Microsoft word - flo--final.doc
Applying the Alaska model in a Resource-Poor State:
The Example of Vermont
(This is an early version of a paper later published as a chapter in:
Exporting the Alaska Model: Adapting the Permanent Fund Dividend for Reform around
. Eds. Karl Widerquist and Michael Howard. Palgrave-Macmillan, St.
Martin's Press, NY, NY 2012. Pages 85-107)
"The meek shall inherit the Earth, but not its mineral rights"
Sovereign Wealth Funds (SWFs) are typically found in States or countries with
great oil wealth such as Abu Dhabi, Saudi Arabia, Norway, Alberta, and Alaska. The
Alaska model might be perceived to apply only to states with oil. Yet SWFs can be based
on other valuable resources such as copper (Chile), diamonds (Botswana), or even
phosphates (Kiribati). In the United States, the state of New Mexico has three SWFs, the
Land Grant Permanent Fund (mineral resources and surface land), Severance Tax
Permanent Fund (minerals), and Tobacco Settlement Permanent Fund. Wyoming has a
fund from coal, oil, natural gas, oil shale and other minerals, and Texas has a fund based
on royalties and rents from oil, gas and valuable minerals on public lands.2 Of the fifty or
more SWFs around the world, only Alaska's pays a small dividend or basic income to
residents. The perplexing reasons for this are further explored by Angela Cummine in this
One might get the mistaken impression that only oil or resource-rich states can
afford such a fund and dividend. Every state or country has substantial untapped revenue
available because many natural resources and social common assets (discussed below)
have been given away by government to private businesses. Businesses then sell them
back to the public capturing not only the value they add with their effort, but also the
scarcity value or economic rent (discussed below) of the assets given to them by public
This chapter demonstrates the potential of a basic income from common asset
wealth in a state with very little resource wealth at all, the U.S. state of Vermont.
Vermont is a small, sparsely populated state of about 620,000 people. It has few valuable
natural resources: no fossil fuels, no precious metals, no gemstones, and no minerals
except for calcium carbonate (marble), talc, and slate. Although this chapter is specific to
Vermont, it shows that other resource-poor states and nations have greater potential for
an asset-financed basic income than one might expect. They just have to reclaim
sovereignty over their assets that are often given away or stolen. For example, Bolivia is
currently capitalizing on its lithium after having 45,000 tons of silver taken from the
Cerro Potosi (mountain of silver) by the Spanish Empire. The prior export of most fishing
profits out of Bristol Bay in Alaska motivated Governor Jay Hammond to create the
Permanent Fund Dividend (PFD) for Alaskans.
The findings presented here are from a study of the value of common asset wealth
in Vermont. The author led a team of student researchers who conducted the study at the
University of Vermont in 2008. Each part of the study estimates the rental value of one of
Vermont's common assets and examines how much of that value is being captured by
current taxes and fees. Precise estimates of resource value are not always available. When
possible, we consider more conservative and more generous estimates of the rent
available. Thus we could report four figures: a low and high estimate of the total value of
natural resource and a low and high estimate of the untaxed portion of the value of
natural resources. But trying not to bowl you over with too many numbers, each section
reports only two numbers: the low estimate of the untaxed portion and the high estimate
of total resource value. This will give readers an idea of the range of possibilities. The
smaller figure is more useful for Vermont public policy, and the larger figure is more
relevant for other resource poor areas considering a dividend on the Alaska model.
The study finds (Table X.1) that a conservative estimate of the yearly rental value
of Vermont's privately and publicly held common assets is about $2.01 billion. Of that
about $790 million is captured by current taxes and fees, mainly the land portion of
statewide property taxes. Therefore, about $1.2 billion of additional
revenue would be
available in Vermont each year if common assets were rented out instead of given away.
That's enough for a $1,972 dividend for every Vermonter. That is nearly $8,000 for a
family of four—about the same size as Alaska's Permanent Fund Dividend.
Our highest estimate of common asset value of Vermont is $6.45 billion (28.31
percent of Vermont's GDP). If all
of that revenue were devoted to a dividend, it could be
as large as $10,348. That is over $40,000 for a family of four. About 18 percent of the
difference between these two estimates is accounted for by the $790 of resource rent per
person that is already being taxed by Vermont. The rest of the difference is accounted for
by the conservativeness of the estimates of resource value. Of course raising the dividend
to this level would require the state to find other sources of revenue to support programs
currently funded from some of these sources. Subtracting out the already-taxed portion of
resource revenue from the high estimate would produce a dividend in the neighborhood
of $8,000 per year. But the figure of $10,348 shows how much economic value each year
is attributable to the value of common assets.
This chapter is about how large
a dividend can be funded by rents on common
assets. It is not about why
rents on common assets should be captured and returned to the
people, although section 1A gives a brief justification. Several chapters in this book and
its companion volume make such arguments (especially essays by Widerquist and
Howard, Goldsmith, and Carter in Widerquist and Howard 2012; Hartzok in this
volume). Many other books and articles present good arguments for collection of revenue
on common assets and for payment of dividends. I refer the reader especially to
by Peter Barnes, because it inspired this study.
Before Part Two goes through and calculates the rental value of each of
Vermont's common assets, Part One discusses the following background issues: the
definition of common assets, economic rent, and public trust resources. Part Three puts
together the financial totals.
1. Background issues
A. What are common assets and how can they be valued?
Common assets are those things we legally or morally own in common; they are
created by nature or by society as a whole. No individual or company produced them, and
therefore, none can justifiably claim private ownership of them. They include such things
as water, clean air, minerals, public forests, fish and wildlife, broadcast spectrum, land
value, the monetary and financial system, Internet, etc.3 Many of these are surprisingly
valuable assets. Urban land values are often as valuable as oil, as is the broadcast
There are many theories and laws that justify public ownership of natural and
social assets. Most classical economists including David Ricardo, Adam Smith, John
Stuart Mill, Thomas Paine, and Henry George, said that the earth was a common
inheritance, while the products of labor and capital investment should be private. For
example John Stuart Mill said, "
The essential principle of property being to assure to all
persons what they have produced by their labor and accumulated by their abstinence, this
principle cannot apply to what is not the product of labor, the raw material of the earth."5
The Public Trust Doctrine goes back to the Roman Institutes of Justinian, which assured
the citizens of Rome that by the law of nature these things are common to all mankind.
Forms of common wealth that have historically been protected by Roman law or in the
Magna Carta include the air, running water, fisheries, forests, the sea, and the shorelines.
