(1) 250.472.8528
andrew.weaver.mla@leg.bc.ca

Over the next few weeks I will explore the concept of “Basic Income”. I would be most grateful if you would share your comments, suggestions and concerns with me about this topic as we unpack what it all means in a series of upcoming posts. In this first post we simply provide a backgrounder.

1. What is “Basic Income”?

A basic income is a regular payment that the Government makes to individuals or families in its jurisdiction, which is not contingent on recipients fulfilling specific criteria (e.g. proving that they are active job seekers).

Basic income comes in two basic forms: means-tested and universal. In its means-tested form, a basic income is paid only to those whose income from other sources falls below a predetermined threshold, but is not contingent on recipients’ willingness to work. It is often referred to as “guaranteed minimum income”. In its universal form, a basic income is paid to all, irrespective of income from other sources. The unconditional basic income is often referred to as “universal basic income” or a “citizen’s’ wage”.

The idea of a basic income has become more popular recently, and has garnered support from across the political spectrum. In Canada, Ontario is planning a pilot next year, and Quebec, Alberta, and PEI have also raised the possibility of running pilots in the near future. Internationally, Finland and the Netherlands are both staging large-scale pilots in 2017.

2. Background

a. Poverty and Inequality in BC

The levels of poverty and inequality in BC are high relative to the national average. BC has higher than average rates of poverty, with poverty rates up to 16% and child poverty rates up to 20%, depending on the poverty measure used. BC also has one of the highest levels of inequality in Canada, estimated to be second only to Alberta.

For those needing support, our current system of social programs has a number of shortcomings. The siloed approach, with a myriad of different programs with specific eligibility criteria, allows people to slip through the cracks in the system and leaves many unsure which benefits they are eligible for. It also has a substantial administrative cost. There is significant stigma in collecting welfare today, and many argue that the invasiveness of the current approach, with its stringent conditionality and reporting requirements, strips recipients of privacy and dignity. Additionally, the current system may provide a disincentive for many to join the workforce, due to how quickly the benefits are reduced as any income is earned.

b. A Shifting Economy

Unprecedented technological advance, of rapidly increasing pace, is set to have a significantly disruptive effect on our economy. To now, we have seen deindustrialization and the closure of industries, together with a boom and bust economy in British Columbia that almost defines much of provincial economic history. With increasing automation, forecasts suggest the potential for the rapid elimination of jobs across a wide range of sectors. Automated voice recognition software is already replacing many call centre workers, car assembly plants use more robots than people, and driverless cars and trucks are already significantly impacting the taxi and trucking industries. The effects of automation are predicted to be most strongly felt in moderate and low-paying jobs: Barack Obama’s 2016 economic report predicted that jobs paying less than USD$20/hour face an 83% likelihood of being automated, while jobs paying between $20 and $40/hour face a 33% chance. In the UK,  one third of retail jobs are forecasted to be replaced by 2025. The effects of automation are predicted to spread to higher paying professional sectors as well, particularly the medical and legal professions. Technological advance has been attributed as a cause of increasing inequality by a number of economists because of automation’s effects on jobs and technology’s role in further concentrating the accumulation of wealth in the hands of top earners.

We are also heading toward what is commonly termed the ‘gig’ economy. We are shifting away from the 20th century model of permanent full-time work with benefits toward precarious contract-based work, which is spreading at an increasing rate to workers at all levels of education, trade, skill and profession. Contract-based employment means employers, with an expanding labour pool, can negotiate pay, usually with few or no benefits, outside of union negotiated packages. Examples today include Uber drivers, health care assistants, and sessional lecturers at postsecondary institutions.

3. Potential Effects of a Basic Income: Opportunities and Challenges

Perhaps the most transformational promise of a basic income is its potential to raise recipients out of poverty. Living in poverty takes a significant toll, and the elevated levels of stress that it brings are associated with higher levels of alcohol and drug abuse, domestic abuse, and mental health problems. Those living in poverty are more likely to have inadequate nutrition, use tobacco, be overweight or obese, and be physically inactive. The adverse effects of growing up in poverty on a child’s ability to be successful in school and integrate into the workforce contribute to generational poverty.

The moral case for tackling poverty is self-evident: doing so would have a life-changing effect on the lives of those currently living in poverty and dealing with the problems it brings on a daily basis. The financial cost is also significant: the adverse outcomes of poverty lead to increased use of public health care, more hospitalizations, and lost economic activity, among other effects.

A pilot project undertaken in Manitoba in the 1970s suggests that a basic income policy can have significant impacts on the healthcare system: providing a basic income to residents of Dauphin, Manitoba for 3 years reduced hospital visits by 8.5%. The decrease in hospital visits was attributed to lower levels of stress in low income families, which resulted in lower rates of alcohol and drug use, lower levels of domestic abuse, fewer car accidents, and lower levels of hospitalization for mental health issues.

A basic income could also provide a means to respond proactively to the changes we are just beginning to see in the labour market. As the effects of automation are realized, providing a basic income would enable those affected to retrain for new professions, attend or return to University or College, take entrepreneurial risks, contribute to their communities or other causes through volunteering and civic engagement, and invest time in their families.

A challenge in considering a basic income scheme is predicting its effects on the labour market, specifically the extent to which it might provide a disincentive to work comparable to or stronger than the disincentive often associated with our current social assistance programs. The Dauphin, Manitoba pilot study provides some initial information on this question: it was found that the negative effect on people’s willingness to work was minimal for the general population, but more pronounced for mothers with young children, and teenagers aged 16-18 who completed high school instead of leaving to join the workforce.

A recent report by the Vancouver Foundation advocates paying all youth ages 18-24 transitioning out of foster care a “basic support fund” of between $15,000-$20,000. Doing so, they estimate, would cost $57 million per year, whereas the cost of the status quo is between $222-$268 million per year, due to the range of adverse outcomes that affect youth in transition, including intergenerational poverty, criminal activity, substance abuse, lost educational opportunities, and homelessness. Thus they estimate that establishing a basic support fund for youth in transition would result in savings to the Provincial Government of $165-$201 million per year.

The cost of a basic income program is difficult to predict, and estimates range widely according to assumptions made about the characteristics of the program and its social and economic effects. In costing a basic income it is important not to ignore the cost of the status quo: the direct costs of unemployment, poverty, and homelessness as well as the costs of managing the adverse effects. Nonetheless, the cost of a basic income program to BC is potentially significant, and costs associated with different implementation options must be fully worked out and tested.

4. So what are your thoughts?

While I recognize that I’ve only provided cursory information to initiate this conversation, I would like to hear your thoughts on the idea of a basic income. Do you think a basic income policy holds promise as a potential way forward in BC, allowing us to tackle poverty effectively and prepare for a future in which the nature of work is vastly different from what we have known in the past? What are your concerns about the policy? How would you like to see it implemented? Thank you in advance for your comments.

