Smiths Falls is a small town in Ontario that has been absolutely devastated by the realities of the modern economy over the last decade or so.
First, in 2004, a group home for the mentally disabled that employed 800 people announced its closing. Then in 2007 came what many thought might be the death blow for the economically depressed community: the Hershey’s chocolate plant, which had been a fixture of the local economy for decades, shipped out to Mexico. But that wasn’t all—one year later, Stanley Tools, a manufacturing company, also said it would shutter for good. At the time, the total job losses amounted to nearly 20 percent of the town’s entire population.
You’d think, then, that Smiths Falls would be eager to host a basic income pilot project being planned by the Ontario Liberals. The idea is, essentially, to replace the financial aspects of employment and disability insurance with a monthly, no-strings-attached lump sum that may be even greater than what recipients get currently. It’s intended to top up the incomes of people who earn below a certain threshold.
But on Monday night, the town’s city council shot down the idea of even expressing interest in participating in the basic income pilot.
The vote was close—three to two against—and was undertaken with just five out of a total seven councillors present. Council’s say isn’t final, however, and some citizens of Smiths Falls have taken to petitioning city council to reconsider.
But why did Smiths Falls pass up on basic income in the first place? The answer is, sadly, plain old pull-up-your-bootstraps thinking.
“I don’t think basic income is right for any place, not just Smiths Falls,” said Councillor Dawn Quinn, who voted against expressing interest in participating in the basic income pilot, in an interview. “Until you educate people, throwing money at it is not going to fix the problem. People have to learn how to use their money.”
When I asked what she meant by this, Quinn explained that folks sit around in Tim Hortons all day instead of looking for jobs, and they should consider buying a tin of Tim Hortons coffee to make at home instead of buying a cup. And, she added, they could consider shoveling snow to earn some extra money.
IF PEOPLE SPENT LESS MONEY, THEY'D UH... HAVE... MORE JOBS... UH....
right wing retards are now literally causing starvation in 1st world economies
this is why we're in a global recession, because these fcking geniuses have got reality inside out. they think if you take away peoples ability to spend, we'll have a better economy. the opposite is the case you derps. dont stick around too long so your kids can get your homes