Laws consequently protected the accompanying common ability to hunt wild animals for
food; to gather firewood, building materials, and medicinal herbs; and to graze
livestock."6 This property was called res communes
(common property) as distinguished
from res publica
(state property) or res privitae
(private property).7 The Public Trust
Doctrine, as applied through English common law, was incorporated into the common
law of the United States, and provides that public trust lands, waters, and living resources
in a state are held by the state in trust for the benefit of all the people.
B. What is the theory of economic rent?
Economic rent is the return to an asset over and above the cost of risk, labor,
capital, and normal profit. This economic rent is the return to the resource or asset itself,
beyond the cost of producing or extracting it, and is the proper source of revenue for a
common asset trust fund paying a basic income dividend. Economic rent was originally
explained by Economist David Ricardo (Ricardian rent) as the excess return to some
agricultural land—due to its favorable characteristics such as soil fertility, rainfall, access
to markets, etc.—from the same effort compared to the output of less productive land.8
The term economic rent has been expanded to include all unearned income from
ownership of a resource, from a monopoly, from scarcity, or any other reason resulting in
unearned excess profits not due to work, risk, or enterprise. It is also defined as the
excess revenue over and above what it takes for a business to bring a product to market.9
A simple example of economic rent is the 2008 run-up in oil prices. It has been
estimated that oil from the most expensive wells in deep ocean water cost about $60-80
per barrel to extract including all other costs and normal profit.10 Easier-to-extract oil
costs much less. Gregg Erickson has data from Alaskan oil companies indicating that the
average cost of Prudhoe Bay extraction is $20/barrel.11 At the 2008 world price of $147
per barrel, Alaskan oil companies on average received economic rent of $127 per barrel,
not including royalties or taxes. The most expensive deepwater wells still received $67-
87 in economic rent. Their "windfall profits" are economic rents. In the democratic
theory of rent governments maximize their collection of rent to benefit the public, while
in the liberal theory of rent, public resources are made private and rent remains in private
hands.12 This chapter assumes the democratic theory of rent is applied.
C. Legal and Political Issues
Economic rent on natural and social assets provides a funding mechanism for any
state or country to capitalize its assets for an SWF and dividend. Some assets are
extremely valuable, and could be equivalent to or greater than oil in Alaska on a per
capita basis: the broadcast spectrum, financial markets, atmosphere, water, and land value
for example. Laws differ for each resource. The atmosphere has historically been an
open-access resource, but this is rapidly changing due to climate change. Land rent in
most countries has been retained privately resulting in huge periodic asset bubbles that
disrupt economies when they crash. Broadcast spectrum by law often belongs to the
public (as it does in the United States under the Federal Communication Act of 1934) but
has usually been given away by government in collusion with broadcasters. Surface water
has a long tradition of being considered a public trust resource, while ground water is a
public trust resource in some U.S. states. The additional rent that can be captured on
common assets, therefore, will vary according to the legal status of the asset.
D. Renewable or non-renewable?
Some common assets are renewable and some are not. The only non-renewable
resource used in our Vermont estimate was minerals. It makes sense to create permanent
funds from non-renewable resources in order to maintain a fund for future generations
when the resource runs out. This was the original purpose of the Alaska Permanent Fund.
Renewable resources like the broadcast spectrum or land value could generate rent in
perpetuity and it may not be necessary to create a permanent fund. However, one reason
to create a fund even from renewable resources would be to provide a revenue stream that
is not as subject to the business cycle, and could provide counter-cyclical, stable revenue
when rent declines in an economic slowdown. Distribution of revenue from common
assets directly to the public has many advantages including fairness, efficiency, and
freedom. The marginal benefits are greatest to the lowest income people, yet no "Robin
Hood" transfer payments are required.
E. The origin of this study
In a 2004 course on Green tax revenue, the author proposed the concept of a
Common Asset Permanent Fund in Vermont, based on Barnes's Sky-Trust model13.
During the Vermont legislative session of 2007, State Senator Hinda Miller introduced a
bill embodying the principles of the Alaska model using common asset revenue. The bill
was written by legislative counsel Al Boright and was entitled the Vermont Common
Assets Trust Fund Bill: S.4414. Numerous co-sponsors signed on. Although the bill didn't
make it out of committee, concepts from the bill were considered in a groundwater bill
and an all-fuels efficiency bill. During a debriefing meeting with David Bollier in
September 2007, legislators who worked on S.44 believed they needed more financial
details and requested information about potential revenue from common assets. As a
response to this request, the study cited here was conducted.15 The bill was reintroduced
in 2011 by representative Chris Pearson as H.385. In keeping with the Public Trust
Doctrine, part of the bill reads:
As society moves into modern times, the list of wealth that should belong to the
people in common because the wealth was inherited or created together, and
therefore should be preserved in the common interest has expanded now logically
to include natural wealth such as undisturbed habitats, entire ecosystems,
biological diversity, waste absorption capacity, nutrient cycling, flood control,
pollination, raw materials, fresh water replenishment systems, soil formation
systems, and the global atmosphere; and also to include socially created wealth
such as our legal, political, and monetary systems, universities, libraries, science
and technology, the Internet, transportation infrastructure, the radio spectrum, and
city parks….In the case of public trust resources, individuals should be limited to
uses that do not deplete the capital of the assets, but that are consistent with the
commonwealth being available for the enjoyment of future generations.16
The following section summarizes the findings of our valuation of common assets
2. Calculation of rent on natural and social assets
The sections in this part of the chapter explain how we tabulated estimates of the
revenue available in Vermont by calculating economic rent on natural and social assets.
Without having business cost data it is very difficult to calculate economic rent to any
exact degree. Business considers this information proprietary, and will be reluctant to
divulge the data. Also, they prefer to be taxed on net income, which allows them to
deduct all their costs as well as engage in transfer pricing to low tax countries allowing
them to evade corporate income taxes.17 These figures are rough estimates for discussion
purposes. More exact calculations should be done by revenue departments when putting
this system into practice. For some of them it will be impossible to know the exact value
in advance. We cannot know how much revenue will be produced by an auction market
for carbon emissions or the broadcast spectrum until we hold the auction.
We believe the figures are reasonable, showing the feasibility of the common
assets approach. We chose categories according to interests of individual researchers. In
the category of natural assets we researched air emissions, fish and wildlife, forests,
ground water, surface water, minerals, broadcast spectrum, and wind turbine potential. In
the category of socially created assets we researched land value, the Internet, and the
monetary and financial system. We did not include patents, medical research, or other
proprietary information due to a limited number of student researchers. This could have
added to the revenue estimate, since medical research is mostly government funded. For
example Prozac, Taxol, Capoten, AZT, and Xalatan were all the results of government
funding,18 yet the public receives no royalty payments.
