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Government The Almighty Buck

Could We Fund a Universal Basic Income with Universal Basic Assets? (fastcompany.com) 415

Universal Basic Incomes aren't really the issue, argues Fast Company staff writer Ben Schiller. "It's how you find $2 trillion to pay for it." One answer may come in the form of "universal basic assets" (UBA). UBA can mean a fund of publicly-owned infrastructure or revenue streams -- like Alaska's Permanent Fund which pays residents up to $2,000 a year from state oil taxes. Or, it can mean actual assets that drive down the cost of living, like tuition-free education and free public broadband. There are lots of proposals going around now that fall into these two camps...

Entrepreneur Peter Barnes has called for the creation of a Sky Trust that would both limit the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and provide revenue from carbon taxes. These "carbon dividends" solve two problems at once: income inequality and climate change. He would also tax corporations for using natural resources, on the thinking that the atmosphere, minerals and fresh water around us represent a "joint inheritance." He would also tax speculative financial transactions and use of the electromagnetic spectrum. The U.K. think-tank IPPR recently proposed a similar "sovereign wealth fund owned by and run in the interests of citizens." It would finance the fund with "a scrip tax of up to 3% requiring businesses to issue equity to the government, or pay a tax of equivalent value," sales of land owned by the U.K. monarchy, and higher inheritance taxes.

Blockchain can help. Blockchain technology could offer a way to divide publicly-owned infrastructure so it's genuinely publicly-owned. We could issue tokenized securities in the assets around us giving everyone a stake in their environment. Then they could trade those tokens on exchanges, like they were cryptocurrencies, or use the tokens as collateral on loans.

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Could We Fund a Universal Basic Income with Universal Basic Assets?

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  • Figures, that the globalist and socialist answer to technology that could free mankind from government control is to try to chain him to government forever. There is no need for 'Universal Basic Income' as its being envisioned. With new technology people will be able to and should be encouraged to live and provide for themselves independently with at most a very basic safety network not all that much more substantial than whats available now and can be provided by family and friends or the local community n
    • "New technology" is what keeps more and more people from being able to sustain themselves economically, because in most parts of the so-called first world the continuous increase of productivity continually also reduces the amount of work needed to produce goods, while a full-time job is still going to be needed (and is not even always sufficient) for the foreseeable future to be able to pay rent and buy food.

      The problem is, that neither the universal basic income nor the idea of universal basic assets deal

    • by mentil ( 1748130 )

      The question is, will the changes in government required to accept and implement a UBI happen before or after the people start demanding one. Technology will eventually take away the choice to continue punting the issue. Wealth will be distributed somehow, and 'what job you have' will decreasingly be the determinant of that.

    • Re:Figures (Score:5, Insightful)

      by xonen ( 774419 ) on Sunday April 22, 2018 @05:42AM (#56482443) Journal

      There is no need for 'Universal Basic Income' as its being envisioned.

      People have certain needs, like food, shelter and safety (and this includes the feeling of being safe).

      It not really matters how this is provided, as long it is. However, we do see that in many `developed` countries, there remain numerous issues that threaten the basic needs. While most countries have some sort of welfare system, it's often barely enough to live from. 'Enough not to die, not enough to live from' is often heard. Added to that are a lot of bureaucratic rules that, in order to keep the system 'fair' and 'cost effective' also limits people to escape their situation and improve it. A lot of welfare benefits evaporate the moment people accept (temporary) work, raising uncertainty while not immediately improving their situation. We see that in Europe a lot, even in countries with solid welfare. It is very hard to escape from the 'bottom' once there.

      Ironically, in America, one of the richest countries, the welfare system is even worse than in most European countries, even the 'poor European countries'. And when doing the math, it is easy to see that in general the economy would benefit if everyone has a fair income, and everyone that can is productive a.k.a. working. So it is easy to see where the idea for basic income came from.

      Now i do agree with you that 'basic income' has become a buzzword that is promising the silver bullet to poverty. And while it might not be that, it might be the direction that welfare systems should evolve: less bureaucracy, more opportunities, and more safety & guarantuee of basic needs.

      Ironically, i think basic income is as easy as reforming the welfare and taxation system, as in zero (or even 'negative') tax up to a certain threshold that provides minimum living needs. And make sure that people always financially progress when accepting (any kind of) work, instead of penalizing them.

