Social Wealth Funds

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Also known as Sovereign Wealth Funds. An alternative for public ownership of wealth that has been widely used around the world. See also Basic Income, which could be funded by these.

Links

Social Wealth Fund for America [More...]
A proposal for a social wealth fund that would pay a universal basic dividend to all Americans each year from assets accumulated by government such as stocks, bonds, and real estate. Discusses the success of the Alaska Permanent Fund. The more assets that are accumulated, the more inequality and poverty would be reduced.
A Simple Fix for Our Massive Inequality Problem [More...]
"There’s a tried and tested way, within the system we have now, of giving everyone a share in the investment returns now hoarded by the wealthy. It’s called a social wealth fund, a pool of investment assets in some ways like the giant index or mutual funds already popular with retirement savings accounts or pension funds, but one owned collectively by society as a whole."
Basic Income (21 links)
A simple social welfare program that ensures everyone has sufficient income to raise them above the poverty line, whether or not they work. Most libertarians oppose this as "redistribution". Milton Friedman proposed this as a negative income tax. John Locke said the poor have rights to the wealth of the rich for basic needs. In Canada, an experimental version was called Mincome. See also Social Wealth Funds. In the US, the Alaska Permanent Fund funds a tiny basic income system.
How Capitalist Is Singapore Really? [More...]
"Singapore (and Norway, among others) shows that it is quite possible to collectively own the means of production while also using price systems to assist in the allocation of productive factors. This is what market socialists have been saying for a hundred years."
Norway’s gargantuan sovereign wealth fund, by the numbers [More...]
This is how society should be run. Not to prop up billionaires, but to support everybody. "Since its founding in the late 1990s, the fund has amassed its vast wealth with the intention of paying for pensions in future generations, when Norway’s population ages and its oil wells run dry."
Robot Takeover Matters Less If We're All Shareholders [More...]
"A social welfare fund that benefits every American would cushion human obsolescence... It could be just what the country needs to reverse the negative trends that have afflicted the middle and working classes during the past several decades."
The Norwegian State Owns Most Of The Country’s Wealth [More...]
"There is little doubt that, in terms of state ownership at least, Norway is the most socialist country in the developed world and, not coincidentally, the happiest country in the world according to the UN’s 2017 World Happiness Report."
The Public Really Can Own Everything [More...]
The genius of modern finance has been to create corporate ownership arrangements that allow basically anyone, including the government, to own shares of any company in any sector while being as involved (or uninvolved) as they want to be in steering the company. A federal social wealth fund, like the one I advocate, should be able to take advantage of modern shareholding institutions to expand public ownership into every aspect of the US economy.
The State Owns 76% of Norway’s Non-Home Wealth [More...]
"Norway at minimum proves that it is possible to mix high levels of state ownership with a high degree of prosperity. And no, this is not just about its oil: high levels of state ownership prevailed even before the oil fund began in 1996."
The UBI Already Exists. It Is Just Unevenly Distributed. [More...]
"The UBI Sawicky describes requires $3.2 trillion [$10.000/year] while capital’s share [unearned income] is $5 trillion. It looks like the UBI already exists. It is just very unevenly distributed." Thus a UBI close to $16,000/year could be easily afforded.
Why Social Wealth Funds Are Not Just Taxes [More...]
"Bringing the public in as one of the governors of the corporate sector (alongside remaining private investors and labor) is both good in itself from a small-d democratic perspective and also probably good instrumentally as a way to get the corporate sector more interested in sustainable, long-term value creation."
Why the US needs its own sovereign wealth fund [More...]
"the US Sovereign Wealth Fund can focus on making as high a return as possible for the US taxpayer, and hire accordingly, as other sovereign wealth funds do, while the Federal Reserve focuses on getting the amount of stimulus right, which is where its expertise lies. The US Sovereign Wealth Fund needs the same level of independence as the Fed, and a single mandate to earn high returns, given the level of risk it is taking on."

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