Friday, March 11, 2016
Thomas Paine Advocated Payment for Commons
Why should the top 1 percent get their income from no labor and everyone else should toil like wage slaves to hopefully make ends meet? Capitalism creates two kinds of income. One is derived from physical or mental labor; the other is from ownership of property rights. At this time the what’s left of the middle class gets nearly all of it’s income from labor. Counting Social Security and pensions as deferred wages and salaries. The top 1 percent gets their income from capital gains, dividends and property income, which is also taxed at lower rates than labor income. So to even this up, there should be a way for the wage slaves to reap some non-labor income to offset the inequality of labor and wages. This should be a birth right for everyone. Everyone should get dividends from charging rent for our Commons, by those profiting off our ecosystems, sciences, technologies, legal system, roads, oil reserves, minerals, and more. These Commons are co-owned by everyone at birth, and paid out as stock dividends, as they do in Alaska for the oil, and a county in Oregon is doing with wind farms. Vermont is considering doing this. Norway has corporations pay into an account and the money is used to fund its government thereby paying for free healthcare and other social programs. This is not a new concept. Thomas Paine, 1737-1809, wrote a books on the notion of paying people for using our Commons. His books are: Common Sense, The American Crisis, The Rights of Man, The Age of Reason, and Agrarian Justice, which is about property rights and not agriculture. Paine wrote that there are two kinds of property. First, natural property, or that which comes to us from the creator of the universe, such as the earth, air and water. Secondly, artificial or acquired property, such as the inventions of man. The latter kind of property must necessarily be distributed unequally, but the first kind rightfully belongs to everyone equally. Paine thought it was the legitimate birthright of every man and woman, not a charity, but a right. The world is running out of labor jobs so we must look at some kind of a mix of labor wages and non-labor wages if we expect the capitalist system to not disappear as we know it today.