On June 24, news of Brexit overshadowed a development with far greater potential to change your future: Ontario announced that the Honourable Hugh Segal would prepare a discussion paper on constructing a basic income pilot program for the province, launching the most significant opportunity to talk about the country we want to create since the 1970s.
Basic income is a centuries-old idea that has found new life because of two key concerns. The first is about work. Basic income either provides a remedy for a future where robots eat most of our jobs, and those that remain are increasingly precarious; or it liberates us from paid work and unleashes potential.
The second concern is poverty. Efficiency buffs say there are savings to be had by eliminating bureaucracy and reducing public spending on health and crime, while equity advocates seek a more dignified way to support the working poor or those receiving social assistance.