Why Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend is a bad idea
The Alaska Permanent Fund and concepts like it are created to corrupt people into accepting a business that they might otherwise strongly oppose. Their acceptance of exploitation and environmental destruction is achieved by making them accomplices with a small share of the benefit, while they, their children, and everybody else in the world, will end up having to deal with the damage caused by that business. In addition, this concept works only as long as the environment is exploited.
This kind of social security system can never be sustainable.
Other problems and questions arise with the concept of ownership of natural resources:
Who decides which resources belong to which community? There are already many conflicts in the cases of fish and deep sea and sub-sea floor resources of various kinds. But even on land you can question if a “community” (formed of people living how near or how far from the exploitation spot or the deposit?) could own resources that are not renewable (in a reasonable time) and which cause damage to a world-wide eco-system if used/burned. That is exactly what happens with crude oil, tar sand, natural gas and so on.
The concept of anybody “possessing” nature is highly questionable. At least if ownership is used the way we would own a book or a banana: We can do with that what we want. Burn it, store it, eat is, share it, give it away, paint it…whatever. It is a very problematic idea to use the same concept for an ecosystem with many of living entities on it.
To link this with a basic income, which is an idea about unlinking money from physical goods and connect it with social capital, means badly and negatively distorting Basic Income. Also BI/GLI (Guaranteed Livable Income) must never be used to force people (peoples) into what is referred to as capitalism — on the contrary, it should empower everybody to withstand the pressure of exploitation of any kind. And especially, of course, of natural resources that would often better be left where they are.
Also, Karl Widerquist’s point in the article about monopolies is erroneous because a functioning monopoly needs to be a world-wide one which is difficult to gain and moreover nothing we could be wanting. In the real world there is no way for most communities to resist the pressure of exploitation when we link their social security even more to that than it already is today “exploiting this deposit will create jobs and thus generate income to the community”.
This concept is an extremely misleading idea that could undermine and damage efforts to establish BI/GLI as a way to transform today’s economy into a sustainable and just one on a planet with some nature given scarcities.
C.A. L’Hirondelle, Frederik Schenk, Eric Manneschmidt JULY 12, 2013, 1:44 PM
See also: http://livableincome.org/agbifunding.htm