They don’t call them disruptors for nothing. Robots. AI. Self-driving cars. Outsourcing and gigifying. For every job, it seems, there’s a killer app waiting to, well, kill it. Meanwhile, the gap between rich and poor widens. As the notion everyone can have a solid middle-class paycheque recedes, an idea that’s been around for some time is gaining traction.
It’s called the universal guaranteed income. An income floor, essentially, granted everyone in the nation who can’t earn their way there on their own.
A book by former Tory senator Hugh Segal, (which he discusses here on The Tyee), is a recent call for Canada to implement something like it. Andrew Yang, a successful entrepreneur, has made the idea central to his pitch as he runs for president of the United States.
How would it work? Has anyone tried it? Is it better than welfare programs? Sounds really expensive, no? And what about the good old work ethic? Would this just be a gift to lazy people?
You have a lot of questions. Fortunately, The Tyee has managed to address them in less than three minutes. Give it a look.
The Tyee team behind this video includes: Andrew MacLeod (script), Chris Cheung (producer), Alexandra Marriot (video editing), Barry Link (voiceover), Good Bad Habits (animation).