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A Path to Real Freedom

 


We need to fight for people to be happy and really FREE


(not the false freedom of the UAP where a billionaire can hire and fire you at will).



Real Freedom requires a universal basic income 



to relieve the stress of finding a way to survive,



and create a good and meaningful life for all.



We need


                                                        Universal Health


                                                        Universal Education


                                                        Universal Basic Income and


                                                        Universal Justice



Yes, we can afford it. 



As equal members of this society, we all jointly own this nation and need to share


the public wealth. Nobody can become a millionaire without the contribution


of our society and culture, with all the accumulation over 100's of years, that


belongs to all Australians.



The pandemic has taught us how much we need each other. We need to share so


that every individual feels a part of our society.


A Universal Basic Income (UBI) will 

  • create a happier and healthier society,

  • strengthen our society and our economy, 

  • reduce stress and insecurity,

  • create growth both culturally and economically

 
 

A UBI is supported by people from all sides of politics.

From the right, for its brilliant efficiency by economists like Milton Friedman, and from the left, for reducing inequality by political theorists like Guy Standing.

With UBI's support from all sides, this pressure group aims to persuade people, from all over our society, to support a UBI. We are not aiming for government but just a policy from which EVERYONE will benefit.

A seat in the Senate would help bring about a UBI. If you support this, please contact, or even join, UBIPA.


Given the post epidemic state of our world today, and the oncoming election we need to fight for meaningful action. No promises, no trickle down actions, but real action. Proposals for a UBI have been discussed for centuries but always suppressed by the "authorities". 


Recently we learnt that around 700,000 people are relying, on any given day, on Newstart, but around 1.1 million  people are actually flowing on and off Newstart/Jobseeker each year, due to the temporary nature of the job market (casualisation). There are relatively few people living permanently on Newstart. That means that there are 1.1 million people suffering the indignities of applying for Newstart every year. Applying for Newstart  is no fun, causing serious mental stress that can be detrimental to someone for life. And just think of the world view created for these people's children.


The concept of a UBI is one of the most researched concepts in economics but regrettably not so much in the other social sciences, despite the wide ranging benefits of a UBI. It is not just a question of money as it improves the health of society as a whole, as shown by JobKeeper which was essentially a form of UBI. It would be of great benefit given the wide-ranging impact of the covid pandemic on our society and culture. There have been many trials of a UBI. The overall result is highly positive and now Spain has adopted one form of UBI (June, 2020). 


What is a UBI? It is a fixed cash amount, universally and equally paid regularly to individuals, unconditional on any means test or any conditions, other than being an Australian citizen. Payments could possibly be administered by the tax office, not Centrelink. All you would need to do is give your tax file number and bank account details to the ATO. You would need to register with the ATO if you do not have a tax file number, as the payment could be taxable income. It would probably replace other welfare payments like Newstart/Jobseeker, the disability pension and possibly the age pension. Income tax scales could be adjusted such that every one earning more than some fixed amount would make no net gain. 


The aim here is to form a group that any Australian voter can join, not just "experts", to meaningfully put pressure on our governments. If enough people join to make a registered party, and we can win just one senate seat, this will raise the voice for a UBI within parliament. It's fanciful to think that UBIPA could form a dominant party, but we can at lease apply pressure for a more equitable and caring society. A UBI has been found to have so many benefits as listed in the table below.


Before reading them, the most important thing is to keep an open mind. Our society has been 'brainwashed' into thinking such ideas would never work. People thought cars would never work, that planes would never work, that public health was a pipedream, that we would never be rid of smallpox, that the rich and powerful would never let social welfare systems exist. But these all exist today. Please give this concept your most serious consideration. It took years for people to accept that there is climate change, but now most people have finally realised that we need to work hard to stop it. It will be a similar task to make a UBI policy accepted in Australia. Recent surveys in many countries show that the majority of people favour a UBI, to help deal with the consequences of the pandemic. By pressing for a UBI, we hope to at least improve our welfare systems, even if we cannot yet obtain the ultimate goal in Australia.


I say again, a UBI would help make for a much healthier and happier society than we have now.


Talks/Videos


(Click on the speaker's name to see the talk)


"Why we should give everyone a basic income" by Rutger Bregman Ted talk


"A BIG idea, a bot idea — How smart policy will advance tech" by Albert Wenger Ted talk


"Why everyone deserves a basic income" by Guy Standing You Tube Video

Benefits
More Detail
Personal Security
Increased positive sense of security –greater self-confidence, more generosity, kindness, better social relations, a more caring society as a whole
Reduced Poverty and inequality
Reduction in poverty and inequality
Improved Physical Health
Better physical health of society as a whole – reduced public health costs
Improved Mental Health 
Better mental health – less depression, less domestic violence, less suicide
Better Education
Teenagers in trials of a UBI have been found to spend an extra year in school. The trials also noted increased participation in further education
Improved Cultural Life of Australia
Increased cultural activity in many areas that do not have a clear monetary benefit to society but they do clearly improve enjoyment of life as a whole and social interactivity. Many 'jobs' are poorly paid as they produce care not profit.
Greater Labour Force Participation
Increased labour force participation arising from a great confidence to go out and seek a job; this result surprises many people trials have consistently shown this. Whle some moralists only think negatively of people, people are actually positiviely pro-active. People don't want to lie around doing nothing. A UBI gives them the chance to go out and do something useful.
Better Employer/Employee work relations 
Improved employer/employee relations – A more balance relationship where the employer cannot misuse the power to sack someone, threatening to leave them penniless. A UBI creates decent pay for a decent job.
Admin Cost Savings
Reduction in the huge welfare administration costs, as jobseeker, disability pensions and age pensions are replaced by an automatic fixed payment, no matter your religion, origin, or marital status. Each individual should be treated the same and not be punished just because they love someone.
Greater Privacy
Removal of the social psychological cost to society of the investigative/inquisition-like behavior of social services. People cannot cheat the system to obtaint a UBI; everyone would receive it automatically.  This would destigmatize the rest of government assistance.
Greater Economic Growth, Higher Consumption
With increased security people consume more, save less, leading to greater growth. There is no doubt that the fairer distribution under a UBI would lead to higher growth.
Key Advocates. Many people over some two hundred years have supported some form of UBI, going back to Thomas Paine, one of the founding fathers of the United States, who recommended a capital grant with an unconditional citizens pension, back in 1797. Those above are just a few of the many supporters over the last 50 years.

