Opinion

‘Mincome Experiment’ documentary will investigate 1970s experiment

The crowdfunding campaign for “The Mincome Experiment” can be found here.

The Mincome Experiment is a documentary that is as much a story about basic income as it is about human socioeconomic evolution throughout the years. Vincent Santiago, the director for the documentary, first heard that University of Manitoba professor Dr. Evelyn Forget was looking for volunteers to digitize the results of the 1970s Mincome experiment. While Santiago did not consider himself an experienced social activist, he was nevertheless keen to study possible measures to prevent government excesses that he believed could lead to growing social inequality and injustices. Santiago was convinced that basic income and open government were foundations that could help prevent social inequality and injustice.

The Mincome experiment and the concept of basic income caught Santiago’s imagination, and he took a passionate interest in seeking out more information. He finally talked to Dr. Forget on April 2014. Another opportunity arose soon after to interview then-Conservative Senator Hugh Segal, a very vocal and strong basic income advocate in Canada. Vincent Santiago read about and researched basic income and talked to economists and others. In the process, he discovered several interesting side stories not widely known, even within Canada.

Santiago wanted to make the Mincome experiment into a documentary. He soon realized there was so much story to be told. He looked into the various forms of basic income and decided the film should be told as an engaging narrative about human socioeconomic evolution. Intertwined into the historical and visionary backdrop is the concept of basic income and its role. Of the film, Santiago said:

While the Mincome experiment is very much the central theme of the documentary, the documentary also looks into other basic income experiments and the various forms and possible implementation. I’ve started calculating the various ways to pay for it and how to implement them.

The promotional trailer created for the crowdfunding campaign asks various questions typically uttered by people who are cynical or against basic income. That is because Santiago did not want to make a film only for those already familiar with basic income. He wanted to create an entertaining and fun documentary that also draws in the skeptics by presenting facts, without shying away from common ridicule and prevailing concerns.

Another project that occupies Santiago’s time is creating a low-cost, no commission fee platform for crowdfunding, curating, and showcasing creative works. With this platform, which first went into development in 2012, Santiago is now launching the crowdfunding campaign for his documentary. The Mincome Experiment project is still a long way from reaching the stated fundraising goal, but the team remains confident the amount can be reached. Efficient use of the funds would allow the project to include more engaging footage and animation for the documentary, ensuring that it will capture and convince audiences worldwide.

The crowdfunding runs until June 15, 2017 and can be found here.

Written by the team behind “The Mincome Experiment.”

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The views expressed in this Op-Ed piece are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the view of Basic Income News or BIEN. BIEN and Basic Income News do not endorse any particular policy, but Basic Income News welcomes discussion from all points of view in its Op-Ed section.

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