Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Roderick Benns interviews Chantelle Scott about the role a basic income could play in fostering business development:
Scott says she would have preferred to have been able to take some business courses and learn more before jumping into opening a store – but she couldn’t afford to wait.

“There is pressure when you are on EI or Alberta Works, and there is fear. The programs inhibit job growth because you always know you will lose most of the support if you find a job, and if it is a bad job you are stuck,” says Scott.

She notes there is no one or no place to help someone find the “right job,” nor is there opportunity to rest after leaving a very stressful job.

“You have seven months to figure out your life and it starts immediately – but you also have six to eight weeks of no benefits, so you need to already use up your savings before anything has even begun.”

Scott says that a basic income (also called a guaranteed annual income) would help entrepreneurs survive. “A guaranteed income would allow me to pay bills, buy food and be able to pay down the start-up costs of the business, which would eventually allow me to be able to extend my hours sooner, attend more trade fairs and markets, and hire staff.”
- Richard Florida discusses the issues raised by concentrations of poverty. Kristy Hoffman writes about a new study showing how food insecurity connects with vastly higher health care costs. And Sophia Harris reports on the inability of more and more people to afford a home in Canada's major cities.

- Tim Abray points out that we should expect particularly strong negative comments in the leaders' debate (and other campaign coverage) to influence voters' choices long after they've forgotten where the messages originate. Which perhaps explains why Stephen Harper has reached levels of paranoia which are worrisome even to Tasha Kheiriddin - and why they're hastily trying to blame unspecified other people doing their bidding for their own choices.

- Meanwhile, both Murray Mandryk and the Toronto Star rightly slam Harper's cynical view of politics - Mandryk in general, and the Star on the Cons' travel ban in particular.

- Finally, Leon Thompson argues that First Nations need to get involved in federal politics in order to work toward putting our shameful colonial legacy behind us.

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