-ops, could be nurtured in this environment, then history could find itself in sight of the moment when it can give the finger, out its rear window, to capitalism and the managerial state. 

 

 

montrealer58 montrealer58's picture

On one hand, 'basic income' activists speak of 'bureaucratic reductions'. This is a deflationary attitude. Instead of assessing income as they have to in the current austerity regime, social workers can actually spend time adding value to the lives of their clients (which is probably why they went to college or university in the first place)

Then the rents will tend to rise to the guaranteed minimum income, so if you don't regulate landlords you will see all the benefits get wiped away by a particularly parasitic part of the business community.

There is no question that incomes for the poor have to rise, however we don't want to add to the poor by throwing thousands of social workers out of work or letting rents rise for everyone.  

 

iyraste1313

Not sure what you really have in mind here...

thanks for your thoughtful comments......what I`ve been trying to focus on here is the need to be thinking of social forms of organization to protect the security needs of people, as the financial system continues its collapse (The biggest banks are already in deep trouble,  much more to come!). But within the context of community and bioregional autonomy, where people decide through accessible forms of democracy, not the corrupt bs system we seem to still have faith in?

It means coordination at the local level to encourage forms of natural agriculture and its distribution systems to the people though their markets, whatever! What it means is to protect the rights of people to live in their homes, whether renters, mortgage holders whatever! It means the promotion through local autonomous social structures of local energy systems using our rights to the wind and sun and waterfalls locally!

It requires a form of social organization outside the capitalist system, under the control of local autonomous community and bioregion.....

Yes it means self reliance, as individulas and families and communities and bioregions...

It means no more distractions of reformist measures which don`t work..the system is a monster beyond so called (puppet) government control...reform is impossible and to focus on reform is just pure distraction...sorry this is how I see it...and until others recognize this reality and start working together as they are in so many other territories, we in Canada are doomed to the most frightful repression and control and starvation....

mark_alfred

A couple of opposing views on basic income:

Carol Goar, the Star's columnist who focusses on poverty issues, opposes it: ‘Basic annual income’ loaded with pitfalls: Goar

Rob Rainer and Kelly Ernst, who work for agencies promoting the idea, favour it:  How can we not afford a ‘basic annual income’?

Not sure what I think.  But it seems an okay idea to try. 

bekayne
montrealer58 montrealer58's picture

Landlord greed will expand into the welfare available for it.

iyraste1313

Landlord greed will expand into the welfare available for it...

precisely!

As long as the managers and their directors and shareholders have control, nothing will change...the controls must change...system change! social organization, General assembly, real democracy...these are the kinds of things that matter!

montrealer58 montrealer58's picture

Provincial regulation of landlords would be a good start.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

I can only speak for Ontario, but aren't there already limits to the amount that a landlord can hike a tenant's rent?

mark_alfred

Yes.  But there's a whole movement, backed by a whole industry (paralegal), that undermines this, often employing "personal use" (IE, my dear aunt is going to be moving in, and I've sworn an affidavit with the Landlord Tenant Board too -- so here's your notice*) as a means to boot out tenants and then later jacking up rents once the tenant has left.  Or if not employing a creative (basically fictional) use of "personal use", then it's often suddenly following a lease to the letter by a landlord that previously had never raised rents and had always been easy-going (though maybe a bit negligent with repairs -- "don't bother me and I won't bother you", which changes to "I'm now gonna bother you all the time so that you'll leave and I can jack up the rent."  -- warning letters, termination notices, new rules, inspections, charging for parking that used to be free, clamping down on storage space in common areas, etc.)  Or, another ploy is above guideline increases.  Do some bullshit repairs/upgrades and apply for an AGI (a pricey option, but landlords will do it).  So, despite the guideline rent increase not supposed to be over the consumer price index (maximum 2.5% per year, I think), this is often over-ridden.  Toronto tenants have a tough time finding affordable rents now.

* if it does turn out to be a false claim, sure, tenants can later (up to a year after) challenge it and receive some compensation, but by then they're out and the landlord is usually further ahead anyway; so that prospect isn't a huge deterrent -- and tenants rarely follow through with such a challenge after the fact.

mark_alfred

Well, I posted a link to an official parliamentary petition promoting Basic Income, and no one indicated signing it.  So, I'm posting again.

