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Give $1,250 America’s Dividend to all adults

My Opinion
Michael D. Sheley, Guest Writer

It seems as if America is having growing pains. The current social and political climate reminds me of a truculent teenager experimenting with alcohol and drugs.

There are times when America no longer looks like the vision you had just a decade or so ago. I see people who are upset about race, income disparity, education and just about anything you can think of; someone is complaining. The country’s policies are failing the citizenry. America could do with a bit of housekeeping and change that includes more of its citizens participating in our excellent economy.

Many politicians are touting Universal Basic Income to solve our social problems. This radical idea has been accused of many things, mainly that it moves America toward a socialistic and progressive political left. Nothing could be further from the truth.

I have been pushing the idea of America’s Dividend instead of Universal Basic Income for some time now. It will come to pass.

How about $1,250 per month for every American over the age of 18? Just by changing the name of the program from Universal Basic Income to America’s Dividend and removing most of the 80 social programs, which are 20th century holdovers, we transform America.

Let me explain.

America has become the wealthiest nation on Earth, and, as such, should now start distributing some of that wealth back to the people who built it from 13 colonies to the massive 50 states of the union that it is today. No, this concept is not socialism or communism, which are failed concepts. These “isms” start with the idea that the state owns everything. America’s Dividend is the idea that says, “If you are a citizen of the good old USA, you own a piece of stock in America, and guess what? That country is now paying dividends right back to its stockholders!” And, oh, by the way, the 80 or so different social programs with all the overhead that goes with them disappears by way of sun setting. These programs will slowly disappear, including Social Security.

Yes, and do not worry about the federal employees working for those programs because they also get America’s Dividends. Win-win. The savings will be phenomenal.

A side-benefit is many people immigrating to America will do so legally, to become a citizen and prosper with the rest of America.

No, America’s Dividends will not solve all of our social ills; we will always have some. But, it will be nice that we move more of the poor into the middle class.

Each recipient, each year, will decide what percentage of their next year’s dividend will be used as income or be reinvested in their own future, kind of like Social Security and 401(k)s. America’s Dividend gives not only a current income, it also builds a citizen’s future.

COVID-19 has taught me a few things. The United States has been either collecting too much in taxes or is miss-spending gargantuan amounts of our money improperly. Our citizens want less interference in their lives, more personal decisions and a share in the unrealized wealth of good ole America. Studies are available that show people will not piddle away their newfound income; they will make better decisions and begin to truly control their lives, becoming happier and healthier on the journey.

With America’s Dividend, you own a piece of America. You can go to school. You can go to work and supplement your dividend, get better health care. You can do nothing but watch old re-runs of Archie Bunker. In other words, you can do whatever you want; you are an American citizen with a dividend.

Editor’s note: A resident of Corydon, Michael D. Sheley has spent most of his life flying attack helicopters in the Army and designing software solutions. He also designed and developed solutions for Homeland Security for Army aviation responses to U.S. emergencies.

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