Author Topic: Basic income program for Canada  (Read 582 times)

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Offline Granny

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Basic income program for Canada
« on: January 25, 2020, 12:10:02 pm »
I think it's time to take a really serious look at eliminating poverty in Canada, including  homelessness, and including (formerly) well-off people hitting bottom via bankruptcy (It happens.) 

In my mind, we are currently providing hodge-podge patchwork of social safety net programs that chew up a lot of money in bureaucratic red tape, and still allow a lot of vulnerable people to fall through the cracks/chasms between programs. Instead of 'the nanny state' controlling and deciding who qualifies for what, at great cost in staffing 'means testing' for a variety of government and charity programs, I'd like to see a full assessment and public discussion of the data relevant to an economic case for a basic income program.
RE: Means testing and other 'qualification' for various support programs ... it's important for everyone to understand ... everytime we put qualifiers on an income support program, we are putting in place an expensive bureaucracy whose job is to collect all of the relevant paperwork from applicants, and push it around from desk to desk until a yes/no decision can be made, and then administer funds and constantly re-assess qualifying status too. An example of redundant waste in paper-pushing in disability benefits: People with permanently disabling conditions are required every year to go through medical and other assessment and paperwork hoops to prove that they are still disabled, ridiculously wasting precious and expensive medical time and resources, bureaucratic processing, and heavily taxing the disabled people's already-challenged ability to cope. Also, disabled people can access additional supports - equipment (eg, wheelchairs, special diets, accessible housing, etc) via a patchwork of (partially publicly funded) charity  programs, that may vary by community or province.
If (eg) you have multiple sclerosis or another progressive condition that affects both mobility and mental functioning, how on earth are you expected to negotiate the murky bureaucracies required to sustain your ongoing needs for income support? People least capable are the ones with the biggest bureaucratic demands on them. Really unfair.

I see it as much more efficient and humane to simply provide everyone with a basic income, without qualification, and allow us all to determine how to spend it to meet our own needs.
The economic arguments for basic income, then, include the huge reductions in public bureaucratic costs, and increases in consumer spending that bolsters the private sector and the economy as a whole.

Three models for a basic income program in Canada are proposed. Discussion of the relative  merits of these three may elucidate the concept as a whole.
https://m.huffingtonpost.ca/entry/basic-income-analysis-canada_ca_5e2770acc5b62c612e13c4dc

I'll let you read about the 3 models yourselves.
I'll just say that my preference is #3 where the basic income (eg, $22k) is allocated to everyone, including the wealthiest, and taxed back progressively after a reasonable income (eg, $60k).
So, in a year when you go bankrupt, lose everything, hit the skids, basic income immediately kicks in for anyone without application or bureaucratic hurdles.
Today's millionaire can be tomorrow's alcoholic street panhandler, so let's not forget them, and in the process, we make it simpler and more efficient for everyone.  :)
« Last Edit: January 25, 2020, 12:43:07 pm by Granny »

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Offline Gorgeous Graham

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Re: Basic income program for Canada
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2020, 02:51:35 pm »
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Per your link, so an analysis report from an organization called Basic Income Canada Network says this will work, eliminate homelessness etc.  Surely there's no confirmation bias from that organization!
It's just a proposal for 3 models of basic income. Consider them or not, as you wish.
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Homelessness is much more complicated than just giving people some money.  Social assisstance/welfare and various other programs exists for these people, but yet they're on the street.  People with drug addictions burn through money, are kicked out of their homes/apartments, while people with mental health problems have trouble even functioning let alone managing their own homes and finances.
Housing allowances for singles on welfare are not sufficient to pay rent. Basic income is.
Of homeless people given housing (eg, Housing First programs), 80% or more are found to be still in their housing 2 years later.
Housing and food are necessities of life. Let's provide sufficient funds for that for everyone, and see how well it works ... and avoid such negative speculation and smearing as you're doing. If we haven't tried it, we don't know.

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The main positive of basic income is obviously eliminating the costs, confusion, inefficiencies etc of various government programs.
That and the fact that they are not working very well to support people who need them, and are not reducing poverty and homelessness at all.

 
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The main negative is that just about every other program has qualifications so people can't abuse the program and free-ride, while basic income doesn't.  This means people with disabilities are entitled to no more benefits than people who are lazy and don't want to work, which isn't fair.  How is free-riding prevented?
IMO billionaires are free-riding. How do we prevent that? Lol
Basic income gets rid of the judgements and control and gives autonomy to individuals to control their own lives. It's much more likely that more people will succeed with autonomy than with debilitating bureaucracy and nanny-state control that rob people of dignity, motivation, energy and creativity.
That's pretty basic psychology: You don't create autonomous people by robbing them of autonomy and pummeling them with bureaucratic failure. That creates learned helplessness and failure. You create autonomous people by giving them autonomy and sufficient resources to succeed.
Our current boondoggled system  is a recipe for failure.
There's more here than welfare and disability.
It's a safety net for everyone:
New parents
Post secondary students
People caring for elders or children
Illness/accident recovery
Anyone experiencing interruption of earnings for whatever reason.
Perhaps seniors too, depending on what model you like.
It smoothes the rough spots without the expense of patchwork programs, and smoothes the economy because consumers can keep spending on basic needs.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2020, 05:30:33 pm by Granny »
"The economy has been relatively strong but Trudeau has chosen to run deficits year after year & has said will continue to do so well into the future.  This means we'll be in a worse & more vulnerable financial position when a recession hits when we HAVE to run deficits again." - Me, Oct. 3, 2019

Offline MH

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Re: Basic income program for Canada
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2020, 10:14:49 pm »
I'm confused... Maybe Granny accidentally EDITED Graham's post ?!?