73 Comments

  1. brandon humble-
    June 3, 2017 at 4:11 am

    I personally want to see the Annual Exception not to exist with Disability PWD benefits if People have a Self Employment Business. They should have the incentive to go beyond someone who is working for a Employer. I would like to see $25,000 allowable a year to someone who owns a Internet Shop, retail store and Ect to Invest in their Business. thanks

  2. Jan Slakov-
    February 27, 2017 at 1:31 pm

    A basic income makes sense for many reasons including giving people enough security that they can more effectively engage in society as caring citizens. We also need to work to ensure there are good rental options and good food available to all. Paying for it might include taxing things that aren’t great, including air travel & other fossil fuel use, unhealthy food, exporting raw resources… Also finding less expensive ways to meet needs in healthcare, education…

  3. January 6, 2017 at 9:09 am

    Yank author here, so I can only speak to US implementation.

    A UBI should be combined with a true flat tax on the federal level. The UBI should be fixed at the poverty line, for adult citizens only. States and charities would be free to add as they wish.

    This combination would be highly progressive. Effective tax rates would follow a smooth curve from infinite negativity toward the flat rate, even though all earned income [not including the UBI] would be taxed at the same rate Since businesses would withhold accurate tax amounts, they could eliminate all employee tax filing.

    To pay for this program, all safety-net programs would be reduced dollar for dollar, with no effective change for those receiving support. The flat tax will eliminate all tax deductions. In the US, these “tax expenditures” amount to about $1.2 trillion, most of which go to the top 30% in income, who itemize their deductions. Instead that money would be distributed evenly to all income earners and those not taking advantage of safety-net support. The result would be that every citizen would face the same tax, $X annually (distributed monthly) and Y% tax on all earned income.

    Non-adult citizens and legal immigrants would receive tax rebates up to the UBI limit, based on taxes paid. Citizens would receive additional child UBI payments for each child below 21.

    Citizens would be forced to become financially responsible for their actions. Someone convicted of robbing a liquor store for $500 would have to pay for legal defense, court, and incarceration costs along with restitution for the victim, out of future UBI payments.

    The entire welfare bureaucracy can be scrapped by the federal government. Disincentives would disappear. Dependency would give way to personal initiative.

  4. Ken-
    November 27, 2016 at 2:41 am

    For any number of reasons, including those of other commentators before me, a basic income that allows citizens to live above the poverty line, has become a must in our society. In the absence of a basic income, poverty and resultant misery, depression, suicide, and violence is practically guaranteed to increase. One aspect of poverty that I have yet to see mentioned is the decision by Canadian-born women in their 20s and 30s not to have children or to marry because of their struggle to survive. Indeed, having pets, children, and owning a home in Canada is rapidly becoming a privilege limited to the upper classes and the rich. According to the Canadian Real Estate Association, within short span of less than 20 years, the only people who will own a house will be those who inherit one and can afford to maintain it. When I saw the Head of the Association interviewed on CBC, I was aghast. For as long as I can recall, property ownership is what made the difference between poverty and wealth and job creation. The last time I studied the subject, it still applied in the so-called third world, but perhaps it no longer applies as much in the first world. What kind of society will Canada become? One in which the most of the people are living much as the populations of Peru or some other country where the few enjoy life behind barbed wire walls while the majority subsist in survival mode? It’s time for Canada to act against the rising tide of impoverishment at home. As I put it to Justin Trudeau, “Do we not take care of our own?”

  5. October 30, 2016 at 11:53 am

    I support the concept of Guaranteed Basic Income as a solution to our failing social conscience and failing social-safety-nets in Canada.

    First of all, from the stand-point of life-recovery, for those who are living with disability (both physical and due to mental health and addictions issues) the idea of Guaranteed Basic Income is a no-brainer.

    From the perspective of considering that at least 60% of all mental health disability is due to issues of psychological trauma, trauma-informed care practice supports the allowance of a basic income to this group of currently marginalized citizens. To recover, and to have our best shot at recovery from trauma, we need to accept reality: Trauma delivered via psychological means, damages the internal functioning of the human brain, which is a situation that is magnified when anyone is under the chronic stress of needing to ensure survival needs are met, which impedes recovery to the point of societal sabotage. This is basic science, from the realms of Introductory Psychology.

    Abraham Maslow (1943) stated that people are motivated to achieve certain needs, and that some needs take precedence over others. Our most basic need is for physical survival, and this will be the first thing that motivates our behaviour. Once that level is fulfilled the next level up is what motivates us, and so on.

    With our most basic needs being survival needs, provision of financial allowance to support physiological survival (Food, Water, Clothing, and Shelter) frees the traumatized human mind to address our upper-level needs with more likelihood of success in our recovery journey.

    http://www.simplypsychology.org/maslow.html

    Secondly, again through the lens of psychological trauma in Canadian Citizens, best-practice in trauma-treatment comes to us from the work of Judith Herman who proposed a “Tri-phasic Model” for treatment of trauma:

    “Judith Herman is a psychiatrist in the Boston area who has written extensive about traumatic response and therapy. She recommended an approach to trauma recovery that includes three stages. The Traumatology Institute (Ontario) most recommends this approach, as seen in the book Trauma Practice: Tools for Stabilization & Recovery (Baranowsky, Gentry & Schultz, 2010, 2nd Ed.)”

    “Using a comprehensive three phase approach, the client is:

    1). Given a sense of EMOTIONAL AND PHYSIOLOGICAL STABILIZATION prior to moving into;

    2). Remembrance and Mourning, which we will now refer to as Trauma Memory Processing, and then;

    3). Reconnection with communities and with meaningful activities and behaviors.

    http://www.traumaline1.com/node/108

    A Guaranteed, Basic Income, provided to persons living with mental health challenges, assuming that society has structured quality, trauma-informed treatments in community, takes care of the first levels of both our identified, universal, fundamental human needs, while also providing safety and stabilization with provision of Food, Water, Clothes, and Shelter.

    Housing-First Strategies are built on these foundational principles as well. When we focus on issues of mental health, addictions, and resulting homelessness with provision of Housing First, we relieve stress in individuals so cared-for, allowing for the processes in the brain necessary to be able to focus on recovery from life to open-up.

    It’s now a proven fact that when the human brain is under chronic-stress, let alone a traumatized brain under such stress, the higher-order brain-functions shut down.

    In short, it’s biologically impossible to think clearly when our survival brain (the left-behind reptilian-brain) is shut down, which is the case in humans traumatized or who are living under the perceived threats that chronic-stress can impose.

    Finally, support for a Guaranteed, Basic Income, finds support from those who study and recommend development of public-policy based-upon the Social Determinants of Health in Canada.