__

Here's an official parliamentary petition calling on Canada's Minister of Finance, Bill Morneau, "to join with interested Provinces, Municipalities and Indigenous communities to fund and launch experimental pilot Mincome projects, as soon as possible, in order to determine the efficacy and viability of a Guaranteed Minimum Income in Canada, and to include funding for these projects in the 2016-2017 budget."  So sign today!

https://petitions.parl.gc.ca/en/Petition/Details?Petition=e-211

Pondering

mark_alfred wrote:

Well, I posted a link to an official parliamentary petition promoting Basic Income, and no one indicated signing it.  So, I'm posting again.

__

Here's an official parliamentary petition calling on Canada's Minister of Finance, Bill Morneau, "to join with interested Provinces, Municipalities and Indigenous communities to fund and launch experimental pilot Mincome projects, as soon as possible, in order to determine the efficacy and viability of a Guaranteed Minimum Income in Canada, and to include funding for these projects in the 2016-2017 budget."  So sign today!

https://petitions.parl.gc.ca/en/Petition/Details?Petition=e-211

Signed.

lagatta

Here is the Québec Revenu de base site; for the moment it seems to be in French only, though aspiring to bilingualism. Clicking on "English", the content is still in French, not translated yet.

http://revenudebase.quebec/

mark_alfred

NDP calls for study on guaranteed minimum income

Quote:
New Democrats will present a motion calling on the Standing Committee on Finance to undertake a study on guaranteed minimum income. Finance critic Guy Caron (Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques) says a study is necessary because it’s a complex policy that could be a possible solution to growing income inequality.

lagatta

Another commentary in Le Devoir about the benefits of a guaranteed basic income: http://www.ledevoir.com/politique/quebec/465526/les-avantages-du-revenu-... The comment is in French but there are references in English, in particular the Evidence Network.

This is basically the same article, in English: http://umanitoba.ca/outreach/evidencenetwork/archives/28267

http://www.ledevoir.com/politique/quebec/465526/les-avantages-du-revenu-...

mark_alfred

Article on Rabble opposing the current musings of the Ontario Liberal government on Basic Income: 

Ontario Liberals' 'Basic Income Guarantee' will replace public services with free market handouts

Quote:
We need public services, delivered by people and funded by progressive taxes,  as part of a comprehensive plan for social services that are universally accessible and of high quality.

However, Liberals (and some Conservatives) are not proposing this currently and therefore cannot be trusted to implement a progressive Basic Income Guarantee program. The Liberals (and some Conservatives) are promoting a version of the Basic Income Guarantee that re-directs money away from current public programs in an attempt to privatize those services.

As such, any proposal for a basic income guarantee under the current climate of budget cuts should be opposed until support levels for public services are at an adequate level to provide quality public services and sustain good jobs.

lagatta

Yes, it is complex. We still have to struggle for full employment, though nowadays that shouldn't mean 40 hours a week. And there is a hell of a lot that has to get done in terms of transition to more sustainable communities, in terms of transport, housing, fighting sprawl, and even planting trees and vegetation. Not to mention the many types of social support needed.

But we do have to get rid of the humiliating welfare system that continues to deny the most basic support to vulnerable people, and make it extra hard for them to get back into employment.

Jacob Richter

Universal basic income fails to address:

1) Structural and cyclical unemployment

2) Desire to work and avoid the stigma of not doing something

3) Inevitable downward pressure on wages as a result of implementation (Speenhamland, Karl Polanyi's classical observations, Francine Mestrum's and Yves Smith's articles warning about this problem, etc.)

4) Privatization of the social wage (like Milton Friedman's negative income tax)

5) Class origins of political advocacy and beneficiaries (working-class vs. lumpen)

Any implementation of a basic income program should, at best, be in place only as a top-up to an expansive job guarantee / employer of last resort program (Hyman Minsky, L. Randall Wray) as a structural, radical left reform (Jesse Myerson).

As for programs not based on people working, basic income pales in comparison to this measure: Extending workers' self-management to a labour commons union (Tom Walker) and a mandate of systematic work time reduction – decreasing employment participation for a static or growing population, while maintaining present levels of both real labour productivity per capita and real living standards (Robert LaJeunesse). This measure acknowledges that there may by one justifiable anchor for the policy-based maintenance of stagnant, but not depressed, real discretionary income: a slow but long-term decline in working hours. More importantly, this measure stresses that the big corporate capitalists and the petty capitalists prefer more money being paid to "the 99 percent" so that they can keep spending, preferring consumption habitually over leisure.

mark_alfred

Thanks Jacob.  I'll have to look into #3 on your list a bit more sometime so that I can grasp it.

