Why basic income is not the best way to tackle poverty

What we need are carefully targeted programs specifically aimed at dealing with the issues that keeps people in poverty

Why basic income is not the best way to tackle povertyIn a country as rich as Canada, no one should have to be hungry or homeless. We do have people who can’t provide for themselves and we rely on the government to provide a floor below which Canadians can’t fall. We have to remember that this support comes from us, the taxpayers, so we need…

Heading down the slippery slope to a universal basic income

Should we continue to offer direct financial relief to citizens even beyond the pandemic?

Heading down the slippery slope to a universal basic incomeModern monetary theory (MMT) now plays a role in your life, whether you know it or not. The theory argues that a nation can never truly run out of money, and it advocates quantitative easing to solve a nation’s debt and unemployment problems. Historically, quantitative easing and currency devaluation have been used as last-resort options…

Universal basic income has been tested and failed

Finland acknowledged its two-year experiment a total failure

Universal basic income has been tested and failedThe COVID-19 crisis has brought back to the forefront the idea of a universal basic income or guaranteed annual income. It’s an idea that should be abandoned. In response to the economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 restrictions, the Canadian government has implemented the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). Eligible people receive $2,000 for a…

A guaranteed annual income is complicated

Richard Nixon and Pat Moynihan had a plan to end poverty. In the end, it was far too complicated, and languished and died

A guaranteed annual income is complicatedWhether it’s called a guaranteed annual income or a universal basic income, this currently fashionable idea isn’t new. And the fact that it hasn’t happened yet is a tipoff to the associated complexities. One of the earliest proponents was an American right-winger. In 1962’s Capitalism and Freedom, libertarian economist Milton Friedman proposed what he called…

Why a Canadian basic income is inevitable

The need for income security among middle-class Canadians is accelerating as the labour market changes

Why a Canadian basic income is inevitableIn Canadian policy circles, basic income has come to mean a stipend paid to families or individuals without the many conditions and rules that govern existing income assistance programs. The amount received is gradually reduced as income from other sources increases. However, basic income is not just about welfare reform. A basic income is most…

We’re winning the war on poverty

The proportion of households below the LICO has been falling for two decades and is now at its lowest level ever at 7.8%

We’re winning the war on povertyDonald Trump isn't the only American president to say dumb things. Lyndon Johnson, expressing his concern for the well-being of the American people, said that he thought it was a shame that half the U.S. population lived at a below-average income. As anyone who ever stayed awake in math class knows, an average is a…

Could guaranteed income help to cope with automation?

The disappearance of many jobs over a short period could severely strain our social welfare models

Could guaranteed income help to cope with automation?The revolution of automation and artificial intelligence (AI) will be one of the most profound economic shifts of this century. It’s already well underway and public policy must meet the challenge. Populists on the left and right often blame free trade for North American job losses in manufacturing, though automation is actually the main culprit.…

Why a Canadian basic income is inevitable

The need for income security among middle-class Canadians is accelerating as the labour market changes

Why a Canadian basic income is inevitableIn Canadian policy circles, basic income has come to mean a stipend paid to families or individuals without the many conditions and rules that govern existing income assistance programs. The amount received is gradually reduced as income from other sources increases. However, basic income is not just about welfare reform. A basic income is most…

Turning away from a valuable social experiment

The abrupt cancellation of Ontario's basic income project has broad impact on international research, as well as devastating participants

Turning away from a valuable social experimentI recently participated in a panel in Finland with representatives of basic income experiments from Finland, the Netherlands, India and Scotland. My report on the cancellation of Ontario’s Basic Income Pilot project was received with stunned disbelief. On July 31, three months after enrolment was complete and before the first annual follow-up survey could be…

Key piece of international basic income analysis has been eliminated

An open letter to Premier Doug Ford and Minister Lisa MacLeod concerning the cancellation of the Ontario basic income pilot

Key piece of international basic income analysis has been eliminatedDear Premier Doug Ford and Children, Community and Social Services Minister Lisa MacLeod, We, collectively, represent the principal investigators, research teams and stakeholder groups behind several distinct basic income experiments underway in Finland, Scotland, the Netherlands, the United States, Spain, Kenya and India. We profoundly regret that you chose to cancel the Ontario Basic Income…