Offline MH

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Re: Basic income program for Canada
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2020, 10:17:33 pm »
The finance from the initial post seems wonky.

What about if we asked front line workers what would be effective?

Offline Gorgeous Graham

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Re: Basic income program for Canada
« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2020, 10:21:25 pm »
I'm confused... Maybe Granny accidentally EDITED Graham's post ?!?

No, the Ghost of Graham has haunted Granny's spirit.  She will do my bidding.
"The economy has been relatively strong but Trudeau has chosen to run deficits year after year & has said will continue to do so well into the future.  This means we'll be in a worse & more vulnerable financial position when a recession hits when we HAVE to run deficits again." - Me, Oct. 3, 2019
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Offline Gorgeous Graham

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Re: Basic income program for Canada
« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2020, 10:38:29 pm »
IMO billionaires are free-riding. How do we prevent that? Lol

So this is also about furthering wealth redistribution from rich to poor?

You didn't answer the question about free-riding.

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Basic income gets rid of the judgements and control and gives autonomy to individuals to control their own lives. It's much more likely that more people will succeed with autonomy than with debilitating bureaucracy and nanny-state control that rob people of dignity, motivation, energy and creativity.
That's pretty basic psychology: You don't create autonomous people by robbing them of autonomy and pummeling them with bureaucratic failure. That creates learned helplessness and failure. You create autonomous people by giving them autonomy and sufficient resources to succeed.

So you give people more autonomy by making people more reliant on government for income?  The nanny state brings out its big bottle of milk and makes everyone, not just the needy, have a suckle?

The point of social programs should be to help people help themselves when they're most vulnerable so hopefully they can become autonomous.  People who can't help themselves (ie: disabled) are the only ones who should be on the government dime longterm.

Maybe our social programs should be reformed to make them easier to access and use, instead of putting our hands up and just giving everyone cash.
"The economy has been relatively strong but Trudeau has chosen to run deficits year after year & has said will continue to do so well into the future.  This means we'll be in a worse & more vulnerable financial position when a recession hits when we HAVE to run deficits again." - Me, Oct. 3, 2019

Offline Gorgeous Graham

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Re: Basic income program for Canada
« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2020, 10:45:03 pm »
One of the problems with some social programs is that it creates incentives to rely on government instead of taking responsibility for your own finances.  People who were foolish enough to forget to save for retirement are treated exactly the same as seniors who had a financial emergency and had to burn through all their savings.

Old Age Security and GIS are not income tested.  If you made a million dollars a year when you worked but have no savings when you turn 65, you're still qualified.  It prevents people from going into dire poverty, but it doesn't prevent stupid LOL.

I can't think of any way to prevent this.  People need to eat, you can't have seniors starving.
"The economy has been relatively strong but Trudeau has chosen to run deficits year after year & has said will continue to do so well into the future.  This means we'll be in a worse & more vulnerable financial position when a recession hits when we HAVE to run deficits again." - Me, Oct. 3, 2019

Offline MH

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Re: Basic income program for Canada
« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2020, 06:42:10 am »
So this is also about furthering wealth redistribution from rich to poor?

Isn't that something we sorely need right now ?  Maybe we don't but inequality is starting to rob from the poor and give to the rich, by many accounts.

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You didn't answer the question about free-riding.

It's an income supplement, so the theory says they forgo a lot of checks and balances to see some savings there.


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So you give people more autonomy by making people more reliant on government for income?  The nanny state brings out its big bottle of milk and makes everyone, not just the needy, have a suckle?

That's the theory: you reduce government and you give the savings plus some to people and they can do whatever they want.

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The point of social programs should be to help people help themselves when they're most vulnerable so hopefully they can become autonomous.  People who can't help themselves (ie: disabled) are the only ones who should be on the government dime longterm.

The theory is that the current programs create a system that perpetuate dependency.

Hugh Segal, a Conservative, put forward the proposal in Canada:

https://thetyee.ca/News/2019/11/07/Guaranteed-Income-Argument/

http://podcasts.tvo.org/bi/audio/2076107_48k.mp3



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Maybe our social programs should be reformed to make them easier to access and use, instead of putting our hands up and just giving everyone cash.

I would like to see some alternative approaches.  Firstly, why not ask the social workers how to make this work ?  How about reducing case counts and providing 1-on-1 coaching to people who are struggling.  It seems to me that would be cheaper than paying people off and better for them too.

