- Don Pittis makes the case for a guaranteed annual income on economic and social grounds:
The young would be some of the biggest beneficiaries. Students could use the money to pay for their education, thus eliminating student loan programs. Students from poor families could afford to take courses to improve their skills.- And Olivia Carville points out that due to the shredding of the social safety net, disabled Ontarians are actually more likely to live in poverty and rely on food banks than was the case two decades ago.
The old age security system could disappear. So would the baby bonus itself. The demogrant would supplement government programs such as minimum wage, EI, CPP/QPP, disability allowance – all resulting in bureaucratic savings.
But going back to my original question: if you got free money, would you continue to work?
Experimental programs, including one in Dauphin, Man. in the 1970s, show that the answer is yes.
As Pereira points out, scratching out a living on the demogrant alone (which some suggest would vary with local living costs) would mean you could never have a house or a car, or any of the minor luxuries we all expect.
But there is another reason to introduce the demogrant. And that is the changing nature of work in the automated age.
Martin Ford, author of The Lights in the Tunnel: Automation, Accelerating Technology and the Economy of the Future, worries that we are on the way to a world where robots do most of the work, driving up unemployment to levels never seen before.
"How do we get an income into people's hands so that they can survive, so that they are not on the street?" Ford asks.
- In the wake of the news about the passing of two giants of Canada's progressive political blogosphere, let's offer up this week's examples of the Cons' Mostly Competent Government: an appalling objection to indigenous peoples' rights buried far out of sight, and a much-trumpeted set of grain shipping regulations which has been rendered one-seventh as effective as promised because the Cons couldn't be bothered to check for typos.
- Meanwhile, Carol Linnitt highlights the Cons' Orwellian messaging on climate change. And Matthew Paterson expands on how Canada is being left behind as the rest of the world starts to deal meaningfully with the most important challenge facing humanity.
- Finally, Katrina Orlowski discusses the role millenials can and should play in changing Canadian politics.