Happy 10th International Basic Income Week! One of the most common queries regarding basic income is whether or not it will disincentive people from working. Heard that complaint before? Share this with your friends and family!
Although most people, when questioned, say that they themselves would certainly continue to work (would you?), they still worry that other people won’t. They may be thinking those others who live in poverty are lazy, content to live very modestly and off the work of others, etc.
However, ROUGHLY HALF of the millions of people living in poverty in Canada ARE ALREADY WORKING but still can’t make ends meet; basic income will provide needed income without the many dysfunctions of our current welfare systems.
OF THE OTHERS who are NOT WORKING, a great many are people not expected (or in some cases legally permitted) to work – ie., seniors, children, people with disabilities;
AND FOR THE REST, work can be hard to find/take because 1) there’s none available where they live, or 2) they have child or elder care responsibilities, and/or 3) they face discrimination in the job market due to age, gender, race,sexual identity, partial disability, religion, etc.That doesn’t leave many who can be expected to work who might simply not bother. But for that very small % of able bodied working age people,
AUTOMATION and GLOBALIZATION continue to destroy Canadian jobs to such an extent that there’s no worry about not having enough people willing to do the work that’s available. And an alternative to paid labour must be found to provide people sufficient disposable incomes to meet their basic needs despite their not doing paid labour. A sensible polity would never deny more than 95% of its impoverished people effective, adequate and humanely distributed income support for fear that a small % of the impoverished might take advantage of that to avoid all work. And finally, in the end, we believe
MOST PEOPLE WANT TO WORK for other reasons than just to obtain an livable income. Do you? For more developed forms of these and other arguments, see
Chandra Pasma’s “Working Through the Work Disincentive”.
There are many more articles/videos/etc. available through the Basic Income Canada Network website! Tomorrow, we will be summarizing the Affordability argument – can we afford a basic income? Check back then!
Picture credits: http://www.thinkupstream.net/big_medicine