Child Poverty And Its Effects On Health, Cognition, Academic Achievement And Future Occupational Status

Child Poverty And Its Effects On Health, Cognition, Academic Achievement And Future Occupational Status

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Despite a bureaucratic nightmare of programs designed to reduce poverty, the percentage of low-income Canadians has actually increased from 12.8% in 2000 to 13.5% in 2013 (Younglai). If Canada does not fix its welfare system, in the future poverty rates will likely increase because of job shortages caused by automation (Walker, 6). This poverty has a host of undesirable effects. For example, studies show that child poverty negatively impacts health, cognition, academic achievement and future occupational status (“Children in Poverty”, 2). For my argumentative research essay I will attempt to solve these issues by arguing that Canada should implement basic income. Basic income is an unconditional monthly payment given to every Canadian that would replace most existing forms of social security. I contend that basic income will improve lives, strengthen the economy, and prepare society for technological unemployment. Although basic income has many advantages, the most obvious benefit is that it will improve the lives of Canadians.

The first body paragraph of my essay will focus on what basic income has to offer to individual citizens. I will analyze how poverty and economic inequality take a toll on one’s life, and how basic income will fight these issues. I will also investigate how basic income will provide greater personal autonomy. For example, when Canadians are not working check to check we will be freer to pursue higher education or leave workplaces with poor working conditions. I will further support my arguments in this section with statistical evidence collected from basic income pilots performed in Canada and abroad. While improving the lives of Canadians is one positive aspect of basic income, another advantage...

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...ological unemployment. Poverty is a systemic issue, and as a result it can only be effectively fought by reforming the system that created it. Through policy propositions like basic income we can begin to see what it will take to make the utopian dream of eradicating poverty a reality.


Mulvale, James. “Basic Income and the Canadian Welfare State: Exploring the Realms of
Possibility.” Basic Income Studies, vol. 3, no. 1, 2008, pp. 1-26.

Pereira, Richard. “Basic Income Will be Fairer and Cheaper.” Inroads, no. 36, 2015, pp. 15-18.

Walker, Mark. “BIG and Technological Unemployment: Chicken Little Versus the Economists.”
Journal of Evolution and Technology, vol. 24, no. 1, 2014, pp. 5-25.

Younglai, Rachelle. "Low-Income Population Grows." The Globe and Mail, Toronto, Ont.,

“Children in Poverty.” Child Trends Databank, 2015.

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