See no; Hear no; Speak no solutions.

The three wise monkeys are alive and well and hiding from reality in Ottawa. At a time when a recent Environics poll shows that 64 per cent of Canadians support a guaranteed annual income program is a time for action. It is not a time to procrastinate, to put off solutions. It is not a time for our politicians to look like monkeys.

The first thing is to stop looking at a guaranteed income program as a massive support program. What we already have is a massive support program providing for our children, our seniors, our Medicare, Canadians out of work, our education and our programs for people living with disabilities.

What we need is a proper assessment by our politicians of what Canadians need and how to get the help they need to them. And what better time than when our country is torn by the rigours of a pandemic.

Our economy is a just as much at risk is our health. The two are too interdependent. At a time when our economy is in turmoil is the time to launch a guaranteed system. It addresses the immediate problems and builds strength for the future.

What we need to understand is that there are many benefits included in a guaranteed annual program. And there will be many adjustments to make as it proceeds. There will be the immediate impact on minimum wages. We can hardly pay people not to work. Incentives, benefits and self-worth are important considerations.

Raising the goods and services taxes a few percentage points will be an important step in balancing the costs of the program. The need for the money paid out to flow quickly back into the economy is also obvious. Giving it to people who will just put it in the bank is somewhat less effective but ensuring it eventually flows back to the government in a growing tax base is an important objective.

And just think of the good use all those civil servants in Ottawa could be put to when we no longer have a myriad of programs to run. We are quite likely going to benefit greatly from a guaranteed income.


Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

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