Canadians Must Reject The Dangerous Liberal Push For A ‘Guaranteed Livable Basic Income’

The policy would amount to stealing more money from productive Canadians and giving it to those who haven’t worked for it.

Canada’s tax system is already bad enough.

So-called ‘progressive taxation’ punishes those who are the most productive, by taking a higher proportion of income (in addition to more raw income overall) from those who generate more value. It is a disincentive to work and produce. It pushes people to other jurisdictions. And, it’s not at all voluntary, with government taxation resting upon the potential use of force by the state.

Unfortunately, everything bad can be made even worse.

What if the tax system ended up further being used to rob the productive and transfer their wealth to those who don’t even work?

Well, that’s exactly what the Liberals want.

At their policy convention, they made a demand for a “Guaranteed Livable Income” one of their official party policies:

Here’s how the United Church of Canada – a backer of a guaranteed livable income – describes it:

“A guaranteed livable income (GLI) is a payment to individuals or families by government that covers the cost of basic necessities (food, shelter, clothing, transportation, and community participation) and is not conditional on meeting employment criteria in order to qualify for the benefit. It ensures everyone an income adequate for meeting basic needs, allowing all people to live with dignity regardless of work status.”

This part in particular stands out:

“Not conditional on meeting employment criteria in order to qualify for the benefit.”

And note how it’s framed as a payment to individuals “by government.”

It’s not actually by the government at all. It’s by the taxpayers.

Those who actually work and produce would be taxed so that those who don’t want to work and produce get money handed to them. We would be taking from productive Canadians and giving the money to unproductive Canadians.

A changed world

Now, there was a time when a guaranteed income may have seemed like a reasonable idea. I had some interest in similar proposals, when they were matched with the idea of eliminating all other government benefits and replacing that with a guaranteed income.

However, it is increasingly clear that it is simply both ethically and economically misguided to give people money for nothing.

During the pandemic, the government gave out massive payments to a huge swath of the population, in what was in many ways a test of a guaranteed income. The initial payments were understandable, since if the government can force you not to work (a power they shouldn’t have in the first place), the least they can do is compensate you for the damage they have done.

Yet, the Trudeau government continued the payments far beyond the initial crisis. And what ended up happening?

Businesses couldn’t find enough people who wanted to work, because many preferred to stay home and get ‘free’ money. Inflation surged, since fewer goods were being produced but there was more money in the system chasing after those goods.

Government deficits exploded, with the whole proposal proving to be completely unsustainable financially.

All the fears surrounding a guaranteed income were proven correct: It encouraged people not to work and produce. It cost a massive amount of money. It caused rampant inflation.

And, while backers of a basic income like to claim it will replace other government programs, does anyone actually believe that? All the other government programs that are ‘temporary’ end up becoming permanent. Basic income wouldn’t replace anything, it would just add on to an already bloated system.

Production must precede consumption

For something to be consumed, it must first be produced. It sounds like common-sense, but it is completely lost on those in power.

They seem to think that if they print/borrow money, and give it out, it will magically create real goods and services.

But those goods and services first had to be created by real human beings, taking real productive action. When we forget this, our society begins to fall apart and our standard of living drops.

And here’s the ethical aspect of this:

When you work, when you create, when you produce, that represents a certain portion of your finite life. Money earned represents our effort expended during part of our existence. Thus, it’s not just our money, but our life that is being taxed. To have your life taxed, and for a portion of that life-effort go – without your consent – towards someone who isn’t working, is deeply immoral and unethical.

If someone wants money from strangers (since family and friends helping each other doesn’t involve government coercion), they should earn it. They should produce something. They should create something. They should provide value. They shouldn’t feel entitled to the effort of others just because they happen to exist.

Personal responsibility

Canada has already strayed far from the idea of personal responsibility. Imposing a guaranteed livable income would push us further down that dangerous path towards being a completely collectivist society where the most productive Canadians are punished for their productivity, and where those who refuse to work are rewarded for that refusal.

That’s not the kind of country we should want to live in, and that’s why Canadians need to reject this dangerous Liberal scheme.

Spencer Fernando

Photo – YouTube


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