    Our social structures and economic systems include the social environment, physical environment, health services, and structural and societal factors. Social determinants of health are shaped by the distribution of money, power, and resources throughout local communities, nations, and the world.

    We currently measure societal success through economics and celebration of GDP. Social Determinants of Health, with key public policy initiative designed to support marginalized citizens from the foundation of these principles, supports the granting of an allowance that is the source of a Basic, Consistent, and Guaranteed Income for marginalized citizens.

    We’ve been expecting a top-down trickle of prosperity from the wealthy to the poor. What we’re seeing under current economic models is frankly the opposite. We’ve growing inequality in Canada, with marginalized persons not even today granted an income to support basic needs. These groups in the population live well-below the established standard of living in Canada, and are in many cases granted currently an income that is half-that of determined levels of poverty in the country.

    Key Social Determinants of Health are the following:

    Income and Social Status
    Social Support Networks
    Education and Literacy
    Employment/Working Conditions
    Social Environments
    Physical Environments
    Personal Health Practices and Coping Skills
    Healthy Child Development
    Biology and Genetic Endowment
    Health Services
    Gender
    Culture

    Improving lives with the issue of a Guaranteed Basic Income, elevates the top-two determinants of health, and doing so, with clearly defined poverty-reduction and economic-inclusion initiatives drafted and implemented in public-policy, will improve health-outcomes over time for citizens, which in the long-run, saves us (the taxpayer) money.

    From the stand-point of mental health, and serving the mental health affected Canadian Population currently marginalized, it is my sincere, studied opinion that a guaranteed income, along with development of quality, trauma-informed care and practices in community for provision of treatments to currently disabled persons in society, will frankly turn things completely around over time.

    “We can’t solve (social) problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” – Albert Einstein

    Thank you for the opportunity to provide input. If I can be of any use, please contact me: Darren Gregory via the email address provided.

    Thank you for your service to British Columbians.

    Cheers.

    • October 30, 2016 at 11:59 am

      There is an error in one of my paragraphs:

      In short, it’s biologically impossible to think clearly when our survival brain is most active (the left-behind reptilian-brain) while the ‘thinking brain’ is shut down, which is the case in humans traumatized or who are living under the perceived threats that chronic-stress can impose.

    • October 30, 2016 at 12:29 pm

      More on Social Determinants of Health:

      http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/ph-sp/determinants/index-eng.php

  6. Patricia Heaven-
    October 13, 2016 at 9:31 am

    I am a huge advocate of this, not only to end the cycle of poverty, but it makes sense financially as well. Please do your best to get this implemented ASAP

  7. Jamie Ingram-
    October 12, 2016 at 8:30 pm

    I agree, lets move forward with this.

  8. Ted Haas-
    October 12, 2016 at 8:00 pm

    Only want to say that, in terms of budgeting one’s income, I think “entertainment” or “fun” money needs to be figured in, not only basic bills.

  9. Ross Powell-
    October 12, 2016 at 6:16 pm

    With technology advancing and jobs becoming more scarce, this is an idea that sort of has to come about. Remember the 50’s jargon about all the free time and prosperity we were all going to enjoy. It could have happened if our overlords had not become so inordinately greedy. UBI cannot come out of the pockets of the working class, however, but needs to be part of a redistribution of wealth from the 1%.

  10. Stephen Price-
    October 12, 2016 at 5:58 pm

    Count me as in favour.

    Key points:
    1. More rational distribution of the population: A guaranteed basic income will support smaller communities in BC where it is currently cheaper to live but there are no jobs. This will add a bit of balance to our current supply/demand for land in urban centres and potentially speed the development to critical mass of smaller urban centres.

    2. This would also provide a hedge against automation, as you say.

    3. Social Benefits: As we redefine work in the context of automation, a basic income gives rise to a new (or perhaps just expanded) category of labour: unemployed contributors to society. While difficult to think of a way that it would be efficient and would measure the impact, I wonder if there is an opportunity to encourage volunteerism and community participation through those receiving the basic income by having a bonus system – if you build the community, you get a different tier on the basic income scale.

    4. Entrepreneurship benefit: it would be interesting to see if basic income increases entrepreneurship as the cost-benefit equation shifts in favour of entrepreneurship because the cost side of the equation is lower to taking a risk on a business given your basic needs will always be met.

    Challenges:

    -The main challenge is that this re-defines what the tax structure would look like. Those at the top will not give away their gains easily, especially corporations that are mobile. This policy seems to be a better national policy than a provincial policy in that context (it’s easier to move a business to Alberta than it is to the US).

    -Tax evasion and fraud – depending on the flavour of basic income chosen, I wonder if we are likely to see a new industry in exploiting this. We already have too many investor-immigrants and others gaming the system by receiving their social benefits in Canada but making their money overseas. The richer our social benefits the greater the problem this poses, unless we can redesign the tax system simultaneously to reduce legal avoidance as well as evasion.

  11. Earl Richards-
    October 12, 2016 at 4:47 pm

    A basic income is an excellent idea. If everyone had a basic income to “pump” into the economy, it would prevent depressions and recessions.

  12. October 12, 2016 at 12:31 pm

    I wish you were my MLA! Universal Basic Income is an idea well past due. It will allow people to focus on growth rather than survival. It can provide all the amenities for life (food, shelter, clothing) while maintaining the dream of self-betterment.

    It’s a wonderful first step!

  13. Colleen-
    October 12, 2016 at 9:11 am

    I support the idea of universal basic income. The minimum wage would also have to be addressed in conjunction with UBI, raising it to make it livable.

    • January 6, 2017 at 7:46 am

      One of the benefits of a UBI would be the elimination of need for a minimum wage. With basic needs covered, no one would feel forced to take a job or an internship that did not provide opportunity for future growth. A minimum wage eliminates low paying voluntary contracts, even when both parties are freely negotiating in their own best interest.

