Tuesday, 28 January 2020

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Harrow Voice Debate (1) – What Do You Think Of Universal Basic Services?

WELCOME TO the first debate hosted by Harrow Voice – the voice of National Liberal Party in Harrow (Middlesex). Regular readers will be aware that our sister publications Caledonian Voice, Devon Voice and Welsh Voice have previously debated (see links below) the idea of a Universal Basic Income (UBI). The idea behind UBI is that each individual living in the UK would receive some form of regular income from the government. This money would be issued unconditionally, meaning that it wouldn’t be means tested.


Harrow Voice is deeply interested in the various ways that ordinary working families can be financially supported in the future – especially given the rapid advancements in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and robotics, which will lead to job losses.


This article – originally entitled Why UBI’s Cousin, UBS, Is Better https://medium.com/bigger-picture/why-ubis-cousin-ubs-is-better-c08778c7c865– was originally published last year in Medium, a US-based blog which publishes work by amateurs and professionals. Written by Inés Fernández, this thought-provoking article looks at the idea of providing Universal Basic Services (UBS) instead. Such services would guarantee a minimum standard of life and include free healthcare, education, democracy & legal services, housing, food, transport and information.

Harrow Voice invites everyone to read the article and answer this simple question: What Do You Think Of Universal Basic Services? Let us know via the National Liberals Facebook site – https://www.facebook.com/groups/52739504313/ – or the National Liberal Party Facebook site – https://www.facebook.com/NationalLiberalParty/


It goes without saying that there are no official links between Inés Fernández, Medium, Harrow Voice and the National Liberal Party. Please note that Harrow Voice has kept the original North American spelling and phrases as they are.

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Why UBI’s Cousin, UBS, Is Better


Examining universal basic income vs. universal basic services


By Inés Fernández


THE INCREASING concerns over automation and the future of work have started to fuel the popularization of ideas like universal basic income (UBI) — a policy which would provide every citizen with a certain amount of money a month that they can spend however they want. Perhaps most notably, U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang is centering his platform around this idea (albeit his version excludes those outside the 18–65 age group and those receiving welfare services).


Implementing UBI, without a doubt, would be better than letting the millions of workers who will lose their jobs to automation perish. However, there are some points that make UBI less preferable than its less flashy alternative: universal basic services (UBS), which, as its name suggests, entails that all necessary basic services (defined differently by every proponent, but could include healthcare, housing and utilities, transportation, education, and a meal plan) be publicly funded and made free at the point of service. If you are a UBI proponent, allow me to make the case to you as to why this is so.


UBI (or at least any UBI program that is not in addition to UBS, like Andrew Yang’s) will, at the end of the day, go towards paying for these services, but is less effective at it. This is because, by providing the services directly, if someone’s total cost in all these areas is $500, the government would spend $500 on that person, while if another person’s costs are $1000, it would spend $1000. But with UBI, the government would give the same amount to both people — if it is under $1000, then one has insufficient money to cover their basic needs, and if it is over $500, then one of them is receiving excess money. Evidently, this is a more inefficient use of funds than just covering people’s needs.


The biggest challenge with UBI, as any UBI advocate knows, is that it is difficult to pick the perfect amount. No matter the number, some people will receive too much, and some people will receive too little. This is why UBS ensures no one will go without the essential services they need in a way that UBI will never be able to.


Don’t get me wrong, a UBI on top of UBS would be great, and if feasible, I would probably support it. But a UBI in place of UBS (or in place of welfare programs, which are just non-universal basic services) is unacceptable. Many progressives fear that UBI is a neoliberal excuse to underfund these programs, and if implemented in this manner, their concerns would likely be justified.