A. Natural Assets
Air (atmospheric sink)
The privilege of dumping pollution into the atmosphere as a sink for waste is still
free in most places. This is a subsidy to polluters. Carbon and other greenhouse gasses
can be reduced by a carbon tax or by a cap and permit system, which establishes fees for
the emission of CO2 into the atmosphere or the introduction of carbon fuels into the
economy. Revenue from such policies can contribute to SWFs and dividends anywhere in
There is not yet a clear market for carbon emissions. Therefore, several different
sources could be used to estimate the value of carbon costs.
The European Union Environmental Trading System (EUETS) has a mandatory
cap and trade system in place for power plants and industrial CO2 emitters. Vermont is
currently enrolled in the Northeast Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), which
auctions carbon permits to power plants for their CO2 emissions. This system only covers
about 20 percent of CO2 emissions in New England. In Vermont revenues are used to
finance "all-fuels efficiency," which pays for weatherization and efficiency programs,
rather than a dividend. By expanding the cap and auction system to include all sources of
CO2 emissions such as heating and transportation, a substantial increase in revenue could
be achieved. Total emissions in Vermont in 2005 were 9.08 metric tons of CO2
equivalent.20 Not including power plants, CO2 emissions in 2005 were 8.44 million
metric tons per year. Revenue from power plants in RGGI is already allocated to other
uses, so was not included in our estimate.
Low estimate: using RGGI for revenue: RGGI allocates carbon permits to power
plants by quarterly auction. The 2009 permit price of $3.07 per ton was used for a
revenue estimate for CO2 emissions.21 Contributing the revenue to a SWF and dividend
turns it into a "cap and dividend" program.22 Expanding RGGI to include all emissions at
the recent auction price of $3.07 per ton of carbon and current emissions of 8.44 Million
metric tons of CO2e would generate $25.9 million additional revenue. 0.64 metric tons
are included in the RGGI auction so generated $1.96 million in existing revenue.
Estimate 2: using British Columbia carbon tax rate. Several years ago the
Canadian province of British Columbia (BC) established a carbon tax of Canadian
$10/ton. "The tax rates as of July 1, 2010 are equal to $20 per tonne of CO2 equivalent
emissions, increasing by $5 per tonne each year for the next two years to $30 per tonne in
2012"23 Our middle estimate of CO2 revenue was based on the original BC carbon price
of $10/ton. Canadian and U.S. dollars are currently trading at par, so at the price of
$10/ton it would generate $84.4 million.
Estimate 3, using EUETS prices: The carbon price on the European EUETS has
fluctuated widely. At the time of the report in 2008 the most recent European EUETS
price was US$40/ton. Multiplying by the emissions of 8.44 mmt (million metric tons)
would generate $337.6 million. A carbon tax could also be used, which would generate
more predictable revenue.
High estimate: Future carbon prices are uncertain. Many scientists believe that we
must reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by 50-80 percent to maintain a livable planet.
If that is the case it may require a carbon price of $100 or even $300 per ton. This could
result in increasing revenue even as carbon permits are reduced, if demand is inelastic.
$100/ton would increase the price of gasoline approximately one dollar per gallon, which
is equivalent to the increase in U.S. petrol prices from May 2010-May 2011 due to
economic and political forces. The difference is the revenue would go to the SWF instead
of to oil producers. Even $300/ton or $3/gallon of gasoline is equivalent to existing
gasoline taxes in some European countries, so is not unreasonable. Applying $300 per ton
to the total 2005 Vermont emissions of 9.08 MMTe would provide $2.724 Billion.
To be on the conservative side we used our lowest estimate of carbon revenue of
$25.9 million for carbon fees in our report. This would not require saving in a permanent
fund as emission fees will continue as long as fuels are burned, which may be
indefinitely. If emissions are ever reduced to zero, then revenue would dry up, and this
logic would have to be re-evaluated. Any location could use carbon taxes or permit fees
to generate revenue for a SWF.24 The values we have for the tables below are:
Low estimate: $25.9 million
High estimate: $2.724 billion
Wildlife and Fish
Fish and wildlife are among the few resources that have been managed
universally as public trust resources, using a cap/permit/fee system. Many governments
manage fish and wildlife by selling hunting and fishing permits. A scientific assessment
of wildlife reproduction rates is made, and harvesting permits are issued to maintain the
resource at a sustainable level. Permit fees are charged to pay for administration of the
system and management of the resource, but permit fees are inadequate. Of the $14.7
million revenue received by the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department in fiscal year
2006, student researcher Ross Saxton determined that about $7.7 million was economic
rent and the other approximately $7 million was the result of taxes.
Hunting, fishing, and trapping licenses generated $5.4 million in 2006. The Fish
and Wildlife Department receives $621,871 in economic rent from leases on agriculture
lands and camps on wildlife management areas, sales of timber, dog licenses, grants from
the Vermont Association of Snow Travelers, Vermont All Terrain Vehicle Association,
and tuition from conservation camps. Federal funds categorized as "other" produce
$363,787 in rent. These are received as grants from organizations such as the National
Oceanic and Atmospheric Association. Mandatory boat registration permits produce
$243,617. The sales of conservation license plates produce $125,986. The income tax
check-off box produces $99,710. Being donations, this is all unearned income. Duck
stamps are similar to hunting licenses, contributing $16,169 of rent; $1 million or half the
general fund transfer of $2 million was estimated as rent.
Saxton proposed a biodiversity and land conservation plan based on the number
and scarcity of species in a given area based on "critical habitats," and payment of rent
proportional to species and habitat scarcity for use of these land areas, a form of scarcity
rent. Saxton supported recent efforts to redirect 1/8 of one-cent sales tax from other
programs to fish and wildlife, though this is a tax and not rent. He also recommended
increasing the capital funding of the existing Fish and Wildlife Trust Fund from $1.6
million to $12 million in order to generate more interest income to use as operating funds.
The total increase in revenue predicted was $10.4 million used in our revenue estimate.
Since wildlife is managed for sustainable yield, permit fees can be maintained
indefinitely. The purpose of the Fish and Wildlife Trust Fund in Vermont is to create an
endowment to generate reliable revenue. Adding current taxes of 14.7 million to
additional potential revenue of $10.4 million provides a high estimate of $25.1 million.