  14. rebecca-
    October 12, 2016 at 1:20 am

    I have lots of thoughts to share. First I believe that after all these years of technological advance and being told what is going on is somehow good for us the disparity remains and grows. A very large portion of those who live in poverty are children in Canada let alone from lack of resolve of this issue world wide. We are asked to embrace wold trade etc but I worry that the focus is currently just a different economic revolution that is set to maintain the disparity with a certain number of philanthropists seeing the extent to which they can earn money supporting the poor.. i.e. having used/abused/consumed and saturated first world markets, lets “help” third or “growing” countries to replicate the system that basically caused disparity and endless world economic growth that is more like an earth cancer than an earth care. On a micro level one can see that providing a living wage to all people would have the immediate impact of reducing extreme negative consequences of a current faulty system. We say that technology is, must and will take over human work..not only all the entry jobs for young people who are most unemployed, and not just the manufacturers whose jobs are being done by robots, and not even the jobs of information holders.. indeed technology is pushing toward less work and different work but to whose benefit. At a macro level, food and water, seeds and fertilizers claimed to better feed the world are a huge potential business with patented GMO and chemical/pharma rubbing their hands together, the privatization of food, air, land and water and the continuity of pollution and destruction. I listen to myself and think this is off the wall but listening to Bill Gates deciding that providing more technology not only of this but medical/ contraceptive/ vaccines/ phones and technology to train and engage small communities to buy into technology (sort of like weaning them in) as a solution to the disparity unfathomable disparity making people just another kind of source of income no different than gold. The larges corporations want people to believe and perceive they are being considered in order not to face the growing disbelief in giving up our individual power to politicians who cannot be trusted and no longer can convince us they are acting in our best interest. Sadly some, I will not mention, so blatantly liars, and an entire world campaign under OECD to reeducate children to be better next generation of technology and digital world economic growth that perpetuates the existing disparity into the new ball park. OECD will tell us they can no longer pay lip service to inequity and world wide as we see the 99% calling out in awareness, any number of strategic plans to address gender, economic disparity, energy conflict/war with different sources and no longer lip service to earth climate change, though we don’t see the serious commitment where profit making tempers the progress to the point that some say the world has already passed the tipping point of any viable return. So in thinking about local living wage for all at a minimum I have no doubt it would be a relief for many people who are smart, educated, motivated and who cannot find work. Perhaps it would undo some of the gender equity of single mom parents and it would increase livability for those who have no pension, who have mental health issues un supported or treated and those who are disabled and sick and maybe it would open the door for those folks who work very hard at poverty, because it takes a lot of work to live on less the enough… etc. I believe that the fantasy around our judgments of poverty and not wanting to work is a fallacy that stems in god/devil kind of power and control manipulation that simply distracts us from the fact that economics is all about money and not about quality of human life. So I would love to see for the relief not only of the extremely poor in the world.. but for all the world, not just BC to ensure that people have food, clothing, shelter, care and focus on clean food, air and land, ban the poisons causing us havoc and hit hard against a money making economic game that enslaves people and impose a redistribution that is based on quality of life and not a few rich owning everything and everyone else pretty much living in poverty and a few bobbing their heads above water (middle class) Go with the fair living payment to all and revamp this system that continues to pollute, exploit, create poverty, disparity and earth death. My question is do we want or need this digital age? Are we simply complying with it, bounced around like a plastic bottle in the ocean going with the flow? Yes to wages for all, for many have no jobs due to changes that reap huge profit for a few at the expense of so many. I feel like the OECD has an elaborate advertising campaign about how to have us perceive (to feel good about or comply without evident force or to persuade) that something is different but in reality it is a change an economic evolution to digital and technological world that keeps the most harmful dynamic in tact for those who have the greatest power. So yes, yes living wages for all.. but as someone noted inflation is taking off.. so will that wage simply increase the perception of wealth..will it not take a much bigger truly “transforming” almost revolutionary change to the keep us just from being soothed subsistence servants, in a world wide driven establishment that softens the most obvious harm, rather than experiencing true equity?

  15. Sparemeadime-
    October 11, 2016 at 9:36 pm

    great idea! But, you better get a housing plan first because there will be a flood of “easterners” coming over the mountains.
    There your platform Mr. Weaver, jobs building “green” housing and free money.

  16. Michael O'Keeffe-
    October 11, 2016 at 3:48 pm

    Let me put it this way. In 1971 the minimum wage was 1.65 an hour, a one bdrm apartment, west of main, was no more than 125 a month, a modest property to purchase in Kits was around 20G, a bottle of Rye was 5 bucks, a gallon of gas was 50 cents and guess what ? Unless we were rabid junkies we all got by. Compare that today, where 50% of all adult children still have to live with their parents. This is progress.. Where do you people come from. Mongolia ????

  17. Thomas Delahooke-
    October 11, 2016 at 1:34 pm

    YES to UBI ……. but ONLY after the Minimum Wage is also a Living Wage. Otherwise it is just MORE of taxpayers subsidizing Corporations !

  18. Gavin Kennedy-
    October 11, 2016 at 1:41 am

    Thanks for posting Andrew, I remember studying universal basic income 6 years ago while attending a political science lecture in Ljubljana Slovenia. At the time I felt the idea would easily be brushed off as too “socialist” by the Canadian public, and opposition would point to the lack of incentive to work. From what I understand, there are few examples of places it has been implemented (Manitoba and the Alaska permanent fund come to mind) making the concept difficult to assess, however this topic appears to show up more on my news feed and I’d love to hear more politicians talk about automation and what it means for for all professions.

    Freakanomics has a great podcast which dedicates an entire episode to this. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1wIPZNC6n8s

    • January 6, 2017 at 7:53 am

      Link no longer functions.

  19. Pauline Mott-
    October 10, 2016 at 9:01 pm

    The UBI was trialed in Dauphin, Manitoba years ago, proved to be a success on almost every level and was consequently shelved and ignored. Perhaps the timing was wrong – it was long before technology became the threat to employment that it is today. Now we are facing the certainty that jobs that sustain the working and middle class lifestyle will cease to exist within our lifetime. Whole categories of work have already disappeared and there is nothing to replace them. The future is truly frightening, the certainty of work that propelled us into a period of full employment and good wages after WW2 is gone, never to return. The combination of technological advances and global corpratism devoid of social responsibility is taking us down a road through uncharted territory.
    We can eitheer ignore what lies ahead and deal with the chaos that will result or we can take measures such as the UBI that will not only improve the quality of life in the present but help to reassure us as we proceed into an unprecedented era of forced leisdure rather than forced labour.
    In the short term it is absolutely imperative that a program is in place asap to help transition foster children who age out into poverty while they are still children. This should not be trialed or even considered as part of a UBI experiment. It is an urgent need to right a grievous wrong by a government that in it’s role as parent to the foster children of this province, is guilty of gross parental negligence. None of us would dream of throwing our children out on the street with a garbage back of their possessions and no means of support when they graduate from high school and yet that is what the Government deems appropriate. A living income coupled with job training or for those who have the grades, higher education, is the very least that should be available to children who through no fault of their own are dealt a rotten hand, often from birth.

  20. Lonny Fox-
    October 10, 2016 at 3:11 pm

    I think it is an idea that should have been implemented years ago. Between the Universal Basic Income and the Legalization of Marijuana we might still be dollars ahead without looking at the other costs. It is an idea whose time has come.

