Thursday, February 23, 2017 by JD Heyes
Our neighbor to the north, Canada, has always been a greater champion of socialist-leaning public policies than even our Democratic Party (though that seems to be changing), but the province of Ontario is set to take a giant step down the road to full-on socialism: Providing a “basic income” to people by the spring of this year.
As reported by Quartz, the idea has already run into major opposition from some sectors of society, but no matter. The ruling Liberal Party in Ontario will soon launch a pilot “universal basic income” to residents in as many as three cities later this year. And though complete details of the plan have not yet been formally announced by the provincial government, a discussion paper written in August by Hugh Segal, a former Canadian Senate member and current chief of the University of Toronto’s Massey College, provides some insight.
Titled, “Finding a Better Way: A Basic Income Pilot Project for Ontario,” the paper claims that the program seeks to “test a new approach to reducing poverty in a sustainable way.” Further, the paper claims that the program would “build on the successes of minimum wage policies and increases in child benefits” as it provides “more consistent and predictable support” to people.
In other words, the government of Ontario is simply going to write checks to people (or directly deposit into their accounts) a certain amount of money each month, no questions asked.
As Quartz noted:
Segal recommended piloting in at least three cities, one urban, one rural and one in close collaboration with a First Nations community, and 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.
So, why is the idea even being suggested? Backers like Segal say it’s because of rising unemployment across the country. In Ontario alone, thousands of unemployed lost jobs between 2000 and 2007, during a dramatic downsizing of jobs in the automobile industry and manufacturing sectors.
Seems like NAFTA has not only resulted in a net loss of jobs from the U.S. to Mexico but also from Canada to Mexico. (RELATED: Minimum wage hikes have put 200,000 Americans out of work)
Canadian domestic planners and socioeconomic experts know that most of the jobs that have vanished will never come back. And they say that as a result, thousands of Canadians who used to do pretty well in manufacturing industries have now been forced to take lower-paying contract jobs, many without benefits.
Sounds like exactly what has taken place in the U.S. The difference is, Trudeau is no Donald Trump, the latter of whom has made the repatriation of jobs to the U.S. one of his top domestic priorities.
So, what’s wrong with government providing people with a “basic income?” Isn’t that the humane thing to do? (RELATED: The Only Prediction That Really Matters For 2017: The Global Debt Collapse Begins)
Hardly. That’s how slaves are made, and it’s how governments become all-powerful. Basic incomes can never meet or exceed the earning potential of someone who is incentivized by the free market to advance himself or herself through hard work, education and innovation. In fact, as we’ve seen with the massive welfare programs in the United States, which is all a ‘basic income’ is, such policies only reduce motivation and incentive as people get accustomed to “being taken care of” by a nanny government.
Critics of Ontario’s plan also point out how current and past welfare programs have failed to reduce poverty (in fact, they have probably increased it, much in the same way that artificially inflating minimum wages reduces employment).
Some economists say Canadian regions hardest hit by industrial and manufacturing job losses should focus more on creating and growing knowledge- and technology-based industries. Fine. But implementing another social welfare giveaway program won’t hasten that development, as basic income backers claim, and will only further worsen Ontario’s finances while dampening entrepreneurial spirit and innovation.
Because why put in the work to innovate when you are getting paid not to?
J.D. Heyes is a senior writer for NaturalNews.com and NewsTarget.com, as well as editor of The National Sentinel.