Low estimate: $10.4 million
High estimate: $25.1 million
2008 public revenue of $27 million from forests in Vermont consists of $3.2
million from State Forests, $6.58 million from State Parks, $180,486 from fish and
wildlife (logging), and $17 million from "current use" (use value appraisal) program
properties. Private revenue totals $774 million including $207.4 million from forest-
based manufacturing, $485 million from recreation/tourism, and $50 million from paper
and pulp. Without knowing other business expenses it is difficult to calculate net profit,
so we did not determine what percentage of revenue from these private activities is due to
economic rent, and did not use it in our report. Our estimate was based on the $32 million
from forestry and logging,
Researcher Mark Kolonowski proposed two new sources of revenue: a fee for
depletion of ecosystem services by logging, and a higher charge for conversion of current
use property to non-forest uses. Since logging removes a fund of trees providing
ecosystem services such as CO2 absorption, climate regulation, reduction of erosion,
habitat, etc. Kolonowski proposes a "Depletion of Ecosystem Services" (DES) fee on
forestry and logging. This would be similar to what other states capture in taxes on board
feet of lumber, but would reflect a charge for depletion of the services provided by trees.
A charge of 10 percent on just forestry and logging revenues of $32 million would
generate roughly $3.2 million, which could be used to restore forests, and also feed a trust
fund for the public. Another possibility is to revise the penalty when "current use"
properties are removed from forestry use and sold for development. This penalty does not
seem to adequately recover the revenue lost during the period of current use for forests.
In 2007 the current use program resulted in a reduction of $39.5 million in foregone
property taxes, while in 2004 only $404,155 was collected by the current use change tax.
A better formula than the present one would recover all the lost revenue from the sale, by
finding the original purchase price of the property, adjusting it for inflation, then
subtracting it from the selling price.
Kolonowski also proposed an auction and insurance bond regulation, and the
creation of a Vermont forest land bank. Notably Vermont has a Land and Facilities Trust
Fund that could receive new funds. Substantially more than $3.2 million could be
generated by rent on private use of public forests and additional research in this area is
needed. The high estimate adds existing revenue of $27 million to new revenue of $3.2
for total of $30.2 million.
Low estimate: $3.2 million
High estimate: $30.2 million
Groundwater (underground water taken from wells)
Privatization of public water supplies (providing tap water for homes and
businesses) is a worldwide problem.
We did not address that problem here, but
Researcher Colin McLung25 focused on water extracted by bottlers for resale.
Groundwater in Vermont was put into the public trust in the legislative session of 2008.
The latest figures from the Water Resources Division are that seven companies took 32
million gallons of water in 2008 for bottling in Vermont.
In addition there are at least 16 companies selling bottled water imported into the
state. Companies taking groundwater for bottling in Vermont must apply for a permit to
operate. They must have a source and EPA permit to check water quality, a construction
permit, and an operating permit. But they don't pay any rent to the state for taking the
For example, a Canadian company called Ice River Springs (also known as
Aquafarms) extracts water from wells in Vermont, and then trucks the water to Pittsfield,
Massachusetts for bottling. In Pittsfield, they obtained a tax break to build a $12 million
bottling plant employing 60 people. They get their water from Pristine Springs in
Stockbridge, Vermont. So, this out-of-state corporate bottler takes water obtained in
Vermont for free and exports it to Massachusetts, where they create jobs in Pittsfield, to
benefit owners in Canada. Spring Realty Trust also has withdrawal and selling permits in
Vermont, and can take water for free and sell it back to us at retail.
According to H2O for Maine, the gross profit on bottled water is 75 cents on an
85-cent bottle (88 percent profit)26. This is for a "six pack" of 24-oz. bottles selling for
$3. Bottled water sold in single 32-48-oz. bottles is even more expensive. The cost of
water to bottlers is essentially zero. All the costs are in bottling, marketing, and
distribution. Eighty-five cents for 24 ounces is equal to $4.53 per gallon of bottled water.
At $4.53/gallon, 32 million gallons of bottled water equals $144.96 million of total
revenue. Without knowing other business expenses it is difficult to calculate net profit.
Consider that Norway charges 50 percent royalties plus 28 percent corporate tax on oil
companies drilling in their territory, and still finds companies able to profit from drilling.
Using 50 percent royalties results in potential revenue of $72.48 million for Vermont.
Our original estimate of 34 million gallons extracted in 2008 was based on
incomplete information, but is very close to the latest figure of 32 million gallons. We
estimated the cost of bottled water at $4.53/gallon for total revenue of $154.2 million.
Since the gross profit was estimated to be 88 percent, we used an economic rent figure of
70 percent resulting in $107.9 million in possible revenue. This is the figure used in our
Another way to estimate the value of bottled water by the gallon is to use the
average price of a liter of bottled water at convenience stores: about $1.79. That converts
to a price of $6.78 per gallon of bottled water. At $76 per barrel, oil is worth $1.83 per
gallon, and gasoline is $3-$3.50 per gallon in summer 2011. When we compare unrefined
water with unrefined oil we find that water sells for 3 times the price of crude oil and 2
times the price of refined gasoline.
32 million gallons of water at $6.78 per gallon equals $216.96 million in retail
sales of bottled water. If the wholesale price were half that, it would be $108.48 million.
Even if we charged a low rent of 12.5 percent – equivalent to typical resource rents on
minerals or oil – it would still amount to $13.56 million in public revenue that could be
put toward an SWF. Since unearned income is so much higher on bottled water we felt a
much higher royalty rate was justified. Since water is a renewable resource if used
sustainably, the revenue could be distributed annually without being saved in a
In 2011 we conducted additional research and found that total groundwater
extraction for various commercial uses in Vermont amounts to 51 million gallons per
day.27 Groundwater extraction above 20,000 gallons per day includes golf courses, dairy
processing, quarries, irrigation, oven manufacturing, power plant cooling, fish culture,
etc. Countries such as Lithuania, Belarus, Kenya, Fiji, and Brazil charge from 0.18 cents
to 30 cents per gallon of groundwater extracted.28 Brian Kelly and fellow researchers
suggested a rate of 0.0000359 to 0.001795 per gallon for all commercial users, the higher
rate generating $13.5 million in annual revenue.
Low estimate unearned profit from bottlers: $107.9 million
High estimate add fees on all commercial users: $121.4
Surface Water (Rivers, streams, lakes, and other water flowing above ground)
According to researcher Elliot Wilkinson-Ray,
First we must acknowledge the fact that water is a Public Trust resource in the
state of Vermont. Therefore, the legal property rights for all of the surface waters
in Vermont are granted to the public…. Although in practice 93 percent (roughly
445 million gallons per day) of surface water withdrawals in Vermont are by
private companies without any mandatory compensation for the citizens to which
that water belongs.29
Current private revenue consists of $35 million for public supply, $1.7 million for
wastewater permits, $164.8 million from hydroelectric, $100 million from thermoelectric,
and $109.1 million for recreation for a total of $410.6 million. Water utilities in Vermont
currently charge on average $3 per 1,000 gallons of water just to cover their costs.