Given some of my past experiences with faciliatative management/joint management programs (they usually ended up in workers fighting each other and the union being weakened while management was strengthened), I find phrases like "workers' self-management" a bit creepy.  But, again, I'll look into it further (IE, I'll check out Tom Walker as you suggested) before disregarding it.

lagatta

Jacob, I was very suspicious of the idea of a basic income for the reasons you've stated, and indeed you'll see I've always framed it within the struggle for full employment (which could be for a much shorter work-week nowadays, in many cases). There are many things we need done in society that aren't being done in terms of human needs, sustainable infrastructure and environmental remediation, among others. My one quibble is "working-class vs lumpen" - most "lumpenized" people have worked and have been ejected from the workforce for a host of reasons including illness and injury. Or simply lack of work, as in the only industry in town shutting down and not enough resources to move (in small towns where even poor people are likely to own their own little house).

But the current system not only humiliates people and often denies benefits they are entitled to, it also creates barriers to re-entering the labour force.

SeekingAPolitic...

I would support BI depending how its rolled out. Jacob, I will be generous to you about using the term "lumpen" because when I hear that word I think of the attacks of the right on the marginlized communties in our society.  Generally when I hear that term it is used dehumanize people who are on the margins of society. But I will assume that your using term in a clinical way to describe the marginized members of the community rather than to dehumanize people. 

As I see it this is just mild scheme of social control in our society.  The capitialist are feeling the heat on equailty.  First, it looks poorly on the society when the effects of capitalism can not be hidden away.  This is just cheap way to counter the negative images of capitalism.  Our corporate masters see  that in a democrary people in poverty are potential danger to the system.  In times of mass suffrage the masses have the power really change their cirsumstances by voting.  So this is a scheme to keep people from using voting power to change the system.  

Secondly, I try of keep up with the capitalist business press and there is a rising tide of alarm due the slugish economic performance.  Some of these individuals are concerned about that to many low income people are threat to the smooth operation of the economy.  Too much purchasing power in the hands of the rich vs the rest.  The current capitalism system is based on mass production and mass consumption and things dont work well if a few rich have too much purchasing power.   This just a scheme to keep the status quo going.  But that does not mean it should be rejected out of hand, no. 

 

Pondering

SeekingAPoliticalHome wrote:

I would support BI depending how its rolled out. Jacob, I will be generous to you about using the term "lumpen" because when I hear that word I think of the attacks of the right on the marginlized communties in our society.  Generally when I hear that term it is used dehumanize people who are on the margins of society. But I will assume that your using term in a clinical way to describe the marginized members of the community rather than to dehumanize people. 

As I see it this is just mild scheme of social control in our society.  The capitialist are feeling the heat on equailty.  First, it looks poorly on the society when the effects of capitalism can not be hidden away.  This is just cheap way to counter the negative images of capitalism.  Our corporate masters see  that in a democrary people in poverty are potential danger to the system.  In times of mass suffrage the masses have the power really change their cirsumstances by voting.  So this is a scheme to keep people from using voting power to change the system.  

Secondly, I try of keep up with the capitalist business press and there is a rising tide of alarm due the slugish economic performance.  Some of these individuals are concerned about that to many low income people are threat to the smooth operation of the economy.  Too much purchasing power in the hands of the rich vs the rest.  The current capitalism system is based on mass production and mass consumption and things dont work well if a few rich have too much purchasing power.   This just a scheme to keep the status quo going.  But that does not mean it should be rejected out of hand, no. 

Yes you are exactly right.

Jacob, Basic Income is intended to replace welfare, EI, GIS and to some extent student loans and grants.

I don't see how that could possibly depress wages. Just the opposite. It's not intended to address the problems you listed. It's intended to simplify providing a basic income regardless of the cause for the need of it which in turn reduces the need for staff to determine who is and isn't entitled and why. No more need for welfare, EI offices and medical assessments.

Pondering

mark_alfred wrote:

Quote:
I don't see how that could possibly depress wages.

