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ANDE (A National Dividend Economy) a proposal by David C. Coles (c) 2002

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Many economists, writers and philosophers in the 20th century noted that technological advancement tends to simultaneously create plenty while eliminating jobs.  We may look at an ever increasing smorgasbord of goods and services, which fewer and fewer of us can afford to participate in.  Many have noted that this is unjust, since we are all the heirs, the inheritors, of centuries of growth, progress and discovery, which inheritance we are only allowed to access by exchanging years of our lives for money in a servile dependency aptly called wage slavery.  There may well be a better way . . .

"If the Machine does the work of one hundred men, it's production is enough to pay one hundred men's wages. The Dividend is the logical successor to the wage." (Orage, 1934)

Click here to learn more about the history, philosophy, and economics of the National Dividend idea.

Below is my concept, diagram and explanation for a practical implementation of the National Dividend idea.  The dollar amounts and tax rate percentages are "straw man" figures which will be optimized as the proposal receives further study and refinement.  All content 2002 by David C. Coles, All rights reserved - Permission to distribute and access this URL is granted.


(1) Citizens invest their money in banks and/or businesses if they wish.  (2) Businesses pay wages to employees, profits to business owners, and income to investors in the business. (3) Note two-way arrow - Citizens exchange money with business for products and services, paying sales taxes (5) and (6).  (4) Business pay taxes on the goods and services they buy on the market.  (7) Government services, including the Dividend (8) are paid for by taxes labeled (4), (5) and (6).  FOR FURTHER DETAILS SEE ANDE Q&A AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS PAGE.

Here are some highly recommended National Dividend resources online:

I don't intend for this proposal to remain theoretical.  The first two steps to an actual legislative implementation of this proposal are (1) money for research, lobbying and information disemination and (2) the construction of a large and active ANDE interest group.
(1) Is accomplished when you send $10 for a lifetime (of the publication) subscription to the ANDE email newsletter to David C. Coles  94 Calypso Ct.  Bunker Hill, WV 25413 - Be sure to include your email address.  The newsletter will sponsor research, lobbying and ANDE information dissemination intended to grow the proposal into a movement and then into a reality.
(2) Is accomplished when you refer as many people as you can to this web page.  DO NOT SPAM!!  But you can use the icon below to spread the word to people you know personally who will not feel spammed to receive a web site referral from you.  In fact, I will give monthly gifts to those who refer the most friends to this web page.  To be eligible, just put in the CC line where all your referrals are in the TO line - and I promise to not use their addresses for any other purpose than to count them  to determine who I give these gifts to.
Also, please feel free to email me with your comments and post your impressions on the forum.  I'll try to respond quickly.


Q: Every citizen gets the Dividend? Wouldn't taxes be less if the Dividend was paid only to people who were needy?
A: Every citizen gets the Dividend from the Rockefellers to the man in the tin foil hat. Polarization between the rich and poor has torn whole civilizations apart. A universal Dividend removes resentment between the classes, helps out the working middle class, assures that there's an economic advantage to working, saves the poor and avoids accusations that we're paying people not to work. The Dividend is a citizen's right, like voting.

Q: Do children get the Dividend?
A: I don't think we want to pay people for having children. (Although if the working tax base implodes in a few years, as some are predicting, we may want to.) But for now I think we'll want to look at annual payments to minors set aside in an interest bearing account and available for college, investment or starting a business when they become adults.

Q: What parts of the Welfare system does the Dividend replace?
A: Straw Man guessing says all of it. Social Security recipients might be offered the chance to choose between the Dividend and their Social Security check. Most would choose the Dividend, since most would make more money.

Q: What part of the Federal Income Tax does the ANDE proposal eliminate?
A: All of it. Also, existing corporate/business taxes are replaced by the business sales tax. (See item (4) in the ANDE diagram)

Q: Isn't this approach inflationary?
A: Because the dividend is modest, citizens seek extra income through paid employment, investment and business endeavors. However, since the dividend will reduce people's demand for employment somewhat, wages are likely to increase to attract employees. To avoid inflation, additional anti-inflationary pressures will be needed. These can include high Federal Reserve rates, tax benefits for anti-inflationary wage and price practices by business, Government policies that reward and facilitate price competition, and other similar approaches. Also, with the Dividend in hand, a look needs to be taken at the hourly wage concept itself. What would the inflation impact be if hourly wages were largely replaced (in whole or part) by profit sharing and/or employee investment programs?

Q: If business has to pay taxes, won't they just pass the cost along to consumers in the form of higher prices? They're not going to reduce their profit margins to pay taxes.

A: Successful business will always pass along all their costs to their customers, including taxes and their profit margin. Remember that the ANDE proposal is designed to address social needs. Our society needs to feel that everyone is pulling their fair share of the weight, especially Business.

Q: What about the rich and tax progressivity? Do they  pull their fair share?

A: If they live like rich people, they will pay enourmous quantities of taxes.  If they live like the rest of us, they pay taxes like the rest of us and leave their millions in the bank to strengthen business as loans, thereby creating jobs.  The luxury tax (see #6 in the diagram) is where actual, unavoidable progressivity is found.

Q: What about tax breaks for charitable organizations?
A: Reduction or elimination of the sales tax for charitable organizations could be legislated within this model.

Q: Why should the poor pay any sales taxes at all?
A: Everybody should pull their weight. It's right, and it avoids polarizing, destructive resentment. What the poor need is to not be poor. ANDE provides that.

Q: What about health care, education and other needs?
A: An important feature of this proposal is tax transparency. If the nation wants all or part of health, college or others costs to come from the Government, they can get it, and the national sales tax rate will increase "in broad daylight" to cover the cost of the new programs.

Q: Will the Dividend always stay at the same level?
A: The size of the dividend should grow annually as the GNP grows. Increased spending money means increased tax revenues, permitting increased levels of Government services without having to raise the tax rate. This is the way to permanent free-market economic growth.

Q: When will the Straw Man figures be optimized?
A: After extensive academic study and analysis of the ANDE proposal.