Wilkinson-Ray contends that, "a higher price that included payments towards ecosystem
restoration and protection would help curb wasteful water practices."30
Ending the local hydroelectric subsidy would generate $6 million. Large
hydroelectric facilities use 17.5 billion gallons of surface water per day, generating 578.5
megawatts peak. Hydro use of surface water is not considered "withdrawal." These
facilities pay property taxes, but are too small to pay the Electric Energy Tax.31
Wilkinson-Ray suggests charging 10 percent on use of water for hydro in Vermont,
which would generate $16.5 million. This is purely an estimate, and not a rigorous
calculation of economic rent since most of the data is proprietary. Once the initial
construction costs are paid for, hydro has very low operating costs, generating significant
The Vermont Yankee Nuclear power plant is the largest single withdrawer of
surface water in Vermont, drawing 421 million gallons per day, or 153 billion gallons per
year for condenser and reactor cooling. This is 82 percent of the surface water
withdrawals in the state. Wilkinson-Ray suggests a charge of 5 cents per 1,000 gallons, or
2 percent of the current wholesale water rate, which would generate $7.6 million. For the
public supply he recommends an increasing base structure, which would add
approximately 10 percent of existing public revenue or $639,000. For other water use he
prescribes a fee of 5 cents per1000 gallons, generating $438,000. The potential new
revenue from water rental payments suggested by Wilkinson-Ray totals $31.2 million.
Water is renewable so fees could be generated annually in perpetuity, so do not need to
be saved in a permanent fund. We have only one estimate of new revenue potential.
Estimate: $31.2 million
Researcher Ian Raphael found that unlike Alaska, where the constitution states
that the public owns sub-surface resources, Vermont allows mining companies to pay
only surface property taxes, and nothing to extract the minerals below. The mining
industry is still governed by the Mining Act of 187232.
Raphael finds the value of minerals extracted in Vermont to be $96.8 million
annually not including talc and slate, which are claimed to be proprietary. They do this on
land valued at $132 million, which means at the average property tax rate of 2.79 percent
they are paying $3.7 million in taxes. Adding the property and annual mineral value
Raphael finds that mining companies are only paying 1.6 percent of this total in property
He also points out that when the minerals are gone, Vermont loses jobs and
income, and gets a large clean up bill when all that is left are abandoned mines and
environmental waste. Raphael recommends a royalty system of 10 percent on the value of
minerals extracted, which is lower than oil royalties in Alaska of 12-15 percent. This
might be justified by the extended age of Vermont's mines, and possible lower
productivity, but this requires more research. Mining companies are not forthcoming with
these data. This would generate $9.7 million for a mineral trust fund. "Vermont needs to
reclaim the rights to all its natural resources including minerals…. By setting up a
permanent fund to offset the extraction of non-renewable mineral resources, Vermont
will ensure the prosperity of its amazing heritage and provide a current and future flow of
revenue for its citizens."33 Since current revenue is $3.7 million, and potential revenue is
$9.7 million, we estimated new revenue of $6 million. Since minerals are a non-
renewable resource, the funds should theoretically be placed into a permanent fund, but
because so few of Vermont's resources are nonrenewable, to keep it simple, I did not
assume so for this chapter. We used $6 million for our low estimate. If a standard royalty
rate of, say, 12.5 percent is applied to revenue of $96.8 million we get a high figure of
$12.475 million. Adding existing taxes of $3.7 million provides a high estimate of
$16.175 million, generating the following estimates:
Low estimate: $6 million
High estimate: $16.175 million
Researcher William Murray tells us that after restructuring in 1994, broadcast
frequencies have been allocated by a one-time auctioning system. Only 2 percent has
been auctioned this way, while before restructuring, 98 percent of spectrum was merely
given away to private entities for the exchange of "in-kind" public service rather than
cash. This is despite the Communications Act of 1934, which states that broadcast
spectrum belongs to the public. Currently 64 percent of the most valuable spectrum
below 3.1 GHz is reserved for government use paying no fees. Murray cites a New
America Foundation study34, which calculated the total annual use value of spectrum at
$302 billion, mainly broadcast TV, mobile phones, and satellite communications.
"Among all else, it is clear that the current mismanagement of socialized radio spectrum
allocation provides one of the most promising opportunities for commons reform in the
future." Murray's calculation of Vermont's share of spectrum value provides a figure of
$625 million. Using a normal profit of $250 million, he calculates potential economic
rent in Vermont from spectrum at $375 million. Murray suggests an annual instead of
one-time auction, which would provide an ongoing revenue stream from spectrum.
"Given all of this information, spectrum policy should be one of the easiest cases to make
for common asset reform in the future."35 Unfortunately, spectrum is controlled entirely
at the federal level by the Federal Communications Commission in the US, so individual
US states may have difficulty collecting rent for use of the airwaves36. Sovereign nations
may not have this problem. Spectrum is one of the most valuable resources to have been
almost completely given away. Since the federal government has jurisdiction over
spectrum, we used the national spectrum value pro-rated by population for the value of
spectrum in Vermont, which Murray determined was $375 million. Again we have only
Estimate: $375 million
Researcher Susan Skalka37 introduces the novel idea that wind blowing through
the air, captured by wind turbines, like water flowing down a stream captured by
hydroelectric dams, is a common asset that could generate revenue for the public. She
recommends applying the democratic theory of rent to wind power, where governments
would maximize their collection of rent to benefit the public. She recommends we
encourage the nascent wind industry, but keep in mind the possibility of monopoly rents
in the future, which should be recovered for the public. Skalka discusses the possibility of
using a progressive profits tax as a model for how economic rent could be adjusted. If we
installed 225MW of wind power generating 10 percent of Vermont's electrical power,
wind could generate from $5.5-$172.5 million in economic rent in the future, depending
on the price of electricity. We used the conservative figure of $5.5 million in rent. Since
current revenue of $750,000 is captured by existing wind power taxes, the increase was
counted as $4.7 million. We have the following estimates:
Low estimate: $4.7 million
High estimate: $172.5 million
B. Social Common Assets
Researcher Conor Casey argues that while property taxes do collect some
economic rent, they fail to collect all of it, and also conflate taxes on buildings with taxes
on land. Land values are socially created assets, as without population or municipal
services land is nearly worthless. Collecting economic rent on land values does not
interfere with private property rights to land or security of land tenure. It merely changes
who receives the rent. "Decoupling the land and building evaluations from the property
tax rate would be a good start towards more effective rent collections…."38 He says that
taxes should be economically efficient, eliminating deadweight losses, correcting
perverse subsidies and generally promoting healthy economic growth. This he argues is
accomplished by increasing taxes on land while reducing or eliminating taxes on
buildings. Buildings depreciate, while land generally inflates in value over time creating
Casey points out that median housing prices have increased by 5 percent annually
since 1980, although from 2000-2007 the figure was 21.72 percent annually (before the
2008 housing bust). Using the long-term 5 percent figure as an estimate of economic rent
applied to the statewide land valuation of $21.4 billion would have yielded $1.07 billion
in land tax revenue for 2007. This would be a 44 percent increase over the actual
statewide property tax revenue of $740.8 million for 2007. Some writers estimate
economic rent from land as high as 10 percent of the purchase price of land annually, so
our 5 percent figure is conservative.39 Land values in most jurisdictions worldwide,
especially cities, are extremely valuable but land rent is allowed to accrue to owners.
