People interested in learning about Basic Income Guarantee met on Tuesday to learn about it from Jason Hartwick of the Basic Income Peterborough Network. He explained some of the many forms that a Basic Income Guarantee might take. What all the variations have in common is that everyone, regardless of work or employment status or family situation, would have a basic income sufficient to live a happy, healthy, and dignified life. Unlike many of our current welfare programs the structure encourages people to take on employment without fear of having their benefits cut off.
Social benefits expected from a Basic Income Guarantee would include mothers staying home longer to take care of their young children, young men staying in school longer, and people taking chances on starting a business, and people volunteering more within the community.
Many of us know that there was a Basic Income trial in Dauphin, Manitoba in the 1970’s. In “The Town with no Poverty“, a talk by Evelyn Forget who analysed the archived data from the Dauphin trial, she shows that many of the high expectations for benefits actually happened. Jason also talked a bit about progress in the pilot programs in Lindsay, Hamilton, and Thunder Bay and gave us a time frame for when they would be reporting results. This article from The Guardian describes a trial currently under way in Finland, an ongoing trial that came up during discussion.
Discussion based on questions from the audience kept everyone engaged until it was well past time to go home.
Thanks to Clifford Skarstedt for this coverage in the Peterborough Examiner and especially for his photos including the one you see above.
I also took some pictures that are posted here, but you can see that we need an official photographer.