Basic Income Is an Anti-Inflation Tool

Calling basic income inflationary is your standard supply side whining. These arguments hinge on false claims of scarcity. The idea is, that if we aren’t forced to work, there will be nothing available to consume. Nothing could be further from the truth.

In reality, it is natural behavior to develop and use resources as they are needed, regardless of whether there is a monetary system to support it. Many, if not most, resources require no paid work. If you give people a space to live, they will develop it as best they can. Markets and trade originally developed around luxury goods and religious symbolism. It was a curiosity of the rich or a symbol of wealth and status. In most cultures, modern or primitive, basic needs are a high priority, and one of the primary functions of a healthy society is looking after basic needs.

The truth is, basic income is strongly anti-inflationary, because its purpose is to provision resources exactly where they are needed by our population, without any waste or excess. If you give people purchasing power without any attached conditions, that saves a lot of time and money in having to travel to low priority jobs and perform those functions, just to earn what we need to survive. Not to mention that those additional jobs have to seek sales and encourage consumption to provide income.

In fact, I would only recommend basic income when it is imperative that a political authority controls resources to prevent inflation.

You see, as good as basic income is for fighting inflation, it does have significant political challenges and problems. Its political effects, at best, are unpredictable and hard to manage. Historically, one of the primary places of political coordination has been the workplace. As Marx realized, work makes lower classes indispensable in society. But instead calling for us to “sieze the means of production”, basic income advocates say we should “distribute tokens of consumption.”

Implementing basic income could easy become an excuse to further reduce the availability of employment and basic political sovereignty over resources. We have already seen even thankless, and poorly paid jobs become a conditional privilege, we don’t need another reason for our “shareholders” to become more exclusive in who has a say as to what happens with our resources.