Land taxes are often collected at the municipal level. Vermont is unique in collecting a
portion of property taxes at the state level for equalization of education funding
statewide. So it has a precedent of collecting statewide land rent.
Casey concludes, "Collecting economic rent from land is a perfectly viable way to
fund most, if not all state obligations."40 Since property tax revenue of $740.8 million is
already allocated to the state education fund, we only counted the increase of $329.8
million in our report. Using a 10 percent land value tax gives a high estimate of $2,143
million (i.e. including existing tax). Thus, we have the following estimates:
Low estimate: $329.8 million
High estimate: $2,143 million
The Internet and World Wide Web
The Internet is an interesting case, since it was created entirely with taxpayers'
money by the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency for the U.S. military, while
the World Wide Web was created at CERN (a government research laboratory) in
Switzerland and placed into the public domain voluntarily in 1993. The Internet and web
have many features of a commons, and many people refer to the "Internet commons."
Researcher Ida Kubiszewski explored the intricacies of the Internet and World Wide Web
to determine if Internet companies are extracting economic rent from the public and how
it could be recovered. She finds that companies are making a substantial unearned profit
by utilizing a resource that was developed by a collective whole and not through their
own efforts. In particular, services of ISPs connecting people to the web should be
subject to rent as well as the provision of web domain names, because these are areas of
Internet and web usage that are generating economic rent for companies. Without
detailed cost data, Kubiszewski estimated economic rent in the following way: The
average profit for Fortune 1000 companies is 7 percent and everything above that could
be considered economic rent.
She found that economic rent from public telecoms to be $17 million, private ISPs
to be $3.3 million, and domain names $9.3 million. "Totaling up all the economic rent,
we find that economic rent owed to Vermonters is approximately $30 million per year."41
So, here again we have only one estimate for high and low values.
Estimate: $30 million
Financial System (Speculation)42
Financial markets and regulatory bodies that monitor them are socially created
assets that allow financial transactions to take place. Peter Barnes estimated that 30
percent of the value of publicly traded companies is due to the liquidity of being listed on
a stock market for trading.43 Therefore the public deserves a share of the money generated
in these markets. Of all the financial transactions that take place internationally, it is
estimated that 95 percent are speculation in paper assets only, and only 5 percent in actual
goods and services44. Economist James Tobin suggested a tax (Tobin Tax) to slow down
the rate of speculation in currency exchanges, which creates no new goods or services. In
February 2000, economist Dean Baker of the Center for Economic and Policy Research
calculated the total potential revenue from a 0.25 percent "Tobin" tax in the U.S. as
$128.4 billion, including revenue from speculation on stocks, government bonds,
corporate bonds, futures contracts, currency, swaps, and options45. Pro-rating the total by
Vermont's population (Vermont was 0.21 percent of 2000 U.S. population) would
generate $269 million. Any state or country could do the same. Several countries
including France, Germany and the United States are currently considering Financial
Speculation taxes.46 In 2009 Baker revised the calculation to a high estimate of $353.8
billion, which provides a higher Vermont estimate of $743 million.47
Low estimate: $269 million
High estimate: $743 million
Banks create 97 percent of the money in the United States through the fractional
reserve system,49 which allows the private banking system and central bank to loan out
many times more money than they have on deposit. The monetary system is a socially
created system, which has been almost completely privatized by the Federal Reserve
Banking System. If we are going to give banks the privilege of seigniorage (money
creation) we should at least recover a share of it for the public. In 2004 Vermont banks
lent out $3.57 billion.50 An arbitrary 1 percent tax on bank money creation would
generate $35.7 million for the common assets fund in Vermont. A better approach would
be to establish 100 percent reserve requirements for banks, which would end bank
creation of money.51
Money could then be issued by government and loaned or spent into existence. If
government is creating credit, there is no reason they could not issue it directly as a basic
income instead of loaning it out. As long as government accepts this money back for
payment of taxes or other government services then the money will circulate properly.
The other requirement is to avoid printing more money than available goods and services
to avoid inflation. The American colonists were able to achieve it with colonial scrip, and
Lincoln did it with Greenbacks, so there is no reason we cannot.52 For now we used the
figure of $35.7 million in our report, giving us one estimate.
Estimate: $35.7 million
3. Putting it all together
Potential increased revenue from economic rent on natural and social assets in
Vermont was estimated to be about $1.2 billion (see table), which equals nearly half of
Vermont's 2008 in-state revenue of $2.9 billion53. If $1.2 billion in annual revenue were
distributed equally to all 623,050 Vermont residents (2005 estimate)54, this would amount
to $1972 per person annually. We used very cautious estimates of revenue and actual
figures could be much higher. For example using $100/ton for carbon would generate
$844 million per year in Vermont, equal to ¾ of our entire estimate just from this one
Using our high estimates for potential revenue, economic rent could generate
revenue of $6.5 billion, which if distributed annually would provide $10,348 for every
resident of Vermont. This would be more than a subsistence income. Other jurisdictions
may have much more valuable assets than resource-poor Vermont. For example, some
states have billions in mineral or oil wealth, and many urban areas have hundreds of
billions in land values or spectrum values. Dumping harmful emissions into the air is a
privilege, which will be costly in the future. Every jurisdiction can evaluate these and
other sources of economic rent. This exercise is merely an attempt to demonstrate the
potential revenue possibilities.
These figures are estimates only, and we do not claim they are precise. But they
demonstrate the potential of economic rent.
Low and high estimates of possible dividends for Vermont
High estimate of
Total Current Vt
economic millions of
2724.0 $300/ton Co2
6.0 severance tax
2143.0 10% land tax
30.0 rent estimate
Total (millions of US$)
2005 VT Population:
author's calculations from figures reported above *
The "low" and "high" estimates differ in two ways: the "low estimate" uses the most conservative
estimates of resources values and
subtracts out the amount already being collected by Vermont tax
authorities ($790 per person per year). The "high estimate" uses more generous estimates of resource value
and does not
subtract out the amount already being collected by Vermont tax authorities.
If we believe that the natural and social assets of every state belong to the citizens
of the state, then it is imperative to recapture this value and return it to all citizens rather
than leaving it in a few private hands. Every state or country has a collection of common
assets that are probably equal to or greater in value than Vermont's common assets.
