Thursday, July 13, 2017

Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Susanna Rustin reports on a new study from the London School of Economics demonstrating the lifelong personal impacts of childhood poverty. And Colleen Kimmit writes that the solution to food insecurity (along with other elements of personal precarity) is a guaranteed income, not charity or redundant skills training:
Many people think of basic income as a radical, untested idea, but Canada already has it for a significant portion of the population: seniors. One of the first projects that PROOF worked on, based on research conducted by Lynn McIntyre at the University of Calgary, looked at old age pensions in Canada. Using the Canadian Community Health Survey data once more, they randomly selected a group of single, low-income “near seniors” aged 55 to 64 and followed them for ten years. At the outset, 22 per cent qualified as food insecure. By the time the cohort passed age 65, that number dropped to 11 per cent. Nothing else changed in their lives except this crucial birthday. Turning 65 and becoming eligible for the old age pension—a stable, secure income, indexed to inflation and double regular social assistance amounts—immediately halved the number of people going hungry.

This kind of income is precisely what it will take, Tarasuk argues, to alleviate the stress many Canadians feel when it comes to covering even their most basic needs. She is encouraged by Ontario’s basic-income pilot; if it’s adopted, it may eliminate the need for piecemeal approaches.

“It’s not about a soda tax, or access to food, or better nutrition labelling. Community kitchens don’t solve it. Gardens don’t solve it. There’s arguments for all that stuff. But it’s not going to move the needle on food insecurity,” says Tarasuk. “We just want basic income. That’s it.”
- Meanwhile, Claudia Buch discusses how high levels of connected personal and corporate debt result in an economy that's less stable and secure for everybody.

- Matt Stoller wonders whether U.S. Democrats will notice the opportunity to take on the cause of trust-busting and challenging corporate power in light of the trust fund tycoon serving as the face of the Republican Party.

- The CCPA suggests that Canada treat its sesquicentennial as an opportunity to ensure that how we actually engage with Indigenous peoples matches our aspirations and self-perception. But the Star's editorial board notes that the long-awaited inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women is going off the rails. And Russ Diabo writes that the Trudeau Libs' broader plan seems to be to extinguish Indigenous rights under the guise of self-governance.

- Finally, Anna Lennox Esselment writes about the rise of the permanent campaign in Canada.

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