      Poverty control needs political attention. Be it by 'buzzwords' like basic income, sure - if needed. But basic income in itself is a reasonable idea. Opponents usually pull it out of context, and calculate it as expensive, while not realizing it would not be any more expensive than any welfare system currently in place, and only aid economy by allowing more people in (part-time) jobs.

      • A lot of welfare benefits evaporate the moment people accept (temporary) work, raising uncertainty while not immediately improving their situation.

        If you let people work while receiving benefits (or worse, make the benefits contingent upon employment), you're essentially forcing the taxpayers to subsidize low-paying employers.

        This shit flies in the USA, because we've got this collective mentality that if you're not successful, it's your own fault.

        • Re:Figures (Score:4, Interesting)

          by apoc.famine ( 621563 ) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .enimaf.copa.> on Sunday April 22, 2018 @09:37AM (#56483179) Journal

          I read a postulation some time back that culturally, America is still puritan enough that we need to believe that bad people get punished. The only way to be sure that we see enough of that to be comfortable is to set up systems where people can fail and be miserable.

          As a basic starting, point, we need to set up a system where every two dollars you make you lose one dollar of benefits. If we did that, our welfare systems would be a path out of poverty. As it is now, you can make up to like 50% of your benefit with no penalty, but once you go over, you lose your benefit entirely. Someone who wants to work their way out of poverty gets up to about 150% of their welfare benefit, and then it disappears and they're at 51% of their benefit from working. Where's the incentive to escape poverty now?

          If we can't even get this right, I can't see us being able to do UBI correctly.

      • Ironically, in America, one of the richest countries, the welfare system is even worse than in most European countries, even the 'poor European countries'.

        I don't think this is true. In Amsterdam, for example, it's illegal to be homeless. Not only are they down, you kick them while they are down. Not cool at all.

    • by MrL0G1C ( 867445 )

      "try to chain him to government forever"

      They've very much done that already, the only people free of the system are those that don't have to pay taxes or use any public services including roads. And you'll probably still have to pay land taxes.

  • by Koby77 ( 992785 ) on Sunday April 22, 2018 @03:43AM (#56482127)
    Publicly owned infrastructure used to be called Communism, but I guess they needed some re-branding.
    • Publicly owned infrastructure is and has, to varying degrees, always been (necessary) part of functional capitalist nations. In communism the idea was to make the whole industry publicly owned. (Not a bad idea in itself, either, but not sufficient to make a society a nice place to live in, nor to really call a society communist.)

      • by Kjella ( 173770 )

        Publicly owned infrastructure is and has, to varying degrees, always been (necessary) part of functional capitalist nations. In communism the idea was to make the whole industry publicly owned.

        Publicly owned and operated, like the employees had no stake in the outcome. There's a very important distinction between what's offered as a public service and how it's delivered. For example when I was kid, trash collection was a public service delivered by public employees. while these days it's all through bids and tenders. Now that does have all the bad sides of a for-profit company like cutting corners and trying to take advantage of workers, but on the positive side it means that people are always re

    • by stephanruby ( 542433 ) on Sunday April 22, 2018 @04:34AM (#56482279)

      You didn't read the last paragraph about blockchain.

      Essentially, they want to do just what Russia did with its national assets.

      Privatize them, give out shares to every citizen in the country, allow those citizens to trade those shares in an open market.

      A few years later in Russia, all those shares held by the common people had been traded away to buy food or luxury goods. The real winners were the people with the cash who rounded up as much as those shares as possible. They had enough shares to take over the control of those companies and now those people are known as oligarchs. They were able to rob their country blind with this system.

    • by meglon ( 1001833 )
      No, it hasn't. You should learn what words mean before using them.
    • by monkeyxpress ( 4016725 ) on Sunday April 22, 2018 @05:28AM (#56482411)

      Publicly owned infrastructure used to be called Communism, but I guess they needed some re-branding.

      No. Communism is public ownership of all assets. If there are still private assets it is not Communism. Communism is something rather more dramatic than most of the people who throw around the world Communism mean, but in recent years this has generally been done on purpose so that any idea that is not pure unfettered neoliberal capitalism can be shot down as 'crazy communism'.

