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Ending Poverty
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Ending Poverty

A Basic Income for All Canadians

By Francois Blais, Translated by Jennifer Hutchison

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As Canada's social safety net continues to be eroded and the gap between rich and poor in our society continues to grow, it becomes increasingly urgent to confront the problems of poverty in fresh and creative ways.
Political scientist François Blais offers a bold new proposal to assist the poorest and most disadvantaged in our society: a guaranteed basic income, or allowance, to be paid to every Canadian citizen. Elaborating on ideas endorsed by two Nobel laureates, Blais outlines how a program might be implemented that would replace the present profusion of social assistance programs with a single, universal benefit.
Stimulating and original, Ending Poverty offers an important contribution to the ongoing debate over social justice in this country.
Originally published in French as Un revenu garanti pour tous.
Translated by Jennifer Hutchison.

Chapter I
Waging War Against Poverty Instead of the Poor

Essential background
A BI or guaranteed annual income?
A few examples of possible names
The unconditionality feature
Understanding poverty in industrialized nations
"Non-working" poor
"Working" poor
Fighting against exclusion without increasing poverty
Giving more to the jobless?
Increasing the minimum wage?
Avoiding the situation of favouring one group over the other
Poverty and unemployment traps
When it is more worthwhile to do nothing than to work
When living with one or more people only makes things worse
Deconstructing a culture of poverty
Another route to take: BI
Fighting the unemployment trap while avoiding workfare
Finding a different way of "taxing" the poor
Improving opportunities for job holders
Finding a more distributive structure that is better for nonworkers
Chapter 2
Reconciling Efficiency and Fairness in a Changing World

Two values not to be separated: efficiency and justice
Efficiency and Justice do not need to compete with one another
Attempting to define these two values
"Everyone according to their worth" is not an acceptable standard
What kind of equality are we looking for?
The economic role of social policies
Limits of market mechanisms
What the government can do to help the economy
The place for income security in a healthy economy
Challenging the welfare state
New constraints of a changing world
The first steps made by the contemporary welfare state
The end of this model
Victims of the "new economy"
Economic grounds for a Basic Income
Ease of administration and transparency of transfers
Less bureaucracy and more financial security
Where everyone has the same advantages in working
Supporting poorly paid activities
More flexibility in work organization
What will happen to the minimum wage?
And what about other salaries?
Diversifying incomes rather than focusing completely on work
A Basic Income and social justice
Putting a Basic Income in an intellectual and political context
Giving to everyone, including the "lazy"
Inequality of opportunities and circumstances that permeate our lives
Redistributing wealth while respecting dignity
The priority of the right to income over the right to work
Increasing opportunities for those who have the least
Chapter 3
Achieving a Basic Income Starting Now

The challenges of change Preliminary thoughts on costs
A look at two complementary notions
Why does a Basic income cost more
Various funding options to explore
Relying on an increase of business activity and on savings generated by simplifying bureaucracy
Giving only to those who arc "truly in need"
Not individualizing transfers
Requiring a consideration in exchange for a guaranteed income
Broadening the tax base
Starting with a partial allowance
Short-term implementation scenario
A modest yet individualized, tax-free and cumulative benefit
Some revealing figures
Progressively relinquishing non-workers from the poverty trap
Increasing the net income of the working population
Decreasing net income ror some and increasing marginal tax rates for others
Is a Basic Income politically realistic?
The future of a Basic Income and the welfare state
Indexing Basic Income to make it more generous
Replacing the student loan and grant program and re-evaluating social insurance
Strengthening the universal pension plan
Making sure that everyone pays his or her fair share
The future of social partnership
Reconciling justice with democracy
Reducing the fiscal sovereignty of governments if necessary
Strong social partnership but transparent economic relationships
A global Basic Income?
Appendix A
Appendix B
Index of proper names and subjects


Winner - Policy Research Initiative's Outstanding Research Contribution Award - 2002

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Publication Details:

Binding: Paperback, 200 pages
Publication Date: 29th April 2002
ISBN: 9781550287554
Format: 9in x 6in

Binding: Electronic book text
Publication Date: 15th December 2011
ISBN: 9781552779453
Format: EPUB

BISAC Code:  POL023000, SOC026000
Imprint: Lorimer


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