Citizens Dividend

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A proposal, related to the Basic Income, which would fund it through a rent on all the resources generated by nature.



Proposed by Jeffrey Smith of the Geonomics movement:

"People campaigning for a better world should also demand a social salary. A social salary is an extra income apart from one's labor or capital, paid to everyone. It is not a bribe. It is not a reward for good behavior. It is your right. It's similar to the European proposal for a Basic Income. It is different in that this Citizens Dividend is paid from rent.

A version of rent dividends already exist in some places. Once passed into law, it is almost impossible for reactionary forces to remove. Alaska pays its residents a dividend from oil rent, which was about $1800 in 2000. Alberta (Canada) pays the average family $C860 per year from oil revenue. Before the Gulf War, Kuwait paid a sizeable dividend from oil royalties. Oil is but the tip of the iceberg. There is much more rent to be collected. It's all the money we spend on the nature we use. What are we waiting for?

Currently the elite collects most rent via bank mortgages and corporate prices for food, fuel, homes, and other products. If instead we were to collect and share this immense stream of revenue, we would do more to weaken the corporate elite than almost any other strategy imaginable. Because this strategy is so subtle, it remains a secret - and its advocates remain safe. But it's a potent reform. Politically, sharing rent would create a world of equals. Economically, sharing rent would lift people out of poverty and motivate people to conserve the environment. This Citizens Dividend lets us create the world we all want." (

More Information

The proposal is outlined in great detail at