Author Archive

A young person’s guide to a guaranteed or basic income: part 7

April 3, 2016

Keeping what’s good from the past “There is a fire burning over the earth, taking with it plants and animals, ancient skills and visionary wisdom. At risk is a vast archive of knowledge and expertise, a catalogue of the imagination, an oral and written language composed of the memories of countless elders and healers, warriors, […]

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A young person’s guide to a guaranteed or basic income – Part 5

February 27, 2016

The problem of work for a guaranteed or basic income “Although the practical implementation challenges make a GAI reform implausible in Canada, evidence from five North American experiments with a negative income tax style GAI provides some valuable insights. A negative income tax discourages recipients from working because it subsidizes leisure and reduces the marginal […]

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A ‘Robin Hood’ Budget for 2016 in Ontario

February 26, 2016

“Robin Hood, Robin Hood, riding through the glen Robin Hood, Robin Hood, with his band of men Feared by the bad, loved by the good Robin Hood, Robin Hood, Robin Hood.” In the Budget lockup yesterday, I started to silently sing the Robin Hood song that I learned back in the 1950’s as a kid. […]

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A young person’s guide to a guaranteed annual or basic income –Part 4

February 21, 2016

Differences in contributions, services and need Now it’s time to talk about rights and human dignity – but I want to set the table first. I’m also not going to repeat too much from the first three entries. I am going to assume you have read them if you are now reading entry #4. In […]

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A young person’s guide to a guaranteed annual or basic income – Part 3

February 15, 2016

What to do with our emotionally charged income security system To many, a GAI or basic income looks like a bauble or a confection. It’s up there with solving gridlock,  reducing global warming and curing cancer. Easy to want and easy to say – wicked hard to do! The problem with a GAI is not […]

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A young person’s guide to a guaranteed annual or basic income –part 2

February 14, 2016

A Valentine’s Day gift for benefit designers – a tale of two GAI’s Last week, I self-published: A young person’s guide to a guaranteed annual or basic income[1]. In the Toronto Star on Saturday February 12, there was a lead editorial[2] on Guaranteed and basic incomes that set out the usual cautions about beautiful unicorns […]

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The Open Policy Aptitude Test

February 4, 2016

The following policy aptitude test is administered on occasion to policy classes I attend at various levels. Many classes have scored 0 out of 20 and then missed all the tiebreakers. I don’t get asked to address many classes.   Spell Westminster (question issued orally)   Common reply puts in an extra ‘i’   What […]

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City of Toronto Budget Deputation: John Stapleton; Scarborough, January 13, 2016: 6:00 p.m.

January 14, 2016

I am a newly minted senior citizen. I have lived in Scarborough for the past 37 years. I am a proud resident of Scarborough but I see a problem. I see the problem of poverty in Toronto. I think that we can and should do more to eradicate poverty in our city Toronto is the […]

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Life and Fun in 2016

January 5, 2016

There are a lot of fun things to do in 2016: Here are my top four, highly idiosyncratic entries,  all from watching evening television on Netflix or CBC Praise Keith Richards – Rock Historian: Tune into Netflix and go to the music documentaries. It takes a while until you realize that Keith Richards is in almost […]

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On self exemption, framing and location: a meditation on race and other elements of personal biography that cannot be changed

January 5, 2016

What can we not change? I want to use the word ‘racism’ in its broadest sense – much broader than it is currently used. The reason is that race is only one aspect of our humanity that no one can change. We can’t change our place of origin. All of us were born in one […]

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