The Progressive Conservative Party of Saskatchewan Member Commentary Forum is designed to allow members to share ideas and create discussion on a variety of topics. The ideas and opinions expressed in these commentary’s are those of the author and not necessarily shared by the Progressive Conservative Party of Saskatchewan.
WHY THE PC PARTY OF SK SHOULD SUPPORT INTRODUCING THE GUARANTEED BASIC INCOME
In this Commentary I will try to include the 3 strongest reasons In Favour of Guaranteed Basic Income (GBI) and attempt to dispel the 3 strongest arguments against GBI. I welcome all critique and criticism from the membership. In fact, I look forward to being able to discuss this idea openly with anyone interested in learning more about the GBI.
Why should the PC Party of Sask (PCPS) adopt a pro-GBI stance?
Well, the main reason the PCPS Membership should Support the GBI is because it would make the Party visionary and forward looking. A recent report authored by McKinsey states that over the next 15 years the global job loss due to automation and artificial intelligence (AI) could be as high as 45%.
As it stands, we are already seeing the erosion of hours if not actual job loss already. Where I work as a cashier, the introduction of self-scan checkouts has reduced the weekly hours scheduled from 2000 plus to now just over 1000. The number of employed cashiers at my store has also dropped by over 1/2 (from a high of around 290 to now around 144). At a well known fast food chain, they introduced self-ordering menus so as to all but eliminate the human till position. This chain stated that they had ‘no interest ‘ in paying $15/hr for a worker to run the cash till. The future looks to be shorter work weeks and potentially a lot more leisure time. But citizens still need some kind of income to spend in the economy and pay the bills, hence the GBI would fill that need.
Another reason for supporting the GBI is to position the PCPS as having a terrific policy to lower the costs in the number one costliest provincial Ministry; HEALTH. The Canadian Medical Association has noted that the largest indicator of whether a Canadian is healthy or not is whether they are in Poverty. By implementing a reasonable, Livable Basic Income the PCPS Government would begin to reduce if not eliminate poverty virtually overnight. Food Banks could be phased out and costs on delivery of Healthcare would come down. If done over the course of the first term of office (4 years) the measurable results would demonstrate to the people of Saskatchewan why re-election should be guaranteed.
The third reason why the PCPS should be pro-GBI is to actually reduce the size of government and support entrepreneurs. I have always been in favour of a minimal government. Big Government has always been concerning to me due to my parents having fled Communist China to seek more freedom and opportunity in Canada.
The GBI should reduce the costs in Healthcare (better prevention of poverty) , Justice (lower the incidences of crime and policing/incarceration costs) and Welfare (less need for costly social workers deciding who is worthy of help and who is not). The idea GBI would stimulate entrepreneurship should be most appealing to any real free market Party. Here are two links for further reading.
Onto what I feel are the top 3 reasons not to support the GBI (I include links to articles showing why the Party should).
GBI is a form of Communism.
Here’s the definition I found:
“a political theory derived from Karl Marx, advocating class war and leading to a society in which all property is publicly owned and each person works and is paid according to their abilities and needs.”
The two first points have little to do with GBI. The last point might apply but again GBI would be universally available to everyone, rich or poor, just like Medicare so it doesn’t really involve abilities or needs per se. The fear of GBI being a form of Communism (I think?) is that it would come from government. The fear is a bit irrational due to the PCPS wanting to form government and to then run government programming. We are not out to run for office to eliminate All Government, right?
GBI is not affordable.
This one is a good one. And recently, thanks to Pierre Poilievre, Conservative MP for Carleton, we now know GBI is in fact doable And affordable in Canada.
GBI is just another hand out (moral argument). This one is arguably the last remaining argument against implementing a GBI. The recent and past experiments on GBI in Ontario and Manitoba showed how it works and how it is a humane and decent way to treat Canadians as fellow human beings, not just scummy, useless beggars. Let’s value each other in community, not just as hard nosed individuals.
Thanks again for taking the time to read my Commentary on GBI hopefully with an open mind. Again, feel free to contact me to talk about this idea more. My contact information is below.
Basic Income Supporter since 1994