Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Zuckerberg praises Alaska model

On a visit to Alaska, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has once again backed the development of UBI.

"Alaska has a form of basic income called the Permanent Fund Dividend," he wrote. "Every year, a portion of the oil revenue the state makes is put into a fund. Rather than having the government spend that money, it is returned to Alaskan residents through a yearly dividend that is normally $1000 or more per person. That can be especially meaningful if your family has five or six people.

"This is a novel approach to basic income in a few ways. First, it's funded by natural resources rather than raising taxes. Second, it comes from conservative principles of smaller government, rather than progressive principles of a larger safety net. This shows basic income is a bipartisan idea," he continued.

He also linked the development of UBI to a profit-making society.

"Seeing how Alaska put this dividend in place reminded me of a lesson I learned early at Facebook: organizations think profoundly differently when they're profitable than when they're in debt," he added.

"When you're losing money, your mentality is largely about survival. But when you're profitable, you're confident about your future and you look for opportunities to invest and grow further. Alaska's economy has historically created this winning mentality, which has led to this basic income. That may be a lesson for the rest of the country as well."

Zuckerberg also highlighted another form of basic income developed by the Native Corporations. 

"In Alaska, native land is owned and developed by private corporations, which are run and owned by Native Alaskans. These corporations also pay out annual dividends to their shareholders, who are largely natives, based on the resources they develop.

"So if you're a Native Alaskan, you would get two dividends: one from your Native Corporation and one from the state Permanent Fund," he concluded.


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