Threatening to move to Canada? Here’s yet another reason to sweeten your imminent post-presidential race move (if Justin Trudeau’s wavy, wavy locks aren’t incentive enough): basic income.
“The pilot project will test a growing view at home and abroad that a basic income could build on the success of minimum wage policies and increases in child benefits by providing more consistent and predictable support in the context of today’s dynamic labor market,” the budget reads.
Yes, you read that veiled budgetese correctly: Canada will start paying a salary to a select group of its citizens, for just…being…alive. The hope is that — by receiving a safety net of basic income — people will have the ability to pursue more meaningful work, rather than having to chase the loonie to survive. Basic income also means that historically uncompensated groups such as homemakers will finally receive a reward for all their hard work.
Of course, there are naysayers, who believe that, without incentive to work, people will sit around and do nothing. But the idea that welfare programs make people lazy has actually been disproven—in fact, they may actually make people work harder.
Canada isn’t the first country to start thinking about handing out a basic income. The idea of it been around for several decades—we even tested a couple of similar pilot programs in the U.S. back in the ’60s and ’70s. And it’s recently been picking up steam around the world: Switzerland is set to vote on a referendum in June that would give its citizens a salary of $2,500/month, while Germany and Finland are working on similar pilot programs of their own.
While the news is almost as great as Justin Trudeau’s hair, no specific details of its implementation are given within the budget, other than the promise that “the government will work with communities, researchers and other stakeholders in 2016 to determine how best to design and implement a Basic Income pilot.”
Our recommendation: get to Canada now, so you have plenty of time to secure your citizenship. Then you can start collecting your just-being-alive income while working on your artisanal llama sweater project. Because llamas get chilly, too.