Oregon Should Create a Universal Dividend Fund

Oregon should create a universal dividend fund. This could eventually function sort of like a universal basic income. Perhaps a requirement to receive the dividend would be to reside in the state for at least five years, or since birth. Each adult could be given a certain amount each month. Each parent could be given a certain amount for each child they are raising.

I support the creation of a universal basic income, and if needed, initially, a slow or fast growing, universal dividend. There are many ways to potentially implement a universal dividend fund, and eventually a universal basic income.

The S&P 500 is a stock market index that has grown on average at about 7% per year since about 1930.

If a fund of ten million dollars is created and invested in the S&P 500, perhaps 2% of the fund could go towards a universal basic dividend. The other 5% could be reinvested into the universal basic dividend fund. Until the dividend reaches a certain amount, perhaps the dividend could be provided to Oregon residents as a tax credit. If the initial fund is 10 million dollars, the first year, $200,000 would be available to all Oregonians as the universal dividend. There are about 4 million residents of Oregon, so each Oregonian would be given about 5 cents. This would be impractical to distribute, so each Oregonian adults and adults with children could be given a .05 tax credit per person and child.

It is possible to argue that this is so little money it is useless. However, compounding returns will have a significant effect. If no additional money is added to the fund, after 100 years, at 5% growth on average, the fund would reach about 1.3 billion dollars. This would allow an annual 2% withdrawal of about 26,000,000 dollars.

Ideally, the dividend fund would be started with at least 100 million dollars, and have at least 40 million dollars added to it each year. At that rate, after 100 years, presuming 5% growth each year, the fund would reach about 123 billion dollars. At a 2% withdrawl, about 2.45 billion dollars would be available a year to distribute. If the population of Oregon is 15 million in 100 years, this would provide about about 164 dollars per person per year. As described so far, this is all potentially budget neutral. If my math is incorrect, please do correct me. In 200 years from inception, this fund would grow to about 16.25 trillion dollars.

A universal dividend funds purpose is to start the path towards implementing a universal basic income, and to in the long term, provide a significant amount of a basic income to Oregon citizens eventually.

Alaska already has a fund like this for oil profits. In Oregon, taxes on profits from natural resource usage, and increased taxes on wealthy individuals’ net incomes could perhaps go towards funding a dividend as described here.

Ultimately, a universal basic income should be implemented. A universal dividend fund is a potential way to start the implementation of a universal basic income for all Oregonians. The best time to plant a tree is yesterday, or ten or twenty years ago.

My name is Scott Everhart. I am running for Governor of Oregon in 2018 as part of the relatively progressive Futurist Party. I support the eventual implementation of a universal basic income. The eventuality of technological unemployment necessitates a basic income. I am currently a write in candidate. I may not win the Governor’s position, but I at least hope to significantly influence political dialogues and ideas. My views are my own and do not represent the views of any past, present, or future employers.