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A country with no poverty: is a guaranteed annual income the answer?

WATCH: Tom Clark explains what happened when Dauphin, Manitoba became the city with no poverty.

The rich are getting richer.  According to Oxfam International, the richest one per cent of the population will own more than half the world’s wealth by 2016.

“Do we really want to live in a world where the one per cent own more than the rest of us combined?” Winnie Byanyima, Oxfam’s executive director, said in a statement.

Among the organization’s suggestions to reduce inequality in the world is an idea that has been around for decades: a guaranteed annual income.

The idea is simply that the government provides everyone with enough money to ensure they don’t fall below the poverty line.

It might sound radical but it’s been tried before in Canada.  An experiment ran in Dauphin, Manitoba between 1974-1978 to see if the plan would prompt people to take advantage of the money and leave the labour market.

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Watch The West Block primer to find out how that experiment turned out and tune in to The West Block this Sunday for a discussion on whether it’s time the government tried the idea again.