or citizen's income
is a proposed state policy based upon the principle that the natural world is the common property of all persons (see Georgism
). It is proposed that all citizens receive regular payments (dividends
) from revenue raised by the state through leasing or selling natural resources
for private use. In the United States
, the idea can be traced back to Thomas Paine
's essay, Agrarian Justice
, which is also considered one of the earliest proposals for a social security
system in the United States. Thomas Paine best summarized his view by stating that "Men did not make the earth. It is the value of the improvements only, and not the earth itself, that is individual property. Every proprietor owes to the community a ground rent for the land which he holds."
This concept is a form of basic income, where the Citizen's Dividend depends upon the value of natural resources or what could be titled as "common goods" like seignorage, the electro-magnetic spectrum, the industrial use of air (CO production), etc.
The State of Alaska dispenses a form of citizen's dividend in its Permanent Fund Dividend, which holds investments initially seeded by the state's revenue from mineral resources, particularly petroleum. In 2005, every eligible Alaskan resident (including their children) received a check for $845.76. Over the 24-year history of the fund, it has paid out a total of $24,775.45 to every resident.
- A Citizens’ Income. Clive Lord. John Carpenter, 2003. ISBN 1-897766-87-4.