Tag Archives: canada

Dr. Evelyn Forget on Mincome and Basic Income in Canada (Rebroadcast)

The Basic Income Podcast
The Basic Income Podcast
Dr. Evelyn Forget on Mincome and Basic Income in Canada (Rebroadcast)

Canada’s basic income trials in trials in the 70s – the “Mincome” experiments – were largely forgotten until Dr. Evelyn Forget found records of the Mincome trials and individuals who had received a basic income. She discusses what she found, and the implications for Canada’s upcoming trials in Ontario. This episode originally aired in May of 2017.

What’s Happening with the Ontario Basic Income Program, feat. Sheila Regehr

The Basic Income Podcast
The Basic Income Podcast
What's Happening with the Ontario Basic Income Program, feat. Sheila Regehr

Recently we got the unfortunate news that the new administration in Ontario plans on cancelling the current basic income trials. At the time of publishing, the program is still happening, and political pressure on the Ontario government may be quite valuable right now. Jim talked with Basic Income Canada Network Chairperson Sheila Regehr about what’s happening with the pilot and what people can do to push back against its cancellation.


Episode Transcript

Owen: Hello, and welcome to the Basic Income Podcast. I’m Owen Poindexter.

Jim: And I’m Jim Pugh.

Owen: We have talked a few times about the very exciting pilot going on in Ontario, up in Canada, to pilot basic income there. Just recently, we got some unfortunate news that the new administration in Ontario is planning on shutting the pilot down.

Jim: Now, there’s a lot happening in response to this announcement, and so we thought it be good to provide you all with more information about what’s going on. I was able to sit down with Sheila Regehr, who’s the Chairperson of the Basic Income Canada Network, to get information from her on what’s the situation on the ground.

Owen: Here is Jim’s conversation with Sheila Regehr.

Jim: Sheila, thanks for joining us on the podcast.

Sheila: Thank you.

Jim: We’ve talked a bit about the Ontario pilot in the past, but just to make sure all of our listeners are up to date, can you generally explain what was happening with the pilot and what was going into that prior to the announcement last week?

Sheila: The idea for the pilot, the way the Ontario government set it up — we can talk about what the design of it actually looks like — but essentially they were doing a Negative Income Tax type of model where recipients would receive about $17,000 at a maximum for a single person, and that gets you close to the poverty line in Canada but not quite there, and then proportionately more than that for couples.

There were three major pilot site areas that they decided to test it on. One is the Hamilton-Brantford area, that’s fairly close to where I live in Toronto. Another one was Lindsay, which is interesting because it’s a smaller community, has some rural population as well. Another one in Thunder Bay, which is interesting because it has a fairly high proportion of indigenous people in that community.

Different communities so that we get a different sense of things. The Lindsay segment, in particular, was where about 2,000 of the overall 4,000 recipients would be, so it comes as close as we can to what would be called the kind of saturation site that we saw in Dauphin, Manitoba, here in Canada, in the 1970s.

That’s it in a nutshell. Things got started last year. The rollout was a bit slow. It wasn’t as easy getting people to participate in this study as the government intended at first, but they had a lot of information sessions. They worked with community organizations. They gradually got people on. They staggered the commencement so that Hamilton area people were first.

The first of those people started getting checks in the fall of last year. Then, they decided — there were a few wrinkles, bugs in the system, and a few lessons learned already that they work out, and then Lindsay was started a little bit after that.

I’m not sure about the timing of Thunder Bay, but the last people to join the pilot in Lindsay only came on like maybe three months ago.

Jim: There’s already been a number of people who have been receiving benefits, and as you said, some for close to a year now it sounds like at this point.

Sheila: Yes, some for quite a period of time.

Jim: Now, the big recent news on this was that the Doug Ford government announced last week that they were planning to end the pilot. That was, it seems, in direct contradiction to promises that were made during their campaign. What is the general reaction been to that announcement?

Sheila: The reaction — we were quite stunned to hear this. First of all, it comes out in the summer. The immediate reaction from many, many people across the board was just feeling heartsick and this kind of gut-wrenching feeling for the participants. There are a number of participants who have come out publicly speaking. They’ve actually learned public speaking in order to be able to tell their stories, to talk about their lives before, and how basic income is made to change. They were prepared to face media.

