Johnny West explains the fundamental reason for a citizen dividend very well. It is giving citizens back their rightful citizen income. This is justice. Not welfare.
The IMF and oil: It's the politics, stupid - Opinion - Al Jazeera English: by Johnny West.
|Oil = citizen dividend|
"Ownership of sub-soil natural resources by the entire people is recognised by law and in many cases by constitution, in most producing countries."
"Citizen dividends - give it back
If states manage natural resource wealth on behalf of the people, why don't they give some of it back to them directly? Not as welfare state; means tested and administered by a bureaucracy, but as a flat universal citizen dividend.
Ironically, this idea has been been vehemently opposed on ideological grounds by large sections of both the left and the right. The right are repelled by the decadence of giving away something for nothing. The point that natural resources actually belong, legally, to the people in the first place, so no-one is giving away anything, eludes them.
Parts of the left sometimes see it as a sinister libertarian plot to undermine the state, making an unfortunate and imported equation between the legitimacy of a state and the amount of money it has. The mental paradigm generally invoked is of throwing bundles of dollars off the back of lorries into a refugee camp.
In fact, in the 21st century a citizen dividend would be more likely to take place by digital transfer over mobile phone. Harnessed properly, it would be a massive asset for social and economic development - multiplying the tax base, a key IMF concern, transforming the local finance sector, putting the small business sector on steroids and, in many countries, coming close to eliminating absolute poverty."Yes, as shown for Singapore, a citizen dividend will eliminate poverty in Singapore.