The cost of such a proposal is surprisingly small. The payment would be taxable and tax brackets could be changed so that only people with low or no income make a gain. The UBI payment could replace jobseeker, the age pension. The cost of the administration of Centrelink would be substantially reduced and the distrustful attitude created by the presence of Centrelink, and how it works, would be replaced by a positive wholesome sense of working together for a better Australia. The current government has already spent around $25,000 per man, woman and child on economic stimulus, most of which will go to the wealthy, increasing inequality; this is far more than the net cost of a UBI. 


The good news is that worldwide there is already a significant interest in this concept. Spain adopted the policy in June of this year.  In Australia, while the concept is supported by people from all sides of politics, green, labor and liberal, no one party would therefore represent them fully. It really needs to be a cross-party policy for the benefit of all Australians but UBIPA will meanwhile raise the pressure for such a policy. 


See https://www.vox.com/future-perfect/2020/2/19/21112570/universal-basic-income-ubi-map for a map showing the sites of 25 trials around the world. Probably more people have been in trials than have been used for covid vaccination tests! Vox writes "the evidence so far suggests that getting a basic income tends to boost happiness, health, school attendance, and trust in social institutions, while reducing crime. But critics worry that it will disincentivize work, cheating economies out of productivity and cheating individuals out of the sense of meaning that work can bring. Plus, they say, it’s just plain unaffordable for the government to pay every citizen enough to live on regardless of whether they work. The evidence so far does not support these critiques, as you’ll see". The article then goes on to discuss the results in 13 countries.


The way forward. The first aim is to put pressure on the government to reform the welfare system. Hence we wish to form an incorporated association to see if enough people are interested in pursuing this reform policy. The association can then raise funds with which we can start employing a small staff, to promote the policy professionally. It would need a following of over 500 members to create a party. Let's start with an incorporated entity that can raise funds..


Why a Party? The LNP has currently moved so far to the right that it would seem unlikely for a UBI policy to gain any support from them. The Labor Party is not united behind this policy either given some negative responses from some unions which mistakenly think that a UBI might affect their union members negatively. Many in the Labor Party believe in seeking "real jobs", i.e. manual work, while they see a UBI as supporting the Giga economy and soft services like care workers. Finally, the Greens are supporting this policy but their other policies are not universally well received. 


A single-issue Basic Income party was formed in Germany ( The Basic Income Alliance (In German: Bündnis Grundeinkommen, abbreviated BGE)) and it has been fairly successful. There is also a party in Sweden (The Basic Income Party (In Swedish: Basinkomstpartiet )).


This is a problem of our party democracy; one has to vote for a party which may have some welcome policies but other unwelcome ones, for example, the treatment of refugees, or putting dentistry on to Medicare. We know that a UBI appeals to many people from both right and left, but these supporters' views in favour of a UBI are not backed by the party leadership. Hence the aim is to form a one-issue party to draw these people out so that they can express their wish for a UBI. 


Other policy aims? The current idea is purposefully to not state other policy aims, as these might well deter people from one side or the other. Stating other policies might divide the support for a UBI. We need to show how much support there is for a UBI in a very tangible way so that the other parties will listen. We also believe that a UBI would fundamentally change attitudes in society for the better, towards more self-confidence, better mental health, more caring, more generosity, a much warmer giving society. This would change attitudes for the better such that many other improvements would follow on if we can get a UBI started.


However UBIPA will discuss social issues that we feel need supporting like including dentistry in Medicare.


To register your interest in general, please go to  the Contact page, if you would like to hear more, or give your support for such a policy, or help in establishing the organisation to develop this further. 


To join UBIPA, please go to the To Join page.


The sooner we can employ a young management group, the better. We will advertise positions if we obtain sufficient donations. The aim would be for 2 or 3 staff to promote the creation of local support groups. We wish to build a social network of people, all equal and talking to each other, sharing their lives with each other, and hence the aim to create local groups supporting a UBI. 


Please write to us at any time if you have any issues about joining UBIPA (info@ubipa.org)


Notes: "Um Caminho para a liberdade" (A Path to Freedom) is the title of a book by Jojo Moyes, about a group of young women forming a travelling library in the 1930s in a small country town in the US, facing immense difficulties from learning to ride a horse to suffering extreme prejudice from conservatives. Used by the UBI group in Brazil called RBIdoc.com



UBIPA's head office is currently in Young and hence we, at UBIPA  acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands and waters of the people of the Wiradjuri and Ngunnawal nations, and show our respect to elders past, present and emerging. As a national organisation, we also respect the traditional owners of the lands and waters all over Australia.


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Pope Francis
Martin Luther King 
Friedrich Hayek
Milton Friedman
Andrew Yang
Jason Furman
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Organisations


Basic Income Studies, the new journal created as there is so much research today upon this topic.