  21. Joseph-
    October 10, 2016 at 2:42 pm

    I would like to see an economic analysis of the cost SAVINGS for this proposal. I suspect that by the time you get rid of all the various departments, programs, enforcement officers, etc. that we now use to ‘administer’ all the safety net programs (like welfare, EI, CPP, etc.), just providing a simple, basic income will save more money than it will cost.
    This is an idea that is ripe, in an age where technology is displacing workers, and disruption is the new normal, and the benefits are primarily flowing to the top, we need a simple system to ensure every Canadian can meet their basic needs. We can end poverty and the stigma that goes with it in this country and set an example for the world. Let’s do this thing!

  22. Maurice Shapiro-
    October 10, 2016 at 9:43 am

    Our current system handicaps those with the lowest incomes in society resulting in higher costs for social services, poorer performance and outcomes of the youth in these low income situations, and a continuing burden on the taxpayers with no positive outcomes. There are more than one model of a basic income program turning these outcomes around, and given the drive by industry to reduce the workforce and to grow profits, a basic income makes more and more sense. Anything else is basically immoral, ineffective, and prolongs the societal inequality that is continuing to grow. I do not feel kindly towards those who consider a basic income program merely welfare…which as has been shown clearly, only costs society more overall.

  23. Jana-
    October 10, 2016 at 9:02 am

    Yes, we should try this. At best, it may alleviate poverty and allow people to live more fully and find right livelihoods. At worst, it won’t.

  24. Treok Walker-
    October 10, 2016 at 8:58 am

    I’ve been promoting the idea of a Guaranteed income for decades.
    It’s a NO-BRAINER solution to our system of illegal land ownership, and our corrupt monetary system where the banks charge us interest just to earn money.
    Most people suggest an amount of money that is too small, with the ridiculous reason, so as to keep an incentive to work.
    Stupidest reason ever, as we don’t need everyone working. That’s why we have machines.
    Many jobs are taken, no matter how destructive to our environment or people, just so as to pay the rent.
    It’s time to rid ourselves of the slave system we have, and to free people to the opportunity to share their gifts, talents and creativity with the world.
    Many minds are too closed to see the Beauty and Potential in all people, and instead are brainwashed to believe that most people are useless unless forced to action.
    Way past the time to Wake up, and SHARE the resources of this planet, so that all Beings have food and shelter, and the means to share their gifts and dreams.
    Sincerely,
    Treok Walker

  25. red young-
    October 10, 2016 at 8:38 am

    bad enough now that we are supplying public money to losers to support the drug trafficers . NOT ONE PERSON should recieve tax dollars in any form without submitting to a drug test for illegal substances. use of illegal drugs is a conscious decision which should not be supported in any way

  26. Vic Whorpole-
    October 10, 2016 at 1:59 am

    I believe a basic income is going to be inevitable in the near future. As more and more jobs become redundant due to robotics and mechanization the EI program will become unsustainable. It is also my belief the only fair way to finance such a program is for governments to tax any robotics that make a paying job become redundant. If a worker earns wages from a job and pays income tax on the wages earned at that job it makes sense to me that whoever owns the robot/machine that made that job redundant should be making up the lost tax revenue to the respective government. There are also a great many social benefits to a basic income scheme, for one thing all current social programs such as welfare, EI and OES pensions could all be rolled into one program with much lower administration costs. It would have to start out as a means tested program but I believe it would eventually have to become universal.

  27. Susan Lustig-
    October 9, 2016 at 8:19 pm

    The welfare rates have not been brought up to the standard of living and this would be a good idea for people and families in need .

  28. alastair murdoch-
    October 9, 2016 at 4:53 pm

    Yes. I wrote a grad school paper arguing for this over 40 years ago. So it’s nice to see politicians in Canada finally taking it seriously. In the meantime, BC could expand on the federal Working Income Tax tax credit.

  29. October 9, 2016 at 3:06 pm

    I think retailers would soon start upping prices and nothing much would change. There also should be better oversight on giving out our tax money. You would have to have solid proof of no other income to qualify. And make sure you take care of children first and foremost!

  30. Lisa Backus-
    October 9, 2016 at 11:10 am

    I think a universal basic income would be good. I understand that means that EVERYONE regardless of income gets it which means, to me, that people would want to rise above it at some point, hopefully earlier than later, and earn more than the 15-20K that would be provided free of any scrutiny. So even if we are taxed, everyone benefits, not just people who are poverty stricken…I was on welfare as a single mom years ago, and it was only through going back to school to get my degree that I was able to rise out of it. Perhaps getting rid of post secondary costs altogether would help too.

  31. Christine Kensit-
    October 9, 2016 at 10:57 am

    love overdue ! when campaign promises are to ‘help the middle class’ I grit my teeth !! We need to help those in poverty move INTO the middle class !!
    We also need at least $15/hour minimum wage AND affordable housing to achieve this ! At present, social services provides $375 a month for shelter…just where can you rent for this amount?!!!
    Time to stop subsidizing industry and to start working for the citizenry !

  32. October 8, 2016 at 9:24 pm

    I’m in complete agreement than in a technologically advanced society some means for citizen to obtain the goods necessary for survival is necessary if it is not provided to them directly. Since the rental model and the grocery store seem to be the way most shelter and nourishment is provided, a means for paying for these things must be provided. And it should be there for good – benefits that can be ended on whim are nerve-wracking. I’d agree most strongly with the note regarding minimum wage – it should be $20/hr at least…and with the statement that single mothers must be supported as strongly as possible, with nourishment and early childhood education a priority. It amazes me that in the 60’s it was projected that by 2000, probably only 10% of the people would be employed…the other 90% were confronted with what to do with all that paid leisure, because robotics would have marginalized the need for so many human hands…and that appears to have been completely forgotten. The immediate fears destroy long-range vision. My own experience has been that until the bottom level of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is looked after, it’s hard to raise one’s head into the joy of this world and the responsibility of being a member of a larger society, let alone become one’s better self. But the most important ones to reach and provide for are the young children…daycare, food programs, etc….and a mincome might go some way toward providing that early childhood security.

  33. Michelle-
    October 8, 2016 at 5:44 pm

    I am 100% in favor of basic income. With that said there are many details that need to be sorted out. My perspective is that of a person in very precarious employment as a sessional lecturer. As of right now I have no idea whether I will have any work after December. The sessional rate is barely enough for basics (we don’t even come close to what tenure and tenure track faculty are paid). “Saving for the future” is not really an option when you’re struggling to pay the hydro and the rent. The stress and constant worry is not good for mental health or productivity; this in turn is not good for my relationships with friends, family, or co-workers. Basic income, by removing that constant stress, would facilitate being a more effective teacher, a better parent, and a more productive member of society. There are many in the same or at least same type of situation.

