Wouldn’t Unconditional Basic Income Just Cause Massive Inflation?
Scott Santens

This is a sad collection of cherry-picking and wishful thinking. Scott thinks UBI is just redistributing a fixed amount of money. The distribution of that money definitely determines the inflationary impact of any redistribution. If everyone is currently living in housing they can afford, and then everyone gets a big infusion of cash, everyone might wish to get better housing and might be willing to pay more for it. Result: Inflation. If landlords/home sellers see no resistance to increasing rents/prices: Inflation. Simply telling us there are more empty houses than homeless people in the USA tells nothing. Where are these houses/apartments? How much do they cost? Why is that housing unwanted? Cherry-picking Kuwait or Alaska is easy. Pricing levels were already very high in those markets and the amount of “UBI” money they received was relatively little. Why not cherry-pick Argentina where Peronism increased workers’ wages without any increase in productivity? What happened there? Inflation. Scott’s use of quantitative easing to “prove” that printing money is not inflationary again ignores the distribution of that new money. Banks were supposed to increase their lending and stimulate the economy, but they didn’t/couldn’t fulfill this role because borrowers were too terrified of taking on more debt. It instead appears the money was used to finance a stock market bubble (inflation). Poverty in America has some very real causes besides lack of money. Ignoring them will not solve poverty, and massively increasing the money supply for everyone will create new problems. As Keynes said, “There is no free lunch.”

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