Jul 28, 2013

Pay me because you make me suffer. Carbon Tax and Car ownership.

A citizen-ownership democracy works on the foundation that citizens are owners of their country, and therefore any wealth generated from common properties belongs to them and should be distributed equally among them. Pay me because I am a co-owner of this country.

Another reason for paying citizens/residents is that they have suffered from certain actions. There is a lot of legal and moral justification for a sufferer to get compensation from those who make him suffer. One example is the carbon tax.
Citizens Climate Lobby pushes for a carbon tax and dividend
Citizens Climate Lobby aims to organize the public to create pressure behind a carbon fee and dividend system

CCL pushes specifically for a carbon fee and dividend, which taxes carbon emissions, collects and divides up that revenue, and gives 100% of it back to citizens. Most people get the same or more money back as dividends as they pay in higher energy prices, but they would make even more money by using less fossil fuel energy.

A carbon fee and dividend system has been implemented in British Columbia since 2008 with great success – the economy is doing well, emissions are down, and citizens have seen no net increase in taxes.
Another example is the money from car ownership certificates in Singapore. A potential car owner has to bid for a certificate of entitlement before he can register a car. A certificate of entitlement recently goes for almost S$100,000 (about US$80,000). This excludes the cost of the car itself.

From the citizen ownership angle, citizens own the road space which is used by car owners. Hence the money from certificates of entitlement is wealth generated from common properties. It should be distributed equally to all citizens. This works out to more than S$500 per citizen per year.

From the suffering angle, the certificate of entitlement system serves to keep car ownership among the rich and well off. The poor are pushed to take the very crowded and inconvenient public transportation system. The money from certificates of entitlement should be distributed to citizens to compensate them for their suffering. $500 per year could mean about half a year of free public transportation.

From either perspective, money from certificates of entitlement should be distributed to citizens.

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