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The people, not the government, own the air

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  • Redwood Mary
    The people, not the government, own the air http://www.capanddividend.org/?q=node/168     By George Lakoff All policies have two dimensions: material (what
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 3, 2008

      The people, not the government, own the air




      By Ge or ge Lakoff
      All policies have two dimensions: material (what the policies actually do) and cognitive (the values and ideas the policies represent).
      The material aspect of cap and dividend has two parts: the cap and the dividend. The cap is placed on carbon-based fuel suppliers. Each year these companies engage in an auction to buy permits to sell a certain amount of polluting fuel. Every year the number of permits is reduced. The money from the sale of carbon permits goes into a trust with each U.S. citizen owning one non-negotiable share as a birthright. Each citizen then gets an equal dividend. The money is electronically transferred into their bank or debit card accounts, month by month, so that it helps pay their bills. The money will be spent throughout the economy and provide an economic stimulus, creating jobs. The government will never touch the money directly, and it will be immune from lobbying by special interests.
      The cognitive aspect of cap and dividend starts with a frame about the atmosphere as property. The people of the United States own the air over the United States . Not the government, the people. A large number of companies have up till now been dumping their pollutants into our air, without paying any dumping fees to those who own it. These companies have been free riders. Instead of paying the full cost of doing business, they’ve passed costs on to others in the f or m of dirty air, respirat or y diseases and global warming. Cap and dividend makes them pay the owners of the air f or these costs.
      But that isn’t all. Cap and dividend, if carried out, will create a new frame in the minds of many Americans: the common wealth frame of things owned by all. This frame can be extended widely. Take the airwaves, f or example. They are extremely valuable, and right now the rights to their use have been given away to media companies that make huge profits on them. That is our property, given away to private invest or s. Should there be an Airwave Trust, and an auction f or the right to use the airwaves? And what about rivers and oceans? If we own the air, the rivers and the oceans, shouldn’t we preserve them and keep them clean f or our heirs as well?
      There are two m or als here. First, you can’t separate policies from the frames they’re based on. Second, cognitive policy is every bit as imp or tant as material policy. Cap and dividend allows the public to conceptualize the air as common wealth, as real wealth, as something very valuable and w or th preserving. It is a material policy that contains a far-reaching cognitive policy.
      ____Ge or ge Lakoff is the auth or of The Political Mind: Why You Can't Understand 21st-Century Politics with an 18th-Century Brain

      Mary Rose (Redwood Mary) Kaczorowski
      REDWOOD MARY's BLOG:http://redwoodmaryncalifornia.blogspot.com/ &
      Column at:http://www.feminist.com/activism/environment.html

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