Crawford Kilian writing for the Tyee. “It’s said nothing can stop an idea whose time has come, but politicians know you can sure slow it down. A Canadian social experiment in the 1970s might have prevented 40 years of a widening income gap and social misery. Instead, conservative politicians — federal and provincial — ended the experiment and suppressed most of its findings.”
“I substituted my husband for Bolsa Família,” one mother in Rio de Janeiro, who had recently left her abusive partner, told The Guardian.
“Bolsa’s terms, by American standards, are pretty radical: Every month, 50 million poor parents, or a quarter of the country’s population, get a handout equal to about $35 to $70, plus more for additional children.” It has been running for 10 years.
The Family Purse (“Bolsa Familiar” also translated as “family grant”) cash transfer program has much to teach us about effective Basic Income policy.
This article is what listening to the whispering of Venture Capitalists taking note of Basic Income’s transformative potential sounds like.
“California, with its powerful ballot initiative system, offers perhaps the most likely venue to try such an idea at the state level. For weeks, I’ve heard rumors about Bay Area venture capitalists planning such an initiative, but have been unable to confirm them.”
We know that BC is Canada’s only province with an initiative system, so let’s watch this closely.
The Montreal 2014 – Liberal Biennial Convention adopted 18 priority policy resolutions.
One of which is Liberal Policy Resolution #100. “BE IT RESOLVED that a Federal Liberal Government work with the provinces and territories to design and implement a Basic Annual Income in such a way that differences are taken into consideration under the existing Canada Social Transfer System.”
Why is this significant? Because this is the Liberal Party passing forward policy to determine the election platform, and the Liberal Party wanted this go forward as an election platform issue. http://goo.gl/d6hjrF
Our job now is remind the Liberal Party that Basic Income is what the precarious 40% of the population needs to provide security of our basic needs.
Ralph Callebert writing in Raw Story – who believe ‘small’ stories can change the world – makes a compelling case that Basic Income is inevitable through a powerful insight.
“The painful reality is that most people’s labor is no longer needed by increasingly efficient global chains of production.
In economic speak, a large portion of the world’s population is surplus to the needs of capital. They have no land, no resources and no one to whom they can sell their labor.”
Guy Standing writing in the December 2015 issue of Global Dialogue.
What did the people do with their Basic Income of 300 rupees?
$ Many used money to improve their housing, latrines, walls and roofs, and to take precautions against malaria.
$ The basic income grants led to small-scale investments – more and better seeds, sewing machines, establishment of little shops, repairs to equipment, and so on.
$ The grants led to more labor and work – there was a shift from casual wage labor to more self-employed farming and business activity
$ families were able to buy things like shoes and pay for transport to school
In 2013 – before Utretcht, before Finland, and before Silicon Valley’s recent awakening to the reality of job replacement – the Environics Institute for Survey Research and the Trudeau Foundation asked Canadians what we thought of Basic Income.
Even back then, more than half of us in Vancouver support Basic Income.
The survey found that the “concept receives majority support among residents of […] Vancouver (52%), as well as among Canadians with household incomes under $100,000 (52%) and those with no post-secondary education (56%).”
The question explained that a Basic Income “would involve every Canadian receiving a specific amount of money from the government each year, which would then be “clawed back” with every dollar of income people earn. Such a program is intended to ensure everyone has enough money for the basic necessities, and would replace other forms of economic assistance, like welfare and unemployment insurance”.
Read the full backgrounder here http://goo.gl/EDpnjl
“Every nation needs to prepare for the changes that are coming. Think tanks, workshops, corporations, NGOs, and government agencies must delve into the problem and find ways to make life tolerable with work no longer necessary for most of the world’s inhabitants. […] Though unemployment has not yet reached a tipping point, it is only a matter of time before every nation will have to decide how to deal with fewer jobs and less work for their citizens in the years ahead.”
In August 2015, the annual meeting of the Canadian Medical Association – the body that represents 80,000 physicians making it the largest association of medical doctors in Canada – adopted a motion stating, “The Canadian Medical Association endorses the concept of a basic income guarantee”. http://goo.gl/EUtTK4
Making support of Basic Income the official position of the Canadian Medical Association.
Why do doctors think that basic income adds up?
“According to a 2011 report, low-income residents in Saskatoon alone consume an additional $179 million in health care costs than middle
income earners.20 A 2010 study by CIHI found increased costs for avoidable hospitalizations for ambulatory care sensitive conditions were $89 million for males and $71 million for females with an additional $248 million in extra costs related to excess hospitalizations for
mental health reasons. https://goo.gl/Qr0Xbc
A new PhD dissertation by Jurgen De Wispelaere explores the political and administrative feasibility of basic income, providing insight on how we can translate basic income from a worthy, general idea to something that is tangible and ready to implement.
“A widespread tendency to think about basic income as a general idea rather than a set of specific policy proposals obscures the
extent to which key design dimensions produce internal disagreement and division between basic income supporters. This internal division has a major impact on the political stability of a broad enacting basic income coalition.” Noting that “internal tensions inherent in basic income design become salient once we consider basic income implementation”.