Universal Basic Income

Having lived in Hawaii, I understand why the concern there may be greater than for other places. My experience showed me that the income disparity between wealthy mainlanders who bumped-up real estate prices in Hawaii, and everyone else who had to work for a living, was crazy severe. To survive a cost-of-live higher than the San Francisco Bay area at minimum-wage levels, I observed that most locals had to work more than one job just to survive. Today, I imagine this disparity is even greater.

UBI is a dividend-type proposal similar to the one in Alaska since 1982 via the Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation distributing an annual share of oil revenues to each resident of the state (including children in the family). In 2007, the amount to each resident was $3,269 and in 2016, only $1022.

Former Democratic Congressman, Dennis Kucinich, a proponent of this economic strategy for every American, not just Alaskans, said after former Treasury secretary Henry Paulson announced the 2007 $700 billion bank bailout:

“Since the bailout will cost each and every American about $2,300, tomorrow I will offer legislation to create a United States Mutual Trust Fund, which will take control of $700 billion in stock assets, at market value and not higher, convert those assets to shares, and distribute $2,300 worth of shares to new individual savings accounts in the name of each and every American.”

According to another UPI proponent, Richard C. Cook, former Treasury employee and author of the book, We Hold These Truths, (for which I wrote the forward) one of UBI’s most recent sources is Scottish Major C.H. Douglas. In 1918 he was an industrial engineer who authored the book, Economic Democracy, which addressed the gap of purchasing power for the average person, and therefore the need for government-distributed dividends.

Cook, in a Global Research article, discusses “Credit as a Public Utility: The Key to Monetary Reform,” asserting that social credit “should be treated as a public utility, like water, electricity, and clean air.”

“A citizens’ dividend could work wonders in rebuilding the economy from the bottom up, including small business and local agriculture. To assure that dividends are spent for necessities, they could be issued initially as tax-free food, fuel, and housing vouchers from a government recovery account not dependent on taxation or borrowing. Rather the backing for the vouchers would be the productive potential of the economy. This way new economic production could be generated without bank loans. The vouchers, when spent, could be funneled into a network of community savings banks that would re-lend the money at zero percent interest.” (Richard C. Cook, “How to Save the U.S. Economy,” Global Research)