Ontario Starts Guaranteed Minimum Income

About 4,000 people in Ontario, Canada are being provided with stipends to boost their income to $17K Canadian dollars - that's $13K US.

The trial is expected to cost $50 million a year in Canadian dollars; expanding it to all of Canada would cost an estimated $43 billion annually. But Hugh Segal, the conservative former senator who designed the test, thinks it could save the government money in the long run. He expects it to streamline the benefits system, remove rules that discourage people from working, and reduce crime, bad health, and other costly problems that stem from poverty. Such improvements occurred during a basic-income test in Manitoba in the 1970s.

People far beyond Canada will be watching closely, too, because a basic income has become Silicon Valley’s favorite answer to the question of how society should deal with the massive automation of jobs. Tech investors such as Facebook cofounder Chris Hughes and Sam Altman, president of the startup incubator Y Combinator, are funding pilot projects to examine what people do when they get money with no strings attached. Hughes’s Economic Security Project will pay for 100 people in Stockton, California, to get $500 a month for 18 months. Y Combinator ran a small-scale test in Oakland, California, last year; beginning in 2019 it will give $1,000 a month to 1,000 people over three to five years, in locations still to be determined.

I first read about this idea in Riders of the Purple Wage by Philip Jose Farmer; it appeared in Harlan Ellison's famous - and notorious - collection Dangerous Visions.

There is no more starvation or want anywhere, except among the self-exiles wandering in the woods. And the food and goods are shipped to the pandoras and dispensed to the receivers of the purple wage. The purple wage. A madison-avenue euphemism with connotations of royalty and divine right. Earned by just being born.
(Read more about Farmers basic income)

Until your basic income appears, you can at least read more about it:

Via Technology Review.

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