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Unions maintain wages above the market clearing rate by excluding the unemployed. A guaranteed annual income could allow young interns to work without pay to gain experience, which would undercut one of the major functions of unions.

And Alex gets it in one. Although, I would suggest this applies only to private sector unions. Public sector unions seem to function completely differently. They maintain high wages by wielding political influence which requires increasing hires, not by excluding hires.

Well, I am not currently in a union but I think I have a better understanding of how they function than the previous 2 posters.

Union leaders achieve their positions by being elected by the members. This means when they are developing policy they are influenced by considerations concerning how to convince the membership that the policy is a good thing.

There is a component of right wing populism in union politics. As in "Whaddaya mean, the bum gets paid for not working?".

To get a coherent policy on GAI in the teeth of this attitude requires considerable work on the part of the union leadership. In the absence of a credible proposal working its way through the other political institutions of the country they are simply not going to do that work. It doesn't have a big payoff.

Having it show up in the McDonald commission report also makes it the fruit of the poisoned tree. Trying to extract any good bits out of that assault on the Canadian polity would require serious political contortions in the midst of a huge fight. Note, that piece of the commission went nowhere. If you think that union support for it would have moved it into implementation range your understanding of the power relations in Canadian politics is vastly different than mine.

To get a coherent policy on GAI in the teeth of this attitude requires considerable work on the part of the union leadership. In the absence of a credible proposal working its way through the other political institutions of the country they are simply not going to do that work. It doesn't have a big payoff.

Are you saying that union leadership won't support a GAI because there's nothing in it for them?

No, I am saying that they will only support it when they see a reasonable chance of it passing. It's not an issue of personal support, it's an issue of how much work they do to get the membership on side.

Don't you see the circular reasoning there? What credible GAI project could be mounted without union support? Unions are sufficiently experienced at negotiating to understand that insisting on an impossible condition is the same thing as a refusal.

And if a credible GAI could be proposed and passed with (at best) benign indifference on the part of unions, why would progressives pay attention to what unions say?

That's not what I am saying.

It is absolutely true that a GAI will require union support and I fully expect that if as and when push comes to shove the unions will support it and make concerted efforts to get their members to support it.

What I am saying is that unions will not lead on this issue.

what working union member will agree to be taxed on a gai??

The ones who would pay for health insurance even if they're not sick.

I'd agree to support Harper's $10B subsidy of bloated $25-$30/hr wages (GAI is $4/hr) if they were used to make something that doesn't promote urban sprawl. HSR for Chindia, hydro dam parts, Harper's northern port ship supply chain, Zenn, buses, twains, transmission line components...instead working union members making 4x minimum wage (I'd rather just use the $10B as a Trust to subsidize nursing/teaching aides and low wage LPNs, or maybe a temp worker hiring subsidy or circa 2006 Liberal $600M/yr immigration worker harmonization programme) and 10x welfare and infinitely more than those not on welfare or employed, get the subsidy. Try to get out of dead end job and are demonized while CEOs and Ministers working to exterminate the species get the harem.

There are externalities both good and bad in existing Canadian safety net and under GAI. Welfare always gets the moms. It doesn't tend to get palliative care, I'd guess some perform the work of out-patient nurses. Welfare lowers incarceration rates generally. Welfare makes sure you have food and a roof. Welfare is a wasteful beauracracy against GAI. Neither treats mental illness. The main positive externality to me of GAI is it permits some labour sector mobility and increases longevity. The main drawback is that the number of people on welfare now who watch soap operas and make babies (fine but need a breadwinner) all day would be increased. Should be easy enough math to weigh and you could ensure people with a GAI generate some sort of capital or boot after 5 yrs lifetime GAI like welfare limit in some USA States (this makes physiological sense as you are a dependant until 16 and your brain doesn't form until mid-20s). Personally, in another life I'd've used the ranked #1 crown Court Challenges programme to challenge whether only women should qualify for welfare; instead of being consigned to a life of $5.50/hr -40C dangerous labour I'd wanted to study some materials science and work at Saskatoon's Synchrotron as a researcher, I was curious whether volunteer R+D/education would be considered by the Supreme Court to be equivalent to getting knocked up. The $4B in debt Aspers killed this Human Rights initiaitive *and celebrated* some crappy private surrogate (the lesson being some brainwashed neocons believe private abuses are okay).

On the Livable Income For Everyone website
Find an extensive collection of Articles, Links, Letters, Tools, Poems, Cartoons, and Buried Treasure and an introduction to Guaranteed Livable Income (aka Basic Income Guarantee, historically guaranteed annual income).

We have also outlined the common arguments against a guaranteed livable income (GLI)

Also find a short transcription of a frank discussion on people's beliefs about work and GLI (held in Victoria BC in 2006).

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"The solution to poverty is to abolish it directly
by a now widely discussed measure: the guaranteed income."
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Chaos or Community, 1967

Livable Income For Everyone ~ L I F E ~
is an organization started in 2003 in Victoria BC Canada to promote the implementation of universal Guaranteed Livable Income ( G L I ) in every country in the world.

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