(More) Thoughts on Society

If the government raised my taxes 1% per year to give an increasing basic income until such a time that social programs and poverty improved until the point that the system supported everybody, we could fix this thing in 15-20 years, tops.

Anything else is just irresponsible.

Civilized society has to provide the basic needs for all its citizens to exist and develop. Education, health care, shelter, food, these should not be things anybody goes without.

Anything else is second-rate.

Retirees get a fixed income and many continue to work as long as they are able. Why is it so damaging for all of us to enjoy that same opportunity throughout our lives? Why do you have to work for 30 years before society deems you worthy of that respect?

These problems have solutions *if* we can start worrying about money, power and status AFTER we have taken care of the poor, weak, and forgotten.

If these are radical ideas to you, it may be worth considering what you value in life.

The Problem with Homelessness is Poverty

I attended college pay-as-you-go for a couple years while working, then left because I couldn’t afford to continue and knew better than to take on student debt. My moderate savings was destroyed in my 30s by health care costs that insurance wouldn’t cover. Within the past several years, full-time work that pays a subsistence wage has been hard to come by.

Another great reason why basic income would be super useful. There are plenty of jobs that don’t pay that much but are vital to the world continuing to run. And with a basic income and solid universal health care, so many of the issues that put people on the streets just don’t come up. This is a long piece but it’s well worth your time.

> I’ve been homeless 3 times. The problem isn’t drugs or mental illness — it’s poverty. – Vox

Why Basic Income is so Important

Canada’s prior experiment with a BIG [(Basic Income Guarantee)], the Mincome experiment in Manitoba in the 1970s, found that a BIG did not cause people to stop working — with two important exceptions. The first was women with infants at home, who effectively used the BIG to purchase maternity leave. We should expect a different response from women in modern-day Canada, where maternity leave benefits are much more extensive. But where child care and other supports for working parents are insufficient, we may see responses to a BIG that will show us those cracks in the system.

The other group whose employment levels decreased under Mincome was teenage boys. A closer look reveals that with a basic income guarantee, male high school students were more likely to make the decision to stay in school until graduation. Given the Ontario government’s aim of increasing graduation rates and the need for a highly educated population, it will be important to understand how people’s labour market decisions interact with other important decisions, like the decision to improve their skills and buy a better long-term future for themselves and their families.

> We Should Applaud Ontario’s Plans To Pilot A Basic Income Guarantee | Laura Anderson