30 March 2015

With Liberty and Dividends for All

I just ordered a book by economist Peter Barnes called With Liberty and Dividends for All. The thesis is simple. When private companies are permitted to privatize the Commons, they should pay dividends to the people. Like Alaska's oil dividend. If really vigorously effected, such a system could transform our economy and save the Middle Class. The reality is that Republicans really DO believe in Welfare. Welfare for the privileged and powerful, in the form of Ag subsidies, subsidized resource extraction, facilitated tax evasion, subsidized financial sector wealth extraction. We can reverse all of those things and make the nation's wealth support its citizens. The old 20th Century paradigm of consumer capitalism is so obviously failing. The solution, which would also make environmental national action much easier to accomplish, is a mixed economy where private wealth must pay rents not to private extractors, but to the ultimate owners: the people. 
Pie in the sky? Only if we accept that defeat. 


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