The REAL argument for Universal Basic Services

As a postscript to the previous piece on Universal Basic Income, (together with the interesting comment from Charles Adams on the same page) an American article makes a coherent case against a full Universal Basic Income: Our current economic crisis goes beyond the problem of income inequality. While inequality garners the most attention, it’s a… Read more

The English Civil War and its Ongoing Legacy

I know the English Civil War started in 1642 and ended 9 years later so you’re probably thinking it can’t have much of a legacy now. I just think it might. In the 1580’s the cleric, Richard Hooker, often considered to have written Britain’s first philosophical treatise, ‘The Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity’ wrote  [Book 1… Read more

Everything you ever wanted to know about Bitcoin – and just a little bit more

There is a marvelous article in the ‘Washington Post’ (yes, I know it’s owned by Bezos, the man that owns Amazon, so is not my usual read either) but it provides the best summary of Bitcoin that I’ve yet encountered. I’ve quoted the introduction to whet the appetite: Bitcoin changes prices too quickly to be… Read more

Using Local Currency for Reform – Radical or Reckless?

It seems clear that Manchester is not going to be reimbursed by central government for the full cost of the Manchester arena terrorism attack by central government presumably because central government ‘does not have enough money’ – although it prints it. Perhaps a local currency could provide a little help. Local currencies seem to be… Read more

Weeping for Kensington

The report by the MP for Kensington and former Kensington & Chelsea councillor, Emma Dent Coad, “After Grenfell: Housing and Inequality in Kensington and Chelsea” makes for horrific reading. Is this really Britain’s richest borough? Is this really Britain’s richest borough in 2017? The reasons why Dickensian diseases are reappearing two centuries later is obvious… Read more

Universal Basic Services – the soup kitchen and others

After free information and free transport, which I considered here the remaining two recommendations of the recent report on Universal Basic Services are free Food and Shelter. At a time of record low interest rates the report’s proposal to issue bonds to finance lots more social housing is uncontroversial. Thereafter there are some very big… Read more

Rail Delivery Commitments

An organisation called the Rail Delivery Group suggested today (according to the Today Programme ) that there has never been more rail investment – with £50billion over the next 18 months. They have taken on four commitments: “Strengthening rail’s contribution to the economy” (- whatever that means?) “Improving customer satisfaction” “Boosting local communities” (- whatever… Read more

Universal Basic Services – Transports of delight?

Information and transport were two of the four flagship services proposed by the recent University College London UBS report. Having reread the report I looked at here the concept of free information through a phone or internet connection should be pretty striaghtforward to implement. Indeed when the government is providing an assured income for providers… Read more