  34. October 8, 2016 at 10:51 am

    I have been concerned about automation since ever. Part of my job teaching was to train on CNC machinery. It is good for it’s speed and accuracy but it also puts people out of work. We see the same thing in forestry today where machines cut down trees way faster than individuals. We need to find a way to balance the use of new technology with the need for our citizens to be able to live a decent life. Food banks and child poverty are not shrinking and we need to address these problems.

  35. Josephine Fletcher-
    October 8, 2016 at 9:01 am

    First one needs to eat. Then one needs to be clothed. One needs shelter. Then one can sleep. Then one can awake with renewed energy. It is a very basic human right for everyone of us. Then one can look around and see where one can give. What possibilities one could live and be rewarded for. I know that nurturing is the way of giving to each and everyone of us.It is a very positive start to begin with a safe net of income to begin the safe structure in a very troubled world. All of us deep down inside want to walk happily into life and be strong and be able to do something that contributes to the whole in some small way.But if we can just make sure everyone of us is not in such stress the the flowering of society may work.All the cultures of the world have been uprooted . It is time to embrace each and every one of us all in this global soup and recognize what is positive and then go forward together.

  36. Peter Tebbutt-
    October 8, 2016 at 2:03 am

    This should be implemented as soon as possible. It really is a no brainer!!
    Work is being automated at an exponentially increasing rate, the world cannot sustain ‘growth’ economics for much longer and the carbon bubble is bursting as we sit.
    For those living on disability support the restrictions attached are often very difficult to navigate and still feel like one has a meaningful life.
    Let’s get on with this

  37. carol scott-
    October 8, 2016 at 12:57 am

    rather than go this route, why not more subsidized housing for people on the lower end? in bc we have a higher poverty rate due mainly to the higher cost of rental housing, and housing in general. single people on welfare get 375 for shelter, that has to include utilities. if we had more housing at those lower rates, we would had far fewer homeless, and far less poverty

  38. anna-
    October 7, 2016 at 9:54 pm

    In response to the idea of giving youth, just out of the foster care program, $15,000 to $20,000 I say- not a well thought out plan. Recently in the news their are reports of large numbers of children in B.C.’s foster care programs being sexually abused by their foster parents… giving a child, because that’s what they are at 18, $15,000 upon leaving an abusive situation is a recipe for disaster. Likely they will find another abuser or abuse themselves through drug use, etc.. And after spending much of their life likely in crisis/survival mode, they will not have acquired the skills to be able to support themselves on that $15,000, with rare exceptions of course. They would likely need professional help and years of healing after being in the foster care programs. Instead of saving 57 million dollars a year our government will spend that amount on top of what we already spend to help children released out of care. Giving money to humans does not solve their problems-it often increases them. Accepting people, welcoming them into our communities, educating the masses through individualistic methods, offering help when needed for a myriad of social ills and making the minimum hourly wage $20, right now could be a start. Raising that minimum wage as inflation rises is one of the answers.

    • Gail-
      October 8, 2016 at 8:34 am

      I too was quite open to this concept till youth were mentioned. Although Id be very much into giving late bloomers without issues enough time to become age appropriate, I think youth need help in adapting a contributing rather than a false sense of entitlement. So administration would still be required to screen and place youth depending on the circumstances. Other youth would’ve their entitlement dolled out where it is sure to supply the youths actual basic needs and not drugs. Others will be ready to take that task on themselves.

  39. Susan-
    October 7, 2016 at 9:42 pm

    I fear being taxed even more. I am doing okay with my own business, but it’s very disincentive when 45 cents of every dollar I make goes to taxes. Why should I work hard if I can kick back and let others take care of me?

    • John MacDonald-
      October 9, 2016 at 3:23 pm

      Agree

    • January 6, 2017 at 8:17 am

      Agree up to a point. A UBI must find the sweet spot where basic needs are covered, but the incentive to earn a better life remains. A premium UBI would not only destroy the incentive of those at the bottom, but the cost would destroy incentives for those at the top. Not only would they be paying more in taxes, but their labor costs would go through the roof as pay rates to entice people off their couches would be forced up. As producers disappear, prices will skyrocket and the premium UBI will no longer provide a premium lifestyle.

  40. Rebecca-
    October 7, 2016 at 5:37 pm

    I also think a universal basic income would be excellent. Having been on welfare (for as little time as possible), I can affirm that privacy and dignity are destroyed, and it is very discouraging. Having gone off welfare and lived off the child tax benefit and food bank, I can affirm that that is also very difficult. Having searched for work and pursued re-education as a single mom with young children, I can affirm that child care is very difficult. I finally got a great job, but you have to start casual and the first year is very challenging — even though the hourly rate is great, you may only get 8 hrs per week, and that’s really hard to live off. Having a guaranteed basic income would not have made me less motivated, but it might have lowered my stress levels to the point that I didn’t get cancer and need a very expensive surgery. I live in a low income area where we often have neighbourhood homeless, and it might be well to offer a system where a portion of the basic income can be paid to the landlord. We might need a fingerprint system for people who can’t obtain or retain ID, so they can’t double dip (as sometimes happens where I work). As someone else pointed out, it shouldn’t come from the people who are just barely making ends meet. But a well thought out program could be a real boost for society. As for those stories of people who ‘worked hard and didn’t take hand-outs’ when they were young — the world is a very different place now, and hard work does not get you nearly as far as it did then.

  41. Croft-
    October 7, 2016 at 3:57 pm

    A very good idea, we should have had it years ago!

  42. Rob Iuvale-
    October 7, 2016 at 12:51 pm

    I can’t think of anything that would be a smarter public policy than a guaranteed annual income. It would help people and the economy beyond measure. I sure hope this idea catches fire soon.

  43. Pat Provencal-
    October 6, 2016 at 11:51 pm

    A short answer to an expansive question; count me in the Yes! group. And as others have said, Thank you for bringing this up for discussion. This is long overdue.
    There have been promises to end poverty for years but as far as I know, not a thing has been done to actually address the situation. this would be a step in the right direction.
    And as for the lack of jobs, how about putting people to work building homes for the homeless or affordable homes for low income? How about “building” communities that include on site health care, child care and educational facilities for the “at risk” segment of our population? That in itself should put 100’s of people to work across the province.
    As many of the previous comments stated (far more eloquently than I can) we can create a better community (read province ) by helping people to help themselves. Basic income would start the ball rolling and this is where it can root & grow, with the people who need it most. Thanks for allowing us a voice.

  44. Stephen Rogers-
    October 6, 2016 at 7:45 pm

    I think it’s a great idea I suppose if you add up all the administration costs and the quagmire of payments the government already pays out and consolidate that all into one streamlined payout it would cut colossal amounts of administration bloat. Think about it E.I., CPP, OAG, disability, welfare,veterans pensions, WCB, on and on it goes. Jobs are going to be obsolete in the future anyways. In the 1800’s we had the Industrial Revolution in this millennium we are going to have the Robotization Revolution don’t kid yourself it going to b a very big disruptive technology not only for the blue collar workers but for the white collar workers too.So instead of people growing to dispise the Robots I think they would be more accepting of it if it would lift everyones life up make life easier not just the capitalists. Create more time for people to get creative not only in an artsy sort of way but in an entrepreneurial way as well!

