Some people think that we will always have poor people. Others believe that we can eliminate poverty with a program variously called Guaranteed Basic Income, Basic Income, Living Wage, Minimum Income Guarantee or Universal Basic Income among others. I will call it Basic Income in this article.

Why should we want it? Emil Munsterburg in the American Journal of Sociology puts it this way: if we don’t have the necessities of life we respond in one of two ways; we beg or we take what we need by force or stealth. To this society responds in two ways: charity/philanthropy and the police / “justice”system. A basic income for all Canadians, will substantially reduce the cost of the police / “justice system.”

It is going to cost $570 million to bring all Manitobans up to the poverty line. (Statistics Canada 2016) To put that into context, the 2019 Manitoba budget is $13.6 billion. $570 million is a mere 4.2% of our annual budget.