Aug 29, 2013

Citizen dividend for South Africa

1. South Africa legally recognizes that natural resources belong to the people.

This is the most important statement for a potential citizen ownership democracy. People own the country and all its resources that had not been sold or leased to private entities.
Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act, 2002.3. (1) Mineral and petroleum resources are the common heritage of all the people of South Africa and the State is the custodian thereof for the benefit of all South Africans.
2. The resources do not belong to the state. The state is only an agent of the people. In this case, the state is given the role of the custodian of the resources.

This is also a very important statement. A custodian is entrusted by someone to hold properties for safekeeping. A custodian is not supposed to spend or use those properties. A custodian certainly can return the properties back to their original owners. Currently, almost all states assume that they are owners of the resources, which is very bad for the people.

3. Section 3(2) authorizes the Minister to collect fees and other payments for the resources.

So, money is coming in from the people's resources.

4. Section 3(3) requires the Minister to promote economic and social development.

The law is ambiguous on how the Minister is to use the money for promoting economic and social development "for the benefit of all South Africans". It does not explicitly deny a citizen dividend and it does not explicitly propose a citizen dividend.

The question is how can a Minister, as a custodian of all the South Africa people, use the resource money in a way that benefits equally each and every one of the 53 million South Africans, spread over 1 million sq km. If the Minister cannot do that, he will be violating the trust of the people to be their custodian.

The only solution that will benefit equally every South African is an unconditional distribution of an equal amount to every South African. This is the citizen dividend that comes from ownership of your country.

1 comment:

  1. Glad to see these ideas getting attention. The basic principle is that the earth belongs to all people equally in common. To give that principle practical meaning a citizen dividend derived from public collection of the rental value of land and natural resources is merely fundamental economic justice. This is even more obvious when it is realized that the economic value of land and natural resources measured in land rents and sale price is created 100% by the community of all people and not by individual 'owners' of of particular pieces of land/natural resources. The privatization of land and resources over the centuries has allowed individual owners to pocket a massive unearned income estimated 20-30+% of GNP everywhere. This has been the historical root cause of the disparity of wealth and income on planet earth. The taxation of land value in the hands of private owners in all the various ways that can be accomplished will thus become a fundamental aspect of the movement now taking shape to see to it that every person receives their fair share of the value of the earth. The simple principle of justice is that who ever creates an economic value is the person to whom it should be rendered. Too long has private ownership of the earth been interpreted to mean that individuals who do not create the value of land have the exclusive right to pocket that value. This simple principle seems to have escaped even ardent leftists who seem blind to the common heritage of the earth while asserting common ownership and therefore expropriation of capital, properly defined as the tools of production, the unmonopolized value of which is created by individuals is more important. There is no valid argument against sharing the earth and its community created value via appropriate government taxation/regulation. There is a valid economic justice argument against government taking of the individually created value of labor and capital. Landowners have been hiding in the skirts of real capital ever since leftists failed and, in the experience of this writer, now refuse to make the distinction between land and capital.