  45. Kelly Klassen-
    October 6, 2016 at 6:26 pm

    I agree with the other commenters that a basic income would be beneficial to currently marginalized groups (single mothers etc.), would prove to be more dignified and compassionate, likely save money overall, and ultimately benefit society as a whole. Specifically and in the short term, I’m confident it would lead to a cultural renaissance as artists and others in the creative class are suddenly given an opportunity to pursue their passions while having to compromise less for economic reasons (I personally know many incredibly talented artists and musicians that must sacrifice their time and psychological well being working as bartenders, restaurant servers, baristas, etc. in order to “make a living”). I believe this will be very important moving forward as the future is hungry for content in the form of cultural capital.

    Looking at the larger picture, I think this is a crucial first step in transitioning away from our society’s current primary goal of “increasing economic growth through production and consumption” and towards a new goal of “realizing human potential in order to create a better world”. In my opinion, we must make this paradigm shift if we are to face existential threats such as climate change, artificial super intelligence, and global terrorism (both insurgent and state sponsored); that we may avoid extinction or dystopia.

  46. K-
    October 6, 2016 at 5:26 pm

    Yes! Yes! Yes!

  47. John MacDonald-
    October 6, 2016 at 4:52 pm

    Absolutely against the idea of guaranteed income.

  48. Joanne Mason-
    October 6, 2016 at 11:11 am

    I think not. Let’s find some type of work for these people. People that take money for doing nothing lose their self respect and self worth. It does not help them. Back when I was 20, my husband was attending college and we had no money. We took the bus and ate hot dogs and peanut butter sandwiches. We were eligible for food stamps but would not take them. Hand outs were not part of our upbringing or thoughts. In the grocery store one day, with my peanut butter in hand, the person ahead of me was buying filet mignon and lobster on food stamps. I was disgusted and to this day have never forgotten it. I at least had my self respect and pride and knew one day I would have a car and food on the table. It made me a better person to suffer through those days. It made me work harder to achieve the things I wanted. In my opinion welfare breeds welfare and instead of hand outs we need to give these people job training and hope for a good future.

  49. Jill Beach-
    October 6, 2016 at 8:29 am

    it all sounds really good doesn’t it- but would they not get the same affect by increasing the rates instead of replacing the entire system – there is a demographic of people here who live on about 22,000.00/year who wouldn’t qualify for this..but they would also be taxed a lot heavier in order to fund this through taxes resulting in even less money for essentials which goes directly against what this program is supposed to do . These people work hard for their paltry 22,000.00/year…to take away from them to give to those who do not work is a slap in the face- if youre going to do this , it should include everyone who makes under 48,000.00 / year- other wise youre stealing from the poor AGAIN!

  50. Richard Skipp-
    October 6, 2016 at 6:11 am

    I believe the effects of a Basic income on our society would be transformative. It would provide a sense that we are all a part of a society. Not just a commodity to be exploited (or disregarded) as it is now. If implemented with this spirit; – that we are all worthy, and count for something, – we are likely to find that vandalism, petty theft, and other forms of delinquency will drop drastically. For the penny counters, the payback would be in savings from these forms of antisocial behavior. It would be particularly helpful for families in reducing financial stress and allowing children to grow up feeling valued. That sense of being valued is critical, especially now as the need for fluidity in the labour force requires a lifetime of retraining, mobility, and a broad, international outlook on how to apply skills to survive.

  51. John MacDonald-
    October 5, 2016 at 9:12 pm

    Absolutely against the concept of guaranteed income.

  52. Andrew frost-
    October 5, 2016 at 7:15 pm

    The universal basic income concept sounds incredible. It would reduce the bureaucracy and perceived need for fraud detection. In my humble opinion the costs of administering services and resources appear to be greater than the actual services provided.

  53. Keith McNeill-
    October 5, 2016 at 6:25 pm

    Basic Income is essentially the same as the dividend side of carbon fee-and-dividend, a method to control global warming supported by climate scientist Dr. James Hansen, Citizens Climate Lobby and others.
    Under carbon fee-and-dividend, a fee would be charged on all fossil fuels, similar to a carbon tax. Unlike a tax, however, the money collected would not go into general government revenue but would be distributed to everyone as equal and repeating dividends.
    Carbon fee-and-dividend would appear to have all the benefits of Basic Income and would help solve the question of where the money to pay for Basic Income would come from.
    It would have the additional benefit of helping to control the harmful effects of global warming.

  54. Patricia-
    October 5, 2016 at 2:03 pm

    Absolutely NEED to do this! And the sooner the better…

  55. SUSAN EYRE-
    October 5, 2016 at 1:41 pm

    Women in poverty is a situation I know 1st hand. As well as being poor, a woman finds her self exhausted from coping. Raising healthy motivated children in this culturally-isolated situation is extremely challenging.
    If a woman, children or no children, had a basic income, she could help herself and hire others to create a decent living-situation. This is especially important for older women who need to hire a handy-person for simple maintenance tasks. Suicide often looks good when an older woman can no longer cope. Ironically, older women like myself, worked their butts off, contributing much to society, by working and supporting their male partners. However, we haven’t any CPP benefits for this nonpaying work – all the land cleared, farm-produce grown, the houses built. The societal belief that the husband/partner would support his wife later in life was a myth. Poverty doesn’t mean that people were failures in life, it means that the cultural system is irresponsible and biased towards the minority of people who were fortunate to prosper financially without the burden of desertion, disability, abuse and misfortune. A basic income would be compassionate, relieve so much suffering, and give a hand up to dignity and the fulfilling of individual and supportive employment potential.

  56. Matt-
    October 5, 2016 at 1:02 pm

    Seconding Sue Moen’s comment: “I want to be treated as a citizen not a consumer of gov’t services.”

    Money is power. Giving people power so they can make informed decisions on their governance and negotiate with employers, utility suppliers, landlords, etc. in a situation that doesn’t practically amount to duress, in a way that actually lets market forces help naturally regulate and even help maintain our economy should be a no-brainer.

    The only questions that remain should be implementation:

    Who is going to be eligible?
    How do we get the money to them?
    How do we avoid giving money to ineligible people or giving money to them twice?
    Is this going to be taxable income and if so how is it going to be taxed?

    plus:

    What social programs can be made obsolete and cut thanks to this?

