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

Housing horrors

In France the government has decreed that many more ‘HLM’s (Habitations à Loyer Modéré or Homes at Moderate Rent) must be sold. But, although HLM are the equivalent to our council housing, there is no subsidy for the tenant – only first refusal on the purchase. Unsurprisingly the homes (almost invariably flats) are proving difficult… 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

‘Non-recourse’ loans

Following comments on modern banking, I’ve discovered an idea with which I was previously unfamiliar ‘Non-recourse loans’. A minority of US states have non-recourse loans, including California and Washington State, so nobody can suggest they are incompatible with Common Law systems or are unworkable or punitive for lenders. A non-recourse loan is where, if you… Read more

Fat chance

“Obesity is unlikely to occur (although it is not unknown) without the refinement of foods, because without such refinement it is hard for the body to process enough food to obtain a large excess of calories. Modern refinement frees calories and provides them in concentrated packages, making  over-consumption possible. Given the costs of transportation and… 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

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

Who’s for Universal Basic Services?

It is encouraging to see innovative proposals for change and the recent report on the Universal Basic Services made for interesting reading. Universal Basic Services are seen as a more economical alternative to the more expensive Universal Basic Income. Firstly I like the originality of the idea – although the first Universal Basic Service was… Read more