Switzerland is considering providing a monthly income to every citizen, no strings attached, no matter how rich or poor, how hardworking or lazy, how old or young. Should our government do the same? [84% of respondents to one poll said “Yes!” What about you?]
Lowrey goes on to paraphrase Enno Schmidt, a leader in the basic-income movement, as saying that “the basic income would provide some dignity and security to the poor, especially Europe’s underemployed and unemployed. It would also, he said, help unleash creativity and entrepreneurialism: Switzerland’s workers would feel empowered to work the way they wanted to, rather than the way they had to just to get by. He even went so far as to compare it to a civil rights movement, like women’s suffrage or ending slavery.”
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“It’s not only in vogue in wealthy Switzerland…[says Lowery.] The benefits of a basic income are even whispered about in the United States, where certain wonks on the libertarian right and liberal left have come to a strange convergence around the idea. Some prefer an unconditional “basic” income that would go out to everyone, no strings attached; others a means-tested “minimum” income to supplement the earnings of the poor up to a given level.”
For a full discussion on the pros and cons of such an approach please visit http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/17/magazine/switzerlands-proposal-to-pay-people-for-being-alive.html (© 2013 The New York Times Company)
Nevil Hunt (theloop.ca) has written a follow-up article* entitled OpEd: Why every Canadian should get a paycheque expressing why he thinks it is a sound idea and should be adopted in Canada (and the U.S., UK, Australia and elsewhere too?). Incidentally, 84% of respondents to the question “Would a guaranteed paycheque be a good thing?” have said “Yes!” in the poll included in his article. Feel free to visit his article (link below) and express your opinion.
Hunt’s article is as follows:
“If Canada had a guaranteed minimum income for every citizen, we could ditch employment insurance, food banks, housing assistance and many other parts of our social safety net.
If you received, say $10,000 from the government each year, you wouldn’t be rich, but you would never be poor either.
Ten grand is not enough to stay home on the couch every day but it does make most of our existing support systems redundant, and that’s one of the greatest selling points of a national minimum income. Imagine all three levels of government shedding processes and administration of all the programs we’ve put in place to deal with people in need…
There will always be some people who cheat the system. In the case of $10,000 a year in income, there are going to be some who think they can sit at home and play video games all day.
Those unhappy stories should be eclipsed by all the good a minimum income could do for those who are struggling today, but there are always a few Grinches who need to find the bad in anything good. Like a pebble in your shoe, lay-abouts will cause some pain, but it’s a case of glass-half-full if everyone can make-do with the minimum.
If $10,000 would make life a lot easier for you, maybe you’re a senior or a student. To those groups, every dollar counts. Far fewer kids would grow up pressured to get a job right out of high school in order to bring home a paycheque. Adults who want to go back to school won’t be without an income while they study.
For someone who has just lost their job, the guaranteed income takes off some of the financial pressure and removes the desperate application for benefits and worries about whether or not you’ll qualify or when the first cheques will come.
For people with dreams – the entrepreneurs and artists – the minimum income could be the ticket to spend time on new ideas instead of working a full time job and trying to fit a passion into the weekends.
If you already make enough money that $10,000 more each year wouldn’t make life better, well, good for you but IF our society can afford it then it’s morally imperative that we look after the less fortunate.”
[The above articles are presented by Lorimer Wilson, editor of www.munKNEE.com and www.FinancialArticleSummariesToday.com and the FREE Market Intelligence Report newsletter (sample here – register here) and may have been edited ([ ]), abridged (…) and/or reformatted (some sub-titles and bold/italics emphases) for the sake of clarity and brevity to ensure a fast and easy read. The author’s views and conclusions are unaltered and no personal comments have been included to maintain the integrity of the original article. This paragraph must be included in any article re-posting to avoid copyright infringement.]
**to read the original unedited post go to: http://www.theloop.ca/living/money/the-next-step/education-and-careers/article/-/a/2899564/OpEd-Why-every-Canadian-should-get-a-paycheque (© Bell Media 2013 All rights reserved)