With UBS, since people would have these expenses covered for them (remember — the money would come from the same place UBI money is intended to), they would save thousands of dollars and to re-invest in the things that UBI advocates dream of: consumer spending and starting small businesses. Also, they would be more prone to take business risks, knowing they have this safety net and won’t end up homeless or unable to pay for their kids’ education if it goes wrong. In other words, all the benefits that are supposed to be achieved through UBI — a healthier and more educated population, a reduction in homelessness, an increase in mental health due to alleviated financial distress, a safety net on which to rely on while going through job retraining, a reduced dependency on salary and consequent empowerment of workers — would be achieved, except more efficiently, since it is more targeted and provides each person with exactly what they need. Not a cent less, not a cent more.


Furthermore, counterintuitively to many UBI proponents, it is even possible to make the case that UBS is less bureaucratic — instead of the government giving citizens money and citizens providing it to the service, it is provided to the service directly, cutting out the middleman. It is more politically feasible, since most governments already have these programs reserved for a select few, and UBS would simply require expanding them to everybody as opposed to starting a whole new program.


Perhaps more importantly, though, providing services through a UBS program would be cheaper than through UBI, not just because of the increased dollar-per-person efficiency, but for the same reasons that healthcare and education are cheaper per capita in every other developed country than in the United States — the government has more bargaining power than any individual citizen, and would it be able to negotiate down the prices with the entity that is providing them.


Of course, any candidate proposing UBS would have to figure out the details of how exactly they would go about it, including whether they want the government to run these services or merely fund them (I suspect many would prefer the latter) and whether they want to offer the services as an opt-in option or as the sole provider (I suspect many would prefer the former). But I personally support UBS because, independently of all the economic and practical arguments, I think that in a society that can offer them, it is immoral to deny people access to any of these services on the grounds that they cannot afford them. It would not only have positive repercussions on society, but it is the humane thing to do.


If you agree with this ideal but disagree with its implementation, I would love to hear why (be it in the comments or on Twitter). Nevertheless, whether through UBI, UBS, or another policy, one thing is clear: We must find a way to cultivate a more modern relationship to work, because if survival depends on salary, it is very likely that automation will wreck havoc on our society.


• READERS interested in Universal Basic Income – UBI – should also check out the following debates:


Caledonian Voice Debate (1) – Universal Basic Income For Scotland? http://nationalliberal.org/caledonian-voice-debate-1-universal-basic-income-for-scotland

Welsh Voice Debate (1) – Who Really Stands To Win From Universal Basic Income? http://nationalliberal.org/welsh-voice-debate-1-who-really-stands-to-win-from-universal-basic-income


Devon Voice Debate (1) Universal Basic Income For Devon? (Part 1) http://nationalliberal.org/devon-voice-debate-1-–-universal-basic-income-for-devon-part-1


Devon Voice Debate (1) Universal Basic Income For Devon? (Part 2) http://nationalliberal.org/devon-voice-debate-1-–-universal-basic-income-for-devon-part-ii


Devon Voice Debate (1) Universal Basic Income For Devon? (Part 3) http://nationalliberal.org/devon-voice-debate-1-–-universal-basic-income-for-devon-part-iii

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Argyll Says … Protect Animals & The Environment!

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From The Liberty Wall – Nations without States – Calling All Aborigines …

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NATIONS WITHOUT STATES – NwS – is a pressure group which seeks to highlight the plight of peoples who aspire to nationhood. Its raison d’être can be summed up in one simple slogan: Self-Determination For All!

Those who seek nationhood may be peoples or tribes based within a state or even across borders that may or may not have been independently organised in the past. They might have a linguistic or historical separateness from their neighbours or fellow citizens. All will aspire to recognition, autonomy or independence.

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As self-determinists, Nations without States supports the right of all such peoples to determine their future whatever they wish that to be.

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This includes for example the English, Flemish, Kurds, Sikhs and Tamils. A genuine self-determinist supports the right of self-determination globally where it is based upon a sound and just position and is supported by the majority of its ‘national’ community. The slogan ‘what is right for me is right for you’ simplifies why genuine nationalism is actually an inter-nationalist creed, quite separate to chauvinism which seeks advantage for one nation at the expense of others.

