Basic Income 2: The Entitling!
I tend to format sequels as horror movie titles. Don't mind me... actually, two interesting points were brought up that I wanted to address:
The Quebec child-care system has much lower standards than the guidelines here on PEI (and most other provinces). For example infants (generally considered under age 2) have a 1:3 ratio of babies to staff here, but in Quebec it is 1:5. that is outrageous and I would have been horrified if my daughter had been in such a situation. If going down to 7$ a day requires such a drop in standards and quality I want no part of it.
I'm by no means an expert on childcare, but what about a 1 to 5 ratio is so awful in terms of attention to infants? I'm interested to know.
Also Boze, in the parting shots on childcare versus GAI (and I've said, single-payer childcare could come out of a child's GAI on a per-capita basis if need be (that means single payer)) pointed out the difference between work and utility:
The purpose of a national child care plan should not be "to allow parents to work." It should be to increase freedom. To give them the option to work, so that they are not, in your words, "chained to the kitchen," or to not work and still have access to a decent standard of living for themselves and their children, beyond the paltry amount provided by social assistance. Every parent and child should be entitled, yes, entitled to a decent standard of living regardless of whether the parent chooses to seek employment. If you give them MONEY then they can do EITHER. And your problem with this is...the dread of subsidizing idleness, I'm sure.
Boze then went on to point out that much of the conversation has revolved around a basic tenet of right-wing economics: Say's Law that supply creates an equilibrium of demand...
If you put a thousand dollar cheque in every person's hand tomorrow and every month from now on that would most definitely create child care spaces Unionist, and it would create a whole lot more than that. WE DO NOT NEED THE STATE TO CREATE CHILD CARE SPACES, JUST GIVE PARENTS MONEY AND THEY WILL DO IT BETTER. They will have TIME to do it better and they will have MONEY to do it as well. We don't need top-down solutions. A whole civil society is dissolving as we speak because people have less and less money and little energy to fill their little free time with more than television and arguing on internet message boards, lol. It doesn't have to be that way - begin the redistribution of wealth downwards immediately!!!
I have invited Unionist to clarify what he defines as a social need, but he has backed away from that conversation, stating that social needs evolve and are decided by society... I think that if we operated by that metric, all of us would back away from any political advocacy. We've decided as a society that Dianne 35 shouldn't be covered by society but abortion should. We've decided as a society that disability, for the purposes of income support, is a binary condition, and we've decided as a society in most of the country that we'll pay to treat HIV but not to pay for needle exchanges that will prevent its spread... Given that political indecision, I once again say that, as activists, as political beings, we should have a comprehensive vision for what the state should do and should not do, or get off the damn stage.
I argue that there are easily identifiable costs that vary and should be socially insured, such as health, crime, disaster, and as well, insecurity of income. Not everyone has the same capacity, and we ought to view that capacity as sitting along a spectrum, and do what we can to equalize utility.
Further, I believe that the most broadly spread entitlements are the most politically secure. It was easy for Mike Harris to bash welfare recipients, because most people don't know many welfare recipients. It's the same reason that over the long-term there's an inverse correlation between prejudice and visibility. It's easy to cut welfare. It's easy to cut some small program. It's hard to make the case for taking away a cheque that everyone gets.