We’ve heard a fair bit from them, and now with this announcement, we’re hearing about more and more people coming forward and talking about the kinds of changes that having this basic income has meant in their lives. It’s just profound to see the things that — the kinds of changes it’s made. Depression lifted. People are registered, they go back to school in the fall. One couple invested some of their extra money to help boost up the small entrepreneurship initiatives that they had started a little bit earlier, to help grow that a little bit.

People had plans. Their lives were becoming better. Like I said, the reaction came from across the board, from lots of unexpected places even, and really, really angry. Much of it directed first at what you mentioned, the fact of betrayal. The fact that the government did — all of the parties on the campaign trail in the spring agreed that they would let the pilot run. Even if they didn’t appear enthusiastic about it, they agreed to let the pilot run.

Most people in democracies don’t like being lied to. A lot of reaction was based on that, and then the reaction started flooding in based on the just devastating consequences it has for participants. Those 4,000, another 2,000 that were part of the control group, but then there’s the many more thousands who were hoping down the line that this pilot was going to help show the government that this was a good policy and it would benefit them too.

The loss is tremendous if it can’t get turned around, and one of the really difficult things is that the government is leaking out little bits of information in dribs and drabs, and it’s hard to figure out what their plan is.

They seem to have told people that they will still get checks in August, but there’s no clear timeline for when it might seriously end, meaning the checks stopped coming, or whether there is some possibility of salvaging this or keeping some of the payments going.

Jim: On that note. I will say just looking from where I am in California, everything you just laid out there as far as the negative effects both around what would be learned from the study but also ripping away these benefits from people, it certainly is terrible.

But it’s also been inspiring to see how much of a pushback there’s been to the announcement. As you said, bringing in people who perhaps were not so actively engaged before, but because of this betrayal, because people had been making these plans, have at least from where I’m at, it seemed like there has been this rallying together to fight back there.

I’m curious to try to get more of your sense given the reaction that’s been happening, does it seem like there actually could be a path to pushing the Doug Ford government to reassess their plans here?

Sheila: It’s really hard to say. Who knows what or who will get through the them? For now, all of our efforts are going into trying to show them how much support there is for this pilot from all different directions including people with a more conservative bent. People with good economic sense who understand that this actually could be a boon for the economy. People who understand that Ontario was looked to as a leader in this.

We fight as long as we can. Then the other thing that’s come up in conversation after the first few days is, are there other possibilities of saving this? Are there ways in which the federal government might be able to take it over? Some people have even suggested there might be some very wealthy philanthropists out there who sees the value in this and might want to take it over.

That seems like a long shot, but the federal government involvement is real. A lot of people are looking for the federal government for some help and some leadership in this, too, and from Basic Income Canada’s perspective, our end goal is to have a national policy, which means it has to come from the federal government. Ontario was a step that we were hoping would help us get there, but the focus in the long term is the federal government.

As you said, this enthusiasm and this rallying of support, if we can use that to reverse the decision on the pilot, that would be great. If we can use it to get the federal government to help be more concerned, and they shouldn’t be bailing out the Ontario government, but they could be helping Canadians. Then, beyond that, if all else fails and those the things don’t work, I would hope that the outpouring we’re hearing will result in lasting partnerships and stronger allies and relationships that we can help use to build the movement longer term.

Jim: Given the energy here, this really does seem like a key moment in the basic income space, not just in Canada, but around the world. I would imagine that some of our listeners may be interested in helping out to defend the pilot in the various ways that you talked about. Are there ways for people to get involved either people who are in Canada or other places around the world?

Sheila: There are quite a number of things that people have got started already and other things that are being planned or possible. The first thing is that there are a number of petitions out there that people can sign. The more numbers we get on those kinds of things, the better. Maybe a separate international petition could be something interesting.

Some people have advised that one way to put pressure on the Canadian government is to have basic income supporters in other countries contact their Canadian ambassador or high commissioner and transmit to them the message that there is international support for this, that it’s important not just for Canada but for the rest of the world too.