      Of course no country has actually ever had pure unfettered neo-liberal capitalism either, and very few people believe you can organise a society effectively without any form of 'community regulation of the means of production' - you know, things like food and drug safety standards, a centralised military and police force, competition and fraud rules for commerce. Stuff that is actually on the spectrum of Socialism (albeit the lighter end)

      In the end though, this is all about trying to claim ownership of words so that the historical connotations associated with that word in popular culture can be loaded against an idea you don't like. So it doesn't matter what the merits of this idea actually are (and I question many of them), by claiming it is 'Communism' people will cease evaluating the idea rationally and just reject it because it is associated with bad stuff. In many ways, I think one of the most influential aspects of the1980s economic reforms was associating them with the word 'free'.

      • No. Communism is public ownership of all assets. If there are still private assets it is not Communism.
        Thats nonsense.

        You are mixing up communism with hypotheticsl 'Ur-communism'.

  • by religionofpeas ( 4511805 ) on Sunday April 22, 2018 @03:58AM (#56482155)

    Blockchain can help. Blockchain technology could offer a way to divide publicly-owned infrastructure so it's genuinely publicly-owned

    Bullshit. First of all, blockchains only work when the tokens have sufficient value, otherwise there's no incentive for miners. Secondly, even in the case of the most successful blockchain, Bitcoin, we have 99% of the miner capacity in the hands of a few big players, not the general public.

    • Blockchain is proposed just for the tracking of the assets, not to create a cryptocurrency. I don't know if the idea has merit or not, but I wanted to clarify the proposal is not for token generation.
      • I know. My point is that it's not going to work without a currency. If there's no money to be made, why would you dedicate your computer power to maintaining the blockchain ?

  • by JumperCable ( 673155 ) on Sunday April 22, 2018 @04:07AM (#56482183)

    So how do you control for population growth? Hundreds of millions of unemployed people with nothing to do but fuck. If you pay for babies, you get more babies. And since there is no more need to compete for resources, they will all be little morons.

  • The total US stock market value is only about 60 trillion. Even taking a 10% stake in every company on the stock market would not come close to covering your 2 trillion a year price tag. people don't seem to comprehend just how huge a number that is. that is more than half the current US total tax revenue. perhaps if you see it with all the Zero's you might comprehend what a fuck load of money that is 2,000,000,000,000. Now then start thinking about how fucking huge a set of assets you require to consistent
    • by mentil ( 1748130 )

      Indeed, it would be easier to lower the cost of living so that they wouldn't need to pay out so much to give people enough to live off of. That might require some *shudder* regulations, though. Also, the money would have to go directly to the people rather than giving it to corporations and 'hoping' it'll trickle down to people.

      • Indeed, it would be easier to lower the cost of living so that they wouldn't need to pay out so much to give people enough to live off of. That might require some *shudder* regulations, though. Also, the money would have to go directly to the people rather than giving it to corporations and 'hoping' it'll trickle down to people.

        I fear the "solution" will be a lot more violent than that. We've been over-populating the earth for a long time now, and if Malthus' concept doesn't work it's destructive magic, simple economy will.

        There are simply too many humans on earth. And ecology aside, the more automation of the simpler tasks and elimination of those methods of being productive occur, the acceleration of Scrooges "surplus population" will happen.

        We will have some options. The best will be to acknowledge the issue, and allow th

    • by swb ( 14022 )

      It's a tough thing to work out, but I don't think it's impossible.

      US healthcare spending is like $3 trillion, existing social welfare spending around $1 trillion.

      I'm guessing we could cut healthcare by a trillion with single payer, and UBI in theory eliminates a lot of existing social welfare spending, so let's say we get $600 billion freed up by replacing 2/3rds of welfare with UBI.

      That gets us damn close without any new net spending or taxation.

      I also think it helps to be somewhat philosophical about the

      • I also think it helps to be somewhat philosophical about the long-term goal of UBI -- it isn't just paying cash to citizens,

        Indeed, it is encouraging people not to work.

        it's at least partly greatly reducing major income inequality which in turn leads to asset hoarding and sheltering. Reduce the income inequality and you start to long-term cut the amount of wealth hoarded/sheltered in economically non-productive assets.

        Which "economically non-productive assets"? Investments are highly economically productive

        • Indeed, it is encouraging people not to work.
          Unemployed do not work, we have plenty of them in germany, probably 5% of the population considerd being able to work.
          Then we have those considered not being able to work, e.g. simply being unemployed for 5 years or longer.
          Then we have the kids going to school (yes, they would get UBI, too!) they are not working either.
          Then we have people to old and on pension.

