Canadians Pushing for Basic Income Guarantee
|July 8, 2014||Posted by Staff under Activism|
This 2014 excerpt of Common Dreams, Jly 3, is by Deirdre Fulton, staff writer.
Canadian academics and activists are engaged in that country’s first national campaign for a basic guaranteed income, which they say would “help prevent poverty, reduce inequality, enhance individual freedom, boost human creativity, stimulate entrepreneurship, promote citizenship, increase efficiency in public services, and reduce government intrusion in private life.”
Last weekend’s 15th International Basic Income Earth Network Conference, held in Montreal, marked the public debut of a campaign to raise awareness about and support for the concept of a basic income in Canada, which is home to about 35 million people. The Basic Income Canada Network’s BIG Push campaign suggests that an annual income of between $20-25,000 would be sufficient for a working-age adult.
Canadians are no strangers to the concept of basic income —- the “Mincome” experiment that took place in the province of Manitoba during the 1970s had positive effects on health and education. Several countries, including Brazil, already implement some sort of basic income program (or pilot program). Later this year, voters in Switzerland will have their say on a proposal to give every citizen $2,800 a month.
Ed. Notes: It’s ironic to me that the proponents of BI use the word “guarantee”, presupposing that’s something governments can do, yet don’t breathe a word about from where would come the money?
I’d rather see proponents focus on our common wealth, which by its nature (being common property), is something we should share, something that all of us are already entitled to a share.
Indeed, it is immoral that the vast majority of us do not receive our share while a small handful of people capture the shares of millions of fellow citizens. However, eventho’ this situation is not ethical, nobody’s behavior is unethical. To behave badly, one must first know what’s right and wrong and most people are not even aware that common wealth exists, so how could they realize that hogging it is wrong?
What is our common wealth? It is the worth of Earth. Nobody made land and resources and all of us make them valuable, by our demand for usage of various locations. Each of us has a right to land and to compensation when we’re excluded from land. Plus, each of has the duty to compensate those whom we exclude from our land.
Economic value in practice is spending, herein our spending for all the locations and ecosystem services that we use. This flow is a surplus since it does not reward anybody’s labor or capital; Earth was created by whatever created us. This surplus is social since it is society’s recognition of property rights that makes it possible to use and exchange use of locations.
If society did institute land dues, then it could do away with counterproductive taxes. If society did institute rent dividends,then it could do away with addictive subsidies. Minus the interference of taxes and subsidies – both of which distort prices and thus behavior – economies could operate at peak efficiency and government bureaucracies could shrink.
Dues and dividends are the policy of geonomics. Wherever tried, to the degree tried, it has always worked. So rather than propose an unfunded BIG, propose a Citizen’s Dividend. Dividends by definition are shares of surplus, so the details of the proposal are built in.