These assets can be used to finance an SWF and dividend along the lines of the Alaska
model. If we could do it in poor Vermont, others can certainly do it elsewhere.
Adler, Aaron (Legislative Counsel)
. "H.385: An Act Relating To Establishing A Vermont
Common Assets Trust." 8 March 2011 (submitted by Pearson, Chris), Montpelier,
VT: Vermont Legislature.
Baker, Dean. "Taxing Financial Speculation: Shifting the Tax Burden From Wages to
Wagers." Center for Economic and Policy Research
, 2000. Web. June 1, 2011.
Baker, Dean, et al. "The Potential Revenue from Financial Transactions Taxes." Center
for Economic and Policy Research
. 2009. Web. June 1, 2011.
Barnes, Peter. Who Owns the Sky
? Washington, DC: Island Press, 2001.
Barnes, Peter. Capitalism 3.0
. San Francisco, CA: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2006.
Bollier, David. Silent Theft
. New York: Routledge, 2002.
Boright, Allan. (Legislative Council). S.44: Vermont Common Assets Trust Fund bill,
(submitted by State Senator Hinda Miller). January 2007. Vermont Legislature,
Brown, Ellen. Web of Debt
. 4th ed. Baton Rouge, Louisiana: Third Millenium Press,
British Columbia Ministry of Finance, "Tax Cuts, Funded by a Revenue Neutral Carbon
Tax." Web. September 15, 2011.
Bureau of Economic Analysis, U.S. Department of Commerce. "Gross Domestic Product
(GDP) by State," in Regional Economic Accounts
." Web. September 22, 2011.
Casey, Conor. "Potential Revenue Collection Through a Single tax on Land." Valuing
Common Assets for Public Finance in Vermont.
Ed. Gary Flomenhoft and Amos
Baer. Burlington, VT: Gund Institute, 2008. Pages 48,49.
Daly, Herman. Money and the Steady-State Economy
. 25 Apr. 2010. Web. June 1, 2011.
Daly, Herman, and Joshua Farley. Ecological Economics.
2nd ed. Washington, DC. Island
Dunkel, Godfrey. "Relationship of Rent, Taxation, Interest Rates and Land Values."
School For Cooperative Individualism. May 2007. Web. September 15, 2011.
Dwyer, Terry. "Taxable Capacity of Australia's Resources." Earthsharing Australia.
Web. June 1, 2011.
Erickson, Gregg. Personal communication. April 22, 2011.
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Statistics on Depository Institutions. Web.
Flomenhoft, Gary, ed. A Green Tax Shift for Vermont.
Burlington, VT: Gund Institute,
Flomenhoft, Gary, and Amos Baer, eds. Valuing Common Assets for Public Finance in
Burlington, VT: Gund Institute, 2008.
Gaffney, Mason. "The Hidden Taxable Capacity of Land: Enough and to Spare."
International Journal of Social Economics
36.4 (2009): 328 - 411.
George, Henry. Progress and Poverty
. New York: Robert Shalkenbach Foundation, 1997
Goodlad, Morgan. "The Shetland Experience.
PowerPoint presentation. Web. June 1,
Hagans, Nate, editor. The Oil Drum, personal communication. April 1, 2011.
"H2O for Maine." waterdividendtrust.org. Web. June 1, 2011.
Hartzok, Alanna. "
Citizen Dividends And Oil Resource Rents: A Focus on Alaska,
Norway and Nigeria.
. 2004. Web. June 1, 2011.
Infoplease. Web. June 1, 2011.
Institute for Policy Studies. "Taxing the Wall Street Casino." 17 June 2010. Web. June 1,
Kelly, Brian, Matthew Putney, Julia Prince, and Karen Paul. Vermont's Message in a
Bottle: Bottling Groundwater Rent for Public Revenue
Burlington, VT: Gund
Kenyan, Jennifer and Beth Nolan. "Renting the Air: Curbing Emissions from
Transportation and Heating." Valuing Common Assets for Public Finance in
Ed. Gary Flomenhoft and Amos Baer. Burlington, VT: Gund Institute,
2008. Pages 9-16.
Kolonoski, Mark. "Assessing Revenue and Regulation of Vermont Forests." Valuing
Common Assets for Public Finance in Vermont.
Ed. Gary Flomenhoft and Amos
Baer. Burlington, VT: Gund Institute, 2008. Pages 20-25.
Kubiszewski, Ida. "The Ownership of the Internet and the World Wide Web in
Vermont." Valuing Common Assets for Public Finance in Vermont.
Flomenhoft and Amos Baer. Burlington, VT: Gund Institute, 2008. Pages 30-35.
Lenzner, Robert. The Great Getty
. New York: Crown Publishers, 1985.
McClung, Colin, and Gary Flomenhoft. "Message in a Bottle: Bottling Economic Rent
for Public Revenue." Valuing Common Assets for Public Finance in Vermont.
Gary Flomenhoft and Amos Baer. Burlington, VT: Gund Institute, 2008. Pages
Mill, John Stuart. Principles of Political Economy, 7th ed.
Ed. William J. Ashley.London:
Longmans, Green and Co., 1909 .
Murray, William. "Use Value and Management Structure of Broadcast Spectrum in the
United States." Valuing Common Assets for Public Finance in Vermont.
Flomenhoft and Amos Baer. Burlington, VT: Gund Institute, 2008. Pages 36-40.
O'Brian, Tony. Australia's Resource Yield.
2000. Web. June 1, 2011.
Paine, Thomas. "Agrarian Justice." The Life and Major Writings of Thomas Paine
Philip Foner. New York: Citadel press, 1945.
Raphael, Ian. "Who Owns Vermont's Rocks." Valuing Common Assets for Public
Finance in Vermont.
Ed. Gary Flomenhoft and Amos Baer. Burlington, VT: Gund
Institute, 2008. Pages 40-43.
Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). RGGI.org. Web. June 1, 2011.
Ricardo, David. On The Principles of Political Economy and Taxation London.
Albemarle-Street: John Murray, 1821 .
Saxton, Ross. "Current and Potential Economic Rent in the State of Vermont: Wildlife
and Fish." Valuing Common Assets for Public Finance in Vermont.
Flomenhoft and Amos Baer. Burlington, VT: Gund Institute, 2008. Pages 17-19.
Skalka, Susan. "Wind Rent Possibilities." Valuing Common Assets for Public Finance in
Ed. Gary Flomenhoft and Amos Baer. Burlington, VT: Gund Institute,
2008. Pages 50-52.
Smith, Adam. The Wealth of Nations
. New York: Random House, 1937 ; quoted in
, Norristown, PA, December 1, 1976.
