Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Elaine Power discusses how a basic income can build both individual security and social solidarity:
We work for lots of different reasons, not just money. And most of us do work that is never paid. To start, we need to change our ideas about work, not just counting the activities that get paid. For many of us, the most meaningful activities in our lives are unpaid. Maybe more of us would chose to spend our time doing those more meaningful activities when a basic income is implemented. But a basic income is never going to provide a luxurious standard of living. Most people would chose to have paid employment for all its benefits, including monetary benefits, to have a better standard of living.

Moreover, I think a basic income could help us shift the ethos of our times, which is about grabbing as much as we can for ourselves without regard for others or for the common good. I think we rise (or descend) to the expectations put upon us. If we set up expectations that everyone has something to contribute to the common good, even simple contributions like picking up garbage by the side of the road, I think ordinary people would rise to these expectations. While there has been much fear-mongering and divisiveness in recent political discourse, our new federal government seems intent to appeal to the “better angels of our nature.” I think a basic income could reinforce this and encourage us all to do the work that we are able to do to make the world a better place.
Basic income would help us rebuild a sense of social solidarity and enable us to collectively reimagine how to live together, more sustainably, on the planet.

I think a basic income will lessen the depression, anxiety and other forms of mental illness that our insecure, unstable and competitive world induces. It will help enable us to draw out the best of ourselves and each other. I hope we will become a more compassionate, caring and just society. It will take more than 10 or 20 years but basic income is essential to creating “the more beautiful world our hearts know is possible.
- Meanwhile, the Social Planning and Research Council discusses (PDF) the connection between precarious work and predatory payday lending. But in case anybody was expecting a change in federal government to change any priorities between the lucky few at the top of the corporate pyramid and the rest of us, James Bagnall reports that the Libs are breaking their promise to close the executive stock option loophole.

- Leonid Bershidsky points out that Bernie Sanders' platform - which is being treated as radical in the U.S. - would fit comfortably within the centre-right portion of the political spectrum in most of the developed world. And Robert Reich writes that it's thus not too surprising that American voters are sick of an establishment which hasn't taken the public interest into account in divvying up the spoils of economic development.

- Seth Klein and Armine Yalnizyan offer an example of what a serious plan to fight poverty would look like.

- Finally, Alex Boutillier reports on one more way C-51 is establishing an unaccountable and pervasive surveillance state, as the Communications Security Establishment is now able to engage in hacking and other "disruption" on behalf of CSIS.

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