some notes on GAI Pride

The headline reads:

To end poverty, guarantee everyone in Canada $20,000 a year.

It goes on to ask if we are willing to trust the poor. I ask if the headline writers are willing to go fuck themselves.

I want to start a discussion about a Guaranteed Annual Income. Ending poverty is a necessary step toward strengthening our democracy. I usually say we don’t live in a democracy, because Canadian democracy is so weak, the term shouldn’t be used. It would be more accurate to call our form of state an oligarchy.

But the question should we trust the poor, reveals economic inequality, in practical terms. Words like equality and justice are mere abstractions in a state where poverty exists. What exactly are we trusting the poor to do, or not do, if they were given the means to feed themselves and protect themselves from the weather? What about the working poor who could them tell their exploitive employers to go fuck themselves? Are we to trust that this will happen or are we trusting that a completely oppressed and marginalized group when freed from a state of complete lack will continue to be silent? What about parents? Would  GAI end daycare worries? Would the end of daycare worries, bring up achievement levels in schools? Would it increase community involvement? This idea has great social potential.

What surprises me, is that this idea is getting the play in the media that it is. I guess it’s being played as a bad idea. And playing to the given idea that people deserve their station and the idea that if people want money they should get a job.

Get a job? This is 2010. Technological advances in production processes have cut the number of people needed to make all this stuff that keeps the economy… that sentence died in conception. The economy suck. But technological advance and human leisure. These were the ideas driving progress. The big idea that one day we wouldn’t have to work as hard. Turns out that’s not been the case. It also turns out poverty is still a problem. What do you say we start a war on poverty. According to experts, $20,000 guaranteed ought to do it.

I’m all for it. How about you?

Here’s a post (and here) about GAI. Let’s keep the conversation going.


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