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For many years now, NwS has sought to unite various groups – some who would have previously operated in isolation from each other – in order to strengthen their claim to self-determination. As we noted in issue 1 of Nation – the Newsletter of Nations without States – ‘the only way forward is for self-determinists to unite and fight. We need to follow a strategy which will be conducted both on the streets and in the corridors of power.’


The call to operate ‘on the streets and in the corridors of power’ was followed up in issue 2 of Nation. It detailed several areas where NwS intended to build ‘counter power’ – a parallel system ‘that belongs to self-determinists and not our oppressors.’ This counter power would involve the following:

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• Build the infrastructure of an alternative mass media of news and entertainment. We’ve made a couple of small steps in the right direction here with the publication of Nation and our street paper Freedom, and the establishment of our Facebook site.

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• Build both a cultural and counter-cultural movement that’ll provide positive alternatives – especially for our youth – to globalism and modern consumer culture, which is designed to reduce everybody to the lowest common level by abolishing all inherited cultures and identities.

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• Build a social support network that can provide help, solidarity and humanitarian aid for our peoples both here and abroad.

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• Build a political movement that engages with various self-determinists with the aim of creating a whole new voting demographic.

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NwS intends to look at – and expand upon – all of these ideas in due course. But for the time being we’d like to concentrate on the idea of building a new voting demographic.


The reason for this is that later our friends & comrades from the National Liberal Party – NLP – will be standing candidates for the Greater London Assembly elections, scheduled for 7th May 2020 (1). The NLP will be standing under the slogan of Self-Determination For All!

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The NLP can field a total of 25 candidates. As of a couple of weeks ago nine candidates had been confirmed (2). Initially, the NLP would like to reflect the widespread number self-determinist communities living in the UK (and who would like to be represented, if elected, at the highest level in London).

With the above in mind, Nations without States would like to help the NLP locate potential candidates from the various diaspora communities living in London. We kick off with the Aborigines, the various indigenous peoples of the Australian mainland and many of its islands (excluding the Torres Strait Islands).

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We appreciate that it’s hard to know if there are any Aboriginal folks living in London. As far as we’re aware, the vast majority still live in Australia – indeed, almost two thirds of Aboriginal people live in urban areas of Australia’s eastern states (3). However, given that Greater London has an estimated population of 8.17 Million (4) it’s not inconceivable that some younger Aboriginal folks – particularly those from an artistic or sporting background – are living in the capital.

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Even if there are none, both ourselves and the NLP would be interested in making contact with any activists who know about – and support – the Aboriginal Australians.

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We’re particularly interested in what forms of self-determination are being mooted – such as greater recognition, autonomy or independence – as well as cultural issues. Nations without States are also very interested in bringing these issues to the attention of fellow activists (who’re interested in self-determination) via our Facebook site: https://www.facebook.com/groups/184919468292372/

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However, with the May Greater London Assembly elections in mind, it’s vitally important that anyone who generally supports the cause of self-determination (and, if possible, the Aboriginal Australian cause) gets in touch with the National Liberal Party as soon as possible.

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As we noted earlier, the NLP wants to use this opportunity to bring the unique idea of Self-Determination For All! to the attention of London’s electorate. If you fit the bill, please contact natliberal@aol.com as soon as possible!

  1. http://nationalliberal.org/self-determination-for-all-3
  2. http://nationalliberal.org/gla-candidate-meeting
  3. https://www.creativespirits.info/aboriginalculture/people/aboriginal-population-in-australia
  4. http://livepopulationof.com/population-of-london/
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New Horizon – National Liberalism In Action – Civil Liberties

JUST OVER five weeks ago we reproduced the second article – Head & Heart – from issue 1 of New Horizon, the online ideological magazine of the National Liberal Party. That article examined how, historically, Liberals adopted nationalism as part of their creed and became known as National Liberals.


