Ideas to Action:

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CGD Policy Blogs

 

High-Level Endorsement for Oil2Cash

Donald Kaberuka, the President of the African Development Bank and the leading voice for forward-leaning economic policy on the continent, has come out publicly in favor of paying some portion of natural resource windfalls as a direct dividend to citizens. We’re pretty excited about this policy idea at CGD, and have been thinking through some of the pros, cons, and practicalities of what we call Oil-to-Cash. Watch this space for our Oil-to-Cash book later in 2014.

Top Ten Reasons Why Oil-to-Cash Won’t Work (And Rebuttals!)

This is a joint post with Stephanie Majerowicz.

When we share the Oil-to-Cash idea with people who are hearing about it for the very first time, the typical response is almost always viscerally negative. (If you aren’t familiar with Oil-to-Cash, here’s the web page and a 4-min jellybeans video.)  They usually say “That won’t work because of X” or “Sure, that works in Alaska, but my country Y is very different” or “No, the money would be much better spent on Z”.  Often, by the second or third time we talk with people about citizen dividends, however, they start to come around. In a few cases, we’ve even had former skeptics pitching us ideas of how it could work better.

Can the Venezuelan Opposition Create Citizen-Owners to Unseat the Chavistas?

This is a joint post with Stephanie Majerowicz. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez hasn’t appeared in public since his cancer surgery last December and, given his sharply deteriorating health, it seems a safe bet that the country will be having another national election sooner rather than later. When that happens, the opposition will have a rare opportunity outflank the populist Chavistas and offer voters a share in the country’s oil wealth through direct payments of part of the revenue (see the recent WSJ article). Such a program has the twin advantages of being potentially hugely popular and of reducing corruption, strengthening accountability and curbing waste. Here at CGD we call this idea “oil-to-cash.”