Perhaps if the government steps in to pay a basic wage, then there would be no pressure on employers to pay fair wages.  Rather, it could result employers expanding volunteer work at the expense of paid work.  Or more unpaid internships or expanding migrant worker programs.  Some of the examples Richler gave, like Speenhamland, suggest this possibility.

Well then that is true of welfare, EI, and GIS as well. Volunteers are not that easy to come by. The other issues can be dealt with by law. There is already a movement against migrant worker programs because they depress wages and against exploitative unpaid internships.

From what I have read people are better able to get on their feet. People use it as an opportunity for education and self-betterment. Some don't but most do. The money circulates back into the economy quickly as most of it is spent not saved. Consider it a form of quantitative easing.

mark_alfred

Quote:
I don't see how that could possibly depress wages.

Perhaps if the government steps in to pay a basic wage, then there would be no pressure on employers to pay fair wages.  Rather, it could result employers expanding volunteer work at the expense of paid work.  Or more unpaid internships or expanding migrant worker programs.  Some of the examples Richter gave, like Speenhamland, suggest this possibility.

lagatta

I'd just LOVE to be able to go back to school and modernize my computer skills, including computer graphics. Yes, I suspect a lot of people would use it to upgrade their educations and keep their skills up to date. I did both my BA and MA while working, but I don't really have the energy to pull 15-hour days all year any more. I can do rushes like that no problem, but after a month of that regimen, I need a break.

SeekingAPolitic...

mark_alfred wrote:

Quote:
I don't see how that could possibly depress wages.

Perhaps if the government steps in to pay a basic wage, then there would be no pressure on employers to pay fair wages.  Rather, it could result employers expanding volunteer work at the expense of paid work.  Or more unpaid internships or expanding migrant worker programs.  Some of the examples Richler gave, like Speenhamland, suggest this possibility.

I would think this would strink Marx's "reserve army of the unemploymented"(making the labour pool smaller and drive up wages), utimatley many people work for different reasons but in the old you work or you straved.  Today you generally don't strave, but I have worked in a project related to my local food bank and let me tell you the myth that only unemployed get benefits is not true.  I have seen who uses the food bank these individuals look like random slice of society, some work some don't.  Personally after having deep discussion with the director of the local food bank my conclusion is the need has been growing (regardless of the supposed great economy myth) and many non traditional users are showing up.  To be frank I would quailify for the food bank but I am to prideful  to ask for the help in that kind.  I am tempted but I just feel there more people who are worst off than me. I also feel guilty of taking food that could be used for someone else that is desperate need.  But back topic on hand.  Today you dont strave your just consigned to poverty ands ill effects. 

But this reform could provide some digintiy for some people who survive on the margins of society.  I have been volunteering at a local soup kitichen so I have talked to people who walk from 1 soup kitchen to an another  and that  is thier daily existence.  All these people could reach their potential but that is hard to do when you spend your day figuring out where your meal is coming from.  Maybe BI could address this is in a small way. 

Jacob Richter

These videos are most informative:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MMshp0-odH0
(Income For All! Two Visions of a New Economy)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1CjCKow5xmo
(Transitions for Society: Job Guarantee and Basic Income)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W_1B1rY8i5k
(Guaranteed Income? How About Guaranteed Job?)

Unionist

mark_alfred wrote:

I know the Leap proposes Basic Income, but I think it may be worth while to rethink that.  

When a certain "eminent" economist opened a babble thread here 10 years ago asking (rhetorically) "Why would unions oppose a Guaranteed Annual Income?", I asked a few questions then expressed some thoughts. Strange that nothing much has changed in 10 years.

Unionist, in 2006 wrote:

Before I answer your question, here are some of my own:

1. How much is the Guaranteed Annual Income (ballpark)?

2. Which existing social programs or labour standards would have to be cancelled in exchange?

[...]

Would this replace minimum wage laws, so that low-wage employers would get subsidized by the state (i.e. taxpayers)?

Would able-bodied people be required to work (or diligently seek work) to qualify, or could they just sit home and earn?

Would it be per person, per family, what function of family size?

Exactly which of the so-called "complicated" programs would it replace, Stephen? Would CPP/QPP and OAS be among them?

