I don't know if this program will work, becasue I don't know if the fincancail resources are there. But this is a unique and interesting program that could end up working out well for Ontario. It is unique and is a great social experiment that could help solve many problems.
Many people work at jobs they dislike in order to have financial security. Often people, such as artists and writers sacrifice their passion because they cannot rely on it to pay the bills. If people had the freedom to choose what they wanted to do and what to pour their energy into, they would work much harder than they would at a job they hated.
Yes, people would work harder if they knew they could choose any career they wanted without worry about income. People who enjoy their work and are not worried about finances work harder, often beyond expectations. It seems like a fantastic program. It will be interesting to see how it works.
The question is, "would people work harder", which to me is a useless question. The support for the "yes" in this argument is that people would select the optimal job of their choice, and thus "work harder" because they're doing what they want to do, or what they enjoy doing
There are two problems with this.
1) This assumes that people would select the job that they like the most, but that all needed jobs would still be filled. For example, if everyone had a basic income which allowed them to select the job of their choice, we'd probably have a lot of actors, musicians, and full-time video game players, but very few garbage men, or other jobs that are needed. Why? Because many people take up occupations because they pay well, not because they want to do them. If the incentive to do these jobs is removed, then there's less of a chance that enough people would still occupy these positions. Assuming that this minimum income is low enough to not take people away from these jobs, this is simply a transfer of wealth from the productive to the non-productive. Think of the doctor working 65 hours a week subsidizing the guy on his couch playing X-box...
2) "working harder" does not necessarily = more productive, which is an underlying piece of the question. Society doesn't really care how "hard" someone works. We do, however, care how productive someone is. For instance, let's assume someone decides to play music with this new guaranteed income. They could work REALLY hard at playing music now that they have this income, but this might not be the optimal allocation of resources. The production of music isn't valued by society given the fact that our hypothetical musician could not survive doing this before. AKA; people were not willing to pay for his music, thus it is not an efficient allocation of resources.
Having steady source of income without having to work at all will cause a society of laziness. People's work ethic will drop drastically as they don't have the drive of needing to make money pushing them. You will lose droves of workers that work for the sole purpose of making money, because the money comes without work.
They would work the easiest jobs that they could and they would have no reasons to be motivated. Why would you work your butt off if you know that you are going to be paid the same no matter what kind of job that you do. Anyone who knows anything about economics knows this is crap.
I don't think that more people will work harder if they knew they could choose any career they wanted without worrying about income. This is because if people get access to that amount of money monthly, they will be reluctant to work and therefore, the will lazy around and be idle.