The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

Posts tagged “basic income

Basic Income: Go Deep or Go Home

Posted on November 6, 2015

AN INITIATIVE AS VAST AS A BASIC INCOME for poorer Canadians, sweeping as it is, can carry its own dangers. Specifically, it could prompt an over simplified view of poverty, prompting many to believe that solutions can be found through a universal program. It’s a hazard that deserves some thought. Many Canadians view poverty as merely an economic problem – the lack of adequate finances available to a specific number of citizens and their families. We make similar judgments on issues like foreign aid and indigenous problems in Canada. But poverty is often more about societal barriers and a lack of understanding than anything else. Someone who has a disability and is low on finances doesn’t have their mobility and acceptance problems solved by…

Basic Income and Transforming a Generation

Posted on November 5, 2015

THE CONCEPT OF A BASIC INCOME ISN’T ONE simple construct but a wide range of ideas of which all or some could end up in a final policy proposal. Even its name isn’t a sure thing. In recent years it has been labeled a Guaranteed Annual Income, a Guaranteed Income Supplement, Basic Income Guarantee, a Social Wage, or even a Citizen’s Dividend. While many have fought for such an initiative for various reasons, it has been primarily its potential for eliminating poverty that has become the focus for recent Basic Income activity. The ability to provide low-income Canadians with a guaranteed level of funding, proponents say, would eliminate the need for the heavy programming and bureaucratic expenses related to administering initiatives to help the…

Basic Income: An Idea With a History

Posted on November 4, 2015

ARTIST ANDY WARHOL OFTEN EXHIBITED FASCINATING INSIGHTS into the human condition that, at times, became colloquialisms. At one point he noted, “They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.” And that is true. Yet there are those occasions when time itself can be of assistance. Take the concept of a basic income as a measure of that truth. Yesterday we noted how the idea of some kind of baseline income could be of great help to the marginalized. Many progressives are shocked when they discover that libertarian economist Milton Friedman threw his support behind early efforts of what was then called a “Guaranteed Annual Income,” but which he preferred to label a “negative income tax.” From across the…

Planned Poverty

Posted on October 31, 2013

It all sounded to good to be true, and it likely is.  A column this week in the Atlantic held the captivated heading, “How To Cut Poverty Rate in Half (It’s Easy).”  If only. The piece proposes something like a Guaranteed Annual Income (GAI), or Basic Income (BI), for those living in poverty.  Other nations have explored such possibilities and many in Canada are holding it out as a new way to defeat poverty.  I agree and support the initiative, but have come to see that it is likely the only way ahead due to a lack of imagination and resolve in this country. In 1992, I was asked to address some members of the Mulroney cabinet on a paper I had written regarding…


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