Written for basicincomecanada.ca for #BasicIncome, 3 Sep 2017
There were so many things that people used to do in families, groups and in community to support the raising of children, the health of its members, to survive, to keep people connected. In a sense, those things involved TLC (tender loving care or nurturing) – tending to all life and the land under our care or that we share (cleaning up waterways and maintaining parks), volunteering, and taking care to prepare nutritious meals and look after ourselves and our loved ones. These activities are barely part of our culture anymore. Without TLC, more and more of us are getting depressed, sick and ending up on support payments.
Do the math:
Rent (with heat) + phone and internet (no TV) + car insurance =
$50 for food and car fuel per month (and any other expenses that do occur, like $15 monthly banking fee, some vitamins, etc.)
Entertainment? #traumainformed health care? Activities for well-being? n/a
Many of us tend naturally to these TLC activities that don’t pay. We want meaningful work. We are a resource that can be harvested, and I am one of them! We want to be engaged, but we can’t afford to or are spent from doing dead end part-time jobs that leave nothing left of us in order to tend, as per above. #Basicincome would permit me to work for the common good – like access to nutritious food – work that would benefit individuals, public health and decreasing the cost of provincial health care.
The return on investment is enormous! I have done a lot of rewarding work, but I became depleted and not able to afford nutritious food and resources for my own health. Now, due to better support, I am fortunate to be able to retrain in the hopes of working for the common good in some way, with regards to food sovereignty, farming, empowering women and advocating for a trauma-informed world. But somehow, I need to figure out a basic wage to do this work and how to look after myself better than I did before getting sick (Lyme Disease and its comorbidity, #traumainformed).