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Basic Income: a Vital Step Towards Dignity for All

Updated: Jul 15

Basic Income Guarantee (BIG) or Guaranteed Livable Income (GLI) or even Basic Income (BI) are three different names for one very important idea whose time for action has come!

A Basic Income is a just way of distributing money so that those who are most marginalized by the current economic system are able to have the opportunity that many others take for participate in the economy and to meet their basic needs with dignity!

The PEI Working Group for a Livable Income (PEIWGLI) has been working for years on establishing a 5-7 yr demonstration project on PEI and thanks to their devotion to the cause we are inching closer to the establishment of a basic income demonstration project here on PEI.

A goal of the PEI Working Group for a Livable Income is establishing PEI as an ideal launching place in which to implement Basic Income Guarantee as a full province (fully funded, federal-provincial) program, as an important step toward establishing BIG as a national Federal-Provincial system*.
The national NGO, Coalition Canada: basicincome/revenu de base, has made the implementation of BIG in PEI one of its central objectives.This cross-Canada organization maintains a constant lobby with federal politicians/decision makers*.
*NOTE: both of the above organizations believe that Indigenous people may choose to design their specific basic income programs.
Coalition Canada says: Indigenous autonomy and self-determination is basic: respecting the rights of Indigenous people to determine whether a basic income is delivered in their communities and, if so, what form it will take and how it will be implemented.
From notes by the PEI Working Group on Livable Income and sent by the Wonderful PEI social justice advocate Marie Burge and taken from my blog:

As it stands in Canada, there are many gaps in the current economic and social welfare systems which persons who are on the margins of society can and do fall through. A Basic Income would provide those in poverty with the financial capacity to meet their basic needs by creating an income floor no one can fall beneath rather than a net you can fall through.

There are many personal reasons that a person may not be able to meet their needs for safe housing and healthy foods and these reasons can change over a person’s lifetime but the inequities that are built into our economic system are the true root of the injustices which persons living in poverty experience.

Capitalism, patriarchy and the inherent exploitation and marginalization of members of the BIPOC community, the environment, the LGBTQ2+ community, neurodivergent and/ or disabled persons as well as/including women and children should not be the means by which we meet human needs and base worthiness yet it is the system upon which our economies are built and the reason so many fall between the (intentional) gaps.

Those who find themselves living in poverty are not the problem. An unjust and uncaring economic system that drives the bus of this society is the problem! And a Basic Income is a vital part of the solution and key to a Just Transition!

It is a well known fact that Autistic adults are un/underemployed due to challenges faced when attempting to fit their fabulous neurodivergent selves into largely inhospitable workplace environments. A Basic Income could bring some economic stability to those persons on the Autism spectrum who may need to work less than full time due to workplace challenges. It may also free up time and energy for Autistic persons to work for a safer and more inclusive world.

Being a person who lives on the margins of the mainstream as a neurodivergent writer/ artist, carer, homeschooler and as a parent of young adults who are also ND artists, I believe that hope for dignity for all lies in assuring everyone’s basic needs are met regardless of what form or shape their contributions to this world take.

I also believe that the additional stability that a basic income could provide ND and/or disabled persons would create the space needed to live fuller, more creative and engaged lives.

Being alive means you deserve to have your needs met respectfully.

It is the shared responsibility of every able citizen to ensure this becomes reality.

I dream of a world where everyone is valued, loved and cared for and I see the implementation of a Basic Income as a critical step towards making a more just world a reality!

Cheers friends!



Below you will find some links to further info...some links are to essays I have published on my blog over the past few years, others to recent articles on disability and basic income...feel free to peruse them when you have the time and energy/interest!

From an Evelyn Forget disability and BI article:

Now some critics have claimed that Basic Income will take resources away from people with disabilities to give money to people who don’t need it. Nonsense. Some people with disabilities require income replacement which they currently receive through provincial disability programs.
Others receive support through the Canada Pension Plan; this program depends on previous work history and has an obligation to current workers and recipients. Basic Income would replace the complex, bureaucratic provincial disability income with a higher guaranteed income and provide a top up for those with other income who still fall below the poverty line.
Some people also require assistive devices, such as wheelchairs, hearing aids, prescription drugs, medical supplies or specialized services. Currently, these items are supplied or subsidized through a variety of federal and provincial programs. These programs would remain in their current or modified form, available to people with disabilities in addition to Basic Income.
In other words, Basic Income would mean more money for persons with disabilities, not less.
Basic Income replaces money; it doesn’t replace needed supplies and services. With increased money, people with disabilities can decide for themselves how to meet needs that are often not met by the current system, such as service dogs or alternative therapies.
It’s time to treat people with disabilities with respect instead of paternalism and to address the inadequacies of the current system. The proposed federal Disability Benefit is an opportunity to do better. Will it measure up to a Basic Income? Let’s hope so.”
Evelyn L. Forget is author of Basic Income for Canadians: From the COVID-19 Emergency to Financial Security for All.

For your further reading:

Essays on Basic Income and Food Security:

Elaine Power PhD... Food security and BIG


and a Systems Theory Iceberg Analysis I did for a course this spring on PEI and Basic Income and which I shared with the PEI Working Group on Livable Income of which my family and I are supporters. As well, this has been shared with both local and national level politicians (including the Wonderful! Senator Kim Pate).

and a handful of personal essays I wrote on basic income: --

Jill M. MacCormack (she/her) neurodivergent writer and mindfulness meditation practitioner ...a kinder world begins with self-kindness :)

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