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  1. #1
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    Canada is betting on a universal basic income to help cities gutted by manufacturing

    The Liberal Party


    Of all the ideas to pull people out of poverty, one of the more contentious is also the simplest: governments should just hand out monthly checks to the poor, no strings attached.

    That’s exactly what the Canadian province of Ontario plans to do, and it’s already causing a ruckus. The Liberal Party currently in control of the provincial government aims to roll out a pilot for a “universal basic income” program in three cities in the spring of 2017. While it has yet to identify the three guinea pigs, hints of what the system will look like can be found in a discussion paper authored last August by Hugh Segal, a former member of the Canadian Senate and now head of the University of Toronto’s Massey College.

    Segal recommended setting the handout at a minimum of three-quarters of Canada’s official poverty line. At that level, a single adult would receive an annual basic income of $16,989, almost double the $8,472 max payment under the province’s current welfare program.

    Over 1.7 million people in Ontario live on incomes below the poverty line—$20,676 for a single person, or $41,351 for a household of four, according to 2011 data compiled by Statistics Canada. Many of the province’s poor were laid off between 2000 and 2007 as jobs evaporated in the auto industry and other manufacturing sectors.

    One of the hardest-hit cities is Oshawa, which has battled to overcome a series of cutbacks at what was once one of General Motors’ biggest plants in North America. Ben Earle, a social planner with Durham Workforce Authority, a local think tank, estimates that the city, located about an hour’s drive east of Toronto, has lost 4,000 jobs over the past 15 years. He expects many of those jobs will never return. Thousands of former auto workers are now in precarious jobs “that are lower pay, contract-based, [and have] lower benefits—if they have benefits at all, ” Earle says.

    Ontario as a whole makes up about 40% of Canada’s total economic output. A centerpiece of the Liberals’ economic policy is to replace traditional manufacturing with new “knowledge-based” jobs in areas such as medical research and financial technology.

    Many economists think a universal basic income could help drive that shift. “It’s time [we] start considering some kind of basic income because of the changing nature of work due to automation,” says Chris Ballard, the minister responsible for the basic income initiative.

    “If it is done right and universally accessible, it could provide opportunities for people to either explore entrepreneurship because they wouldn’t have to worry about their basic needs being covered, at least for a short period of time while they develop a business concept,” says Earle. “Similarly, it could be used to back up [people] who want to go back to school. Someone could make the choice to take time out of work to return to education in order to advance their skill set.”

    In addition to Segal’s 101-page discussion paper, Ontario sought feedback from 40 experts, and conducted 14 public consultations on the feasibility of a universal basic income. Not everyone was enthusiastic.

    Critics say testing basic income puts off meaningful action to address poverty. Karl Widerquist, associate professor in political philosophy and an economist at Georgetown University in Washington, DC, says the danger is in giving the Ontario government an excuse to put off more expensive policy changes, like addressing the inadequacy of social welfare rates or raising the minimum wage. Similarly, David Macdonald, senior economist at the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, is concerned that if it truly becomes universal, the resulting price tag would force the government to cut other social programs to compensate. (The Ontario government has committed to the pilot in their budget but exact costs and where the money will come from have yet to be sorted out. )

    Others don’t trust the government to succeed in implementing a basic income, given its track record: two earlier poverty-reduction strategies, which both proposed far-reaching structural reforms, have changed nothing, says Mike Balkwill who represents anti-poverty groups in Ontario, including a campaign called Put Food in the Budget. “This government really hasn’t done anything for people in deep poverty,” says Balkwill. The moves towards a basic income are just another “consultation merry-go-round.”

    Instead of waiting around another three years to see the results of a pilot, he and other anti-poverty advocates are calling for an immediate raise to existing social assistance rates in the province to provide some relief for poor people.
    The government received over 34,000 responses to their recent web surveys, the most ever for an online consultation in the province. Although staff are still reviewing the data collected, the government said in an email that feedback received has generally been supportive of a basic income pilot. A report on what they heard will be available later this winter.

    Widerquist says the Ontario pilot will be good for the basic income discussion generally if it’s designed and measured well—we need more test cases and better data to decide whether it has the potential to work in a broader application.

    Success, he adds, should not be measured simply by whether the poor are encouraged to go out and find work, since recipients may stay unemployed for longer compared to people receiving current welfare benefits because in theory they’d be more inclined to further their education or to take more time to find the right job. In addition, basic income, Widerquist argues, could improve an individual’s overall well-being, thereby offsetting healthcare costs, and act as an incentive for employers to provide better wages and job security. Once people have options, he says, companies are more inclined to offer more competitive job packages.

    Various other jurisdictions have experimented with a universal basic income system. A basic income pilot—called Mincome—was tried in Manitoba, Canada in the 1970s. Due to lack of funding the project was cut short and not fully analyzed. Similar trials have been done in the US, showing mixed results.

    India is right now seriously considering implementing a basic income nationwide after three pilots showed positive impacts on health and labor, benefiting mostly girls, women, and the disabled. Half a world away, Finland started a pilot program on Jan. 9 in which, for the next two years, about 2,000 randomly chosen unemployed Finns will receive €560 per month instead of welfare. They are not required to look for a job, but if they do work they will continue to receive the benefit.

