A guaranteed annual income to grow our economy (by growing our people)

Thumbnail Image
Smith, Shelley
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
The implementation of a national guaranteed annual income plan has been a controversial topic for decades. Much of the research and certainly most of the debate, revolves around the concern of decreased work incentives causing labour shortages and economic decline. This paper strives to argue that a guaranteed annual income plan would in fact improve the economy over time, by investing in citizens’ dignity and personal growth. Evidence is offered with examples and research from past income pilot projects and experiments, personal narratives, as well as reviews of current and past social systems and literature examining the social determinants of health. I conclude that providing people with financial support through difficult periods or during times of personal transition, leads to decreases in poverty and crime, increases in high school graduations (and potential for people of all ages to pursue new career aspirations and/or educational goals), simplification or elimination of current ineffectual and often stigmatized social systems, better childcare, and overall improved mental health. With income support and its systemic change, we can achieve improved wellness for every Canadian.
Guaranteed Annual Income, Universal Basic Income, MINCOME, Income Security, Social Determinants of Health, Human Rights, Dignity, Stigma, Well-being, Poverty