There seems to be a growing curiosity amongst governments of the impact of a guaranteed income. Alaskans have long received an annual $1,100 dividend from oil revenues from the Alaska Permanent Fund. A two-year universal income project is also underway in Finland. In Stockton, California, where one in four live in poverty, the mayor will be testing a $500/month guaranteed income for selected participants. And here in Canada, the Ontario government just completed the first phase of pilot where some residents in need receive monthly basic income payments for three years. The hope is to see improvements amongst the participants’ physical and mental health, housing and food security, and education and employment levels. What is the merit of a basic income? We asked Todd Hirsch, Chief Economist with ATB Financial.