Mar 28, 2014

Your answer to this question will affect billions of people

Should oil money go to the government or to the people?

More generally, should the common wealth go to the government or to the people?

Common wealth means money from a country's properties that are owned together by its citizens. This includes mineral resources, water resources, sovereign wealth fund, common land, air space, electromagnetic bandwidth, and various license fees.

If you believe that oil money should go to the government, you believe in the current situation. Right now, oil money goes to the government. Even in Alaska with its oil-funded citizen dividend, a huge proportion of the oil money goes to the government.

If you believe that oil money should go to the people, you believe in a new world. You believe in a world where people get big citizen dividends. You believe in a world where there is no poverty.

For example, it is estimated that if all the oil money from Alaska goes to the people, each family could get US$32,000 a year. That certainly will wipe out poverty in Alaska. Another example is Singapore. If the investment returns from just the sovereign wealth funds are distributed to citizens, each family will get S$20,000. This will also wipe out poverty in Singapore. These numbers do not count money from other common wealth sources. The possible numbers are even bigger.

Why will your answer affect billions of people?

If enough people believe in the new world of citizen dividends, that will come true. When it happens in one country, others will follow. It is similar to universal suffrage. When every person in a country gets to vote, people in other countries will demand the same rights. When every person in a country gets his or her full citizen dividend, people in other countries will demand the same.

Your answer will affect billions of people.

Here is a list of people who are asking this question or who are giving their answers.

"Why should oil or natural gas resources extracted from Nigerian or Iraqi or Ugandan soil automatically end up as public resources to be used – or abused – as determined by the government of the day?"
report, by Alan Gelb and Stephanie Majerowicz from the Center for Global Development

'Article 8, Section 8, of Alaska’s constitution, which states: “The legislature shall provide for the utilization, development, and conservation of all natural resources belonging to the state, including land and waters, for the maximum benefit of its people.” While this does not actually say the people rather than government own those resources, as many contend, it amounts to virtually the same thing. This mandate first prompted me to attempt to assure that all Alaskans received a discernible share of those benefits.'

"The world belongs to humanity, not this leader, that leader, kings or religious leaders. The world belongs to humanity. Each country belongs essentially to their own people."

"We should always remember that, in the end, this country belongs to us."

"It is the people's lack of a sense of entitlement that enables their rulers rip them off so easily while they meekly accept a life of poverty and hardship as inevitable."
Remi Adekoya. The Guardian

"This Fund [The Alaska Permanent Fund] was the first to recognize the full rights of citizens to share directly in the income from public assets."

"Just now Parliament approved very important law. This is not about simply distributing money to citizens. This has created legal environment that decided to have citizens receive a share from revenues gained from minerals."

"Exaggerating the downside of dividends serves as a useful justificatory tool for current SWF arrangements where significant national savings stay under the direct and relatively autonomous control of financial managers."[i.e., the politicians]

"The existence of a dividend gives every citizen a stake in the management of our common wealth, an interest in holding managers accountable and an equal share of the common wealth that nature has given to us all."

"You don’t have to be resource-rich to have a resource dividend.”

No comments:

Post a Comment