Within Canada, we’ve got people interested in talking to their MPPs in the provincial legislature, or their Members of Parliament, or support of Senators even at the federal level. There are rallies taking place. I’ve been out all day, so I haven’t heard about one that was held in Lindsay today. I hope that went off well because that’s a pilot site, and we were hoping to get good media representation. One of the Lindsay members of the provincial legislature is a cabinet minister, and she is the Minister of Labor. So they’re really hoping to put a little bit of pressure on her.

In the long run, anything that anybody can do to just help people understand what basic income means and why it’s important and help develop a constituency that increasingly will support this. Again, one of the good notes to this, or one of the more positive outcomes we’ve seen, is that it looks like the work that we’ve done already has really paid off.

If this pilot had started, and we had not done our work over the last 10 years and people internationally hadn’t done their work and there weren’t other pilots, if this had come up, nobody really knew what a basic income was or anything about it. This level of support would never have been achieved. We’ve done a lot of good work. We have to continue.

Owen: That was Jim Pugh and Sheila Regehr, Chairperson of the Basic Income Canada Network on the Basic Income Podcast.

Jim: First, it was just generally good to hear from Sheila about what’s happening, to better understand what the situation is, because there’s so many moving pieces right now. This is one of those rare situations in the basic income world where there’s actually a lot happening in the moment. Most of what we do is really planning longer term, thinking about what might happen in the future, and this is happening now. There’s tons moving in response to this cancellation announcement.

Owen: Yes, and now is the time to act, especially if you happen to be in Canada, especially if you’re in Ontario, but there may even be ways that you can at least show your support for this pilot and encourage the Ford administration to change their minds because this is the moment when that might happen.

Jim: And this is — we’ve talked about this. Obviously, there’s very real-world negative consequences if this cancellation happens, these people have been planning on how we’re going to change our lives with this money, and suddenly, that’s potentially being ripped away.

But I thought that something Sheila mentioned is definitely true, which is that Ontario is being viewed as a leader in basic income around the world. This isn’t actually just a Canada issue, this is a global issue. This affects all of our efforts towards basic income. What happens in this moment is going to have ripple effects everywhere.

As you said, if you can, speak out on this, engage in whatever way you’re able to, because this is the moment that can make a difference for all of us.

Owen: The one thing I’ll add to that is the one point I’ve seen by a representative of the Ford administration about why they’re doing this, is that there must be a work disincentive if you’re giving people money for nothing, and they’re saying that without evidence. There’s plenty of evidence that there is no work disincentive. It feels like this is just a philosophical thing that they feel like they can get away with now that they’re in power. It’s worth pointing out that the evidence does not hold up there.

Jim: If you want more evidence, you should let this pilot run its course, because then we’ll actually have even — as you say, there’s a lot already, but assuming it matches what we’ve seen before, that there would be yet more evidence around the fact that this doesn’t actually lead to lots of discouragement of work and potentially increases economic mobility actually.

The one thing I’ll add is that I’m certainly worried about what’s happening here, but at the same time, I am inspired as to how much this is bringing people together around the issue. I think that just feeds into this being just such a big moment in the basic income space right now, that there is so many new potential long-term allies that are getting involved here, and that this is an “all hands on deck” moment where something big is happening.

Owen: Yes, absolutely. This obviously is going to be an uphill climb to get an actual basic income in a country such as Canada or the US. Yes, these are big moments. But it’s nice to see that in these big moments, we have a lot of support rallying around.

Jim: Absolutely.

Owen: That’ll do it for this episode of a Basic Income Podcast. Thank you to our producer Erick Davidson. Please subscribe on Apple Podcasts or the service of your choice, and please tell your friends, because we are always trying to grow this movement and bring more people into the conversation. We’ll talk to you next week.

