29 Jun Recovery and a basic income – there is a viable connection
Are you ready to talk about what is possible? To re-imagine a future where there is enough for all? Let’s move past talking and take action. Let’s create a flexible system that we can appropriately adjust as we go. It beats the stalemate of the status quo.
Basic income is a financial benefit that would complement the existing social programs that people need. It’s a more efficient way of delivering income to those in need. Currently, we spend billions on social assistance and a great deal of time and money on policing people instead of getting money into the hands of people who need it. There is little support for low-income working people, those doing gig and seasonal work – all people who don’t always qualify for support.
We can’t go back, and many would argue that we shouldn’t – we’re in a privileged position to be able to take this crisis and adapt and create systems and government policies that will continue to lift people out of poverty, while at the same time supporting the economy.
What does a basic income look like? It could mean that me and my partner both work part-time, so we can manage childcare needs. It could mean that instead of staying in a low-paying job, I go back to school to increase my skills, which subsequently increases my earnings. It could mean that instead of constantly wondering how I’m going to make ends meet, I have enough for a roof over my head and food on my table – giving me the mental bandwidth to pursue other things in life. It means that as a small business owner, I can employ people in more innovative ways and know that my employees are financially secure.
Studies show that a basic income decreases the scarcity mindset and leads to healthier, happier, more trusting, more optimistic people – it improves our way of life. In our current context, magnified by the shift in needs related to COVID, a basic income can elevate people beyond a recovery phase.
The fear that a basic income is a disincentive to work has been debunked time and time again. It has been shown that a basic income leads to greater education and increases work contributions. The data shows only two groups who might work less with a basic income: mothers who spend more time with their children and youth who get more education. The rest of us work.
We need a basic income to get out of this crisis, to rebuild and get on with building the new economy before the next crisis hits.
A basic income is the turn-key solution Alberta needs. We’re in a time of change, we are being challenged to do things differently, to not take a step back, but to leap forward toward a promise for a better future. We can’t afford not to do a basic income
What action can you take?
- Get informed and engage in discussions with friends and family.
- Challenge stereotypes around poverty, for example, this isn’t just about people needing to pull up their bootstraps and get a job, many low-income individuals have a job, many have two or three, but low paying jobs still may not be enough to meet one’s needs.
- Write to your member of Parliament (MP), take action here.
- Basic Income Canada Network (BICN) – COVID-19 Stories Report
- BICN – Basic Income: Some Policy Options for Canada
- Southern Ontario’s Basic Income Experience Report
- Tamarack webinar – Findings from Ontario’s Basic Income Experience
- Parkland Institute: A Basic Income for Alberta
- Results of Finland’s basic income experiment