Chapter 14 — The National Dividend



A communal treasure

We know — at least those of us who are Catholics do — the dogma of the Communion of the Saints. The Church possesses an abundant spiritual treasury, made up of the infinite merits of Our Lord and of the superabundant merits of the Virgin Mary and the Saints.

The Church does not put seals on these merits. She does not tell us: “These merits belong to those who have earned them; you shall not touch them. There are plenty of infinite surpluses, but you shall have none of them. Earn for yourself whatever you can.”

No! Through indulgences, the Church gives us access to this treasury, under conditions which are completely within our reach. It does not mean that we all become equal in merits in the Church, but that all have an easy access to this spiritual treasury, and that the Church is ever so happy to see us draw from it. The more one draws from it, the more the treasury increases, because the souls fortify and perfect themselves. The producers of merits — the Saints — do recognize that they owe their sanctification to the Church established by Our Lord, and they all rejoice in seeing their co-members in this Church benefit from the treasury that they have been able to increase by their contributions.

We can compare this concept to that of the dividend advocated by Social Credit. It takes nothing away from the producers of goods; on the contrary, it will accelerate the output of their means of production, while contributing to the common good.

A system of plenty

Plenty exists. Those who have not yet recognized this assuredly cannot understand anything about our doctrine. Perhaps they have never seen any unemployed worker: a person out of work means that the abundance of goods is suppressed because it is not distributed.

Plenty exists, but one smothers it, because one does not want to distribute it to all those for whom it exists. One puts the surpluses, the communal treasury, under lock and key, because one wants only those who have the privilege of contributing to production to be entitled to a small share. To those not contributing to production, nothing.

The Social Credit dividend will distribute the production that is today being lost or suppressed at its source. It will not dry up production; it will stimulate it.

Not welfare

Let us not confuse the dividend with the dole or with welfare. The dividend is not public charity, but a distribution of income to the members of society, for example, to all the shareholders of Canada Limited.

The funds which are used for welfare are levied on the present or future incomes of the employed members of society. In order to give a little purchasing power to the have-nots, social welfare takes some purchasing power away from others, or mortgages the purchasing power of people who are not yet born.

In a century and a country of plenty!

Moreover, welfare demoralizes, because it punishes work. The recipients who accept work, even at a wage which does not allow one to live decently, lose their benefits.

Forms of social security, like welfare, humiliate the destitute, who are told that they are a burden to others, that they live on the forced contributions from their fellow citizens.

The Social Credit dividend has none of these evil features. It is an income distributed to all, because it belongs to all. It does not create a burden to anyone; it does not deprive anyone. It does not create inflation, because it is conditioned by the actual or imminent presence of products.

No one is wronged. It is the production surplus, immobilized at the moment, that the dividend proposes to distribute. To refuse it is to destroy wealth, to establish the reign of poverty in front of an abundant production capacity, to unjustifiably maintain the consumer in want, families in suffering, the worker in unemployment, industry in chaos, the taxpayer in despair, the governments in servitude.

The dividend and the individual

What effect will the dividend have on the individual?

What effect would it have on you if you were to receive, by the mail, an envelope from Ottawa, containing a $800 cheque with this message: “The nation, enriched by its industry, the labour of its sons and of the machines, is happy to offer to you this dividend, which is also mailed to each of the country's 30 million citizens, to allow the sale of an abundant production, and to avoid unemployment, misery, and the paralysis of industry.”

Will you pocket the six-hundred dollars and leave your job for a month? Or will you be green with envy or vexation at the thought that each of your neighbours also gets $800? Or will you call the Canadian Government immoral, because it gets the poor out of misery instead of letting the products go to waste?

Would you not rather thank God for having put you in a well-organized and well-administered country, rich in natural resources? Would you not become all the more attached to your homeland, and strive to contribute to its prosperity? Would you not continue to work more industriously, like the worker who has just received a raise in wages, because you will know that the possibility of a dividend depends on the development of production?

The good effects that the dividend would have upon you would apply to others as well. Too many of those who find the idea of a dividend harmful are hypocritical or proud people who think that, for themselves it would be good, but that others, born and raised in sin, are too licentious to use a dividend wisely.

The dividend and the family

What will the dividend mean for the family — a dividend for your wife and for each of your children, as well as for yourself?

Will it sow consternation or discord in your home? Will you not, on the contrary, consider together the idea of improving the conditions of life in your home, like buying a new piece of furniture, a new accessory, new comforts that you have wanted for a long time?

At last you will be able to refurnish a wardrobe that was getting old. You will be able to consider getting a better education for your children, developing the talents of one or the other for such and such an art; bringing electricity into your home, getting a little help and rest for your wife. You will have your pew at church; you will be able to enlarge your donations for charities, because a little more ease at home has not made you less Christian. You will be able to subscribe, you and your family, to magazines that are both educational and recreational, instead of being limited, by an insufficient budget, to the cheap vulgar press.

Much has been said about the family wage. The married man, a father of many children, needs certainly a larger income than the bachelor. But although they may be equal in productive value, the one or the other cannot demand different wages from his employer, for the employer would thus rather hire single men and providers of small families.

The dividend settles this problem, since each individual participates in it equally. The married man, a father of six children — all of whom perhaps being of a tender age — will be able to get the same wages as his bachelor fellow worker, but while the bachelor gets his sole dividend, over and above his wages, eight dividends will enter into the family which has eight mouths to feed. These are family allowances which cost nothing to anyone, which, on the contrary, help everybody, since they allow production to run at full output.

The dividend and the farmer

The dividend (added to the compensated discount) allows the sale of farm products at prices which leave the farmer a sufficient profit to pay him for his toil. His family, often large, benefits in addition from the dividends obtained by each of its members. In the same way that he is able to sell his farm products, he is also able to buy those of industry.

At last he can think about buying the farm implements which he lacks, chemical manure, more head of cattle, etc.

If this farmer is a settler, you can imagine how helpful the dividend becomes to him. Those who increase, by such a laborious life, the productive domain of society, are certainly more entitled to the surplus of the producing system.

The dividend and the worker

What effect will the national dividend have on the worker? It will safeguard the worker's dignity. The worker will no longer be forced to hire himself out for a starvation wage; hunger enslaves the needy worker to the conditions laid down by the exploiter. Besides, by assuring the sale of products, the dividend allows an employer to remunerate his employees better.

For the same reason too, the dividend favours the permanence of employment. You must not, in fact, delude yourself about this; if the machine replaces man in a multitude of processes, there remains enough to do in public and private improvements and developments, at least here in Canada, to make use of our employable men's energies.

The security against an absolute need brought on by the dividend allows each one to pursue occupations that will fit him best; all the social organism will gain by it.

The dividend is the formula to ensure to each member of society, to all and each, the right to the basic necessities of life, when there is possible plenty for all.


Previous Chapter                   Contents                        Next Chapter