          Bottom line less than 30% of the population is working, the rest is on UBI, which is not called UBI but

    • Simpler answer : yes.

      Well, sorta.

      $2T is less than we spend on SSA/Medicare/Medicaid. Which we should, theoretically, be able to dispense with if we have a UBI. So the money is already there.

      Now, arguably, UBI really should come with government-run healthcare like the Europeans use. If so, we'll need a bit more than the 2$2.3T+ we're already spending on SSA/Medicare/Medicaid.

      BUT...the money now being paid for health insurance should more than make up the difference, so we're (probably) good there, to

      • $2T is less than we spend on SSA/Medicare/Medicaid. Which we should, theoretically, be able to dispense with if we have a UBI. So the money is already there.

        Except that in the current social programs, there are all kinds of mechanisms to distribute the appropriate amount of money to a person. Someone with high medical costs gets more money than someone who's completely healthy.

        Taking the same money, and spreading it all equally, means that the healthy person gets more, while the chronically ill gets much less.

      • by tsqr ( 808554 )

        $2T is less than we spend on SSA/Medicare/Medicaid. Which we should, theoretically, be able to dispense with if we have a UBI. So the money is already there.

        The average Social Security benefit is over $17,000/year; max is over $32,000. Looks like you want a lot of people to accept massive decreases.

      • Now, arguably, UBI really should come with government-run healthcare like the Europeans use.
        Health care in Europe is not government run, it is hevay regulated, yes.

        In Scandinavia, it is government run ... of course you can argue that it is a part of Europe.

  • Probably Not (Score:2, Interesting)

    by mentil ( 1748130 )

    Redistributing wealth gained from selling nationalized natural resources, ok, but that's not sustainable everywhere to the point to fund a UBI. What happens when electric vehicles drive down demand for oil? When coal electric generation is less profitable than solar? There goes your carbon tax income, too. Even for resources that won't become obsolete, it's presumed that a country is selling its resources more than it's importing i.e. running a trade surplus, and obviously not every nation can have a trade

  • Why do i imagine this being said in an almost pleading tone of voice?

  • An old proposal (Score:2, Insightful)

    by thsths ( 31372 )

    This is an old proposal - it has been around for decades. But I don't think it is going to happen, and the reason is simple:

    Being rich means being in control. In control of your own life, your own destiny. A universal income would give poor people a similar level of control over their lives, a level they do not currently have. And many people do no think that is a good idea, for a wide range of reasons from envy to paternalism.

  • by that's-so-kash ( 1561847 ) on Sunday April 22, 2018 @05:40AM (#56482441)

    UBI as a function of "giving people money to exist" cannot ever work. period.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

    basic economics, 101. thanks!

  • by Karmashock ( 2415832 ) on Sunday April 22, 2018 @06:41AM (#56482603)

    The example of Alaska is poor because naturally many states don't have resources that can be leveraged to provide 2000 dollars to each resident per year.

    What is more, even alaska's oil reserves are finite. What happens when that runs out? And it will.

    And it gets worse... you have to concede that this would just go federal... where in all national resources would go into some sort of federal pot to be spit up. But that's no good because once divided you won't have enough. Do the math.

    But its worse than that because even if you did have enough... it would again be finite.

    And worse than that because even if it weren't finite there would still be market fluctuation that would cause the pay out to change. That payout change would render the UBA unreliable. If you cached extra funds in good years to level out the payment in bad years then the payment would be more reliable but down turns or upturns in the commodities markets can last decades. Are you going to cache reserves to last decades? Come now.

    And it gets worse because even if you didn't have any of those problems subsidizing the population in this manner would almost certainly lead to run away consumption. It would not be in the interest of the public to have population growth because that would be more mouths to divide the money between. And yet the UBA or UBI or really any radical expansion in the welfare system would encourage people to join just to suck at the tit.

