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Institutions For Future Generations$
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Iñigo González-Ricoy and Axel Gosseries

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198746959

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198746959.001.0001

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The People’s Endowment

The People’s Endowment

Chapter:
(p.312) 19 The People’s Endowment
Source:
Institutions For Future Generations
Author(s):

Karl Widerquist

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198746959.003.0019

Many private institutions (e.g. universities and museums) have large and growing endowments. Governments don’t have them despite enormous opportunities to create them. This chapter argues that governments should start to build up permanent endowments of publicly held assets, both financial and physical, lease at least some of them out to private industry, and use the revenue for two purposes: half for government spending and half for an unconditional basic income—in recognition of each citizen’s shared ownership of the common resources and the sacrifice they make living in a world where others own the environment they live in. The goal should be to keep the total value of the portfolio growing (taking into account the overall value of its income-generating and non-income-generating assets—including the commons), so that each generation leaves the next with a more valuable endowment.

Keywords:   Basic Income, common resources, commons, resource taxation, endowment, citizens dividend, poverty, inequality

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