Basic Income at the City Level, Featuring Mark MacKinnon

The Basic Income Podcast
The Basic Income Podcast
Basic Income at the City Level, Featuring Mark MacKinnon

How would a basic income within a city affect how that city operates? To delve into this question, Jim and Owen spoke to Mark MacKinnon, City Councillor in Guelph, Ontario. The conversation ranges from the effects a basic income could have on local businesses to how the political appetite might change for other city improvements. MacKinnon also touches on the basic income pilot that just began in three cities within Ontario.

Basic Income Q&A: How to Pay for It, Which Country Will Go First, and More

The Basic Income Podcast
The Basic Income Podcast
Basic Income Q&A: How to Pay for It, Which Country Will Go First, and More

Jim and Owen answer listener questions from how to pay for basic income, which country will implement a basic income first and how we will get there. You can send your questions to the Universal Income Project on Facebook or Twitter, or tweet at Owen (@owenpoindexter) or Jim (@dr_pugh).


Episode Transcript

Owen: Hello and welcome to the Basic Income Podcast. I’m Owen Poindexter.

Jim: And I’m Jim Pugh.

Owen: A while back we asked you for questions about the basic income, and a number of you responded. In this episode, we are just going to go through a few of those.

Jim: Unfortunately, we’re not going to be able to get to everyone’s question, but we did have a few that we thought would be good ones to start with. Here goes.

Owen: Alright. The first one is from Abigail Irwin, it came in through Facebook, “Here is the one big question I keep getting: how is it going to be funded?”

Jim: I would say for me as well, this is a question that people ask all the time. Since we’re talking about such a big program, people are naturally curious about, “Alright, where does the funding come from here?” One thing that I’ve mentioned before that I think is really important to remember is a lot of the conceptions we have right now about what the government “can or cannot afford” are really not based on reality.

That if you look at our economy and how much it’s grown over recent years, there’s actually so much money out there. Our Gross Domestic Product over the last 15 years has grown by four trillion dollars. Just taking a big picture snapshot, it’s important to know that there is money out there.

Owen: Yes and on top of that, I’ll say that while I think it’s important to talk about how are we going to pay for things, the government is very willing to drop billions of dollars on some programs without having this discussion. It’s only around new big programs where we do say, “Okay, well, where is that money going to come from because we haven’t already baked that in.”

Jim: We do see often around things like military spending, spending tens of billions of dollars ready at the drop of a hat is not uncommon, but as soon as we talk about billions or even hundreds of millions of dollars for social programs, people suddenly get very nervous about how we’re going to actually afford that.

Owen: And getting more into, “okay, how is it going to be funded?” — obviously, there are a number of ways you could do it. If you structure it as a negative income tax, you could just have a tax that runs backwards essentially. At a certain income level, you receive money instead of pay money in. That’s one way to do it where you don’t have to touch anything else.

Jim: Something I would add to that is, with negative income tax, one concern that I know people have is that if you’re actually not giving the same amount to different people, that could complicate the logistics figuring out, “alright, how do we actually assess someone’s income in the moment and decide alright, how big is the check we mail to them?” You can actually accomplish exactly the same thing using the tax code. You can structure it so that you give everyone the same amount of money every month regardless of how much they’re making but then make sure that you’re actually clawing back more of that money earlier on, based on how much they’re making when you’re actually assessing taxes. The same way you do now as far as withholding from paychecks.

Owen: Right, and just to offer a crude version of that, you could impose a flat tax and the revenue from that would just be turned into a dividend that would go equally to everyone. So everyone is paying the same percentage of their income into the basic income fund, but the way it works out is that at a certain point, you are paying and receiving about the same amount, and everyone above that ends up paying more, but they still get the dividend.

Jim: To give some more specific, since I want to actually make sure that we do give an answer to this question, there are actually a lot of different ideas for how we fund this out there. Depending on who you ask, you’re going to get different answers. Some of the most common ones that I hear proposed, one is the idea of — I think, particularly as the starting point — looking at the Carbon Dividend.

We’ve talked about that in the past. There was a proposal in California. There is currently, in fact, a campaign in Washington, DC around taxing carbon and paying out to revenue that comes in as a universal income, as universal dividends to people in the region. That could at the very least provide us with a powerful first step towards basic income by saying, “alright we’re setting up the system that gives everyone equally regular payments of money.”

