This and that for your Tuesday reading.
- Armine Yalnizyan points out
the choice between a basic income and the provision of basic services, while making a strong case to focus on the latter:
At the federal level, the cost of raising everyone’s income above the poverty line is an estimated $30 billion a year. The Alternative Federal Budget shows we could permanently expand the stock of affordable housing, child care, and public transit; and almost eliminate user costs for pharmacare, dental care and post-secondary schooling for half the annual cost ($15 billion).
After a decade, we would have expanded access to more high-quality, affordable necessities of life, not just for the poor but for everyone.
A little more, and you could have free access to community and recreation centre programming, expanded mental health services, universal access to low-cost internet, and more legal aid. The net result: greater participation, greater mobility, greater potential, greater health.
Both a basic income and a basic service model put more money in people’s pockets, one with a cash transfer, one by offsetting the costs of necessities.
Basic income requires everyone to pay more to provide a small number of our most vulnerable neighbours more choice and more dignity. Basic service also requires we pay more, and also helps the most vulnerable, but benefits everyone by making incomes and markets matter less. It builds both potential and solidarity, and is a far easier sell in an era of slow growth.
Basic income talk has fired imaginations across the globe. Mr. Segal’s exercise offers a unique opportunity to test whether we’re better off when we have more income, or need less of it.- Meanwhile, Susan Prentice, Linda White and Martha Friendly offer
a useful outline to build a national child care system. And Bill Curry reports
on this week's health care summit - though there's reason for concern in both the Libs' unwillingness to negotiate funding with the provinces, and their apparent inclination to eliminate universality in favour of means-testing.
- And in case we needed a reminder as to the importance of shared knowledge of problems, Elizabeth Payne reports
on how a week of management eating the meals previously served to patients at the Ottawa Hospital led to a revamping of the menu.
- Larry Elliott reports
on the Institute for Fiscal Studies' report showing that the insecurity now facing middle-class families in the UK is comparable to the burden on households recognized as living in poverty a generation ago. But on the bright side, Jessica Elgot writes
about Labour's plan for a national investment bank to both spur economic development, and give the public a greater stake in prosperity.
- Finally, Andrew Mitrovica points out
why we should be skeptical of the security state's attempts to proclaim itself essential in the wake of attacks which it can never prevent.