I have lots of questions, and they aren't "details". They go to whether the concept is feasible and equitable. I'll be honest, it sounds very suspect to me without lots of elaboration.

[...]

Based on what I've heard so far - and especially (but not solely) because it would replace hard-fought and hard-won social programs, while appearing to effect some kind of income redistribution which allows people to sit around and not work while allowing employers to pay next-to-nothing while getting my tax money to do so...

I'm against it.

[...]

GAI or BI sounds like legislated poverty.

I have a different idea. Call it a modest proposal. How about legislating a maximum income from all sources?

Society would collapse if no one could earn more than (say) $300,000 per year, right? They'd all run away to the States? Our brightest brains?

Don't expect to see our academic lights spending too much time debating this one.

[...]

This is not economic justice. It is Harper's child-care bonus instead of actually providing the service, only extended to the entire range of government programs.

Sorry for just quoting myself. There were many other babblers involved in that discussion, and many good points made.

Basic income is fine as a replacement for social welfare. Unfortunately, it would be used to replace everything. That's why neoliberals are jumping on that bandwagon. They've finally figured out how to play it.

The key to economic democracy and equity is not giving everyone money. It is providing socially necessary goods and services for free (or near), and building the infrastructure to do that.

 

 

 

 

 

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..there was a time back in the '70 were i had a huge appetite for scifi. i could devoured books in 1 day sometimes.  mack reynolds was one author and a bit of a lefty. there was one quote i remember when asked "are you a communist?" his response was "no they're not radical enough for me." anyway in some of his books he has a running theme where in the future the corporations are the government. and people are controlled, watched, and always one of those controls was gai. only 10% of the people actually had jobs in those stories and always some revolution taking place. this comes to mind when i think of gai. 

mark_alfred

An article that's sceptical about the basic income idea:

Quote:

“Basic income, therefore, is often seen as the Trojan horse that would allow tech companies to position themselves as progressive, even caring—the good cop to Wall Street’s bad cop—while eliminating the hurdles that stand in the way of further expansion.”

Privatization

The price tag for this model of GAI would be complete elimination of our social services safety net, full privatization of education and health services, and elimination of government regulation of industry. And as a bonus, the plan would further weaken the labour movement.

http://www.socialist.ca/node/3115

I recall seeing a CBC article that outlined what people in Dauphin got during their basic income experiment, and it wasn't much.  After adjusting for inflation, it wasn't much different from today's welfare rates (in Ontario anyway).  For families and those working low income jobs it may have been better.  I'll see if I can find that article again.

I know the Leap proposes Basic Income, but I think it may be worth while to rethink that.  Tackling trade issues to promote a society where more and better jobs are available might be a better pursuit.

Unionist

Swiss voters have voted 76.9% to reject a basic income guarantee. The amount wasn't specified, but the organization which gathered 126,000 to trigger the referendum was suggesting $2,500 per month (adults) and $640 per child.

 

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

Unionist wrote:

Swiss voters have voted 76.9% to reject a basic income guarantee. The amount wasn't specified, but the organization which gathered 126,000 to trigger the referendum was suggesting $2,500 per month (adults) and $640 per child.

 

Didn't the Swiss recently have a $20/h minimum wage?

Europe has their shit together (next to Canada's social record) but I find that vote depressing. How could anyone reject such a benefit? Mind you,I don't know the cost of living in Switzerland. In Montréal,that's a guaranteed decent apartment,utilities and food for every adult in town.

At least they got to vote for or against it. I can't see the same referendum taking place in Canada.

6079_Smith_W

That NDP call for a study mentioned upthread (#31)?

Quote:

For 48 minutes Thursday, Robert-Falcon Ouellette sat in a committee room on Parliament Hill and spoke passionately about the reasons a guaranteed minimum income would have a profound effect on people in his Winnipeg Centre riding.

Then, after listing all the reasons mincome could be a good thing for Canada and why it should be studied further, Ouellette finished his speech, sat in his chair and voted against the NDP motion that would have seen the standing committee on finance study the benefits and possible effects mincome could have in Canada today.

"I was being a good team member," Ouellette told the Free Press after the meeting.

He didn’t want to vote against it, he said. It was "painful" to do so, but he met with his colleagues beforehand, and it was decided among them the motion would be defeated.

http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/opinion/analysis/the-curious-case-of-mp...

Pages