Owen: I think that Carbon Dividend idea is my favorite in this whole space because it does start to address climate change as well. It takes this idea that we have shared resources, in this case, the air and the environment and that we are all invested in this whether we want to be or not. By taxing the use of the environment essentially which is a shared resource then we can all benefit from it.

Along the same lines, though very different, is the Financial Transactions Tax. That’s another one that gets thrown in periodically. We all benefit from the infrastructure of our financial system, and some businesses and people use that quite a lot to conduct business, trade stocks, whatever. By having just a very small fee on financial transactions, you could also do the same thing and fund the basic income.

Jim: Another one that often gets discussed is the idea that a Land Value Tax, where you’re assessing the value of any given piece of property that either a person or a corporation might own, and then saying, “we’re going to set some low level of taxation so that every month or every year, you are paying a certain amount based on the value of that piece of land.” Not just the land itself, but what’s actually on the land.

One thing that I think is really interesting about the Land Value Tax is it actually starts to get closer to the idea of a wealth tax. Something that is taxing not just how much money people are bringing in, but how much they actually own. Land isn’t a perfect measure of someone’s wealth, but it tends to be pretty close a lot of the time. That could help not only with providing the support that you get from basic income but also to share prosperity and share wealth across the country by really looking at that as the source of the funding.

Owen: Right. I think this is an important concept because while income is easy to track, or easy enough, a lot of the disparity that we see in the world is through wealth, and an actual wealth tax is very hard to administer because unless you have some way to track all forms of wealth, people are going to be able to move it around to not be taxed. But land is always there. You can’t pick it up and move it somewhere else. It does tend to be a good proxy for a holding place for wealth, especially in California, where we are.

Lastly, we can touch on general progressive taxation. We mentioned the income tax before but it doesn’t have to be a flat tax. It could be a progressive tax that increases as you go into higher income levels. There’s also a capital gains tax and perhaps others that you could mention.

Jim: Yes. Touching on the capital gains, right now we have the level of that set considerably lower than income. What that’s effectively doing is saying, sitting on wealth, you and the amount of money you get from that, you’re actually paying less in taxes and someone who’s working for the money.

Owen: You see those incentives pretty clearly in the market.

Jim: Right, exactly. That’s actually encouraging people to hoard rather than to spend. Also, again, if you look at the various campaigns that are going on around different policies, you’ll hear people talking about closing tax loopholes as well, particularly for corporations. There’s a lot of ways that companies are able to avoid what is the supposed tax rate that they might owe, due to how complex the tax code is in many places.

Owen: Hopefully, that gives you a sense of how we might fund the basic income. There are a lot of paths to do it, a lot of different sources you might look to. It should be said there’s no one answer to this. I’ve said this before the first step in creating a basic income is deciding that we want one. Once you have that destination, there are a bunch of paths to get there.

Jim: Right. I think it’s important to remember that oftentimes when we talk about these big bold policies, we know they’re going to cost a lot, but in most cases, we don’t necessarily have to go through all the math right upfront. It’s important to just know that yes, the funds exist out there. Let’s think about what this is going to do for people and then if this is actually something that’s going to help folks, let’s fight to make it happen.

Owen: Okay. Next question comes from Darcy Lengthier — hoping I’m pronouncing your name right, Darcy. “Which country will be next?” I have a couple guesses, and they’re pretty unoriginal.


Jim: Yes, we’ll probably have similar answers here. I would say any country that’s currently doing a pilot for basic income is probably pretty high on the list for ones that have potential to enact one. We talked about this before, but Finland launched their pilots in the last year. Ontario in Canada just launched their pilot. We do have the pilot happening in Oakland through Y Combinator, but it’s a little bit of a different situation since it’s a private entity funding it. I wouldn’t read quite as much into that as these programs that are actually being initiated by national governments and what that signifies as far as intentions.

Owen: I think my first pick in the draft would be Canada because they’re doing a pilot, and it feels like this federal government that seems like it would be ready to try something like this at least in terms of a Carbon Dividend or even like an Alaska style, natural wealth kind of thing.

