Data Dividend

Universal Basic Income is an economic idea that has been around for a long time. Thomas Paine, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Richard Nixon, and many others have advocated for its inception. Richard Nixon tried to have it passed, but failed. Alaska has had a state UBI implemented for decades. Alaskans receive up to $2000 a month, for life, and the money is allocated from a value added tax on oil and gas. Experts have suggested that $1000 per month is a good starting point.

The Great Rebuild (TGR) calls for a Data Dividend, which is a form of a UBI. Companies such as Google and Facebook generate profits and revenue off of our identity and data. For example, Cambridge Analytica purchased 50 million Facebook users’ data in 2018 for the use in political campaigns.

We should receive some of the revenue made from these transactions in a form of a data dividend or a UBI. Our data is incredibly valuable and corporations generate billions of dollars annually with our private information. Experts believe that a 0.8% tax would generate up to $2 billion per year. TGR calls for an 18% tax on all information and data sales to fund our Data Dividend. Taxing the revenue companies make from our data, and paying us back in the form of a dividend, would turn data into the economic replacement for fossil fuels.