The Hemisphere: Citizens' Dividends

The people of oil-rich Alberta, whose provincial government now takes in more than $90 million a year in petroleum revenue, heard intriguing news last week. In his annual budget message, Social Credit Premier Ernest Manning said it was entirely possible that within the foreseeable future Alberta's oil and gas income would double. That would be enough to wipe out all present municipal, school and hospital taxes.

After that, said Manning, the government could consider "distributing directly to the individual citizens . . . an equitable share of the revenues." His term for these wondrous taxes-in-reverse: "Citizens' participation dividends." Manning did not say...

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