We’re winning the war on poverty

The proportion of households below the LICO has been falling for two decades and is now at its lowest level ever at 7.8%

We’re winning the war on povertyDonald Trump isn't the only American president to say dumb things. Lyndon Johnson, expressing his concern for the well-being of the American people, said that he thought it was a shame that half the U.S. population lived at a below-average income. As anyone who ever stayed awake in math class knows, an average is a…

Could guaranteed income help us cope with automation?

The disappearance of many jobs over a short period could severely strain our social welfare models

Could guaranteed income help us cope with automation?The revolution of automation and artificial intelligence (AI) will be one of the most profound economic shifts of this century. It’s already well underway and public policy must meet the challenge. Populists on the left and right often blame free trade for North American job losses in manufacturing, though automation is actually the main culprit.…

Why a Canadian basic income is inevitable

The need for income security among middle-class Canadians is accelerating as the labour market changes

Why a Canadian basic income is inevitableIn Canadian policy circles, basic income has come to mean a stipend paid to families or individuals without the many conditions and rules that govern existing income assistance programs. The amount received is gradually reduced as income from other sources increases. However, basic income is not just about welfare reform. A basic income is most…

Turning away from a valuable social experiment

The abrupt cancellation of Ontario's basic income project has broad impact on international research, as well as devastating participants

Turning away from a valuable social experimentI recently participated in a panel in Finland with representatives of basic income experiments from Finland, the Netherlands, India and Scotland. My report on the cancellation of Ontario’s Basic Income Pilot project was received with stunned disbelief. On July 31, three months after enrolment was complete and before the first annual follow-up survey could be…

Key piece of international basic income analysis has been eliminated

An open letter to Premier Doug Ford and Minister Lisa MacLeod concerning the cancellation of the Ontario basic income pilot

Key piece of international basic income analysis has been eliminatedDear Premier Doug Ford and Children, Community and Social Services Minister Lisa MacLeod, We, collectively, represent the principal investigators, research teams and stakeholder groups behind several distinct basic income experiments underway in Finland, Scotland, the Netherlands, the United States, Spain, Kenya and India. We profoundly regret that you chose to cancel the Ontario Basic Income…

Unconditional basic income is a bad idea

Such a program would weaken the incentives to work for lower-income Canadians and people not strongly tied to the labour force

Unconditional basic income is a bad ideaBy Charles Lammam and Hugh MacIntyre The Fraser Institute Almost 50 years ago, a Canadian Senate report declared that a basic income “is an idea whose time has come.” Ever since, the idea resurfaces every so often, with support that spans the political spectrum. Most recently, a Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) report reinvigorated the debate…

Quest for equality must first address poverty, childcare

Too many people are one job loss, one illness, one retirement or one calamity away from disaster. We need income security

Quest for equality must first address poverty, childcareWhen I was an economics student years ago, the last living student of John Maynard Keynes, noted economist Joan Robinson, gave a lecture to a packed hall. During the question period, one smart aleck student asked, “Why should anyone study economics?” After a prolonged pause, her answer was simple, “So you know when economists are…

Let’s lift all Canadians out of poverty

The time has come for Canada to have a dialogue about a national basic income program

Let’s lift all Canadians out of povertyA basic income guarantee has been back in the news a lot lately, thanks to Mark Zuckerberg, Richard Branson, Elon Musk and other tech giants who have publicly endorsed the concept. But it’s not just talk in Canada. Ontario is piloting a basic income across three cities, Quebec has brought in a basic income for…

Just who’s the bully when it comes to minimum wage hikes?

Government generally has little or no understanding of franchising, how food distribution forces play out or even simply how small businesses operate

Just who’s the bully when it comes to minimum wage hikes?Dramatically increasing minimum wages in the food industry is irresponsible and even reckless. On Jan. 1, Ontario’s minimum wage increased by 22 per cent, to $14 an hour. It will go to $15 on Jan. 1, 2019. That’s almost a 32 per cent increase in 12 months. Other provinces, such as Alberta and B.C., will follow…

Maintaining a sense of purpose in a changing workplace

While it is easy to blame globalization for the job losses, the real culprits are increased automation and investment in software

Maintaining a sense of purpose in a changing workplaceLabour Day marks the unofficial end of summer. It’s back to routine and, once again, the workplace takes precedence. But what if there was no work? As automation and new technologies continue to reduce the labour force, economists and others are pondering this question. Since 2000, the United States has lost five million manufacturing jobs…
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