In a clear victory for rhetoric over substance in the age of post-truth, the Ontario Liberal government has announced that it will run a pilot project to test the so called 'universal basic income” idea. However, from the policy documents that have been released, it is quite obvious the Liberals intend to implement a more regressive version of this deeply flawed policy program. The Liberal-supporting media is tying itself in knots in attempts to support the program. First, a plea decrying Ontario's 'meagre and rule-bound social assistance program' that the provincial government has purposefully manipulated in order to limit access to supports. Then, without a sense of irony, the media say that cash to buy private services is the only way to fix the problems previous Liberal and Conservative governments created through privatization and austerity.
We need reality-based solutions for facilitating and funding a Just Transition for workers. It will require the government to invest in publicly owned productive capacity that will generate the revenue needed to fund the hiring and drive the economic transition in the correct direction. This is not a new idea, but it is one that is proven to work.
There were some pretty scary laws on their way to being passed in Arkansas and Indiana last week. The good news is that the broad coalition pushing back against these regressive and hateful laws have won a minor victory. Both republican state legislators have been forced to amend the laws which would have legalized discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community.