    It gets worse than that too because our agency in our republics is directly related to our economic logistical utility to the society. It was that increase in logistical utility that ended the rule of the nobles. Old Feudal style economies were not competitive because societies that did not grant agency to their valuable workers were not competitive. Economics is largely a question of motivating people. If individuals have more leverage then they must be bargained with to motivate them to work. If their labor is of no value then they have no leverage. The UBI and UBA concepts argue that large portions of the population will be of no value. One must hope that doesn't happen because if it does and the situation sustains throughout time then it is inevitable that they'll suffer extreme tyranny and possibly genocide.

    The UBI and UBA are at best... death sentences... they are a suicide pact. At best. At worst they fail for screwing up an almost endless list of economic problems that are pretty obvious. But assuming you can deal with that, the ultimate political consequences will be fatal.

    I would not advocate these policies unless you have nothing but malice in your heart for the people that will receive it.

    • Venezuala also tried this socialist welfare program stuff. The country is full of oil. The problem is it gave out a lot of the money as welfare programs. This did not lead to the development of alternative industry in the country that could help diversify the economy, so it remained independent on oil. Maybe... if the oil companies could invest their profit in stock in other companies in the country with interesting ideas, that may have helped. Chavez because of all of the taxes and confiscation that he was

      • To be shortsighted is to be a fool... the very nature of wisdom is to appreciate things in "time". The wise course is the one that will survive and thrive in time... and longer and more sustainable a policy is... the more it thrives in the fullness of time... the wiser it is.

        Not disagreeing with you at all you understand... agreeing with you wholeheartedly. Such policies are the opposite of wisdom... foolish... ignorant... barbaric... simpleminded.

  • If you pay people to do fuck-all, a lot of them will do exactly that. In the US and the UK, we have the example of the corrosive effects of multi-generational dependency and in the Middle East, you can see that it doesn't get better just by giving people more money.

    This is not even touching on the issue that government can only give away what it takes forcibly from those who produce it, and fuck that noise.

    -jcr

  • by Jim Sadler ( 3430529 ) on Sunday April 22, 2018 @08:28AM (#56482949)
    Jobs are not a central issue for what is to come as jobs will virtually vanish. For example, in the past we took natural resources and apply labor and export products. That meant that the income taxes for the investors and workers supplied the government with money. But now we can take the human effort out of production. We simply use machines to turn natural resources into products for export. there are very few workers to tax and less jobs every few months. so what can we do. Assign a basic income to each person of $3,000 per month. Fro that require the person to select a stock to purchase and hold for 30 days. Those that made money on their stock could receive the profit or let it be re-invested in a separate account. income tax would only be calculated to the stock market earnings that you placed in a second, long term account. The investment requirement would be made on the same day that the pay check comes to you and you can not make any changes until the next pay day and then you must make the investment that same day. now the good parts are that since every person is assigned to different days of the month the stock market is made stable with more moderate swings in value. Next those that spent time and studied what they should invest in would establish a social pecking order which seems to be important for humans. So some people would still earn more than others. Those humans who remain in jobs will be highly taxed so that taking that $3,000 a month is attractive and the difference between working and non working adults is not so great. Obviously businesses might be facing heavier taxes. And that is fair. After all with little to no human employees all a business does is take from the common elements of this world and trade it for cash elsewhere with no particular good done for the citizens of a nation. The real fun may start when AI devices are defined as legal persons and they apply their massive intelligence to acquiring cash and control of other companies. Imagine a large company like IBM investing all of its resources perpetually in building ever smarter computers.
  • "Blockchain could help"
    Yeah, so could a practically infinite number of other things. The 'put blockchain in everything' era of "ideas" is getting old fast. It's all very reminiscent of the game development space about four years ago when every game pitch was " IN VR!"

  • by elrous0 ( 869638 ) on Sunday April 22, 2018 @09:26AM (#56483141)

    ...is still communism. Transferring vast amounts of wealth from the corporations and wealthy to the common people for the common good always sounds like a great idea in theory. But the practical results have pretty consistently proven disastrous.

    Humans seem to need motivation to work and achieve. They need to feel like a big reward is possible, even if it's practically out of reach for most people. Penalizing success to give everyone more motivation to do the bare minimum is ultimately unhealthy for most societies (beyond a certain point anyway). No one disputes that we should have a social safety net for the old and infirm certainly, but a universal income for even the young and healthy only encourages a type of social stagnation.

    • by Halo1 ( 136547 )

      ...is still communism.

      This is not communism.

