A group a Canadian academics and activists are starting to drum up some support and interest in their idea for a guaranteed income of $20,000 a year for every Canadian.
The idea behind a guaranteed living wage is to abolish poverty in our country and increase the quality of life overall. A report by Glen Hodgson, a Canadian Economist with the Conference Board of Canada, explains the gist of it, which is a threefold solution:
1. Address poverty directly in a completely neutral and fair way.
2. Reduce the welfare wall (high marginal tax rates on low income) to essentially provide a stronger incentive to work and earn income.
3. Reduce health care spending on the low-income population – the link between poverty and poor health is well documented.
This has been experimented with before, back in the 70s in Manitoba, in a way that was deemed a success.
And Canada isn’t alone – the idea is garnering more support in the US than it has had in a long time. And this fall, Switzerland will be voting on a referendum to give its citizens a guaranteed $35,900 annually.
Here’s hoping we can make a revolutionary economic change that goes beyond just getting rid of the penny.