To end poverty, guarantee everyone in Canada $20,000 a year
The story of a 24 year old Mother, Nicole Gray from Victoria, BC is a story most of Canada’s working poor can relate. Many single parents, including the working poor are making just enough to get by.
A major concern with many of the working poor is resorting to the indignities in front of suspicious government minions, described as cold hearted, at best.
While the laws in this country are “innocent until proven guilty”, a basic right, one only has to stand in front of a government social assistance official to know that “guilty until proven innocent” is the catchword of the day.
Like most of us, we all get an unexpected financial bump in the road; it’s just economics that separates us from the working poor who seek government financial assistance in order to have a decent start in life.
The BEIN model used in Europe has its detractors, mainly those who would not qualify as it is geared towards citizenship and a means test, much to the ire of its immigrant population who would not qualify.
The one condition of employment would be for recipients to work in any field, including charity work, community service, volunteer work, including volunteering in soup kitchens to street and community improvement projects.
One aspect of this basic income guarantee program for Canadian citizens would have the money paid out to citizens rich and poor, with the money coming from our natural resources, much like the smaller amounts Alberta gives to its citizens in the form of oil revenues or Heritage revenue.
If a guaranteed income supplement became Canada wide, then “the have” provinces would have to supplement the income of citizens from the have not provinces, a major bone of contention Alberta has been reluctant to do, but was forced to share energy revenues with the have not provinces in some form or another.
A guaranteed income for the working poor may be an answer whose time has come, the cons to providing this will be insurmountable.
There are those who smell a guaranteed unlimited government payday and those who provide a service to the working poor may take advantage of an already dire situation such as:
· Daycare providers
· Skyrocketing house prices
· Payday Loans
· Underground economy
· Social agencies when even the poor with additional funds will be reluctant to provide additional financial assistance when an unexpected bump in the road happens, it will and does.
· Higher tax bracket
· Rich and poor would receive this benefit, even the premier and politicians.
Ancillary aspects of the Con when those who will ensure money meant for the poor will soon be parted.
· Drug Dealers
· Loan Sharks
· Immigrant consultants
· Exponential immigration numbers by refugees and immigrants to Canada from the farthest reaches of the world looking to Canada as their Holy Grail.
· Immigrant families will certainly take exception that the program if implemented only applies to Canadians, as new immigrants would not be able to collect $20,000 until the 10 year mark when they too become Canadians.
· Guaranteed Politicians will ensure ethnic votes will come their way if they can overturn the Canadian Citizenship law to include a guaranteed $20,000 annual income for anyone immediately as soon as they enter our country by hook or by crook.
· If there is a way, there will be scams perpetrated by Canadians in every aspect of the working and non working world.
· Persons serving time in prison would also be eligible, much to many Canadians who would be outraged. Remember Canadian Citizenship has its privileges, even for prisoners.
· If the guaranteed income supplement to Canadians is typically geared to Canada’s Natural Resources, what will the environmental impacts be?
· Will Canadians have a change of heart for receiving guaranteed money versus the environment?
· Many do not realize Alberta is facing these same problems with their oil sands, in which revenues are equally distributed to all provinces across Canada, used to pay for services all Canadians enjoy.
· Taxes in all forms would surely increase for Canadians in setting up the programs, from sales tax to income tax.
What are the solutions and setbacks to the program?
While the guaranteed $20,000 income for Canadians is based on full time employment (40-hour work week), what about part time workers, many who are students, will age be a factor, would an age limit of 21 years old be a solution? How about giving Canadian part time students free tuition as a benefit?
Will low income seniors or disabled need to work part time as volunteers to qualify?
Would a solution to gear the income supplement to those working poor (single parent) only? The single parent making less than $15,000 dollars a year would get that $20,000 top up of their existing earnings to $35,000 a year. A single person would also be eligible based on an employment income of less than $10,000 a year. All other non parent single Canadians making more than $ 25,000 would not be eligible.
Would married or cohabitation Canadian parents benefit if they had children and a stay at home parent be ensured a $20,000 guaranteed income to raise their children?
Would the working poor with a guaranteed income benefit from rent and price controls, including guaranteed daycare for single parents geared to income, as daycare can eat up a large part of a salary?
Will immigration need to be curtailed drastically with a moratorium placing a 10 year waiting period for anyone to become a Canadian citizen? Remember, increased immigration, once becoming Canadian would severely dilute the guaranteed income supplement as the years go by which is tied exclusively to our natural resources, which will dwindle year after year.
Will resistance come from employers or service providers if government enforced price controls were put in place?
Will Canadians take exception to the working poor who receive this money through less labour intensive activities such as a 40 hour volunteer or community service work such as daycare providers?
For a guaranteed income to work, every Canadian has to be onboard to ensure an equitable balance is maintained to ensure the working poor maintain their dignity and not be put into financial straits by those who would be more than eager to part them from their money with increased costs.
Facts and Musings
Canada has a Gross Domestic Product of over $1.5 Trillion dollars a year and this may afford to do this.
If every Canadian were employed, one opportunity in all this is could be if low income working Canadians must work a 40 hour week to qualify, unemployment should be zero. Perhaps investment in Canadian Manufacturing would result in Canada getting back on track as a manufacturing nation; a pool of skilled and unskilled workers, subsidized in their salary by all Canadians would buy Canadian manufactured products, including homes built by low cost Canadian labour should be more affordable.
Outsourcing of jobs overseas to the Far East could be eliminated if Canadians could know work and receive a decent wage. Canada once again could turn from a consumer nation to a manufacturing nation, boosting the economy where a decent wage from natural resources would need to be drastically developed ensure sustainability.
If daycare is low cost staffed by other low wage Canadians as volunteers, or for a married couple be eligible if one parent stayed at home to raise the children and still receive a $20,000 a year benefit, regardless of their spouses income. Canadians would experience a population boom not seen since post World War II, ensuring a future workforce.
Of course with a baby boom in Canada, one could an answer to our declining birthrate as a resurgence that Canadians would solve almost immediately .
Communists and their ill conceived social programs tried and failed to emulate a similar model.
Some may see Commie aspects of the social program, but Canadians need to ensure their self preservation.
If anything we have learned from the past, something is removing Canadians from the equation in a country called Canada.
Perhaps there is a workable solution at hand, though there may be a catch in all this, not being an economist, perhaps I am just theorizing.
While there are no easy answers and insurmountable questions, one thing must be ensured; the working poor need a working wage, with the income tied to the income benefits received and not be made to pay higher rents or services charged by those who feel they too deserve a cut, otherwise the working poor will be back at square one, regardless how high their income is and the guaranteed income program may result into one big pyramid scheme.