      They need to feel like a big reward is possible, even if it's practically out of reach for most people. Penalizing success to give everyone more motivation to do the bare minimum is ultimately unhealthy for most societies (beyond a certain point anyway).

      Between 1950 and 1980, the US had a constant top federal income tax rate of over 70% [bradfordtaxinstitute.com]. I'm not aware of any unhealthy effects that had. Additionally, a UBI does not mean that everyone earns the same. Everyone can earn as much as they want on top of their UBI. You do need taxes to pay for UBI, and even if you deduct the savings from having reduced poverty, getting rid of entire administrations etc, you still have a net gain from working. If that's work that you actually like, then you're

    • Communism by any other name is still communism

      Wouldn't UBI only be equivalent to communism in the case that the UBI level is set to something like GDP / population? Anything above that must necessarily be debt funded and unsustainable. Anything below that would allow anyone earning wealth in excess of their tax bill to keep it, which provides the motivation you suggest is necessary.

      We also need to solve the impending problem of massive unemployment as we make it illegal to buy or sell human labor at rates

    • ...is still communism. Transferring vast amounts of wealth from the corporations and wealthy to the common people for the common good always sounds like a great idea in theory. But the practical results have pretty consistently proven disastrous.

      Humans seem to need motivation to work and achieve. They need to feel like a big reward is possible, even if it's practically out of reach for most people. Penalizing success to give everyone more motivation to do the bare minimum is ultimately unhealthy for most societies (beyond a certain point anyway). No one disputes that we should have a social safety net for the old and infirm certainly, but a universal income for even the young and healthy only encourages a type of social stagnation.

      I don't know enough about UBA, but not only is UBI fundamentally different than communism but you also misunderstand the true flaws of communism.

      Communism failed because of the disconnect between information and incentives, an economy is simply too complex to plan centrally and it's really hard to design incentives that motivate people towards the desired outcome.

      Soviet workers weren't demotivated because they thought they wouldn't get rich, they were demotivated because they could see how much their labour

  • The current blockchain is not carbon friendly.
  • Just 'don't be silly'. We-all get back what we contribute to 'society', priced at what society needs. Get it wrong, and you'd better work harder, or at something more useful. If productive assets are confiscated, go get your pitchfork.
  • We need a block chain version of the appy apps guy. That is all I got from this summary.

  • by PPH ( 736903 )
    Marx is lying in his grave, giggling like mad.

    And I don't mean Groucho.

  • What does "carbon dioxide in the atmosphere" have to do with "universal basic income"?

  • by epine ( 68316 ) on Sunday April 22, 2018 @01:12PM (#56484225)

    Step 1: Postulate that a viable UBI program increases economic vitality. Any tenuous, single-dimensional projection of the global economic system onto the Graph of Progress is fine here, so long as it incorporates at least a single macroeconomic truism (these are a dime a dozen; if you're having trouble coming up with one, it's because you're failing to appreciate the true, deep, eternal genius of sweeping-paintbrush oversimplification).

    Step 2: Feed a new sustained economic growth rate into your super-duper exponential-growth-ifier (add as many extra increments of 0.1% to the sustained economic growth rate as your ego, steely biceps, and self-importance warrant—don't be shy here, think of these as economic vitamin pills for the betterment of the whole society).

    Step 3: Presto, bingo the program soon pays for itself. Crow loudly. Why, you could even borrow NOW from such an illustrious, wealth-dripping future.

    Bonus marks: And if you're really good, have the program pay for itself while cutting taxes at the same time (but don't try this at home, for professional bullshit artists only).

  • by kenh ( 9056 ) on Sunday April 22, 2018 @05:52PM (#56485401) Homepage Journal

    Entrepreneur Peter Barnes has called for the creation of a Sky Trust that would both limit the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and provide revenue from carbon taxes. These "carbon dividends" solve two problems at once: income inequality and climate change. He would also tax corporations for using natural resources, on the thinking that the atmosphere, minerals and fresh water around us represent a "joint inheritance." He would also tax speculative financial transactions and use of the electromagnetic spectrum.

    So the idea is to monetize the air, water, and minerals around us, right? And how exactly do you realize the declared value in these 'shared assets'? By consuming them, which means the only way people get the financial benefit is by polluting/consuming precious natural resources... why that's as stupid as funding children's health care by taxing their parents for smoking known carcinogens. [taxfoundation.org]

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