- Alex Himelfarb and Trish Hennessy offer their take as to what we should expect out of Ontario's basic income experiment:
Critics rightly argue that basic income is no magic bullet, that indeed there are no magic bullets. The history of the idea of basic income shows it’s no passing fad, but translating it into action can easily get mired in the muck of consultations, delays, poor execution or, most likely, inadequate funding.- Nick Hanauer points out that decades of experience in the U.S. show there's no truth to the threat that a fair minimum wage will result in a loss of jobs. And Don Pittis writes that a more equal economy is demonstrably producing improved growth in countries who look beyond the interests of shareholders alone.
That said, the Ontario experiment may be just the kind of jolt we need to break the mould; an important opportunity to reimagine the future of social and labour market policy. It gives us a chance to see how income provided unconditionally could give poor Ontarians greater autonomy and the breathing room to find their way out of poverty.
But more than that, it allows us to ask how our tax and transfer system, social services, and labour policies can be made to work together to achieve greater equity and social justice in these changing times.
The basic income experiment forces us to ask the right questions: how do we ensure all Canadians have access to the essentials, that all can live in dignity regardless of job status, that all have sufficient income so none need live in poverty?
Thinking of basic income in those terms, less as a single program and more as a set of objectives for all governments, changes the frame, shifts expectations and gives us a chance to address issues that have been ignored for too long, from the inadequacy and inefficiency of social assistance to how best to ensure a living wage.
- S.E. Smith discusses how privatization can increase the cost of delivering public services as social programs have to pick up the slack for exploitative corporate employers.
- Lee Berthiaume evaluates Brad Wall's carbon price posturing and finds it to consist of "a lot of baloney". And Adam Vaughan reports that methane emissions from the fossil fuel industry are far higher than previously assumed, making its contribution to climate change all the worse.
- Finally, John Paul Tasker reports on the Libs' choice not to start closing the funding gap for First Nations education even after being presented with a plan to keep their promise to do so.