Snider, J.H. The Citizen's Guide to the Airwaves
. Washington, D.C.: New America
United States Census Bureau. Economic Inequality by State Report. 2000. Web. June 1,
Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute. "Fund Rankings." Web. June 1, 2011.
Tomales Bay Institute. State of the Common.
Minneapolis, MN: Tomales Bay Institute,
Tomales Bay Institute. The Commons Rising,
Minneapolis, MN: Tomales Bay Institute,
Van der Maelen, Dirk. Tobin Tax to Temper Speculation
. Towardfreedom.com. 3 June
2005. Web. June 1, 2011.
Vermont Governors Commission on Climate Change.
University of Vermont. Oct. 2007.
Web. June 1, 2011.
Vermont Legislative Joint Fiscal Office, 2008 Fiscal Facts. Web. June 1, 2011.
Vermont Transparency. Web. June 1, 2011.
Warack, Allan A., and Russell R. Alberta Heritage Fund vs. Alaska Permanent Fund: A
Edmonton, Canada: Faculty of Business, University of
Alberta, May 2001.
Warnock, John. Selling the Family Silver, Oil and Gas Royalties, Corporate Profits, and
the Disregarded Public
. Parkland Institute and Canadian Center for Policy
Alternatives-Saskatchewan Office. 2006.
. Edmunton, Alberta, Canada. 15 Nov. 2006. Web. June 1, 2011.
Widerquist, Karl, and Michael W. Howard. Alaska's Permanent Fund Dividend:
Examining its Suitability as a Model. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012.
Wilkinson Ray, Elliot. "Scratching the Surface: an Analysis of Vermont's Surface Water
Policy." Valuing Common Assets for Public Finance in Vermont.
Flomenhoft and Amos Baer. Burlington, VT: Gund Institute, 2008. Pages 44-47.
Yarbrough, Beth V. and Robert M. The World Economy, Trade and Finance
. 6th ed.
Mason, OH: Thompson/Southwestern, 2003.
1 Lenzner 1985, p. 93
2 Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute 2011
3 Tomales Bay Institute 2003, p. 1-4
4 Tomales Bay Institute 2003, p. 15
5 Mill 1909, Book II, Chap. 2, Sec. 5; Paine 1945, p. 605
7 Tomales Bay Institute 2003, p.3
8 Ricardo 1817, section 2.16
9 Daly and Farley 2001, p. 152
11 Erickson 2011
12 Warnack 2006, 6 and 27
15 Flomenhoft and Baer 2008
16 Boright 2007; reintroduced in 2011 by Chris Pearson as H.385
17 Warnack 2006, p. 30-34
18 Tomales Bay Institute 2003, p. 21
19 See Howard, this volume
20 Vermont Governors Commission on Climate Change 2007
21 Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative 2009
23 British Columbia Ministry of Finance 2011
24 See chapter by Howard in this volume for more details
25 McClung & Flomenhoft 2008 26 H2O for Maine
27 Kelly et al. 2011, p. 2
28 Kelly et al. 2011, p. 6
29 Flomenhoft and Baer 2008, p. 6
30 Flomenhoft and Baer 2008, p. 6
31 Flomenhoft and Baer 2008, p. 6
32 Raphael 2008, p. 41
33 Raphael 2008, p. 43
34 Snider 2003, p. 12
35 Murray 2008, p. 39
36 Murray 2008, p. 36
37 Skalka 2008, p 50 38 Casey 2008, p. 48
40 Casey 2008, p. 49
41 Kubiszewski 2008, p. 34
42 Flomenhoft 2009, p. 30
43 Barnes 2006, p. 67
44 Van der Maelen 2005
45 Baker 2000, p. 4
46 Institute for Policy Studies 2010
47 Baker 2009, p. 2
48 Flomenhoft 2009, p.30
49 Brown 2010, p. 3
50 Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation 2011
52 Brown 2010, p. 4, 82
53 VT Transparency 2008
54 infoplease 2011
Part 1. Systemic psoriatic process Edition e4.0 Mikhail Peslyak Moscow, 2012 UDC 616.5:616-092 Mikhail Yuryevich Peslyak Model of pathogenesis of psoriasis. Part 1. Systemic psoriatic process. Edition e4.0 (revised and updated), Russia, Moscow, MYPE, 2012.– 84 p. ISBN 978-5-905504-02-0
Research Studies for Promoting Access to Health Technologies in Poor Countries* By Michael R. Reich and Laura J. Frost Many people in developing countries lack access to health technologies, even basic ones. These technologies include life-saving medicines, such as antiretrovirals for HIV/AIDS, as well as life-enhancing medicines, such as medications that help stop asthma attacks and improve breathing. Limited access is also a problem with many other health products such as vaccines that can prevent debilitating diseases, diagnostics for infectious and chronic diseases, preventive technologies such as insecticide-treated bednets, and various kinds of contraceptives. In 1999 the World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that since the mid-1980s, around 1.7 billion people—approximately one third of the world's population in 1999—did not have regular access to essential medicines and vaccines. The WHO's estimate was based on a questionnaire survey of national experts in pharmaceutical policy (reflecting the difficulties of collecting accurate population-level data on this question) (WHO 1988; WHO 2004).1 In recent years, the issue of access to medicines and other health technologies has risen on the global policy agenda. The most contentious debates about inadequate access in poor countries have focused on drugs and vaccines, but similar problems exist for other health technologies. Access to diagnostics, for example, has been relatively unexplored in policy debates. And the focus on certain types of access barriers (especially pricing and patents) has tended to obscure other important obstacles to access such as distribution, delivery, and adoption problems. In recent work, we analyzed the histories of six health technologies as the basis for creating a more comprehensive view of access: praziquantel to treat schistosomiasis (a parasitic worm disease), hepatitis B vaccine, the Norplant contraceptive, malaria rapid diagnostic tests, vaccine vial monitors, and the female condom (see Exhibit 1) (Frost and Reich 2008). Four criteria guided our selection of case studies. We chose cases that: (1) include different types of health technologies; (2) reflect a range of health problems; (3) span different phases of access; and (4) include examples that have been successful as well as those that have encountered obstacles and faltered. Our approach in these case studies drew from anthropological research that traces the ‘life-cycles' or ‘biographies' of medicines from production to end-user (Van der Geest et al. 1996; Reynolds Whyte et al. 2002; Reynolds Whyte et al. 2006) and from public health case study research on barriers to technology access (Sevene et al. 2005). For each case study, we analyzed the social, economic, political, and cultural processes that shaped access to the health technology in developing countries. We followed the technology's flow through different phases of access, identified barriers, and looked for measures that create access (Frost and Reich 2008).