    Guy Standing, a professor at the University of London in England who has studied the basic income idea for 30 years, predicts that recent and ongoing experiments will go a long way to legitimize it as a serious policy option. In North America, a US technology company, Y Combinator, is funding a pilot. “The design is still yet to be finalized,” says Standing, who is helping plan the pilot. “I can say it is going to be [for] two communities.” And Canada’s smallest province, Prince Edward Island, announced plans last December to test basic income for its 149,000 residents.
    https://qz.com/914247/canada-is-bett...ring-job-loss/

  2. #2
    Thailand Expat misskit's Avatar
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  3. #3
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    I edited already its at the bottom

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    This guaranteed income thing has been kicked around for many years in Canada and some other places. The Swiss recently had a referendum on introducing such a plan in Switzerland, but it got shot down by the voters.

    Doubt if Texas will be bringing one of these in for the next 500 yeas or so.......
    I blame the Americans......and Thaksin.

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    Think there is a similar trial in Finland and there will be more.
    Governments for the most part aren't preparing for whats coming job wise.
    Japanese government has estimated that within 20 years 50 percent of all jobs will be automated, robotics and computers.

    When you lose real tax paying jobs, where does the government get it's income, think Detroit, not a bright future.

    That Musk fellow, says robots [automation etc] should be taxed at the same rate as the people they replace, or there will be no tax payers left to run the governments.

    A replacement system has to be found, or there will be no pensions, no welfare and no jobs.

    I'm back in Australia at the moment [Victoria] and the biggest growth industry is prisons, no real tax paying job growth and no plans for new industries.

    As said on another thread, driver-less cars are here as will delivery vans, trucks etc lot of people out of work there soon.

    Brave new world coming.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by koman
    Doubt if Texas will be bringing one of these in for the next 500 yeas or so.......
    Nope that'll be a California law next week though. Dont even need to be American either - get yo check and get yo democrat voter registration card all in one go

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    Thailand Expat misskit's Avatar
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    I reckon the USA will have universal basic income when driverless transport trucks take the jobs of the 30% of males who drive for a living. Will be difficult to find work for all of those long distance truck drivers who don't have any other skills.

    Just a matter of time.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by misskit
    I reckon the USA will have universal basic income when driverless transport trucks take the jobs of the 30% of males who drive for a living. Will be difficult to find work for all of those long distance truck drivers who don't have any other skills.

    Just a matter of time.
    Disagree. Its not gonna happen over night and truck drivers & owners will get into the business of owning the driverless trucks etc...

    This kind of thing happens the world over and all throughout time. Things become outdated and people move on.

    Your talking some terminator shit happening over night

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    Alvin Toffler wrote about the future of what he called 'the gods and the clods" where having a job would be a privilege and only a small part of society would actually work. Only the brightest and best would be able to have jobs while the majority would live life in some kind of feckless existence supported by the state......there are places where this vision of the world is already underway.

  10. #10
    Thailand Expat misskit's Avatar
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    Not Terminator shit. Think of how fast computers or cell phones caught on and evolved from the time they were first introduced to the public until now when practically everyone owns and uses them.


    Daimler said 10 years until they sell autonomous trucks for the road and that was two years ago.

    Forbes Welcome

    Self-driving trucks: what's the future for America's 3.5 million truckers?


    The race is on to get driverless trucks on the roads, and experts say the impact on professional drivers ‘is going to be huge’

    https://www.theguardian.com/technolo...rivers-jobs-us


    Just giving everyone a share of the profits of their country seems a good way to keep the minions from getting out the pitchforks.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by jamescollister View Post
    That Musk fellow, says robots [automation etc] should be taxed at the same rate as the people they replace, or there will be no tax payers left to run the governments.
    It was Bill Gates who said that.

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    France is thinking about implementing it,

    and to social tax robots to pay for it,

    a good idea actually,

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    As crazy as this idea sounds (and as much as the right wing will hate it on pure principle) the reality is at some point, whether in ten years or a hundred, automated workers are going to become standard across a lot of industries.

    This is new, its not the same as the past. The scale of these changes will be totally unprecedented.

    The question is, how do people eat and live when jobs become incredibly scarce in a world where machines have become cheaper and more efficient than men? I don't know the answer, but I'm glad people are starting to think about it and to test ways to address it because its coming. Whether universal income is the answer or not remains to be seen....

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    Where does all the money come from to pay everyone a universal basic income, most countries finances are fuked as it is. What they going to do get the printing presses working overtime leading to a devalued currency and hyper inflation.

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    Thailand Expat misskit's Avatar
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    Just read an interesting interview in The Atlantic. Yuval Harari speaks of a future where governments don't need people any longer and lose motivation to help them at all.

    The Post-Human World

    A conversation about the end of work, individualism, and the human species with the historian Yuval Harari

    https://www.theatlantic.com/business...-world/517206/

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    Quote Originally Posted by buriramboy
    Where does all the money come from to pay everyone a universal basic income
    It will come from automation you dumb old bastard. The reason that the smart people are calling for it is that they are driving industry forward that will put a lot of working class people out of work.

