Guaranteed Annual Income Striving To Execute Utopia
Many people are aghast over the latest scheme by Ontario’s social engineers — Premier Kathleen Wynne’s Liberal government — to grant a Guaranteed Annual Income (GAI) unconditionally to citizens without a means test or a requirement or expectation to work.
Wynne has joined the GAI vanguard by committing to a pilot project to test the merits of a system that has recently gained global attention — notably in Switzerland, which resoundingly rejected a referendum proposal to pay every man, woman and child $40,000 (Cdn) a year.
Windsor Essex has eagerly petitioned the province to pick us as the pilot community. Everybody is seemingly on board, including Mayor Drew Dilkens and Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce President Matt Marchand.
Without knowing exactly how GAI would work, I can hardly blame regional officialdom for pursuing the pilot. The utopia would be that our citizens would all receive the free money for a few years, paid fully by the province. There would be no beggars on the street and everybody would have disposable income to pump into the local economy.
I would be surprised if we are chosen, since we have three NDP MPPs, and Sarnia Mayor Mike Bradley, a long-time Liberal, is also applying. The nod would likely go to a much smaller community that would require less largesse, like Dauphin, Manitoba, a town of 8,200 that was selected for a minimum income pilot between 1974 and 1979. One third of the people in that community qualified as below the poverty line and received monthly cheques. The program was shut down after its reported $17 million budget was exhausted.
There is more to this complex issue than meets the eye, and Marchand’s stance proves it.
Voices of business or fiscal conservatism have advocated for universal Basic Income for many years. These include Richard Nixon, in 1969, when he was the Republican Party’s U.S. President, and claimed GAI would abolish poverty.