We now move onto National Liberalism In Action! which takes a look at (the then) NLP ‘recruitment campaign that focused on Five key policy areas; Civil Liberties, Democracy, Environment, and the NHS.’


The first of these – Civil Liberties – is of great importance to National Liberals. We believe that ‘the defence of personal liberty is at the heart of our mission.’ Indeed, it could be argued that defending everyone’s Civil Liberties is the key to ensuring personal self-determination and freedom.


As always, we encourage thorough debate of our ideas. Therefore, we’d encourage readers to share their when this article is reproduced on either of our two Facebook sites – National Liberals https://www.facebook.com/groups/52739504313/ – and National Liberal Party – https://www.facebook.com/NationalLiberalParty/

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National Liberalism In Action!

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The defence of personal liberty is at the heart of National Liberalism. Indeed, it could be argued that defending everyone’s Civil Liberties is the key to ensuring personal self-determination and freedom. Readers interested in Civil Liberties should check our the Facebook group Free Speech: How do we protect it? which supports the idea of Free Thought, Free Speech & Free Assembly For All. It also campaigns for a formal constitution and bill of rights, based on the concept of civil and religious liberties for all. It also feel that a civil rights watchdog should be established to protect the people’s ability to make use of these rights.

WHILST New Horizon is dedicated to promoting, dissecting and discussing the ideology of National Liberalism, we cannot forget those National Liberals who are attempting to put this into practice. We know that there are individuals (groups?) who ascribe to the movement’s ideals throughout the Europe, from Turkey to Scandinavia and beyond, even globally. Here in the UK some are involved in pressure groups such as English Green (a non-socialist green movement), whilst others are in the political party – the National Liberal Party.

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We shall dedicate a section each issue to those operating in the ‘real’ rather than our ‘cyber’ world. In this first issue we host articles supporting and expanding on the NLP’s latest recruitment campaign that focused on Five key policy areas; Civil Liberties, Democracy, Environment, and the NHS.

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CIVIL LIBERTIES – A PRECIOUS COMMODITY ‘HARD TO OBTAIN EASY TO LOSE’

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IN December, nearly 400 years ago, the English Parliament passed an act entitled the ‘Bill of Rights’. It put down limits on the powers of the Sovereign (Monarch) and set out the rights of Parliament and the rules for freedom of speech therein, the requirement to regular elections to Parliament and the right to petition the monarch without fear of retribution. This built upon various other ‘events’ such as the much earlier Magna Carta of 1215 This is the first recorded document where a King, previously ruling under a ‘Divine Right’, accepted that his ‘subjects’ had rights, including the right not to be gaoled without trial. In time, similar various pieces of legislation came to cover the whole of the United Kingdom and make up Britain’s ‘Unwritten Constitution’, in particular the concept of individual rights and liberties. It took many years, much struggle, blood, sweat and tears to achieve.

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TAKING LIBERTIES …

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Today however, we see an increasing encroachment upon our civil liberties and individual freedoms. The phrase an ‘Englishman’s home is his castle’ is more than just a quaint phrase. It reflects an historical view that a Government’s writ largely remained outside our ‘ramparts’ and did not extend to personal affairs. In reality this has broken down ever since the end of the first World War with increasing attempts to interfere in our ‘private lives’ or ‘private views’ (should they not conform to the PC – left or right – of the day). It wasn’t always that way*

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Technology, whilst a ‘liberating’ force for many individuals is also being used to enslave us too. CCTV, continual push for biometric ID cards, communication eavesdropping and monitoring, to name just a few developments that will make it increasingly easier for any future Government to turn 1984 into a reality.

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History shows that once liberties are surrendered they are very difficult to restore.