    Those of us that work in the tech industry can identify numerous jobs that will disappear in the next 5-10 years. Lorry/Truck drivers will be some of the first out of work. The list goes on from there.

    The oligarchy will have no choice as most of the working class will no longer have jobs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bsnub View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by buriramboy
    Where does all the money come from to pay everyone a universal basic income
    It will come from automation you dumb old bastard. The reason that the smart people are calling for it is that they are driving industry forward that will put a lot of working class people out of work.

    Those of us that work in the tech industry can identify numerous jobs that will disappear in the next 5-10 years. Lorry/Truck drivers will be some of the first out of work. The list goes on from there.
    You really haven't thought things through have you, not surprising really seeing as you are dumb as fuk, now obviously companies save money from automation but the savings they make aren't going to be able to pay everyone a universal wage, governments may choose to tax companies more but the increased revenue will come nowhere needed to pay the extra millions of people a universal wage. Now I understand basic maths is probably beyond a laptop cleaner but if you're not too drunk to cleaning fumes have a little think.

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    If machines replace workers (and there is no doubt they the have and will continue to do so at an increasing rate) ; those people who have no access to work would still need an income. If they have no income, they can't pay for goods or services.....so what are all the machines going to do?

    Robot machines can manufacture and process all kinds of things and provide all kinds of services, but if most of the population can't offer anything in exchange for any of it, the system kinda gets fooked up......and that is why some form of wealth distribution will be essential to maintain any kind of economy.

    Just imagine a society full of people with nothing to do; living on government benefits; all bored stiff. and just arguing all day over petty issues, with strangers on an internet forum, while the minority of smart people are busy at work making nearly all the money.......oh dear, could such a thing be possible.....not a very bright future for most.

    It may of course all turn out quite differently if things keep going the way they are presently.....with that doomsday clock ticking away the last hours of live on earth.....

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    Quote Originally Posted by misskit View Post
    I reckon the USA will have universal basic income when driverless transport trucks take the jobs of the 30% of males who drive for a living. Will be difficult to find work for all of those long distance truck drivers who don't have any other skills.

    Just a matter of time.
    Time of reckoning and extreme adjustment of lifestyles might be in order.

    The propped up illusion is beginning to collapse.

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    The driverless delivery vehicle may be being overhyped.
    Who unloads at the point of delivery(s) and checks the consignments.
    Help yourself! - I don't think so.
    A bit of work to be done before we remove the human element.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bsnub View Post
    The oligarchy will have no choice as most of the working class will no longer have jobs.
    Digital danegeld, effectively.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Iceman123
    The driverless delivery vehicle may be being overhyped. Who unloads at the point of delivery(s) and checks the consignments.
    The driver-less thieves trucks will stop the driver-less delivery trucks. The thieves just need to stop in front and behind. The "safety feature" will kick in and the truck is helpless.

    The thieving robots will steal all the goods and put them in their own truck. And away they go to virtual barter town. There the arbitrage robots select what they want for themselves. Within seconds the stolen goods are offered at a discount and a middleman (robot) orders the stolen goods.

    The driver-less delivery truck trundles off to deliver the empty container. The "just in time" goods receiving robot realises the goods are gone. His robot purchaser searches for the nearest or quickest robot seller and hey presto they find just what they are looking for.

    Happens already but with humans instead of robots.

    Who would have thought a Logistics degree would be so sought after.
    A tray full of GOLD is not worth a moment in time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainNemo
    Digital danegeld, effectively.
    Indeed.

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    that's when 4K Virtual Reality glasses will become handy,

    no job, universal pay for everyone, and while the smart machines do all the work, the majority of people will be in their bed watching and wanking on reality TV 24/7 like they were actually there. Since they will cost close to nothing, the universal pay will be for feeding them with tubes.

    They will be having a blast and hooked to that 4K TV and not even know they are no longer in reality. And who needs reality when everyone can become a star on virtual reality TV fucking hot girls, driving nice cars and having the life they will never have.

    Matrix 1 might have been closer to reality more than we ever realized

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    Quote Originally Posted by OhOh
    a Logistics degree
    A logistics degree? How did you organize that?

    No robot delivery trucks as the proletariat will not have enough funds to buy anything.

    But yes taxing robots like workers makes sense as the humans have stopped paying to support other humans so let the working robots support the humans. In fact tax on working robots should be higher than that for human workers, if the government has to pay the ex-workers who now have no jobs.

    Isn't this the longest period in recent history without a large war of some kind? Humans are getting fat and complacent and think they can always live a life of sunshine with birds singing, la,la,la.

    Fortunately Canada has lots of space for people to go "off grid" and fend for themselves. The downside being that if the trains are robotized the train robot cannot throw you the Globe and Mail when it passes in the morning.
    Last edited by VocalNeal; 22-02-2017 at 02:59 PM.
    Better to think inside the pub, than outside the box?
    I apologize if any offence was caused. unless it was intended.
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