53. How would the Social Dividend benefit society?
Our entire economic and social life would be improved. The migration of rural folk to the cities, where they live in chicken coops and breathe polluted air, would end. Huge factories, where thousands of workers must leave their personalities at the door, would soon be empty. Competent people who are now subjected to inept rule because of the amount of money in the bank accounts of the rulers, would have their chains of bondage loosened.
Each person could become an entrepreneur or join others who have skills to conduct a profitable business. The primary goal would be providing the community with good products. Personal entrepreneurship, responsibility and excellent service to others are cruelly lacking in today’s world where minds and skills are muzzled by the dominance of money.
54. How would the poor benefit from having a Social Dividend?
There are people who own nothing, despite today’s abundant production, because the distribution system treats them as if they had no right to their country’s wealth. They are treated as if they are legitimately without an inheritance.
Limiting the access to goods and services to those who are paid workers is akin to allowing wages and profits to absorb the Social Dividends which rightly belongs to heirs of the system.
The fact that some of the inheritance is distributed through taxation to the disinherited does not give them back their inherited rights; they remain disinherited. The Social Dividend offers dignity, not mere aid, to the disinherited.
55. What impact will the Dividend have on the individual?
What impact would it have if you received an envelope from Ottawa containing a cheque with this message: “The nation is happy to offer you this Dividend which was also sent to each of the country's citizens, to facilitate the acquisition of an abundant production, in order to avoid unemployment, misery and the paralysis of Industry.”
Would you pocket the money and leave your job for one month? Would you be envious that each of your neighbours also received the same amount of money? Or would you call the Canadian government immoral because the poor would be relieved of their misery rather than have products wasted?
Would you not instead thank God for a well-organized and well-administered country that was rich in natural resources? Would you not become even more attached to your nation and strive to contribute to its prosperity? Would you not work even more industriously, like the person who has received a wage increase, because you recognize that the very existence of a Dividend depends on the continuing development of production?
The positive effects of the Dividend would impact others as well. Too many who regard a Dividend negatively are either hypocritical or proud. They think it would be a good thing for themselves but that others lack the virtue to use a Dividend wisely.
56. What would the Dividend do for the family?
A Dividend would be issued to you, your wife and each of your children. Would it sow consternation or discord in your family? Would you not, on the contrary, consider improving the living conditions in your home?
You would be able to consider giving your children a better education, or otherwise develop their talents. You might make improvements to your home, making life more comfortable. You would be able to increase your donations to charities, because a better life did not make you any less of a Christian. You would be able to subscribe to educational and recreational magazines.
Much has been said about the family wage. A married man, who is the father of many children, needs a larger income than a bachelor. Since both men contribute the same amount of work, they cannot demand different wages from their employer. If they could, the employer would only hire single men and men with small families. The Dividend solves this problem, since each individual would profit from the Dividend equally. The head of a family would earn the same wages as his fellow worker, and while the bachelor would get a Dividend, plus his wages, the family man would receive as many Dividends as there were people in his home, in addition to his wages.
57. What would the Dividend do for farmers?
The Dividend would allow for a farm’s products to be sold and the farmer to make a profit in recognition of his hard work. He could at last consider purchasing new farm equipment, fertilizer, livestock, etc.
58. What would it do for the worker?
The national Dividend would safeguard workers’ dignity. The worker would no longer be forced to sell his services for a pittance. The security against dire need, which is offered by the Dividend, would allow people to pursue occupations for which they are best suited and society, as a whole, would gain.
59. Is the productive capacity of most nations sufficient to provide for a Social Dividend that would meet the population’s basic needs?
The productive capacity of most countries is generally vast and continues to expand when it does not meet interference.
It is cruel to deny the satisfaction of basic needs when nations have a vast productive capacity because it is an assault on the right to life; a right recognized by everyone in society, in theory. Denying the satisfaction of basic needs is unfair since productive capacity exists.
All it needs to be mobilized are two things: a sufficient amount of financial credit to lubricate the gears of the productive system and enough purchasing power in consumers’ hands so they might express their needs effectively.
60. In developed countries, would the Social Dividend not lead to overproduction?
No. Social Dividends would end parasitic occupations that are tremendously wasteful.
We would learn to seek out activities other than for profit alone. We would be less concerned with obtaining our daily bread and could dedicate ourselves to other aspects of life. With the help of a proper education, we could go from a civilization of useless work and waste to a civilization of culture and art.
We could achieve a civilization of spirituality and the ascent of the soul. A Christian philosopher called it “a civilization of meditation”. This would be possible for those who wanted it once they were freed from paid employment.
61. What if Social Dividends are spent on luxury items and superfluous goods?
Social Credit insists that production must be directed to satisfying needs according to their importance. Essential needs would be the first priority of any production program.
If everyone made their own goods no one could be blamed if an individual preferred luxury goods to essential ones. Modern production is not manufactured by each person nor directed toward oneself, however.
It is through using cash credits, or money, that consumers give production its direction. The consumer expresses his choices by buying products that suit his needs, and production supplies the market by replacing the products that are sold.
If the consumer lacks purchasing power, he is no longer able to give direction to producers pertaining to his needs or his preferences. If he does not have the power to seek the basics while others have the means to obtain the superfluous, then the production system will supply superfluous goods and the production of essential goods will be limited.
With a Social Dividend, all individuals would have a minimum of purchasing power that would allow them to obtain basic goods. Those who have more purchasing power could always obtain more goods, but production would first address the meeting of basic needs.
Once basic needs were taken care of, there would be no reason to rebel against social inequalities. Different levels of quality of life can exist, but only after a given level of well-being has been achieved for all.
In Major C.H. Douglas Speaks, Douglas said:
“What are we aiming at? What are we trying to get? Well, now, I will put it in a very large general form, as I see it from one point of view. We are endeavouring to bring to birth a NEW CIVILISATION. We are doing something which really extends far beyond the confines of a change in the financial system. We are hoping by various means, chiefly financial, to enable the human community to definitely step out of one type of civilisation into another type of civilisation, and the first and basic requirement as we see it, of that, is absolute economic security.”
62. Would Social Dividends benefit all of mankind?
Yes, all of mankind would benefit. Social Dividends can be called the “money of freedom” as it is free from all servitude.
The capitalist who makes a profitable investment and receives a dividend can be a scientist, a poet, a musician: no matter what, he will still receive his dividend. The Social Dividend would be distributed in exactly the same way.
Freedom is a coveted right. We have freedom of choice and freedom to choose what to do with one’s time. We are free to choose an occupation and even free to take part in activities that have nothing to do with economics.