  57. Gilles-
    October 5, 2016 at 12:04 pm

    The Dauphin experiment lasted three years and yet society was not ready for it and it was shelved. Are we ready now? As you laid it out, circumstances such as automation, robotics and the like will reduce work for the average person. Indeed, ‘blue-collar’ jobs in manufacturing and various low-tech labouring jobs have disappeared while corporations have outsourced to slaves and serfs in Third World Countries. (Thank you Thatcher-Reagan et al for loosening all the rules and allowing more corporate machinations).
    The economic benefits are lost to many right-wingers who refuse, as they do with basic scientific information on climate change, to believe the facts about overall savings by lifting people out of poverty in this way. I was on welfare for over a year and that is a woefully inadequate amount of money to live on. I can tell you that spending full days in the computer room searching and searching along with others taught me that the vast majority of people do not want to milk the system. They want dignity and a decent wage.
    As a single male I could afford the time to ‘go to work’ to find paying work. A single mother cannot afford the time or the money to pay for child care to job search and those children are innocents and should not be punished with poor nutrition and poor health even IF their parents are deadbeats.
    To answer your question, it is long past due for a basic income but it is long past due for people to set aside their biases and so the stalemate continues. More leaders need to stand up and address this travesty of poverty in one of the most prosperous countries in the world. It’s costing us over $300,000 to remediate the park next to the courthouse in Victoria – more money wasted that could have gone directly to house and feed the homeless.

  58. October 5, 2016 at 12:01 pm

    Thanks for pursuing this, Andrew. It strongly seems to me that a universal basic income would go a long way toward addressing the many, widening cracks appearing in our market system (precarious work, unpaid care, offshoring and automation, a costly social safety net, and on and on).
    That said, there are still several unknowns, which cannot be answered ideologically but only through controlled experimentation. So let’s get on it!

  59. Norman Conrad-
    October 5, 2016 at 11:07 am

    The idea that a universal (national or provincial) basic income is the charitable thing to do misses the synergistic points. A universal basic command over goods, services and resources is the way to enhance the ‘quality of life’ in nearly every sense of the words so long as done within a sustainable and respectful relationship with larger context (environment and future).

    Here the argument is basically a numbers game. A physically healthy population is better than a weak, sick and disabled population. A mentally well nurtured population is better than a feeble-minded, unsophisticated, unaware and unprepared population. When the pool of talent and skills is large and deep the social groups strength, wealth and resilience is great.

    The advance of knowledge (technological or otherwise) is stronger in a healthy, highly skilled, intelligent and well motivated society. It was over 150 years ago that ideas took shape in Europe for public health and public education. If there is one set of factors that have allowed the continued and increasing march of that civilization it is found in the broad nurturing of our human contexts so that the pool of talent, creativity and serendipity increases. Now if we can only do something for the nurture of our physical context?

  60. Shawn Warn-
    October 5, 2016 at 10:11 am

    .I think a basic income of one form or another is something BC seriously has to consider. With jobs disappearing all the time to overseas markets and industries it seems to be the “norm” for not only BC but all of Canada to be brainwashed into this false belief that resource export is Canada’s way and without it we do not have a economy. I am a very firm believer what we need to do is move rapidly and strongly away from exporting raw resources and create jobs by using resources here to build the things we need and want and sell off ONLY finished products. That being said, I think a basic income would encourage and entice the entrepreneurial spirit in many or definitely some people and would help in moving things in this direction. Minimum wage is in BC what 10.85 now? I fail to understand how people , especially families can live of that with all the other problems like housing and what not (enough problems your aware of im not going to list them) and i see a need for a livable wage of at LEAST $15/hr or a basic income that makes up the difference. I also think it will prove to be a cost saving move if put into practice in combating poverty and the costs associated with it. Maybe i am wrong about basic income but what we have is not working very good.

  61. David Pearce-
    October 5, 2016 at 9:48 am

    I fully agree. Regarding the shifting economy, one only has to read Jeremy Rifkin’s “The End of Work”, for me a seminal work. A technical question: how do we deal with totally irresponsible people that simply blow their income (say Monthly) on a wild party then have nothing til next “payday”?
    Also I would expect resistance form the welfare establishment.

  62. Francine Renaud-
    October 5, 2016 at 9:05 am

    I can see a guaranteed income as being strategic at a time where we need to rethink our economies based on growth.
    A basic income is one of the keys for us to transition into a regenerative, symbiotic culture and work force that will be
    connected to the region and our biosphere.
    The fact is that we need to address this urgently and, time is one of the scarce resource in our current society…. everybody is scrambling for time, because time is money.
    It will take time to develop and sustain post-industrial, regenerative and symbiotic strategies that will make us healthy and thriving.
    A basic income would give time and a safety net for engaging in a variety of ways to develop our local economies.
    It would be an asset as it will add resilience for the well being of our society.
    Although not mandatory, incentives to develop and guide this process could take the form of programs that would help to guide and offer support and information.
    I am thinking of a knowledge based Renaissance connected to the region in: the Arts, Education, Permaculture, Forest Gardens, Kitchen Gardens, preparing Regional Foods at home and in the neighbourhoods, Crafts, Home Based Businesses connected and integral to the region, Small Scale Quality Manufacturing and, a revolution in understanding and using in the local geography, the flora, the fauna and the assorted materials we need to recycle.

  63. Hilary Strang-
    October 5, 2016 at 8:50 am

    Thank you so much for raising this. Basic guaranteed income is the only way to go to change our rapacious market system. What has been labelled ‘invisible care labour’ is the connective tissue of a strong healthy culture.
    I can also imagine a scenario where resource extraction workers would feel less pressure to do this work. The arts sector may also be well served by basic income.
    I am not qualified to address the mechanics of implementation, but I can recommend this book:
    Federici, Silvia. Revolution at Point Zero: Housework, Reproduction, and Feminist Struggle. Oakland, CA; Brooklyn, NY: Common Notions/PM Press/Autonomedia, 2012.

  64. Sue Moen-
    October 5, 2016 at 6:17 am

    I agree with the concept of a universal basic income to reduce poverty and inequality. I also believe it must be accompanied by a thorough overhaul of the income tax structure to simplify filing and processing as well as to make it more progressive. I’d be happy to pay more income tax to ensure equality and that all our social programs are funded sufficiently. I’m tired of being nickle and dimed through fees, hidden taxes, boutique tax credits for small numbers of taxpayers. I want to be treated as a citizen not a consumer of gov’t services.

  65. Gary Crosby-
    October 5, 2016 at 1:27 am

    A concept that is long over due.

  66. Leona-
    October 5, 2016 at 12:34 am

    I appreciate all the information.
    I do love the acknowledgement
    Regarding the shaming of being on welfare where your rights to privacy are over ridden.
    The dismissal of needs when what is offfered is not enough to sustain a healthy life style.