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For National Liberals however the defence of personal liberty is at the heart of our mission. Governments struggle, at best, to resist the lure of power and often seek to centralise authority into their hands. This will inevitably impact upon individual freedoms. In times of heightened threats to national or personal security, Authority will seek to restrict their citizens movements and expression. What are and are not acceptable restrictions are of supreme importance to many. Outside of Authority, National Liberals must be part of societies ‘civic conscience’. Inside of Authority, they must ensure the ‘correct balance’ is struck between personal freedom and collective security and responsibility.

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To assist in maintaining this balance, we call for the Government appointment of a specific Civil Liberty Watchdog, with some executive blocking powers, to ensure our civil liberties are maintained in the face of private or public threats.

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The National Liberal Party will continue to expose, and campaign against, the steady encroachment of our individual freedoms and civil liberties. Whilst the main political topics of the day; the economy, immigration, Europe and education presently hold the attention of sections of the public, political parties and the media we believe that concern over loss of civil liberties will one day hold everyone’s attention.

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* As the famous historian A.J.P Taylor stated in his book English History: 1914-45 ‘Until August 1914 a sensible law-abiding Englishman could pass through life and hardly notice the existence of the state, beyond the post office and the policeman. He could live where he liked and as he liked. He had no official number or identity card.’

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• ALSO Check out:

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Build New Horizon! http://nationalliberal.org/build-new-horizon

New Horizon – Head & Heart http://nationalliberal.org/new-horizon-head-heart

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Liberty & Nation Says … Wherever You Live – Shop Local This Christmas!

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EU Ombudsman complaint

Dr. Jonathan Levy

The National Liberal party believes that the Cryptocurrency ‘world’ needs regulating to protect innocent investors from being fleeced by hackers etc.

Our global attorney Dr Jonathan Levy is leading the charge to get the EU (and individual states such as the UK) to regulate as they have for Banks and other financial institutions. He has now laid an official complaint to the EU Ombudsman (see press release below).
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December 9, 2019

For Immediate Release

Cryptocurrency Victims Claims

Dr. Jonathan Levy

jlevy@globalattorney.org

info@jlevy.co

+44 20 8144 2479

European Union Commission Accused of Aiding Crypto Crime

EU and UK Singled Out in Maladministration Complain

BRUSSELS: (EU Ombudsman Complaint # 201902197)

A complaint filed by lawyer Dr. Jonathan Levy on behalf of cryptocurrency crime victims, whose claims totaling over €27 million, takes aim not only at the European Commission but singles out the United Kingdom and several other EU member states as safe havens for crypto criminals.

The EU is accused of “maladministration” in regard to cryptocurrency. Maladministration is the technical term for various types of governmental injustice including delay and failure to investigate, take action or follow the law.

Dr. Jonathan Levy represents the Victims and the National Liberal Party, a UK political party with a platform that includes sound cryptocurrency policy. The EU stands accused of knowingly permitting the transfer of billions of Euros from victims to organized crime including the notorious €5 billion One World–One Coin Pnzi scheme which was operated by EU citizens utilizing EU banks for over almost 5 years.  Only on the day of the filing of this complaint did the EU act to remove One World–One Coin from its own Top Level Domain .EU where it had been operating with impunity.

Dr. Levy has long criticized the United Kingdom’s handling of cryptocurrency related claims.  According to Dr. Levy, “The United Kingdom and European Union have rolled out a welcome sign for crypto criminals and provided them unhindered access to Top Level Domains like .EU and .IO, their banking system, companies registration, and have turned a blind eye to the largest transfer of wealth to international criminal organizations since World War Two.”

Levy and his clients seek intervention by the EU Ombudsman to prompt the EU Commission to hold cryptocurrencies, social media networks, domains, exchanges, and domain privacy providers accountable for funding a Cryptocurrency Security Fund to pay out compensation to victims of cryptocurrency criminals.

Copies of the pleadings are available at: http://www.jlevy.co/cryptocurrency-litigation/

For more information or interviews:

Dr. Jonathan Levy

Attorney & Solicitor

+44 (0) 20 8144 2479

info@jlevy.co

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