Jim: That said, I think that there certainly are other countries out there talking seriously about it. Particularly for some of the smaller countries, if the people in power decided alright, this is a priority for us, if it was a country that was in a situation that have a reasonable amount of wealth or a lower cost of living for their population, they could potentially move pretty quickly to enact something.

Owen: I wouldn’t put Switzerland at the top of the list right now, but they have already had the referendum. It’s a small country with a lot of wealth. The math is a little easier there.

Jim: I think the big answer is, we don’t know. I think as far as what country will do pilots next, we haven’t talked about it much, but Barcelona is in the process of getting a pilot going. I do know there’s a lot of others that are in these discussion phases if not quite ready to launch.

Owen: The one last thing I’ll throw in there is, if you were to say the five most likely countries or the field, I’m probably going to take the field. I could see this coming out of somewhere unexpected or somewhere we’re not figured out right now.

Jim: Absolutely. Our third question is, “what kind of timeline are we looking at for America as a whole to implement basic income?” That came from Tim Kelly on Twitter.

Owen: Maybe December, January?


Jim: They’re just about there.

Owen: More seriously, I think one step might be to have this become more mainstream within the Left / Democratic Party in the US. If and when the Democrats take back power, maybe we could see something like a Carbon Dividend. I could see that happening in the 2020s, to give a decade.

Jim: If we can have it in 2020, I would be very happy. That is probably a little sooner than I was–

Owen: It’s a bit aggressive.

Jim: I would say, I generally tell people that if those of us who support the policy approach this right, 15 years seems like a reasonable timeline. That said, I think this is a kind of policy where it’s going to be very, very far off until it’s not. I think that there’s going to be nothing linear about the progression of the basic income movement. It’s going to be those of us who are in the space talking about it, getting more people hearing about it. Really writing the playbook for how this might happen, and then it’s going to be a question of when is that moment.

When is that moment when suddenly people are like, “Oh, we need something really different. We actually need to guarantee fundamental economic security for people. How do we do that?” If at that point, we have really set the stage for basic income, it could happen really, really fast.

Owen: I agree. I used to think of self-driving cars and trucks as the moment when everything was going to flip. I have actually backed off that a little bit just because they’re already on the road. This is already happening, and it hasn’t really catalyzed a discussion in a way that means policy is going to happen very soon, but I think we might see something at some point where one day Amazon lays off thousands or tens of thousands of workers. It’s them, plus Google, plus others, and it creates some amount of desperation where people are looking for a policy fix.

Jim: I will say, I don’t think we haven’t seen any significant amount of layoffs around self-driving vehicles.

Owen: Right. That could still happen.

Jim: It’s something that I know at this point, a lot of people think could be coming relatively soon, but how that will actually proceed? I think we’ll have to see. I will say I think I’ve been struck by how much people’s perception about the fundamental characteristics of work have changed in the last couple of years. That two years back, I felt like most people believed that the way that we do work would stay — I think stay is actually the wrong word because it was already shifting at that point, but could remain similar to how we did that in the 20th century.

Now, I think more and more people recognized that that model for how our labor space operates just is — there isn’t a way to go back. We are in uncharted territories here. We do need to be thinking more outside the box as far as what are the right policies to provide people with security they need.

Owen: I think just to add a little bit onto that. The moments that might catalyze something might just be something where we realize that we are in uncharted territory, the collectively “we.” Because I think we’re already there. We are already into the woods, and we’ve lost our map. But you don’t necessarily know that until some day, you woke up, and you realize you’ve lost the path. Sort of a strange metaphor for us [laughs].

I think it’ll be as much a realization of where we already are than something where we get to a point and, yeah, we are there.

Jim: We’ve meandered a bit from the original question here. So if we had to name a timeline, I would say I’m going to stick with 15 years.

Owen: Okay, I’m going to go Price Is Right style and just take the under on that one.

Jim: [laughs] 14 years?

