Big Idea: A Tech Dividend For Californians

How can the Golden State spread its wealth beyond Silicon Valley?

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California should consider a technology dividend to spread the wealth of the state beyond Silicon Valley, according to a leading academic. Such a scheme should be modelled on programs like Alaska’s Permanent Fund Dividend, which pays residents of that state an annual dividend funded by oil industry revenues.

Chris Benner, the Director of the Santa Cruz Institute for Social Transformation at UC Santa Cruz, argued in an editorial for the Mercury News that the dividend would be fair because of substantial public funding for technology. He cited the National Science Foundation’s grant that resulted in the creation of the algorithm that underpins Google’s search technology. Read more here.