The universal, publicly financed old-age pension has been a popular and effective means for reducing poverty and extending social citizenship in all developed states. In the age of globalization it is right that this reliable and tested device for protecting the livelihood of the elderly should be installed at a planetary level, by means of a Global Pension paid at a modest rate to every older person, to be financed by a very modest tax on global financial transactions and corporate wealth. In the first instance, the worldwide old-age pension could be at one dollar a day, bearing in mind that even this small sum would help to lift hundreds of millions of the aged out of poverty in every part of the globe. Poverty and inequality are so great in today's world that quite modest remedial measures ca have a large impact.
The cost of introducing a Global Pension of a dollar a day in the next few years would therefore be around $205 billion a year, one-fifth of the projected cost to the US of the Iraq War, or half of the annual US military budget prior to the Iraq invasion. However, that cost will double by around 2030, and triple by mid-century
The Global Pension would be a universal social-insurance scheme, not an aid program. It would channel financial resources directly to the elderly in their communities, whether rich or poor, urban or rural. The administration costs would, insofar as possible, be spent in those communities. It would be a non-means-tested as well as non-contributory "social pension."