Offline Granny

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Re: Basic income program for Canada
« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2020, 09:37:27 am »
I'm confused... Maybe Granny accidentally EDITED Graham's post ?!?

Damn, I did!  Lol
But I didn't change his words, just added mine.

Offline Granny

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Re: Basic income program for Canada
« Reply #9 on: January 26, 2020, 09:42:30 am »
The finance from the initial post seems wonky.

What about if we asked front line workers what would be effective?

Well ... they'd lose a lot of jobs with a basic income program. But I expect they do know that current income support programs are not really sufficient to give people 'a leg up'. Housing costs mean you can't afford to eat properly, and you can't get ahead if you're undernourished.

Offline Granny

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Re: Basic income program for Canada
« Reply #10 on: January 26, 2020, 09:59:12 am »
So this is also about furthering wealth redistribution from rich to poor?
A necessary move, imo. Predatory capitalists should not be encouraged to continue depending on their predatory ways.

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You didn't answer the question about free-riding.

So you give people more autonomy by making people more reliant on government for income?  The nanny state brings out its big bottle of milk and makes everyone, not just the needy, have a suckle?

That's your opinion, but unsupported by facts.
My opinion is that our current system provides insufficient support for needy people to get ahead, and that insufficiency and complexity of even accessing that is what renders people hopeless, beaten down, unmotivated and trapped in the poverty cycle: Poorly housed and fed people do not have the strength to get ahead.
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The point of social programs should be to help people help themselves when they're most vulnerable so hopefully they can become autonomous.  People who can't help themselves (ie: disabled) are the only ones who should be on the government dime longterm.

Maybe our social programs should be reformed to make them easier to access and use, instead of putting our hands up and just giving everyone cash.

Basic income is easier to access, and encourages and supports efforts to get ahead in a way that our current programs do not: Current insufficient supports and complexity of access drain vulnerable people, leaving them trapped.
But we're both just speculating without evidence.
Clearly, what we need are good pilot programs to actually assess the outcomes of basic income programs vs current programs.
Unfortunate that Ford cancelled the Ontario pilot.

One thing we do know, though, is that basic income does eliminate poverty.

Some resources:

https://www.newscientist.com/article/2193136-universal-income-study-finds-money-for-nothing-wont-make-us-work-less/

https://basicincome.org/research/

At this point, the real question is: Will a basic income pilot ever be allowed to be completed!  Lol
« Last Edit: January 26, 2020, 11:05:36 am by Granny »

Offline waldo

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Re: Basic income program for Canada
« Reply #11 on: January 26, 2020, 12:36:17 pm »
Clearly, what we need are good pilot programs to actually assess the outcomes of basic income programs vs current programs.
 
Unfortunate that Ford cancelled the Ontario pilot.

At this point, the real question is: Will a basic income pilot ever be allowed to be completed!  Lol

au contraire!

--- https://ubiworks.ca/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/Canada-Child-Benefit-1x1-Voiced.mp4

Canadian Centre for Economic Analysis: Economic Contribution of the Canada Child Benefit: A Basic Income Guarantee for Canadian Families with Children
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Offline MH

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Re: Basic income program for Canada
« Reply #12 on: January 26, 2020, 01:41:09 pm »
Well ... they'd lose a lot of jobs with a basic income program. But I expect they do know that current income support programs are not really sufficient to give people 'a leg up'. Housing costs mean you can't afford to eat properly, and you can't get ahead if you're undernourished.

No, you're not understanding.  I think it would be pointless to ask for their input on a program that effectively fires them (thousands of them btw).  I'm talking about looking for an alternative to a basic income program.

Offline Granny

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Re: Basic income program for Canada
« Reply #13 on: January 26, 2020, 07:00:20 pm »
No, you're not understanding.  I think it would be pointless to ask for their input on a program that effectively fires them (thousands of them btw).  I'm talking about looking for an alternative to a basic income program.

Part of the purpose of basic income is to reduce the bureaucratic costs associated with means-testing and other assessments of qualification for the patchwork of disconnected existing programs.
I wouldn't put people in the position of identifying alternatives, when their jobs may be made redundant by the alternatives.

I'm not proposing abrupt full implementation of basic income, but an honest national pilot to properly assess benefits, concerns, issues in implementation, etc.

Longer term, I would see it as a phase-in with provincial buy-in, with gradual staffing reductions/attrition.

I will say that I prefer #3 of the models presented - full universal eligibility regardless of income - yes, the uber-rich too - taxed back at a somewhat generous cutoff level (eg, like OAS is at $75k+) but available to all in any year they fall below that.

Maybe we can improve some people's chances beyond the present system:  :)
https://i.redd.it/r0x3k2v7ba941.jpg
« Last Edit: January 26, 2020, 07:09:13 pm by Granny »

Offline MH

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Re: Basic income program for Canada
« Reply #14 on: January 26, 2020, 10:04:45 pm »
You're still not getting it.  I'm asking them for OTHER alternatives.