Owen: Aggressively optimistic there. On the Price Is Right, you say one year and then you get all the years below that, the below years. This is a very dated reference, I’m realizing. I don’t know think that show is even on the air anymore. Haven’t watched TV in a while. Okay, related question, also the final question, “how do we get there?” So, Jim, how do we get there?

Jim: Well, this is asked by StepUpBG on Twitter, and we covered a little bit of this in the last question. I truly believe that the right approach to move towards basic income is to say that right now, we are laying groundwork. We are doing the things that make basic income more familiar, more understood and so that once we get that moment, we can say, “Alright, we got this. We know what this is. We’re ready to go. Let’s make this happen.”

Owen: I think you find, at least in America, that often the first time people hear of this policy — maybe less so, I’m getting this reaction less and less — but the most common first reaction is some amount of shock towards the idea of just giving people money unconditionally. I think people do need to sit with the idea for a little bit, and it needs to penetrate into more circles and become something that people are less afraid of talking about.

Jim: Right, I think part of that is just talking to more people about basic income and what it might do, having it be a more familiar concept that people they know and trust actually think this could be a really good solution and I think part of that is looking at what are the stepping stone policies that, in practice, can actually show people more what this is about. I think what to makes sense to go back to here is looking at the Alaska model and how the fact that everyone there is getting an unconditional payment every year is actually something that makes this whole thing make more sense to people a lot of the time.

Owen: Yes, and along that, I’m very excited about the trials in Ontario that just started and the upcoming one’s run by Y Combinator because those will be real trials, real stories, real people who are benefiting, so then it’ll be that much less abstract and that much closer.

Jim: I think those stories are going to be important and then what I would really like to see is for some city or state in the US to enact some small universal dividend in the same style as the Alaska model because I think that it’s that combination of hearing the stories of people who are getting full basic income and then yourself receiving this smaller additional income. Suddenly the intellectual leap between everyone getting basic income is much, much less than it is today.

Owen: I’m of the mind that $100 a month, even though we usually talk in terms of around 1,000, something like a 100 could be transformative for a lot of people and, if not transformative, would make a big difference. You would feel it.

Jim: If you’re scraping by, 100 a month is a game changer.

Owen: Yes, and speaking from my own experience, I wouldn’t say I’m scraping by, but I’d love $100 a month. [laughs] That wouldn’t be nothing.

So, how do we get there? I think a lot of what we’re already doing, and hopefully more trials, more support, more talking about it, more and more podcast episodes.

Jim: I think this is one where all y’all listeners can actually play a big role here. Again, make sure you are talking to people about this, looking for ways that you can push the idea forward. That’s actually what’s going to help make this happen.

Owen: So thank you to everyone who sent in questions. Please keep those coming, you can send them to myself @owenpoindexter at Twitter or Jim, you’re @dr_pugh there.

Jim: Or just tweet out the Universal Income Project, @UIProj on Twitter. We’ll get them there too.

Owen: Or you can find the Universal Income Project on Facebook as well.

Thank you so much for listening to the Basic Income Podcast. Thank you to our producer, Erick Davidson. Again, please tell your friends, talk about basic income, talk about the podcast. This could be a good conversation starter for them. Subscribe if you have not already on Apple Podcast or the service of your choice. And while you’re there, please do leave us a rating or review. It’ll help more people find the podcast. See you next week.

Dr. Evelyn Forget on Mincome & Basic Income in Canada

The Basic Income Podcast
The Basic Income Podcast
Dr. Evelyn Forget on Mincome & Basic Income in Canada

Canada’s basic income trials in trials in the 70s–the “Mincome” experiments–were largely forgotten until Dr. Evelyn Forget found records of the Mincome trials and individuals who had received a basic income. She discusses what she found, and the implications for Canada’s upcoming trials in Ontario.

Senator Art Eggleton on the Ontario Basic Income Pilot

The Basic Income Podcast
The Basic Income Podcast
Senator Art Eggleton on the Ontario Basic Income Pilot

We spoke with Senator Art Eggleton of Ontario on the upcoming pilot program, which will supply a basic income to 4,000 people in three cities across the province of Ontario. Eggleton described the rationale for the trial and where we might see future basic income experiments across Canada.